The reports come as the Academy urges Congress not to cut Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (SNAP) benefits, which protect families from food insecurity.
Among all ages, the poverty rate last year was 12.3%, which declined for the third
straight year, according to the Census Bureau. A family with two adults and two children
was living in poverty if its annual income was below $24,858.
Children fare worse than adults. About 17.5% of children lived in poverty compared
to 11.2% of people ages 18-64 and 9.2% of those 65 and older.
Racial disparities also persist. About 21.2% of people who are black, 18.3% of those
who are Hispanic, 10% of those who are Asian and 8.7% of those who are white lived
in poverty last year.
Addressing poverty is a top priority for the Academy. The AAP policy Poverty and Child Health in the United Statescalls for improving access to early childhood education and increasing parents’ income
by strengthening programs like the earned income tax credit, SNAP, housing subsidies
and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.
Congress is in the midst of negotiating reauthorization of SNAP, which serves about
one in four children. The Academy is participating in a National Day of Action today
to urge support for the Senate’s version of the funding legislation. Members can learn
more at http://bit.ly/SNAPAdvocacy.
The Census Bureau also released new data this week on health insurance coverage showing
about 5.4% of children were uninsured last year, which did not change from the year