Years after the end of the Great Recession, child poverty remains widespread in America’s largest cities. Nearly three children in five living in Detroit are poor, according to the most recent Census figures, a rate that has grown by 10 percentage points since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. Most children in Cleveland and Buffalo also live in poverty, as do nearly half the children in Fresno, Cincinnati, and Memphis. Other large cities topping the list for child poverty are Newark, Miami, St. Louis, and Milwaukee. Seven of the 10 cities with the highest child poverty rates have seen them climb by eight percentage points or more since 2007, led by Fresno, with an extraordinary 16 percentage point jump.
“Many Americans—even policymakers—seem unaware of the shocking prevalence of child poverty in many of our nation’s most important and iconic cities,” observed Curtis Skinner, director of Family Economic Security at the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP), a research center based at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “Reducing child poverty is critical to the social and economic health of cities, now and in the future.”