New Report: 15 Million Kids in Poverty in the U.S.

The Census Bureau recently reported that America is deeper in poverty today than it's been in more than a decade. According to the Bureau's report, 43 million Americans are now living in poverty, up from 39 million the year before.

According to the Census Bureau's recent report, 43 million Americans are now living in poverty. Photo credit: Susan Warner

According to the Census Bureau's recent report, 43 million Americans are now living in poverty. Photo credit: Susan Warner

The age group with the highest rates of poverty are children under 18; their ranks increased by 1.4 million kids this year to a total of more than 15 million American children.

Our best hope for reversing this trend is to make the kind of investment that gives every child a quality education and proper nutrition, providing a path to lifelong success.

Four-year-old kids living in poverty are 18 months behind their peers and only 15 percent of fourth graders from poor homes are reading at levels considered proficient by the U.S. Department of Education.

These gaps in early childhood stay with these kids for rest of their lives, leading to increased high school dropout rates, teenage pregnancy and unemployment.

Equally alarming, almost half of kids living in poverty — where one might think hunger is an issue — are in fact obese or overweight. The obesity crisis puts kids at risk for "adult" diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stunting their productivity and straining our health care system.

Watch a clip of Mark Shriver's September 21 appearance on The Colbert Report

Save the Children’s U.S. Programs works to combat the childhood poverty crisis by giving children in poverty the resources they need, like access to a quality education and healthy foods. Read more

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