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Child Poverty in Wisconsin -- Treading Water

We are pleased to share with ESTHER members and friends this recent message from the End Child Poverty team.

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Wisconsin Poverty Report: Economic Growth and Low Unemployment Not Enough to Reduce Child Poverty

Wisconsin has made little progress in reducing child poverty over the last two years, in spite of Wisconsin’s growing economy and record low unemployment rate, according to a report released earlier this week.

The eleventh annual Wisconsin Poverty Report, titled “Treading Water in 2017,” shows that according to the Wisconsin Poverty Measure, Wisconsin’s child poverty rate in 2017 was 10.1%, virtually the same as it was in 2015. While higher earnings by parents led to a reduction in child poverty from 2016 -- from 12.0% to 10.1% -- this was offset by increased work-related costs and medical expenses, and reductions in SNAP (FoodShare) and other benefits.

As the report states:

“After more than eight years of nationwide recovery since the end of the Great Recession, we should expect better poverty outcomes…. If we want to have lower poverty rates for vulnerable populations and do more than tread water, we need to do more to share the benefits of economic growth in Wisconsin.”

We can’t sit back and hope that economic growth and having more parents working will be enough to lift Wisconsin’s kids out of poverty. As the more than 5000 endorsers of the End Child Poverty Wisconsin know, we have a moral obligation to take bold, evidence-based initiatives to cut child poverty and racial disparities and hold ourselves accountable for the results.

What can you do?

Thank you for your commitment to ending child poverty!

The End Child Poverty Team

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