Forty-two percent of children in Southwestern Alaska live below the federal poverty line. That’s according to a new study by the Alaska Children’s Trust, a non-profit organization focused on preventing child abuse and neglect.
Child poverty in Western Alaska is higher than the statewide average. The study found that overall, about a third of Alaska’s children live below the federal poverty line. A fifth live in households that don’t have enough food.
The report attributes Alaska’s levels of child poverty to a series of economic issues, including a lack of affordable housing. About a third of Alaska’s children live in households where more than 30 percent of their family’s monthly income is spent on rent, mortgages, or other housing costs.
Alaska Children’s Trust used data from the U.S. Census, the Alaska Department of Labor, and other agencies to conduct the study. It's worth noting that the federal poverty line does not take certain traditional practices, like subsistence, into account when evaluating a family’s economic well-being.