Current U.S. Census Bureau statistics demonstrate that while the child poverty rate has declined slightly, children represent an outsized share of all those living in distressed economic circumstances.

The child poverty rate declined from 19.7 percent in 2015 to 18 percent in 2016. That tracked with an overall decline in the poverty rate of .8 percentage points, from 13.5 percent to 12.7 percent, over the same period. It’s the lowest child poverty has been since 2007. An important statistic to note—children under 18 made up 23 percent of the population, but they made up 33 percent of those living in poverty in the 2016 numbers.

For black and Hispanic students, the 2016 numbers show 30.8 percent of black children and 26.6 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty. In addition, nearly one-fifth of children under age 6 were living in households below the poverty line.

In a letter to congressional leaders, the Child Poverty Action Group, a coalition of children’s advocacy organizations, urged lawmakers to make significant investments in government anti-poverty programs.

“We need Congress to commit to further investments in programs and strategies that are effective in supporting children’s development and educational attainment as well as supporting parents and caregivers in securing and maintaining quality employment,” said the coalition, which includes the National Association for the Education of Young Children and UnidosUS (formerly the National Council of La Raza).

A supplemental poverty measure released by the Census details how federal programs and personal expenses affect child poverty rates. As the chart below shows, the number of children in poverty drops by millions when federal programs such as refundable tax credits and food subsidies at school and home are taken into account:

You the article in its entirety on the edweek.org blog.