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.