The Early Achievement and Development Gap. What are the long-term consequences in achievement and development for children who experience poverty early in life?


Experiencing poverty early in life relates to disparities in long-term social, educational, and economic outcomes. Persistently poor children (i.e., those from families with income below the FPL for at least half of their childhood years, birth to age 17) are nearly 90 percent more likely than never-poor children to not complete high school by their 20s, and are four times more likely to give birth outside of marriage during their teenage years.[25] Additionally, children who experience poverty earlier in life (birth to age 2; family income below the FPL) are 30 percent less likely to finish high school compared to children who do not experience poverty until later in childhood.[26] In addition, the growing gaps in achievement by income over time have occurred during a time period when the returns to educational attainment for adult earnings have been growing. Thus, the growing achievement gap among children contributes to a widening income gap in adulthood.[27]

View full report


"rb_AchievementGap.pdf" (pdf, 166.28Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®