Las Vegas Sun

November 23, 2014

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Economic recovery slow to ease Nevada child poverty

The number of children living in poverty in Nevada climbed 8.4 percentage points during the economic downturn and remained slightly above the national average in 2012, according to a report released Wednesday.

Authors of the Nevada KIDS COUNT 2013 Data Book, produced by the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV, said recovery was slower in Nevada than in other states where parents have higher educational attainment and where the economy is more diversified.

"The increased number of children living in poverty signals to an uneven recovery that had not reached deeply into the population by 2012," said Stephen Brown, an economist and director of the center. "We saw a broader based recovery in 2013, which hopefully will help reduce the number of children living in poverty."

The report found some bright spots for Nevada's children, including a dropout rate that decreased from 4.1 percent in the 2010-2011 school year to 3.9 percent in 2011-2012.

The birthrate for teens ages 15-19 fell from 38.5 births per 1,000 females in 2009-2011, to 34.7 births per 1,000 females in 2010-2012.

The child death rate in Nevada also ticked down, falling from 17.6 deaths per 100,000 children in 2009-2011, to 16.3 deaths in 2010-2012.

KIDS COUNT is a state-by-state effort to track the well-being of children using a variety of metrics, including birth weight, child deaths and poverty levels.

The project is sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which also produces a national report on the topic.

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