A new report finds that nearly one fourth of Oregon children are growing up in poverty. The report tracks annual progress in areas that include children's health, safety, and economic stability.
Oregon ranks in the bottom half of the list, among states with the worst child poverty rates. That's above the national average and hasn't changed much from the previous year. That's according to a new report by Children First for Oregon.
The child advocacy group says child poverty may hinder the state's ability to prosper in the next decade.
Josh Lehner is a state economist. He says the number of children in poverty drives an increase in demand for social services like food stamps.
"Ideally, we would have a stronger economy with more jobs, with stronger personal income gains such that we have a lot fewer people in poverty, and that these children, one in four, don't have to grow up in households with such low income," Lehner said.
The child advocacy group is asking that policymakers address the problem of childhood poverty. They suggest that full-time jobs pay enough to ensure workers earn enough to support their families.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.