New Mexico is among the states with the highest share of poor people in the United States. An organization called Kids Count that tracks the level of poverty in the US reveals that 30% of the children in New Mexico live in poverty. In short, the state has the highest rate of children in poverty (DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette and Jessica 203). It is also the third highest state in hunger, and it has the worst graduation rate.
A recent ranking, done by 24/7 Wall Street has also revealed that in terms of the poorest states in the US, New Mexico ranks in 6th position. The survey conducted in 2015, shows that the state’s median income was $45,382 (DeNava et al. 198). This is below the national median income of $5,775. The unemployment rate was found to be 6.6% which is the 3rd highest in the nation. The poverty rate was at 20.4% which is the 2nd highest in the country (McWilliams, Carey, Matt and Alma 76). However, this was down from 21.3% in 2014 (McWilliams et.al. 77). One of the reasons for the fall was because it has been discovered that there has been a decrease in poverty among the women population. This could be because many women are benefiting from the expansion of Medicaid, an insurance program provided by the government for the low-income adults. One of the key factors which has led to the rise in poverty levels in New Mexico State was the loss of 3,900 jobs in the year 2015. These jobs were in the public sector. According to Gerry Bradley, a nonprofits research director, the loss of jobs was as a result of recession which was driven by the loss of jobs in the construction sector.
In spite of all these, there has been some nonprofit organizations and members of the political class who have been committed to coming up with ways of empowering and educating the youth of New Mexico State. The Governor of New York State, Susana Martinez recently spearheaded a task force to come up with ways of tackling the issue of hunger among the children living in the state. There is another organization called Cuidando Lus Ninos which has been working to provide the children and youth of the state with food. The organization has also been trying to tackle the issue of homelessness among the children. The organization has been facing a lot of financial challenges, but in spite of that, the organization has been trying its best to provide to the children a healthy lunch and snack on a daily basis. Most experts agree that it is important for the level of education to be improved so that the youth can be empowered in order to fight poverty. The organization called Kids Count has been trying to achieve this by providing programs that can empower and enlighten poor children. There has also been the Juvenile Detention Alternatives that has been coming up with initiatives aimed at helping the youth who have gone through the juvenile system become responsible, law-abiding and productive adults. The Centre for Family Economic Success has been doing its part to curb this situation by helping families to get jobs and grow their finances in order to support their children.
According to the Public News Service, a fifth of the state does not have health insurance. There was a proposal to put more money invested in early education. However, the proposal never made it out of the 2012 legislative session. The advocates involved have a huge task ahead. However, they are optimistic that despite New Mexico hitting rock bottom, things will most probably not get any worse, but will only get better.
DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith. Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014. United States Census Bureau, 2015.
McWilliams, Carey, Matt S. Meier and Alma M Garcia. North from Mexico: The Spanish Speaking People of the United States: The Spanish Speaking People of the United States. ABC-CLIO, 2016.