The increasing number of Latino youths in California who are growing up in poverty threatens the long-term economic prosperity of the state with perhaps the nation's largest economy, a new report indicates.
Based on recent census data, the report shows that 23 percent of all children in the Golden State live at or below the poverty line. Poverty is concentrated among the largest ethnic and racial minorities.
White children, who account for a little more than 27 percent of California's population, have about a 10 percent poverty rate. In contrast, Latinos, who account for more than half of all kids in the state, have a poverty rate of nearly 30 percent, according to the Center for the Next Generation, the organization that produced the report.
Black children up to the age of 6 experience a poverty rate of 38.1 percent, about 15 percentage points higher than the average for that age group (23.2 percent).
The authors of the report, "Prosperity Threatened: Perspectives on Childhood Poverty in California," noted that childhood poverty became more pronounced as a result of the economic crisis that started in 2008.
It all boils down to investments, said Ann O'Leary, director of the Children and Families Program at the Center for the Next Generation and a coauthor of the report.