The Forgotten Poor: More Children Living in Extreme Poverty

The number of children living in extreme poverty—on $2.00 or less per person per day in a household—grew significantly from 1996 until 2011.  In 2011, 3.55 million children in 1.65 million households were living in extreme poverty in a given month.  Income included TANF and other direct cash assistance programs, cash support from family and friends, and income from odd jobs and other sources.  The good news—if you can call it that—is means-tested benefits (food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and Section 8 vouchers) lifts two-thirds of these households out of extreme poverty, but still leaves 1.17 million children living off the barest subsistence.  Research by H. Luke Schaefer, an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan and Kathryn Edin, the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in the department of sociology at John Hopkins University, documents the growing number of children being left behind.