Latino children ages 17 and younger represent the highest number of children living in poverty in the U.S., according to a Pew Hispanic Center report released Wednesday.

The Pew Hispanic report (.pdf) adds that “the poverty rate among black children is the nation’s highest.” “In 2010, 39.1% of black children lived in poverty, while 35% of Latino children and 12.4% of white children lived in poverty.”

The report states that “the spread of poverty across the United States that began at the onset of the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and accelerated last year hit one fast-growing demographic group especially hard: Latino children.”

The U.S. Census Bureau released a report in mid-September that found “46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 ─ the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.”

The Pew Hispanic report adds that in 2010, at least 6.1 million Latino children, more than any other group, are living in poverty. “In 2010, 37.3% of poor children were Latino, 30.5% were white and 26.6% were black.”

It also indicates that “of the 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty, more than two-thirds (4.1 million) are the children of immigrant parents. The other 2 million are the children of parents born in the U.S. Among the 4.1 million impoverished Latino children of immigrants, the vast majority (86.2%) were born in the U.S.”

The report highlights that the rates of poverty vary widely among Latino children:

  • Families headed by a single mother have the highest poverty rates: 57.3 percent
  • Families, where at least one parent has a college degree, have the lowest: 8.7 percent
  • Latino children with an unemployed parent: 43.5 percent

A report (.pdf) issued on Labor Day by the Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy at Florida International University indicates that in 2010, unemployment for Hispanic workers in Florida, while not as high as jobless rates for African-American workers, was above the national average.

According to Half in Ten — a campaign to cut poverty in half over 10 years — more than 16 percent of Florida’s population lives in poverty. The campaign recently released an interactive map that shows that the child poverty rates in Florida’s congressional districts reaches about 23 percent, with District 3 reaching 40 percent, while District 22, at 13 percent, had the lowest rate.

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