From Our 2010 Archives

Babies Born Poor Often Remain Poor

THURSDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Babies born into a poor U.S. family have a good chance of staying poor for at least half of childhood, a new study suggests.

The Urban Institute study tracked what happened to babies from poor families over their lives, and found 49% suffered this fate.

Researchers found that those born poor are more likely than those not born into poverty to become high school dropouts, be poor in their late 20s and become unwed parents as teens.

Because poverty status at birth is linked to worse adult outcomes, targeting resources to children born into poverty and their families would help particularly vulnerable people, the authors said in an institute news release.

Job training for parents, education, child-care subsidies and other supports might help provide economic security for these needy families, the researchers added.

Among the other study findings:

Forty percent of black children and 8% of white children are born poor, and more than a third of all kids live in poverty for at least a year of their childhood.

Ten percent of children spend at least half of their childhood in poverty.

A family with two adults and two children was considered poor in 2009 if its income was less than $21,756.

-- Randy Dotinga

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SOURCE: Urban Institute, news release, June 30, 2010