Policy Priorities

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Ending Child Poverty

Be Careful What You Cut

Cutting children from the budget now will cost all of us later.

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More than 2 million children in California - 1 in 5 California children - are poor. The burden of poverty falls disproportionately on minority children, with 1 in 3 Black and Latino children in California living in poverty. Poverty is particularly devastating for children and their health, emotional and intellectual development and academic success.

Our vision is to end child poverty. We must invest in high quality education for every child, livable wages for families, income safety nets like job training and job creation, and work supports like child care and health coverage. CDF-CA advocates to protect children in the state budget by supporting investments in programs that help lift children and families out of poverty, and fighting state budget cuts that harm the social safety net. We also work with partners to educate families about benefits for which they are eligible, particularly health coverage.

Key Child Poverty Statistics

According to new data from the U.S. Census's 2011 American Community Survey:

  • 2,084,522 (22.8%) children in California were living in poverty in 2011
  • 731,962 (24.3%) of California children under the age of 6 - the most vulnerable age group - were poor in 2011
  • 868,106 (9.5%) of California children lived in extreme poverty (less than half of the federal poverty line) in 2011
  • 10.3% (254,195) of White children in California were poor in 2011
  • 34.3% (182,842) of Black children in California were poor in 2011
  • 30.8% (1,449,440) of Hispanic children in California were poor in 2011

To see child poverty data by Congressional district, visit the Half in Ten website.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau. 2012. “2010 and 2011 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates,” Table B17001. Accessed via American FactFinder 2: http://factfinder2.census.gov.

Data on Child Poverty

The State of America's Children® 2012, a compilation of the most recent and reliable national and state-by-state data on key child indicators, including child poverty. The Child Poverty section of the report includes state data on the number and percentage of children living in poverty and extreme poverty and the child poverty breakdown by race/ethnicity and geography. This section of the report also includes poverty trends among children over the past 50 years and poverty rates of children in young families by the educational attainment of the family householder.