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Pew Study: Hispanics Make Up Largest Group of Children in Poverty Pew Study: Hispanics Make Up Largest Group of Children in Poverty

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Pew Study: Hispanics Make Up Largest Group of Children in Poverty


WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: (AFP OUT) Students from Harriet Tubman Elementary School sit in the front row of the audience during the ceremony where U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 at the school December 13, 2010 in Washington, DC. In an effort to provide children with better school lunches and breakfasts, the new law puts $4.5 million in the hands of child nutrition programs, sets nutrition standards on school vending machines, helps create school gardens and makes sure that quality drinking water is available during meal times. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Hispanic children are now the largest group of kids in poverty, marking the first time in U.S. history that poor white children are outnumbered by another race or ethnicity, the Pew Hispanic Center said in a report released on Wednesday.

There were 6.1 million Hispanic children living in poverty in 2010. More than two-thirds of them were born to immigrant parents, although the vast majority of the kids were born in the U.S.


Last year, 37.7 percent of children in poverty were Latino, 30.5 percent were white, and 26.6 percent were black, according to the study. Hispanics make up less than a quarter of children in the United States.

Rapid population growth, high birth rates, and deteriorating economic conditions among Latinos are responsible for the disproportionate percentage of Hispanic kids in poverty, the report said.

The Great Recession of 2007-2009 had a huge impact on the country’s Hispanic population. The unemployment rate among Latinos is 11.1 percent, higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. Hispanics’ household wealth fell more sharply than that of black or white households between 2005 and 2009.


While there are a record number of Latino children in poverty, black children have the nation’s highest poverty rate, the report noted. Nearly 40 percent of black children lived in poverty in 2010, compared with 35 percent of Latino children and 12.4 percent of white children. Latino children, however, have seen the steepest increase in poverty rates since 2007.

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