Born Poor: Inequality among Ethnoracial Minorities and Immigrants

Scott R. Sanders, Cornell University
Daniel T. Lichter, Cornell University

In 2010, 46.2 million people were poor in the United States, the largest number recorded since the government has reported poverty statistics. Poverty rates were especially high among children (22%). We examine poverty rates among newborns during a period of unprecedented increases in the shares of children born to single mothers (over 40%) and minority parents (nearly 50%). We have two objectives. First, using the new fertility question on the American Community Survey (2005-2009), we identify infants born into families with incomes below the poverty line. For the first time we will be able to provide up-to-date estimates of the number and share of children being born into poverty. Second, we document the extent and etiology of poverty among racial minority and immigrant newborns. This research links past-year fertility with past-year poverty in the ACS, while also providing an opportunity to track infant poverty over the pre-recessionary and recessionary periods.

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Presented in Poster Session 1