Nevada makes progress against child poverty

by Suzanne Potter, Nevada News Service

The state of Nevada has 57,000 children living in concentrated poverty – but the good news is, that’s 10,000 fewer than about a decade ago. The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its latest Data Snapshot Tuesday.

Listen to an audio report.

Nevada saw a 2% decrease in children living in neighborhoods where at least 30% of the population lives below the federal poverty line in the period between 2013 and 2017, compared with the four years prior. Aaliyah Goodie, data analyst with the Children’s Advocacy Alliance in Nevada, said children of color still disproportionately live in poverty.

“Sixteen percent of African-American and Latino/Hispanic children are living in that concentrated poverty, and 13% of American Indian children,” Goodie said; “compared to 3% of white children in our state.”

The report also found nationwide, African-American and American Indian children are 7 times more likely than white kids to live in a poor neighborhood. Latino children are 5 times more likely.

Goodie said she credits improvements to the economic recovery after the recession, in addition to state-level efforts to increase affordable housing and address stubborn pockets of poverty.

Scot Spencer, associate state director of advocacy with the Casey Foundation, said one way to continue those efforts is to incentivize colleges and medical centers to hire local people.

“Hospitals and universities are big economic engines. They actually spend lots of money in hiring people, in procuring services,” Spencer said. “They can also be a partner in making sure that the opportunities are based locally and help to support and lift up the people that live in their communities.”

The report called on the federal government to help low-income families by increasing the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit, and by putting more funding into subsidized child care.


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