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REPORT: Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods

Children Living in High-Poverty, Low-Opportunity Neighborhoods, a new KIDS COUNT® data snapshot was released this week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Using the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau, the snapshot examines where concentrated poverty has worsened across the country, despite a long period of national economic expansion.

While California has seen some improvement since the last snapshot was released in 2012, there are still more than 1.1 million children living in areas of concentrated poverty in the state. Nationally, the racial and ethnic disparities, resulting from years of oppression and discriminatory policies, are striking:

  • Black and Native American children are seven times more likely to live in poor neighborhoods than white children — and Latino children are nearly five times more likely.
  • Half or more of Native American kids in Arizona, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota are living in concentrated poverty.
  • Half of the total number of Latino children living in concentrated poverty in America are in two states: Texas and California.

Children who live in areas of concentrated poverty live in neighborhoods where access to healthy food, quality public schools or medical care is limited, and there is greater exposure to community violence and environmental hazards, such as poor air quality or lead. Growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods negatively impacts child well-being and can affect future academic and career success. All children deserve to grow up in safe, healthy communities where they have access to high-quality schools, safe places to play and opportunities to thrive. Local, state and federal governments must take action to transform impoverished neighborhoods and provide low-income families with needed economic resources and opportunities to move out of poverty.

To read the report, please visit

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