Colorado’s child poverty rate a grim picture

With Denver’s moment in the limelight quickly approaching, national coverage of Colorado issues will undoubtedly become increasingly important to how America views the Centennial State — in this case noting that we have the fastest growing child poverty rate in the nation.

A Wednesday New York Times piece on a jarring increase in child poverty in Colorado paints a grim picture of what DNC delegates might encounter this August should they venture beyond the Pepsi Center.

The story references a study [PDF] conducted by the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a Denver-based nonprofit that advocates on behalf of the state’s children. According to the study, in 2006 in Colorado, around 180,000 children — or 15.7 percent of the state’s total — were living below the poverty line. That’s a whopping 73 percent increase from 2000, when around 104,000 children were living in poverty.

"No single factor can explain the increase in Colorado, the study said, but a growing number of single parent households, a shortage of jobs for lower wage workers and a low rate of high school graduation contributed," reads the Times story.

"Shifting demographics also played a role, with an increase in the number of Hispanic children, who are more likely to live in poverty or drop out of high school, the study said."

Denver suffers one of the highest child poverty rates in the state, along with rural Alamosa and Costilla Counties, the Times piece said.

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