One in Four Georgia Children Living in Poverty
Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau show the profound impact the recession has had on Georgia communities. Analysis of Census data of the 32 largest counties in Georgia show dramatic increases in the number of people struggling economically. The percentage of children in Georgia living in poverty shot up from 19.7 in 2007 to 24.8 in 2010, which means one in four children lived in poverty in 2010.
“Half of all children In Dougherty County live in poverty,” said Georgia KIDS COUNT data manager Julie Sharpe. “40 percent of the children in Bibb, Clarke, and Richmond counties lived in poverty last year, and one-third of the children living in Glynn County live in poverty. That’s an increase of nearly 17 percent. The Atlanta metro counties all saw increases in the number of poor children as well. Fulton. DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett all now have over a 20-percent child poverty rate.”
According to Sharpe the percentage of Georgians living in poverty rose from 14.3 in 2007 to 17.8 in 2010. The number of people in Dougherty and Clayton counties living in poverty surged by more than 10 percent since 2007. Meanwhile, more than one-third of the people living in Bulloch, Clarke, and Dougherty counties live in poverty. The federal government defines the poverty level as an annual income of $22,050 for a family of four.
The recession also had an impact on the income earned by Georgians. Median household income declined from $49,136 in 2007 to $46,430 in 2010, a more than 5-percent decline in income. High unemployment and declining income hit some urban counties harder than others. The decline in household income in Clayton County was the highest in the Atlanta metro area and one of the highest in the nation at 18.5-percent decline. The median income in Dougherty County is only $28,444 a year, the lowest of large counties. Several counties showed gains in earnings, with Houston and Carroll counties having the largest increase in household income.
The U.S. Census Bureau released American Community Survey one-year estimates for 2010 yesterday. State level and large county estimates were released last week. Data will be available next week for counties of populations with less than 65,000.
Georgia KIDS COUNT coordinator
GaFCP Communications Manager