1 In 5 Children In Dallas County Lives In Poverty, Report Says | KERA News

1 In 5 Children In Dallas County Lives In Poverty, Report Says

Dec 5, 2018

More than one in five Dallas children lives in poverty, while one in four Dallas families have a parent who was born in another country, a new study details. That's just two of the statistics detailed in the new "State of Texas Children" report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Those statistics mean too many Dallas children lack a fair chance to be healthy, well-educated or financially secure, the report states.  

The report from the left-leaning CPPP also says that disparities in child poverty across race, ethnicity and gender persist because of historical and current policies.

The research looked at Dallas County and focused on several issues, including wages for working families, public education, and health.

Kristie Tingle, a research analyst with the CPPP, says statistics in Dallas County often look like those of other big Texas cities. But not when it comes to young women.

“About one in four women statewide of child bearing age are uninsured," she said. “But in Dallas County, it’s almost half of women of childbearing age.”

Three panelists talking about the CPPP research included (left to right) the Center's CEO Ann Beeson, Dallas ISD trustee Miguel Solis and Regina Montoya with the Dallas Mayor's Task Force on Poverty. Montoya is now also a mayoral candidate.
Credit Bill Zeeble / KERA News

That can have a big influence of the health of the mother before and after she gives birth, and on the health of the baby, Tingle said.

The study also finds that nearly 50,000 youth in Dallas County are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. That policy’s uncertain future creates an uncertain future for youth.

The CPPP emphasizes statistics gleaned from the census and other sources.

Here are other findings from CPPP study:

  • 1.5 million Texas children live in poverty, defined by a family of four: mother, father and two children earning $25,000 or less a year. About 155,000 of those children live in Dallas County.
  • 50,000 of those in the city of Dallas qualify as living in extreme poverty, defined as a family of four living on $14,000 or less a year.
  • Single mothers in Dallas are twice as likely to live at or below the poverty line as single fathers. One third of Dallas children live with a single mother.  
  • 43 percent of Dallasites speak a language other than English. Not speaking English can slow one’s education, which then impacts a child’s ability to succeed in the future. 
  • 25 percent of all Dallasites were born in another country.
  • Texas has one-fifth of the nation’s uninsured children. In Dallas County, that numbers 104,000 children. Hispanic children are twice as likely to lack health insurance compared to others.
  • These findings affect educational attainment. 70 percent of drop-outs were economically disadvantaged.

The Dallas Mayor's Task Force on Poverty also provided statistics for the study.