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New Census Data Show No Improvement in National Poverty Rates, Many American Families Still Need Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2013

Anastasia Ordonez

New Census Data Show No Improvement in National Poverty Rates, Many American Families Still Need Support

Statement from Ann O’Leary, Vice President and Director of Children & Families Program, Next Generation

“Today’s Census Bureau release of poverty data has given us new information that shows no marked improvement in national poverty rates. This is sobering news for American families and communities that have been severely challenged by high unemployment and reductions to public benefits programs in recent years. Clearly, we are not doing enough, and too many American families continue to live with basic needs unmet, and continue to lack the resources and support to help their children succeed.

“Over 16 million children (21.8%) live in poverty in America—more than 2 million in California alone (22.8%)—and these numbers represent a direct threat to the future of this country’s economic health and prosperity. Hispanic and African American children continue to have higher rates of poverty (33.8% and 37.9%, respectively)  than white and Asian children (12.3% and 13.8%, respectively), and their families continue to earn lower wages and have less health care coverage nationwide.[1] We must continue to take concrete steps to help families rise out of poverty, including supporting working parents through family-friendly workplace policies; providing useful resources that parents and caregivers can use to improve their children’s health and well-being; and by increasing our minimum wage so that families can adequately meet their basic needs. Our focus must be on helping families raise healthy, educated children so that we can build a stronger country, and secure a prosperous future for all.

“We at Next Generation look forward to continuing to work with our partners in California and nationally to raise awareness of the needs of low-income families."


About Next Generation

Next Generation promotes solutions to two of the biggest challenges confronting the next generation of Americans:  The risk of dangerous climate change, and the threat of diminished prospects for children and families. Through the use of non-partisan research, policy development, and strategic communications, we identify strategies that help deploy clean, advanced energy technologies; we also work to ensure a level playing field from which today’s kids can build a brighter future.

Learn more at and on Twitter @nextgen_USA.


[1] For additional data, see the full release from the U.S. Census Bureau at:


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