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Long-Term Effects for Kids Living in Poverty

Long-Term Effects for Kids Living in Poverty

According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “To help children grow into prepared, productive adults, parents need well-paying jobs, affordable housing and the ability to invest in their children’s future.” The Casey Foundation’s 2018 Kids Count data book shows that Connecticut ranks 18th in economic well-being for kids out of 50 states. This is a poor showing for the state when you consider that it consistently ranks in the top quartile on all other measures: overall well-being, education, health, and family and community. So how many kids are affected? The National Center for Children in Poverty reports that 14 percent of kids in the state live below the poverty line (against a national average of 19 percent). That means there are approximately 750,000 children in the state who are vulnerable to the long-term effects of living in poverty. The poverty line is currently set at $24,000 per year or less in income for a family comprised of two adults and two children. In a state with unaffordable housing, that means that families are constantly choosing how their income can stretch to cover basic needs. Some cut back on food, health care, or child care expenses just to keep a roof over their heads. When parents earn low wages and have to spend a disproportionate amount of income on housing, their ability to support their kids’ development is more limited, which can undermine their children’s prospects for success in school and beyond. The negative effects of poverty on kids can extend into their teenage years and young adulthood, as they are more likely to contend with issues such as teen pregnancy and failing to graduate from high school.

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