38% of Kentucky Children Live in Poverty

“In the richest nation in the world, one in three kids live in poverty. Let that sink in.”

A new study from UNICEF shows that 32.2% of American children live in poverty. When compared to other wealthy countries, child poverty in the US is sixth-highest–and the number has gotten higher. According to UNICEF and this article from the Washington Post, since the recession in 2008, an additional 1.7 million children are now living in poverty.


Wealthy Nations poverty graphic
Percentage of children living in poverty, from the Washington Post


What’s more, though, is that in Kentucky, the percentage of children who live in poverty is 38%. That means our state ranks a dismal 45th out of the 50 states for childhood poverty, only falling behind New Mexico (41.9%), Louisiana (40.7%), Arkansas (40.0%), Arizona (39.4%), and Mississippi (39.1%).

Washington Post poverty by state
Childhood poverty rates by state, from the Washington Post


Unfortunately, most homeless children become homeless adults–only 25% of homeless kids graduate from high school nationally, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness, making it very difficult for them to break out of the cycle of poverty.

The Coalition for the Homeless and our member agencies are working hard to advocate for the poor children in Louisville–to push for policies that prevent poor children from becoming homeless in the first place, and for programs that equip homeless children to succeed. With the right policies and programs in place, we know we can improve the lives of the homeless and poor children of Louisville.

To join us and take a stand against homelessness in Louisville through a massive #TakeAStandLou awareness campaign on November 13, click here.

To make a gift to our programs supporting children and young adults, click here, and designate your gift toward programs for children.

For information about our member agencies and to pursue a potential volunteer commitment, click here.

To contact your City Council Member about the importance of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which will create affordable housing options for poor children and their families, and/or the minimum wage increase, which will help the working poor to better support their families, click here to send a message.

Together, we can make Louisville the possibility city for everyone.