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A Majority Of Kids Born To Young Parents In Texas Live In Poverty, Report Finds

Gabriel C. Pérez

Sixty-five percent of children born to young parents in Texas are living in poverty, according to a new report.

The report, released Tuesday by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, found that 450,000 children were born to young parents in Texas from 2015 to 2017. It defined young parents as people between 18 and 24.

Frances Deviney, the chief operating officer for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, said younger parents are earlier in their careers, which often means they have fewer economic advantages.

“They’re going to be struggling a lot more economically,” she said. “And we know, kids that live in poverty have much worse outcomes educationally and health-wise as they grow up. So, we know this is a population that needs to have light shone on it and have some extra support.”

Deviney said the CPPP is advocating for a change to the earned-income tax credit, which is available to low- and middle-income families and couples, and aimed toward people with children.

Right now, the tax credit is available to people starting at age 25; Deviney said lowering the age could help young families.

She also said the teen pregnancy rate has gone down across the country, but not in Texas, and that the CPPP wants to see more policies to help prevent teen pregnancies here.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly said the report was released by the Center for Public Priorities. 

Claire McInerny is a former education reporter for KUT.