Majority of Children in Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo Live in Poverty

Tuesday, December 09, 2014
(AP photo)

Detroit, whose economic struggles are well documented, has the highest rate of child poverty in the United States: 59%, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP). The majority of children in two other major cities also live in poverty: Cleveland (54%) and Buffalo (51%).


“Many Americans—even policymakers—seem unaware of the shocking prevalence of child poverty in many of our nation’s most important and iconic cities,” Curtis Skinner, director of Family Economic Security at the NCCP, a research center based at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, said in a press release. “Reducing child poverty is critical to the social and economic health of cities, now and in the future.”


The child poverty rate tops 40% in the rest of the 10 worst cities. They are:

Fresno, California (48%)

Cincinnati, Ohio (46%)

Memphis, Tennessee (46%)

Newark, New Jersey (45%)

Miami, Florida (44%)

St. Louis, Missouri (43%)

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (43%)


Fresno topped the list of highest growth in child poverty with a 15.9% increase. Honolulu and Sacramento, California, were next at 13.5%.


“Policymakers at all levels of government need to recognize the pandemic of urban child poverty,” NCCP Director Renée Wilson-Simmons said. “We have a tool chest of proven anti-poverty policies, but lack the political will to use them.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Child Poverty Pervasive in Large American Cities, New Census Data Show (National Center for Children in Poverty)

One-Third of American Children Now Live in Poverty (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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