May 1999
A Coproduction with National Public RadioSM

The rate of child poverty in the United States is more than double that in most developed countries. Critics of welfare and other social programs say government spending doesn't solve poverty. But neither has economic growth. After the longest peace-time expansion in American history, one in five American children is growing up poor.

There's mounting evidence that poverty is not just a condition; it's often a trap. Children who grow up poor are more likely to get sick, more likely to die, and far more likely to fail in school - especially if they've suffered extreme poverty before the age of six.

"The Forgotten 14 Million" explores why both government and the free market are failing the most vulnerable young Americans.


Falling Behind in Kentucky
One in five American children lives in families with incomes below the federal poverty line.

Schooling Poor Kids in Minneapolis
Can schools with an overwhelming number of poor children succeed?

Children in the Fields
America's farm industry employs thousands of children in dangerous conditions.

The Politics of Child Poverty
Why do Americans tolerate a high rate of child poverty?

Susan Stamberg
Susan Stamberg,
Broadcast Host


Talk back in the MPR Forum! How would you address child poverty? Should the government be more involved, or Americans more self-reliant? Answer these questions or ask your own on our interactive bulletin board.


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cpbMajor funding for American RadioWorksTM is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with additional support form the Florence and John Schumann Foundation.