Greece Is Number One In Childhood Poverty, But The US Isn't Much Better

When it comes to being number one, Greece has a truly spectacular track record: first to riot, first in the Eurozone to hit two-thirds youth unemployment, first (but not last) in the Eurozone to default, and now another less than impressive achievement: according to Unicef, Greece is the place where over 40% of children live below the poverty line.This makes it first in the developed world in childhood poverty. Or last, depending on one's perspective.

That said, the US, ranking just 5 spots below Greece, where 32.2% of children also live in poverty, isn't a hotbed of prosperity either. Furthermore, according to WaPo, the share of U.S. children living in poverty has actually increased by 2 percentage points since 2008. Overall, 24.2 million U.S. children were living in poverty in 2012, reflecting an increase of 1.7 million children since 2008. "Of all newly poor children in the OECD and/or EU, about a third are in the United States," according to the report. On the other hand, 18 countries were actually able to reduce their childhood poverty rates over the same period.

Finally, a breakdown of poverty at the state level:

The report finds considerable differences in childhood poverty at the state level. New Mexico, where more than four in ten kids live in poverty, has the highest overall rate at 41.9 percent. In New Hampshire only one in eight kids lives in a poor household, the lowest rate in the nation. Poverty rates are generally higher in Southern states, and lower in New England and Northern Plains states.

 

"Between 2006 and 2011, child poverty increased in 34 states," according to the UNICEF report. "The largest increases were found in Nevada, Idaho, Hawaii and New Mexico, all of which have relatively small numbers of children. Meanwhile Mississippi and North Dakota saw notable decreases."

Mapped (interactive version here):