Child Poverty Increases as Housing Costs Spiral, says Children's ScoreCard
More children in Los Angeles County are living in poverty, increasing 16 percent from 2000 to 2004, according to the 2006 Children's ScoreCard, released last week by the Los Angeles County Children's Planning Council, a First 5 LA strategic partner.
Housing costs, which have spiraled in recent years, are largely to blame for struggles of the estimated three-quarters of the county's 1.2 million households with children whose family incomes are less than 300 percent of federal poverty level.
For example, the fair market rental of an average two-bedroom apartment in LA County required an income of $47,000 in 2005, compared to $31,000 in 2000. The median price of a single-family home rose from $241,370 to $529,000 in the same period.
First published in 1994, the Children's ScoreCard is updated every two years as it tracks a wide range of data about children's physical, emotional, and mental health, economic wellbeing, safety, and education.
The data confirms that children living in urban neighborhoods of Central and South Los Angeles continue to live in the toughest economic conditions, which contribute to higher rates of asthma and pre-term births as well as lower rates of school readiness.
A few positive trends were also highlighted, including an almost 50 percent decrease in teen pregnancies from 1991 to 2004, and a rise in children's insurance rates, from 81 percent in 1997 to 92 percent in 2005.
For more information, visit lapublichealth.org/childpc.
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