Nightly News | August 17, 2011
>> new numbers tonight show one in five children in this country living in poverty, that's 15 million american children and nearly one in three live in homes where no parent is working full-time year round. our own chris jansing is here in the studio with us now with more on the impact of this stubborn recession, especially on the children of this country.
>> it's really tough stuff. to give you some perspective, a family of four is living below the poverty line . if their income is less than $22,350 a year. this new study shows that high unemployment and foreclosure rates have effectively wiped out all the gains in reducing child poverty in the late 1990s .
>> okay let me help you with that.
>> reporter: life in florida was very good for the hidalgo family, angel was a building manager. annie was a bank teller . they were buying a house and their kids were doing well in school. a year ago, both parents lost their job.
>> we had the american dream , but it's going down the drain.
>> reporter: the hidalgos show a snapshot of the economic vice that's hitting american children. across the country, nearly 15 million children, one of every five lived below the poverty line , a big reason, stubbornly high unemployment rates. 23 million children don't have a parent with a full-time job. and more than 5 million children are the youngest victims of the foreclosure epidemic. now unable to find work, the hidalgos are about to lose their home and with it their children's sense of security.
>> when i go to sleep, i don't know where i'm going to be the next day.
>> reporter: their stories illustrates the study's unsettling conclusions.
>> kids are less likely to graduate from high school , less likely to graduate from college, and that impacts their long-term earnings potential. so we know that the impacts can ripple and continue to go on generations.
>> there is some good news. child and teen death rates are down, so are teen pregnants and dropout rates. but that's small comfort to this 15-year-old, who dreamed of becoming a psychologist and now isn't even sure where she'll be for her junior year.
>> there's a lot of people going through this and it's really hard.
>> reporter: the heard real -- hard reality for millions of children is that this growing economic uncertainty does have a lasting effect on kids' success. the impact reaches far beyond these families.
>> chris jansing , thank you for be with us.