One in four American children below the age of six lives in abject poverty, says a new research.
A University of Hampshire's Carsey Institute research found that rural children in the south of the country were hardest hit, with over one in three of the children now living in poverty.
"Rural poverty is particularly striking in this region, where nearly 36 percent of children under age 6 were poor," the researchers said.
It also found that while South has the highest rates of child poverty at 24.2 percent, the Northeast has the lowest rates at an estimated 17.8 percent.
Moreover, 28.7 percent of children in urban areas and 25.4 percent of children in rural places now live in poverty, the study said.
The research also showed an increase of one million poor children in the United States between 2009 and 2010, bringing the total to 15.7 million in 2010.
"It is important to understand young child poverty specifically, as children who are poor before age 6 have been shown to experience educational deficits, and health problems, with effects that span the life course," the researchers said.
The research took into account two time periods, 2007 at the start of recession, and 2009, at the end of recession, and national poverty rates for children below the age of six years