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Report Finds TN Child Poverty at “Epidemic” Levels

January 12, 2009

Nashville, TN – A new survey paints a bleak picture of the status of America's children. The State of America’s Children report from the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) finds the number of Tennessee children living in poverty is more than 300,000, while nationwide 13.3 million are poor and five million live in extreme poverty, according to CDF spokesman Ed Shelleby.

"The number of children living in poverty actually increased by about a half million, and that is before the data fully reflects this economic environment."

Calculated by race in Tennessee, Shelleby says the statistics show just over 17 percent of poor children are white and over 43 percent are African American.

"The number of children living in poverty is more than 330,000. Of those, about 148,000 are living in what's called extreme poverty."

Extreme poverty is defined by a family of four living on $10,000 a year, or less. CDF hopes the report serves to fuel national and local debate on children's issues.

The study can be found at www.childrensdefense.org



Dick Layman, Public News Service - TN