• Shotgun Spratling
  • President Obama speaking at the University of Southern California

Imagine if 38 percent of white children were living in poverty. Poverty wouldn’t be an issue in the presidential campaign. It would be the issue.

That’s the percentage of African-Americans under 18 living in poverty in the U.S. It’s more than triple the percentage of white kids in poverty (12). Thirty-five percent of Hispanic children are also living in poverty.

Child poverty has compelling and lasting implications. Children living in poverty are more likely to have cognitive and behavioral problems; they complete fewer years of school and end up spending more years unemployed. It’s a particularly severe affliction for African-American children who, because of the racial segregation they also experience disproportionately, suffer the especially virulent impacts of concentrated poverty.