Public Citizens for Children and Youth
Left Out: The Status of Children in Philadelphia
Introduction and Executive Summary
It’s been more than four years since the rebound from the Great Recession, the official unemployment rate in Philadelphia now hovers at about 4%, and the city has experienced a full recovery in the number of jobs. Things should be good for Philadelphia’s nearly 342,000 children, right? Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The city’s child poverty rate, which shot up during the first year of the Great Recession, has continued to rise. Poverty is unfortunately becoming one of the nation’s greatest predictors of life outcomes. But poverty alone is not the only indicator of child wellness. That’s why Public Citizens for Children and Youth created the Child Wellness Index to present a more robust analysis of how the children in Philadelphia have fared since the onset of the Great Recession. Companion reports also examine child wellness in each of the four southeastern Pennsylvania counties.
Across the counties the facts and trends vary slightly but the conclusions are the same:
• While the full GDP rebound from the recession was four years ago, the share of children who are suffering or facing hardships is higher than it was during the depth of the recession.
• Where children are doing better its due in large measure to effective public policy that protected them from the hardships of the recession.
The PCCY Child Wellness Index presents a snapshot of how children have fared since the onset of the Great Recession in 2008 to 2014. The Index looks at four domains that research shows are key determinants of lifetime outcomes – Economic Well-Being, Health, Early Childhood Education, and K-12 Education.
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