For the first time ever in U.S. history the largest number of kids living in poverty is Hispanic, according to a new study.
A record 6.1 million Hispanic children live in poverty, according to the study “Childhood Poverty Among Hispanics Sets Record, Leads Nation,” released on Wednesday by the Pew Hispanic Center. White children make up the second largest group living in poverty at 5 million, followed by 4.4 million black children.
White children were previously the largest group of poor kids in the country and this is the first time children of another race/ethnicity have outnumbered them. The report cites the recession combined with population growth as the cause for this.
“This negative milestone for Hispanics is a product of their growing numbers, high birth rates and declining economic fortunes,” the report says.
Patricia Foxen from the National Council of La Raza, a non-profit group serving the Hispanic community, says the crash of the housing market in particular has played a role in these new numbers.
“Hispanics have really been slammed with what’s been going on in the past three years,” Foxen said. “A lot of Latinos invested most of their wealth in buying homes. It’s the American dream. When people lost their homes, as lots of people in the Latino community did, they get wiped out. If both unemployment and foreclosure affect your family, clearly the chances you’re going to live in poverty go way up.”
Another key finding of the report is that children with immigrant parents were more likely to live in poverty, about 40 percent, compared to 28 percent who have U.S. born parents.