Commentary: Despite a fairly strong economy nationally, ten states – including New Mexico – have seen an increase in the share of children living in areas of concentrated poverty, according to a new report. The report also shows that children of color are more likely to live in high-poverty, low-opportunity neighborhoods than are white children. The data snapshot is from the Annie E Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT program.
“While children do best when their family is economically secure, the well-being of the larger community is also important. Children need to grow up in neighborhoods with high-quality schools, safe places to play, good job opportunities, and reliable transportation,” said James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “Neighborhoods that are under-resourced and have high levels of poverty not only fail to provide opportunities, but can even put our kids at risk because there is less access to healthy food and more exposure to environmental hazards, such as poor air quality, and toxins such as lead.”