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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.