CHILDREN: One In Four Lives In Poverty
"[D]espite the state's booming economy," 25% of the state's children are living in poverty and a child is more likely to be poor today than 10 years ago. The Contra Costa Times reports that the Children Now's "California Report Card '98" offers a "stark picture of the growing gap between the state's haves and have-nots." Families in the bottom fifth of the state's income distribution saw their income drop 20% over the last decade, while those in the top fifth "saw their income increase by 15%." Children Now Executive Director Lois Salisbury also noted that "[h]aving a job is no longer insurance against poverty," as "[m]ost poor children have two working parents or a single working parent." And 18% of the children in the state are without health insurance. Salisbury said, "Every day, people go out the door to work wondering if their kids are going to be safe, shaky about health care and worried they will have to move again to find affordable rent." However, the Contra Costa Times reports that there were some bright spots in the report card, as "[f]ewer teens are giving birth," and "babies are less likely to die in the first year" (Melvin, 12/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.