Addressing Childhood Poverty Would Greatly Improve Adult Outcomes for Black Children
Jul 13, 2010
It is widely understood that adult outcomes are tied to childhood life experiences and family economic circumstances. Yet this country, among the world's richest, has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the world. For black children, the rate is exponentially worse. As a result, black children and youth are less likely to graduate high school, finish college, land good jobs or raise children who aren't poor. Improving adult outcomes and ensuring more adults lead productive lives requires addressing childhood poverty, particularly among black children who are more likely than their counterparts to grow up poor.
A recent Urban Institute brief, Childhood Poverty Persistence: Facts and Consequences, explores childhood poverty and its relationship to adult outcomes. The study used Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) data from 1968 through 2005 to examine both the occurrence and duration of poverty among all children and by race, from birth through age 17. It analyzed poverty status at birth, number of years in poverty, the frequency of children cycling in and out of poverty, and proportion of children living in persistent poverty (defined as living at least half of their childhood in poverty). The study also examined the relationship between these factors and adult outcomes. Researchers tracked the progress of adults ages 25 to 30 who grew up poor to examine determine how they faired in household income, educational attainment, and employment.
The results tell a grim tale of the nature of poverty for black children and the long-term consequences. Among the study's findings: READ MORE>>