Economic Information Bulletin No. (EIB-1) 6 pp

April 2005

Rural Children At A Glance

This report provides the latest information on the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of rural children in families. Child poverty in 21st century America is higher (18 percent in 2003) than the rate for the general population (12.5 percent), as well as above the rates in most other industrialized countries. Child poverty is a significant social problem that negatively affects children's development. Although rural child poverty rates declined in the 1990s, they remain higher than the rates for urban children (21 percent vs. 18 percent). In 2003, 2.7 million rural children were poor, representing 36 percent of the rural poor. Nonmetro children are more likely than metro children to receive food stamps and free or reduced-price school lunches, in part a reflection of higher nonmetro poverty. The geographic distribution of child poverty-heavily concentrated in the South-is important for targeting poverty reduction policies and program assistance such as child nutrition programs, food stamps, and health insurance coverage in rural areas.

Keywords: Poor, poverty, rural, urban, nonmetro, metro, nonmetropolitan, child poverty, poverty by race

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