Government
1:00 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Report shows one in five Nebraska children live in poverty

A new report shows one in five Nebraska children lived in poverty in 2011.

Voices for Children released its 2012 Kids Count in Nebraska report Wednesday. The report looks at overall well-being based on health, safety, education, and economic stability.

According to the report, 14 percent of white children in Nebraska under age 17 live in poverty. Voices for Children Research Coordinator Melissa Breazile says that rate is significantly higher among minority populations. “We saw higher poverty rates, particularly for black and African-American children, and as well as for Native American children at rates of 40 or above. And then also looking at Asian children, about 38 percent, and then looking at Hispanic or Latino children we saw rates of 36 percent.”

Among the report’s findings in education are that 64 percent of third graders couldn’t read at grade level by the end of their school year. Breazile says children who can’t read on time are more likely to have social and behavioral problems, be held back in school, and are less likely to graduate on time.

Other findings in the report are that one in five Nebraska children under age 17 live in poverty. One in 12 are uninsured, and more than 24,000 children received health or substance abuse services funded by Medicaid in 2011.

More information and the complete report are available at www.voicesforchildren.com.