Despite improvement in the national economy in recent years, more Kentucky children were living in poverty in 2014 than the year prior, according to data released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau.
About 260,000 Kentucky children lived in poverty in 2014, accounting for more than 26 percent of the state’s kids, the Census data show. That’s a slight increase from 2013, when the rate was 25.3.
Although the one-year shift is considered statistically insignificant, it means that nearly nearly 9,000 more children lived in poverty across Kentucky during 2014 than the year before. And it confirms a steady increase in the state’s child poverty rate since the epic economic recession that began in 2008. That year, about 23 percent of Kentucky kids lived in poverty, according to an analysis of the U.S. Census data by Kentucky Youth Advocates.
It’s a trend consistent with the overall state poverty rate, which has increased from 17 percent to 19 percent since 2008, the data show.
Children living in impoverished families are more likely to find hardship in social and academic settings, said Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates.