Fast Company: Child poverty is as bad now as it was 30 years ago–here’s how we can make progress again

Fast Company, June 17, 2019: Child poverty is as bad now as it was 30 years ago–here’s how we can make progress again

A simple measure of societal progress is: “Will the next generation be better off than the current one.” Right now, we seem to be going backwards on that metric. A child born today has around the same chance of growing up in poverty as one born in 1990. “We haven’t seen the progress we’ve wanted to see on reducing child poverty, and part of that is to do with the way our economy is working—even though it’s technically growing, we haven’t seen really significant wage growth,” says Noah Berger, director of policy reform and advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which works to improve outcomes for children and families.

Some other challenges facing children born today: A likelihood that they’ll be born with low birth weight, which has been increasing for the past three years; questionable access to insurance, which, though drastically improved since 1990, is starting to slip; an educational system that is not preparing them adequately for the workplace (two-thirds of today’s fourth graders are not proficient in reading); being born at a time when more and more families are struggling to accumulate wealth that could help set kids up for success in their own lives.

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