More ND children in high povertyFARGO — More North Dakota children are living in areas of high poverty, putting them at risk for not getting proper food, housing or health care, and making it more likely that they could have severe behavioral and emotional problems, the Kids Count program announced Thursday.
By: Helmut Schmidt, The Dickinson Press
FARGO — More North Dakota children are living in areas of high poverty, putting them at risk for not getting proper food, housing or health care, and making it more likely that they could have severe behavioral and emotional problems, the Kids Count program announced Thursday.
North Dakota data for 2010 indicates 7 percent of the state’s children, about 11,000, live in economically distressed areas — neighborhoods where at least 30 percent of residents live below the federal poverty line. That’s up from 5 percent in 2000, the Kids Count program at North Dakota State University reports.
The federal poverty threshold in 2010 for a family of four was $22,314, Kids County reports.
Fargo had four neighborhoods classified as economically distressed in 2010, up from one in 2000, said Karen Olson, a researcher at NDSU working with the Kids Count program.
Olson said there is child poverty scattered across the state, but the American Community Survey data was used to focus on “areas of really high concentrations of poverty. It’s kind of a unique approach.”
Three of Fargo’s economically distressed neighborhoods are served by Madison, Roosevelt and Jefferson elementary schools.
The other concentration is seen in the West Acres area, with its many apartment buildings. It is served by the West Fargo School District.
Grand Forks had three neighborhoods with poverty rates topping 30 percent, up from one in 2000, Kids Count reported.
About 4,000 children live in those areas in Fargo and Grand Forks, Kids Count reported.
Sioux, Benson and Rolette counties have consistently had some of the highest poverty rates in the state. About 7,000 children live in areas of those counties where poverty rates top 30 percent, Kids Count reports.
Not all children living in distressed areas are poor. But studies show even children from middle- and upper-income families are affected by living in high-poverty areas. The chances of falling down the economic ladder as an adult rises an average of 52 percent for those children, Kids Count reports.
Also, students in schools in areas of high poverty have lower test scores than children in predominately higher-income schools, and are more likely to drop out, Kids Count reports.
Not all children are equally likely to live in areas of concentrated poverty, Kids Count reports. African-American, American Indian and Latino children are six to nine times more likely than white children to live in economically distressed neighborhoods.
Fourteen percent of children with parents born outside of the United States live in areas of concentrated poverty, compared with 9 percent of those with U.S.-born parents.
Overall, 10 percent of children in rural areas, and 22 percent living in large cities live in areas of concentrated poverty, compared with 4 percent of those in suburbs, Kids Count reports.
Minnesota saw the number of children living in areas of concentrated poverty rise significantly. In 2000, about 35,000 children, or 3 percent of the state’s children lived in such areas. By the 2006-10 reporting period, about 68,000 or 5 percent lived in areas of concentrated poverty.
South Dakota, on the other hand, saw the percentage of children living in areas of concentrated poverty stay roughly level at 11 percent. In 2000, 21,000 children lived in such areas, rising to 22,000 in the 2006-10 reporting period, Kids Count reported.
Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.