Colorado’s child-poverty rate soars

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Colorado’s child-poverty rate is the fastest-growing in the nation.

Between 2000 and 2008, the number of children living at or below the federal poverty level – $22,000 for a family of four – jumped 72 percent.

If the trend continues, the state could soon surpass the national average.

An annual report by the Colorado Children’s Campaign showed the “suburbanization of poverty.” Several counties in the Front Range experienced faster growth of poverty than other areas of the state.

Although the state ranked 22nd in the nation for overall child well-being, 15.1 percent of Colorado’s children are living in poverty.

There are stark contrasts between children who are doing well and children who are struggling, said the “2010 KIDS COUNT in Colorado” report.

Significant disparities exist among children living in different counties, and among children of different racial and ethnic backgrounds. In Colorado, Hispanic and African-American children are more likely to live in poverty than white children.

El Paso County’s child-poverty growth-rate is among the highest in the state, increasing 63 percent during the same time period.

Nearly 16 percent of children in El Paso County were living in poverty in 2008.

Click here to view the full Colorado Children’s Campaign report.