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Latino child poverty sets a record, report shows

More Latino children are living in poverty than children of any other racial or ethnic group in the country, according to according to an analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Child poverty among Hispanics rose to 6.1 million in 2010 -- up sharply from just over 4 million in 2005. It marks the steepest increase versus any other ethnic group over that period, the report from the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, shows.

In 2010, 37.3 percent of poor children in America were Latino, 30.5 percent were white and 26.6 percent were black, according to the report. 2010 was the first year in U.S. history when the single largest group of poor children was not white.

“This negative milestone for Hispanics is a product of their growing numbers, high birth rates and declining economic fortunes,” the report said, noting that the 2010 U.S. Census shows Hispanics now represent a record 16.3 percent of the total U.S. population, but an even larger share (23.1 percent) of the nation’s children.

This disparity is driven mainly by high birth rates among Hispanic immigrants, the Pew Hispanic Center notes. Of the 6.1 million Latino children living in poverty, more than two-thirds (or 4.1 million) are the children of immigrant parents. The rest are the children of parents born in the U.S.

Among the 4.1 million impoverished Latino children of immigrants, the vast majority (86.2 percent) were born in the U.S., the report said.