The Rising Child Poverty Rate and What You Can do to Fight It

“The rising child poverty rate is an indictment of America. To have 22 percent of children living in poverty is unacceptable. We are marching in the wrong direction, and we cannot continue to cut essential services for children and families and remain a strong nation.” –Children’s Leadership Council

More Families Living Below the Poverty Line

The 2010 census showed us that 15.1 percent of Americans are living below the poverty line, with 2.6 million slipping into poverty in the last year.   This is the highest number since the bureau started publishing figures 52 years ago.  This means about 1 in 7 Americans are living in poverty and the number is higher for children (about 1 in 5). Utah has followed the nation’s trend and due to the recession the rates of people living in poverty have increased in Utah.  

Another item in the news recently is the income gap between rich and poor, which is the largest ever.  Currently the top 20% earners have 84% of the country’s wealth.  This is compared to the bottom 40% of wage earners who earn .3%.  It is frustrating to see so many families are struggling to survive in a country where rich people are getting richer, or at least that seems to be the general trend.

What Poverty Means to Children

Living in poverty often puts children at greater risk for health issues, lower achievement in school, family problems, mental health issues, crime, drug issues and lower self esteem.  Children who live in persistent poverty are more likely to become adults who live in poverty and carry many of the same risks into their adult lives.

How you can Help Families in Your Salt Lake Community:

  • Volunteer

One positive caring adult in a child’s life will make a difference.  Here are some places you can volunteer to work with children and families:

Salt Lake County Volunteer List

The Road Home Shelter  

VOA Homeless Youth Resource Center

Big Brothers/ Big Sisters

  • Donate

If you don’t have time to volunteer, support children in your community by donating to programs or individuals, all of the organizations above accept donations.  Here are more ideas of great programs in need of resources:



Catholic Community Services


Educate yourself on the issue of poverty in America and find ways to advocate on a local and national level.  Here are some ideas:

Voices for America’s Children  

Children’s Defense Fund

Additional Resources

 New York Times : Poverty Rate : Poverty Rate : Risk To Children in Poverty

Deseret News : Poverty Rise in Utah : Income Gap in US

What are your thoughts on the rise of poverty in the United States and how to help?


About agnesrobl

I have worked as a case manager for Youth Services for two and a half years. I facilitate an anger management group, a girl’s empowerment and support group and a life skills group that focuses on drug recovery. I also help individual clients work on personal goals.
This entry was posted in Donors and Nonprofits, Homeless Youth, Safe Place, SLCO and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s