In “New Insights on Childhood Poverty: A Deeper Look into the Results from the Virginia Poverty Measure,” researchers from the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service share important and disturbing figures about rates of poverty among Virginia’s children. They note that in 2011, 13% of children lived in poverty, with another 18.5% living near the poverty line.
The repercussions are significant. According to the report, “The immediate consequences of poverty, such as inadequate nutrition, persistent anxiety, and impairments to intellectual and emotional development, affect the daily lives of too many children. Equally troubling, the legacy of poverty follows poor children into adulthood in the form of lower educational attainment, lower projected lifetime earnings, and higher likelihood of certain health problems, among other negative outcomes.”
This data mirrors information shared in the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities’“Unpacking the 2010 Census” program, a partnership with Hope in the Cities that utilized research from Dr. John V. Moeser. In that program, a critical analysis of the metropolitan Richmond region showed that nearly 40% of children in the city of Richmond experienced poverty in 2010.
One interesting and important tidbit from the Weldon Cooper study is that “almost one-half of all economically insecure children live in married-parent families.” This data debunks the myth that poverty is only experienced by single-parent families. There are important considerations for service providers and community anti-poverty programs based on this new analysis.