Earlier this fall, the Census Bureau reported that child poverty in America is finally declining for the first time in more than a decade. But while the national trend is ticking down, in many parts of the country — particularly the South — poverty rates for kids are still above the national average and higher than they were before the start of the recession.
According to new Census data out today, poverty rates for school-aged children in 2013 were still above their 2007 levels in nearly a third of all counties, many of them clustered around metro areas in California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina.
For context, this maps shows the poverty rate for the total population by county, as of 2013:
And this is the rate for school-aged children, aged 5-17, who live in poverty at much higher rates than the population at large:
In more than 80 percent of counties in Mississippi and New Mexico, school-aged child poverty is worse than the national average.
This last map shows where poverty has gotten worse for those children from 2007 to 2013:
That map mirrors the many places where median household income is still way down from just prior to the recession. It's also worth noting that these pictures don't capture the many children living with families slightly above the federal poverty line who are still no doubt struggling.