For First Time, Number Of Black Kids In Poverty Overtakes Number of White Kids

Even though white kids outnumber black kids 3-to-1!

Here's the latest indication that huge portions of the U.S. have missed out on the economic recovery: The number of black children living in poverty overtook the number of poor white children for the first time since the Census began tracking the children's poverty rate in 1974, according to a report released by the Pew Research Center on Tuesday.

As the U.S. economy improved, the number of white children living in poverty dropped from 4.9 million in 2010 to 4.1 million in 2013. Yet the number of poor black children declined much less. There were 4.4 million in 2010, and 4.2 million in 2013.

Pew says the difference in the overall number of poor black and white kids is not statistically significant -- but it is notable, since white children outnumber black children in the U.S. by a 3-to-1 margin.

Black children's poverty rate is closely tied to the unemployment rate for African-Americans, which has remained stubbornly high despite the economic recovery. While the jobless rate for whites is currently at 4.7 percent, it's at 9.5 percent for blacks, according to the latest unemployment report from the Department of Labor.

Children who were living in a family of four with an annual household income below $23,624 were counted as poor.

In terms of raw numbers, however, there are more Hispanic children living in poverty than any other group, at 5.4 million. That's because the Hispanic population is larger and younger than any other U.S. racial or ethnic group, Pew explained. Thirty percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, while the poverty rate for black kids is 38 percent, and for whites, it is 11 percent.

Children in the U.S. are disproportionately poorer than other age groups: Kids under 18 make up one-fifth of the total population, but one-third of the total number of Americans living in poverty. Twenty percent of all U.S. children, or 14.7 million, live in poverty, Pew reports.

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