Census: One in Five Children Live in Poverty

36 percent of black children below poverty line

U.S. Census Bureau

There are more than 15 million children—or 21.1 percent—living in poverty in the United States, and currently 36 percent of black children live below the poverty line, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Poverty rates are higher for children since the recession began in 2007. The Census finds that in 2007, 18 percent of children lived in poverty, which increased to 21.1 percent in 2014. In 2007, there were 33.7 percent of black children in poverty, which increased to 36 percent in 2014.

According to the Urban Institute, 39 percent of children have been poor at some point in their childhood.

"Poverty affects many more children than annual statistics record," states the report. "While roughly one in five children currently lives in poverty, nearly twice as many (39 percent) have been poor at some point in their childhood. Black children fare much worse: fully three-quarters are poor during childhood, compared with 30 percent of white children."

The report finds that children who have been poor for half of their childhood are 13 percent less likely to complete high school and 37 percent less likely to be consistently employed as young adults.

"Being poor as a child, even for only a short time, can have consequences reaching far into adulthood," the institute says. "Children who have been poor for at least one year before they turn 18 are less likely to reach important adult milestones, such as graduating from high school, than children who have never been poor."