Recession threatens U.S. progress in child wellbeing

Mon May 18, 2009 1:27am EDT
 
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By Julie Steenhuysen

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hard economic times are hitting the United States' youngest citizens, threatening to roll back decades worth of gains in health, safety and education, according to a report released on Monday.

It suggests the country's most severe recession in a generation, which has cost more than 5 million American jobs since it began in late 2007, is having a drastic impact on children.

"Our projections show that virtually all the progress made in family economic well-being since 1975 will be wiped out," Ken Land of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues wrote in 2009 Child Well-Being Index and Special Focus Report.

The annual report, sponsored by the Foundation for Child Development, a private child advocacy group, measures economic, health, safety and social factors affecting children and teens.

Based on current estimates, the report projects that the current recession will pare median annual family incomes back to $55,700 by 2010, down from $59,200 in 2007.

Households run by single women will see their annual incomes fall to $23,000 in 2010, down from $24,950 in 2007.

But the steepest drop will be among single households headed by men, where median annual family income is expected to drop to $33,300 in 2010, from $38,100 in 2007.

These declines in family income will affect many other aspects of life for children in America.   Continued...

 
<p>A child waits in line with her mother to receive goods from the Feed The Children relief organization in New York in this April 24, 2009 file photo. Hard economic times are hitting the United States' youngest citizens, threatening to roll back decades worth of gains in health, safety and education, according to a report released on Monday. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>