Philadelphia’s rate of children in poverty has increased since the Great Recession, despite the city rebounding economically, according to a new report from Public Citizens for Children and Youth.
In 2008, roughly 30 percent of children in Philadelphia were living in poverty.
By 2014, that rate stood closer to 40 percent.
With more than 130,000 children living in poverty, Philadelphia has one of the highest rates of youth in poverty among the country’s biggest cities.
“There’s kind of an American tragedy that’s happening right in front of us, but it’s hard to see,” said Donna Cooper, executive director of PCCY.
Cooper and other advocates contend the only way to turn around this trend is through meaningful policy change.
“Not for one year, three years or five years, but for the next two, three decades, because that’s how long it’s going to take to ensure that we see that poverty rate moving in the right direction,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.
“Left Out: The Status of Children in Philadelphia” recommends raising the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour and finding better ways to connect families to federal and state benefits, such as increasing earned income tax credits and food stamps.
The report also looked at health and education.