New Census data figures show child poverty rates are down slightly in Nebraska.
From 2011 to 2012, the child poverty rate declined from 18.1 percent to 17.9 percent. Aubrey Mancuso is a Policy Coordinator for Voices for Children in Nebraska. She says they’re encouraged by the slight drop in child poverty rates. But she says while the number of white and Hispanic children living in poverty is down, the number of black children in poverty is up.
"We continue to have a lot of disparities in access to different services and opportunities in different communities in our state, and we really want Nebraska to be a state where all our kids have the best possible opportunities to succeed, and we’re not there yet."
Mancuso says investing in early childhood education and a skilled workforce will help address Nebraska’s poverty rate.
The Census data also shows that the rate of uninsured children in Nebraska was up slightly in 2012 to 6 percent. Mancuso says more outreach is needed to families who are eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled.