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Report: US children under 3 more diverse, battling poverty

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In this file photograph taken on March 20, 2007, a two-week-old boy finds his feet in his new world. New reports finds "disturbing proportions" of infants and toddlers in the U.S. face "severe disadvantage." (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A new report drawing on data from major nationwide demographic surveys found non-hispanic white children under 3-years-old fell from the previous year, making up 49.5 percent of that population in 2012, dropping below majority status. It is the most diverse this age group has been since the 1970s.

"Infants and toddlers are at the leading edge of a transformation that will result, by 2030, in a U.S. child population that is 'majority minority,'" said the authors of "The Youngest Americans: A Statistical Portrait of Infants and Toddlers in the United States," a report produced by Child Trends and the McCormick Foundation in Chicago. The authors collated and analyzed census data and other nationwide demographic surveys from last year to reach their conclusions.

They found latino children under 3-years-old made up 26 percent of all children this age, and black infants and toddlers were 14 percent. 

The report noted that in 2012, almost one quarter of all infants and toddlers had at least one parent who was born outside the U.S. Of those parents, one in six was born in Latin America.

The report also reviewed socio-economic data, finding nearly half of children under 3 are in low-income families. One quarter of young children live in poverty, about half of those in what the authors called “deep poverty.”

“Economic disadvantage is concentrated in the families of black and Latino infants and toddlers,” the authors said. One quarter of all black and Latino children live in “food-insecure” homes.

The report also found children of color are getting slightly less preventative medical care.

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