SREB: Growing Proportion of Children in Poverty Means More Education Challenges
News From SREB | Press Release
Beth Day, SREB Director of Communications
(404) 879-5544

Joe Marks, SREB Director of Education Data Services
(404) 875-9211

The SREB Fact Book on Higher Education is one of the nation's most comprehensive collections of comparative data on higher education. New data is added online continually.

Fact Book Bulletins report significant trends that affect education progress in the SREB states.

The Southern Regional Education Board works with 16 member states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. Based in Atlanta, SREB was created in 1948 by Southern governors and legislatures to help leaders in education and government advance education and improve the social and economic life of the region.

More Children in Poverty Means More Education Challenges

ATLANTA –  April 25, 2012 – The South is home to the greatest proportion of children in poverty, and the number is growing faster than in other regions of the United States, according to recent U.S. Census data.

Forty-four percent of the nation's children in poverty live in the Southern Regional Education Board’s 16 member states. That’s 7.1 million children and 26 percent of all children in the region, reports the latest SREB Fact Book Bulletin.

The SREB region added 1.1 million children in poverty from 2005 to 2010. The increase in the rest of the nation combined was 1.3 million during that period.

Children in poverty, by region, 2005 and 2010
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey, "Historical Poverty Tables: State Poverty Rates, Three-Year Averages" (2012) and American Community Survey 2010, “Percent of Children Under 18 Years Below Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months” (2012).

Research shows that children from poverty-level families graduate from high school and continue to college at much lower rates than children from more affluent families. So as poverty levels grow, states face greater challenges in achieving the education goals that can improve social and economic vitality.

This issue of the Fact Book Bulletin contains additional charts, plus poverty data by region and for all 50 states.Download the two-page PDF >
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