The annual Kids Count survey shows 150,000 Minnesota children live in poverty. The Children's Defense Fund says that is the highest level this decade.
Executive Director Jim Koppel said nine percent of the state's children were living in poverty in 2001 and the number jumped to 12 percent in 2006. He says far more African American children kids live in poor families.
"I think the most alarming number there is that 45 percent of African American children, almost half of the African American children in Minnesota, live in poverty. Relative to the rest of the country; only Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have worse numbers than we do," Koppel said.
Koppel said he would like to see the state increase wage levels and ensure that working families can get health care for their children.
With a struggling economy, he expects poverty levels to continue to increase.