More of Oakland's children live in extreme poverty than at any time in the last five years, according to the 2012 Kids Count Data Book released Wednesday on how the nation's children are faring.
The report, put together by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Oakland-based Children Now, indicated that California children generally have it rougher than children elsewhere, with the Kids Data report ranking California as 41st in overall child well-being based on economic, health, education and similar indicators.
In Oakland, 16 percent of children lived in "extreme poverty" as of 2010, with extreme poverty defined as living in a household whose income was $11,057 or below (or specifically half the federal poverty rate of $22,113 for a family of four).
By the numbers, that's 13,000 Oakland kids - infants through teenagers. Statewide, 9 percent of children live in extreme poverty.
The Kids Count Data indicated that nearly half of all Oakland's children, or 44 percent, live in households where no parent has full-time, year-round employment and 9 percent live in households with no working adult.
"This is one of a growing number of reports that really highlight the increased vulnerability of this generation of children in Oakland," Jessica Mindnich, associate director of research for Children Now, said.
"More children who don't have a parent working means there are more families living in stress. Kids absorb that stress," Mindnich added. Moreover, insufficient income, of course, "makes it harder for them to access high quality pre-school, high quality health care, high quality K-12 education."
Statewide, California fell in the rankings of how children fared in reading and math proficiency tests, to 43rd and in economic well-being to 45th based on things like household income and working parents. Statewide, 22 percent of children live in poverty. In Oakland it is 33 percent.
"We are just starting to see data on how recession and state budget cuts over the last few years are impacting kids," Mindnich said. "So from that standpoint, I find it really alarming to see increased vulnerability of children when I know the state is continuing to make cuts that are impacting exactly these children."
The president of Children Now, Ted Lambert, said children have born the brunt of state budget cuts through the recession with things like K-12 education, child care and children's health programs suffering budget cuts.
"We must hold the state's policy makers more accountable for failing to invest in children because their poor decisions will certainly have a lasting effect on the economic and civic fabric of our state," he said in announcing the 2012 findings.
Among other things, California voters will be asked in November whether to save K-12 education from further budget cuts by allowing some temporary increases to the state sales tax rate and to the income tax rate for people making more than $500,000 as joint filers. The proposal is to increase the sales tax by one-fourth of a percent until the end of 2016 and increase the income tax by 1 percent for households making more than $500,000 and filing taxes jointly and by 3 percent for households making more than $1 million a year and filing jointly, through the year 2018.