THE SIX POVERTY TRAPS

Lowest income families face multi-generational poverty.

Research identifies six major killers that make poverty a fatal problem.

1. Maternal Death and Infant Mortality

The well-being of mothers has a profound impact on the early development and success of their children. The first five years of life are strikingly predictive of the futures of children regardless of economic and social background. Lowest income mothers experience twice the rate of child-birth related death as middle income mothers do. Lowest income infants die at three times the rate of infants of middle income families.

2. Extensive Language Deficiency by Age 5

Language is the foundation of human communication. Infants and children require frequent face-to-face opportunities for language exchange and reading. Low language proficiency before the age of five (5) can mean a lifetime of missed opportunities for children growing up in poverty.

3. Failure to Read by Age 9

Research shows that failure to read by age nine (9) creates permanent life deficits. Slow readers become truants and leave high school before graduation in very high numbers. Failure to read at grade level diminishes career development / earning potential and often leads to the juvenile criminal justice system.

4. Extremely Low High School Graduation Rates

High school dropouts earn $260,000 less over their lifetime than high school graduates. Dropouts also have a 38% lower chance of achieving employment.

5. Early, Repeated and Prolonged Incarceration

The vast majority of men and women in prison emerged from lowest income households. Research shows they experience extreme mental, physical, psychological and emotional damage during incarceration.

6. Average Life Expectancy Reduced by 20 Years

People in lowest income families live on average 20 fewer years than members of middle income families. Salary and zip code should not define life expectancy.

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