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2013 MN Data Book
In Minnesota today one in four of our residents is a child. While children make up 24 percent of Minnesota’s population, they are 100 percent of our future.
Currently, White, non-Hispanic children represent 73 percent of the child population, but this is and has been slowly changing. Over the past decade from 2000 to 2010, Minnesota saw large population increases among children of color and an eight percent decline in the White child population. As Minnesota looks to the future, it will be responsible for nurturing, educating and preparing a more diverse set of future leaders, workers, and parents.
However, the Minnesota of tomorrow does not look as bright for some children. Child poverty has also been growing during the past decade and children of color are disproportionately experiencing poverty in our state. Almost half of our American Indian and African American children are living in poverty, while Minnesota continues to have the highest rate of Asian child poverty in the country.
Considering the Minnesota of tomorrow will need prepared citizens, skilled workers, and good parents, we need to make sure that all children are taken care of today. Our state’s economic prosperity will depend on the choices we make regarding our youngest residents as we move forward together—all five million Minnesotans and our 1.27 million children.
Specifically, the book highlights economic inequalities that have grown tremendously over the past few decades causing deep divides across income. Over the past 30 years, income growth in Minnesota has not been shared equally, with those in the top fifth gaining almost $80,000 (78%) and those in the bottom fifth only gaining a little over $4,000 (18%).
“Related to economic inequality is economic mobility, which measures how much working hard can help people move up and down the income ladder,” said Peggy Flanagan, executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota. “Contrary to popular belief, research shows that the income an individual is born into might have more to do with future income than actual work ethic.” For those Americans born at the top and bottom of the income distribution, about 40 percent will stay there as adults. In Minnesota, the average household income in the bottom quintile is $13,424, while average household income at the top is about $177,000 or 13.2 times as much. “This suggests that for the majority of Minnesotans, movement from rags to riches is more of a fairy tale than reality,” adds Flanagan.
The annual Minnesota KIDS COUNT publication provides state data based on a variety of indicators that show the well-being of Minnesota's children and families. By providing policymakers and citizens with benchmarks of child well-being, KIDS COUNT seeks to enrich local, state, and national discussions concerning ways to secure better futures for all children. KIDS COUNT is a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.