By Charlotte Alter
July 14, 2015

Poverty has fallen for kids in white, Hispanic and Asian families in the last five years, but not for black children, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

About 38% of black children are still living below the poverty line, according to Pew‘s study of Census data, and black kids are still about four times as likely as white or Asian kids to grow up poor. And for the first time since 1974, there are more poor black kids (4.2 million) than poor white kids (4.1 million), even though there are three times as many white children in America.

There are even more poor Hispanic children than any other group (5.4 million,) partly because the Hispanic population is larger and younger than other minority groups, but the data shows a small decline in poverty rates among Hispanic children in the last few years. Black children are the only group that have not shown a decline in the poverty rate since 2010.

Rates of child poverty have fluctuated widely over the last 25 years. In the mid-1980s, almost 50% of black children were growing up poor, but in the early 2000s that number dropped to around 30%. Since then, the child poverty rate among black families has been slowly creeping up again, approaching 40%.

Still, the study shows that both black and Hispanic children are significantly more likely to grow up poor. Although children make up only 27% of the black population, 38% of poor black Americans are kids. And while only 32% of the Hispanic population are children, almost 43% of Hispanics living in poverty are children.

[Pew]

 

Write to Charlotte Alter at charlotte.alter@time.com.

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