The proportion of families in the United States struggling to make ends meet is very high. Child poverty has increased from about 15% in the 1970s to more than 20% in the late 1990s. In the late 1990s, about 14 million children (over one in five of all U.S. children) are living in families below the poverty threshold. Another one in five are members of families whose incomes are not more than twice the poverty threshold. This additional 20% translates into another 14 million children living in families struggling to make ends meet.Although children under the age of 18 represent only 27% of the total population, they make up 40% of the poverty population (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1996).