Statewide Childhood Poverty Statistics Released


National and statewide Kids Count data released today (Tuesday) reveals some sobering facts about childhood poverty in Idaho. Released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count 2010 ranks Idaho as 21st in the nation for childhood well-being based on ten factors including percentage of children in single-parent households and those living below the poverty line.

Statistics show the number of children on food stamps in Idaho is up, from 91,916 in 2008 to 110,140 in 2009. The percentage of immunized children has also seen a steady decline in five years, decreasing from 80.6% in 2004 to 65.9% in 2008. The percentage of children in homeless shelters has been hovering between 23% and 26% for the last four years.

In Ada County, the percentage of mothers without a high school diploma was 11% in 2007, up from 10% in 2000. In Canyon County, the percentage of mothers without a high school diploma was 25% in 2007, and has hovered around that number for the past eight years. Clark County ranked the highest, where 45% of mothers do not hold a high school diploma.

The percentages of all food stamp participants that are children in both Ada and Canyon Counties have seen a slight decrease in five years. Children make up 19% and 22% of the total number of food stamp recipients in Ada and Canyon County, respectively. Madison County ranked the highest in the state at 34%.

Some positive news coming out of the report shows the statewide graduation completion rate has seen an increase between 2004 and 2008, from 84% to 89%, respectively. The state also had the second-to-lowest rate of children in single-parent households, at 23%.

To see the full report on Idaho statistics, visit the Annie E. Casey Foundation website.