For most of us, children's poverty is an especially troubling form of poverty, as it is a direct affront to our commitment to equal opportunity regardless of birth. It is accordingly important to understand the demographics of children's poverty as well as the mechanisms through which poverty is transferred from one generation to the next.


Are poverty levels among children increasing in the United States and worldwide? Are children in the United States more likely to be poverty-stricken than children in other advanced industrial countries?

Social mobility

Is there a "cycle of poverty" in which poor children are very likely to remain in poverty throughout their lifetimes? Or do poverty-stricken children frequently escape poverty? Do children fall readily into poverty after their parents divorce? What other factors may contribute to children falling into poverty?

"If you look at our theories of social pathology and then at the dismal conditions in which children grow up in our ghettos, you would predict that all of them would be on drugs or psychological basket cases. Yet if you use criteria like gainful employment, forming partnerships and life without crime, you will find that most of those kids make it." - Albert Bandura

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