Census: Minn. child poverty rate hits 15 percent

Fifteen percent of Minnesota children, or about 190,000 of them, were living in poverty last year, an increase of about 18,000 from 2009, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The bureau released several reports Thursday based on the data from the 2010 American Community Survey, including on child poverty in the United States and on school-age children with disabilities.

The bureau reports that 5 percent, or about 45,300, of Minnesota's children from ages 5 to 17, had some sort of disability in 2010. More than 89 percent of them were enrolled in a public school, the report said.

Among the state's metropolitan areas, St. Cloud and Mankato had the highest rates of disabled school-age children at about 7 percent each. The Duluth area was next at about 5 percent. The share of Minnesota children in poverty in 2010 was up from about 14 percent in 2009, the bureau reported, although the state's child poverty rate remained among the lowest in the nation.

However, the rate was uneven when examined by race. While about 10 percent of white children in Minnesota were in poverty last year, about 46 percent of black children lived below the poverty line. The state's white child poverty rate was lower than the national average of 17 percent, while Minnesota's rate for black children was much higher than the national average of 38 percent.

The report said Minnesota was among 12 states with child poverty rates between 12.5 and 16.5 percent. Ten states had child poverty rates estimated at 25 percent or more.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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