Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 (coronavirus)

California Has Highest Child Poverty Rate In Nation

California has earned a dubious distinction.

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed California's child poverty rate — 27 percent — is the worst in the nation.

The report found California’s rate is five points higher than the second-worst states, Arizona and Nevada.

The foundation's numbers come from the Supplemental Poverty Measure, developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. It takes into account government assistance programs that are not included in the government's traditional method of measuring poverty.

Ted Lempert, executive director of the Oakland-based nonprofit Children Now, said California lawmakers talk about making kids a priority. But he complained Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget falls short.

“There’s really no significant increase at all in this year’s budget for childcare, even though when you look at all the programs that were cut during the downturn it was really childcare that took the biggest hit," Lempert said.

Lempert said California needs to invest more in subsidized childcare and preschool.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Don’t have time to keep up on the latest news? We’ve got you covered with a mid-week check-in every Wednesday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.