Nearly half of all children in America live in school districts with high levels of poverty, according to U.S. Census data released on Tuesday that pointed to financial traps many public schools are caught in, Reuters reports. According to the Census, 45 percent of all 54 million children aged 5 to 17 resided in school districts with poverty rates greater than 20 percent in 2010. Another 34.3 percent live in districts where poverty rates are between 10 and 20 percent.
There are 13,604 school districts in the country. At the same time, in one-third of counties, the rate of children living in poverty was “significantly above the national poverty rate of 19.8 percent” in 2010, the last year for which data is available. In 851 counties, the rate was “significantly below.”