Culture February 7, 2017
Shocking new research shows the full extent of poverty among girls in America.
A staggering 41 percent of school-age girls live in low-income households – that’s more than 10 years ago.
Instead of conditions improving for them since the Great Recession of late 2007, they have become worse and the aftermath of that economic disaster is clearly still being felt. Ten years ago, 38 percent of girls lived in poverty.
The fact that four in ten girls in the U.S. are now living below the poverty line comes from a study of the wellbeing of the 26 million girls across the nation aged 5-17 that was compiled by the Girl Scout Research Institute.
Called “The State of Girls,” the study points out that those coming from low socioeconomic-status face big challenges which impact their health, happiness and potential for future achievements.
It was compiled to help the Girls Scouts adjust to best suit the needs of today’s American girls but throws a spotlight on big problems in society.
“These trends are important not only because they may affect how girls are faring today, but also because, in a generation, these girls will enter the workforce and start families of their own.” states the report.
A child is considered low income if her family income is less than twice the poverty threshold. In 2016, the low-income threshold for a family of four that has two children was $48,600.
The study found that more girls live in single-parent families now – 34 percent compared with 32 percent in 2007 – and that less financially well off girls are more likely to live in single-parent families. The percentage of girls living in single parent families has increased since the recession in 44 of the 50 states.
Further breakdown of the statistics showed that black girls are the most likely to live in poverty while white girls are least likely.
Another finding of the study is that 26 percent of girls are first or second generation immigrants – up three percent from 2007. Children in immigrant families, on average, have less economic security than those in U.S. born families.
Data compiled by a range of government sources such as the United States Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics was used to help compile the study.
This report follows other disturbing figures about the problems currently facing women and children in society, including a KPCC study which cited a 55 percent jump in the number of homeless women from three years earlier In Los Angeles. The uptick in homeless females was attributed to factors including domestic abuse and the high cost of living.
However you break down these statistics, they all make for very uncomfortable reading.
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