East Providence's under-18 population dropped about 13 percent in the last decade, the advocacy group RI Kids Count announced in its 2012 RI Kids Count Factbook, released this week at an event in Warwick.
According to the statewide survey, East Providence's under-18 population fell from 10,546 in 2000 to 9,177 in 2010, a reduction of about 13 percent. The state's total childhood population fell by about 9 percent.
East Providence's average cost of rent increased a bit, starting at $1,119 in 2010 and increasing slightly to $1,170 in 2011.
Higher housing costs were among the key factors that the groups said have "a negative impact" on children's potential to learn and succeed in the workplace.
The RI Kids Count survey reviewed 2010 census data for all 39 cities and towns in Rhode Island, and also found that about 66 percent of all children considered to be living in poverty — defined as annual household income of $18,123 for a family of three with two children — were located in four communities: Woonsocket, Central Falls, Pawtucket, and Providence.
Though East Providence's poverty rate increased over the past decade. The percentage of children living in families below the federal poverty threshhold was 10.8 percent in 2000; it increased to 15.2 percent by 2010. The state's average decreased by .2 percent.
“Children live in poverty in every Rhode Island community,” Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant said in a statement.