Income Inequality Effects on Children

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Income inequality is a big problem today. Not only does this impact many individuals but also, impacts children of low-income families. Children who are in poor families are at risk due to healthcare, communities and education. In addition, parents of the children are suffering due to income inequality. Many approaches have been implemented throughout the years to help rise poverty families, but change has yet to prosper. In order for children of poor families to have a successful future, approaches like better resources in poorer communities need to be accessible.

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Expert Ariel Kalil, a professor from the University of Chicago who specializes in the topic income inequality effects on children, states that All parents want to help their children flourish, but low-income parents often lack the resources to achieve their parenting goals. This shows that resources are very limited in poorer communities than they are in more wealthy communities. The article “” How Economic Inequality Affects Children’s Outcomes discusses statistics that relate to different incomes in parents, showing the inequality in wages. For example, between the early 1970s and 2005-2006. In 1972-1973, high-income families spent about $2,700 more per year on child enrichment than did low-income families. By 2005-2006, this gap had nearly tripled, to $7,500 (Kalil). Therefore, the problem addresses that different socioeconomical status does contribute to how a child is brought up in a household which in addition, income inequality contributes to a child’s development.

Furthermore, experts Candice Odgers and other professors from accredited universities such as Duke University and The University of California state in the article Challenges for Low Income Children in an Era of Increasing Income Inequality that Children experience worse health and well-being in countries with higher income inequality. This finding has been replicated in low-and middle-income countries as well as in rich countries The United States simultaneously scores highest among rich nations on income inequality. The research indicates that children who are raised in poor communities grow into problems in adulthood and suffer with many chronic health problems such as cardiovascular disease, elevated inflammation, and depression, as well as substance abuse, violence, and criminality (Odgers et al.). Correspondingly, a main responsible reason for this is due to income equality in varying countries which relates to socioeconomical status. Alongside with socioeconomical status income inequality is still a growing problem. The concern between the richest and poorest individuals in the United States has increased 40“50% over the last decade and continues to be a threat to children in poverty communities (Odgers et al.)

Even though this is a gap in The United States, in higher income countries such as Sweden, children also experience difficulties. In the article Mental problems and their socio-demographic determinants in young schoolchildren in Sweden, a country with high gender and income equality written by Stenmark and others, the authors present that in a relatively wealthy and equal country such as Sweden, mental problems are also significant in child public health. Although, in higher income places such as Sweden the problems facing income inequality are far less than in countries such as The United States where income inequality is still a rising issue. The authors also mention that the socio-demographic backgrounds and mental problems seem to be rather weak, depending on the type of mental illness the study focuses towards. From the study, the authors concluded by showing that even wealthy countries with higher income equality and gender equality also have problems in terms of how it affects children.

Income inequality is a growing problem in The United States. However, the government has been made aware of this problem and has put together programs and grants to help rise low income families out of poverty to better the chance of children’s futures. Citigroup Foundation is an example of a grant that helps provide financial education programs and supports organizations that deliver economic and financial education to young people to help them learn how to create wealth in their community and make informed financial choices (Great Opportunities). This foundation can help revitalize low-income neighborhoods with families. Another program funded by the government is The Early Learning Coalition which is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was created in 1999 by Florida Legislators. The organization’s purpose is to develop, implement, and monitor the School Readiness and voluntary prekindergarten programs. Which helps get children ready for school and be engage with learning in the community and increase educational outcomes (In Action). The organization offers free help to families such as after-school care and financial assistance for parents. In addition, this organization is enforced by the state of Florida however, programs and grants vary in different states.

In conclusion, income inequality is still a growing risk for children who live in poor communities. However, the government has made many approaches to try and support these communities through funding for programs and grants. For this reason, everyone should support poverty neighborhoods as the impact on children can change immensely from negative to positive results. I suggest that in order for income inequality to change in The United States, the government needs to adopt a 5-10-year plan to increase the minimum wage in many states. Also, parents who live in poor communities need to have access to educational programs in order for them to be able to earn a decent wage to support their children.

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Income Inequality Effects on Children. (2019, Jul 01). Retrieved October 5, 2022 , from
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