Childhood Poverty Has Troubling, Long-Term Consequences

Jun 30, 2010

By Teresa Lim and Elizabeth Hoffmann

A new Urban Institute brief, Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences, explores the long-term effects of childhood poverty and provides further evidence that the nation needs sound policy solutions to ensure more children have the resources and supports necessary to become productive adults.

The brief examines the links between poverty status at birth, persistent childhood poverty, and adult outcomes.

The study used Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data from 1968 through 2005 to examine the occurrence and duration of poverty among all children and by race, from birth through age 17. The study's authors analyzed key child poverty data, including the number of years and proportion of children who lived in persistent poverty (defined as living at least half of their childhood in poverty), the frequency in which children cycled in and out of poverty, and the relationship between poverty status at birth and adult outcomes. Researchers tracked the progress of these children at ages 25 to 30, examining adult outcomes such as poverty status, educational attainment, and employment. The study's results provide a stark picture of the long-term consequences of and racial disparities in childhood poverty. Read more>> 

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