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Child Poverty Rates Same, Even As New Orleans' Economy Improves

Dr. Vicki Mack, Senior Researcher, The Data Center

A new report from the Data Center shows New Orleans’ rate of child poverty is still just as high as it was at the time of Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, almost ten years ago. Senior Researcher Dr. Vicki Mack tells us about how New Orleans ranks nationally in child poverty, and some of the far-reaching consequences.

Mack notes that about 39 percent of children in New Orleans live in poverty. That puts New Orleans about ninth nationally, next to cities likes Cleveland and Toledo, even though the metro area's overall economy is better than those cities.

While the number of jobs has grown in the New Orleans, Mack says, many of those jobs do not pay wages high enough to get working parents out of poverty, thus leaving their children prone to long-lasting stresses of being poor. New research shows poverty-related stress can lead to impediments in learning and brain development, influencing education outcomes.

Support for education reporting on WWNO comes from Baptist Community Ministries and Entergy Corporation.