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This story on child poverty being higher now than in the recession is shocking. It’s also false.

"More children living in poverty now than during recession" reads an alarming headline in USA Today. Drudge picked it up. But it's not true. Here's the article:

A higher percentage of children live in poverty now than did during the Great Recession, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation released Tuesday. About 22% of children in the U.S. lived below the poverty line in 2013, compared with 18% in 2008, the foundation's 2015 Kids Count Data Book reported.

Several points:

  • It is "now" the year 2015.
  • 2013 was about 18 months ago.
  • According to the report "when the data for 2014 are available, we assume that they will show some improvement."
  • The economy and the labor market are stronger in 2015 than they were in 2014.
  • The most severe recession year was 2009, not 2008, and the child poverty rate peaked in 2010.

In summary, the child poverty rate in 2013 was lower than it was at its recession-era peak and it is almost certainly even lower today.


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