FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Vazquez, firstname.lastname@example.org, 918-794-3944
Tulsa, Oklahoma — Census data confirms that Oklahoma policymakers must do more to help Oklahoma families get ahead.
Nearly 1 in 6 Oklahomans (15.6 percent) live in poverty, according to new Census data released today, showing that the state must do more to help Oklahoma children, families, and communities.
“We must advance proven solutions to help Oklahoma families build the foundations they need to thrive,” said Ahniwake Rose, Executive Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute. “By expanding Medicaid, restoring EITC refundability, and continuing to invest in public schools, we can set our children and our state up to be the best that they can be.”
The data clearly show that Oklahoma children in particular are being left behind. Greater than 1 in 5 Oklahoma children (21.7 percent) live in poverty, compared to 14.9 percent of working-age adults and just 8.7 percent of Oklahoma seniors. This data comes on the heels of a new data snapshot showing that more than 1 in 10 Oklahoma children live in concentrated poverty, and that those children are disproportionately Black and Latino.
Oklahoma’s child uninsured rate also remains stubbornly high at 8.2 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 5.2 percent. The state’s overall uninsured rate continues to outpace the national average. In 2018, 14.2 percent of Oklahomans were uninsured, well above the US average of 8.9 percent and the second-highest rate in the US.
“Children don’t grow up in a vacuum,” said Carly Putnam, Policy Director of Oklahoma Policy Institute. “Policymakers have the tools to put Oklahoma on a better path.”
About Oklahoma Policy Institute
Oklahoma Policy Institute (OK Policy) is a Tulsa-based think-tank that advances equitable and fiscally responsible policies that expand opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis, and advocacy. Learn more at okpolicy.org.