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The Effect of the Great Recession on Child Well-Being

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While the Great Recession technically ended in June 2009, many families, including those with children, continue to feel the effects of the United States’ most serious economic contraction since the Great Depression. As of 2013, 14.7 million children were in poverty, a significant increase from the 12.8 million children in poverty before the recession began.

This paper is a follow-up to a paper published in 2010 entitled The Effect of Recession on Child Well-Being. This paper synthesizes evidence of the effects of the Great Recession on child well-being. It examines four domains – health, food security, housing stability, and maltreatment – and reviews the relationship of each to the well-being of children during the Great Recession. This paper analyzes research and data from before, during, and after the Great Recession.


Authors: Rachel Meadows, Kate Sell, Elias Blinkoff, Narissa Williams, and Laura Repcheck

Senior Editors: Kathleen Noonan, David Rubin, and Maureen Byrnes