City's Child Poverty Rate Doubles State Average

The city's child population fell by nearly 9 percent, and 35 percent of children are living below the poverty line, according to the RI Kids Count 2012 report.


Woonsocket's population of children under the age of 18 fell sightly over the last 10 years, dropping just less the total state numbers, the advocacy group RI Kids Count announced in its 2012 RI Kids Count Factbook.

The group also noted that Woonsocket has some of the highest numbers of children living in poverty.

According to the statewide survey, Woonsocket's under-18 population fell from 11,155 in 2000 to 9,888 in 2010, a reduction ofjust under 9 percent. The state's total childhood population also fell by 9 percent. Only two other states had decreases in the population of children over that time, the group said in a press release.

The RI Kids Count survey reviewed 2010 census data for all 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island, and also found that about 66 percent of all children considered to be living in poverty — defined as annual household income of $18,123 for a family of three with two children — were located in four communities: Woonsocket, Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence.

The median household income in Woonsocket is $35,860 — down $10,000 since 2000 — about half of the state average. About 35 percent of Woonsocket children are living below the poverty level, the report shows, more than double the 17 percent state average.

Chris12 April 05, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Has anyone noticed the number of out of town license plates in our city? I will bet they are not tourists. If RI chooses to import poverty why are we shocked that we have a high number of children living in poverty. Waiting period to receive welfare in RI- 24hrs
Erin B. April 05, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Given the size of the city and its proximity to MA, out of state (I'm not sure how you're determining out of town folks) plates should come as no surprise. There is a crackdown on those who register elsewhere but live here. That, however, has little to do with poverty. Many people living in poverty can't afford to own a vehicle these days. No state, city, or town "chooses to import poverty." To suggest that is ignorant of the many factors that contribute to poverty both in the short and long terms. And you must be referring to emergency benefits from either FIP or WICto get anywhere near the 24 hour mark. Those emergency benefits are reserved for emergencies and definitely take more than 24 hours to be put into effect in practice. Show me differently if you wish to debate the point as I've seen nothing that points to your argument.
Doctor April 06, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Nice heading, the city's child population fell by nearly 9 percent, and 35 percent of children are living below the poverty line, according to the RI Kids Count 2012 report. If the kids live in poverty. the parents are poor. If the parents are poor, how can they pay a supplemental tax bill and even better, how can they pay their regular yearly taxes?
Dawn Mackenzie April 06, 2012 at 01:37 PM
These children rely on schools and other public organizations to help them with basic needs, such as food, clothes, medical, and dental. I have seen children get free dental work done during the school day. Even though they are living in poverty at home, they still get all their needs met by the taxpayers of this city. I would like to know the number of welfare families vs. the working poor living in the city? We need to start holding parents accountable for their children. We make it so easy for them to stay home and reproduce, while I have to go to work and worry about my taxes being raised. Welfare was created as a crutch to get back on your feet, not a way of living. They get free food, free phone, free housing and free medical so what do they need money for? Oh ya, cigarettes, pajamas (which they wear in public) and getting their nails done.
JB April 06, 2012 at 01:53 PM
It's all in the way you present the data, but my hunch would be that the majority of these people aren't in poverty because they are in Woonsocket, but that they are in Woonsocket BECAUSE they are poverty.
Memere April 06, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I don't know if it is true but I have heard from someone who works in the State Welfare office that they have been instructed to redirect people who are applying for assistance to Woonsocket because it's easier to get on welfare there. If this is true, it sure would explain alot.
Memere April 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM
And their hair done. And gold jewelry. Don't for get the jewelry!
Memere April 06, 2012 at 05:46 PM
And where do they get the money for their blue-tooth headsets for their phones, the latest electronic gadgets and the laptops that I have seen some children playing with in the cars in the store parking lots. If you cannot afford the basic necessities for your children i.e. food, clothing, medical and dental care, how can you possibly afford all the extras? I work and I always have but I cannot afford all those things for my children.
Erin B. April 06, 2012 at 09:24 PM
"Easier" meaning perhaps that they will see a representative sooner since the other major metro offices are overloaded. All offices use the same standards
Erin B. April 06, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Part of the problem is a lack of education for those in poverty about things like budgeting, credit, and savings. Many people take for granted that these are instinctual adult habits


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