New Census Data:
Too Many Kids Still Live in Poverty

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released 2014 Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance data. The good news — the uninsured rate among Americans decreased 2.9% from 2013. The bad news — the poverty level among America’s children remained the same at 21%, and among the general population at approximately 14.8%. In 2014 in Iowa, just over 15% of children lived in poverty.

More than 50 years ago, President Johnson declared the War on Poverty. In 1964, 19% of the population were living in poverty; this new data suggests we still have not figured out how to eradicate it.

  • We still have 1 in 5 children living in poverty (21%);
  • African American children (37%) and Latino children (32%) live in poverty at higher rates than Non-Hispanic, White children (12%);
  • Women are still more likely to live in poverty;
  • Over the last 5 years, the real household income for lowest 10th percentile have decreased while real wages for all other wage earners has increased;
  • Women continue to earn less than men (even with a 1 cent increase over last year).

These are just a few of the highlights found from the newly released data. CLICK HERE to read more information from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The release of the poverty report brings up the question,
“What are the Presidential Candidates going to do about poverty?”

Last Wednesday, the GOP Candidates held their second debate. Unfortunately, a question about poverty was not included. In fact, the only child- and family-friendly question answered by candidates was about the minimum wage. The question was directed to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s comment about an increase to the minimum wage being “lame”. His alternatives included more investments in education, building skills of a workforce, and cutting taxes for job creation. Dr. Ben Carson had an opportunity to respond, and he identified a need for both sides to sit down and talk about it and negotiate a reasonable minimum wage with an index. He also believes in setting two minimum wage levels — a starter and a sustaining wage.

Since the candidates are not getting the questions on the debate stage, we want to make sure they get them from Iowa voters! Consider attending a candidate event; ask a question; and report back to us at Every Child Matters! CLICK HERE to find the candidate calendar and locate an event near you, and then report back to us what you find out by filling out this form. Use the sample kids questions on the left to ask the candidates how they plan to invest in kids and working families — because investments in our kids is an investment in our future.

Thanks for joining us!

— Kelli Soyer
State Director
Every Child Matters in Iowa

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