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Census: More than 1 in 5 Manatee students live in poverty

MANATEE -- More than one in five students ages 5 to 17 enrolled in the Manatee school district lived in poverty in 2010., according to new U.S. Census data released Tuesday.

Of the 47,965 students enrolled in the district, 10,473, or 21.8 percent, were part of families living in poverty. That was up from 14.1 percent in 2007, before the start of the recession, and 13.7 percent in 2000.

By comparison, child poverty in the Sarasota school district increased from 11.4 percent in 2007 to 18.8 percent in 2010.

Statewide, the rate increased from 15.5 percent in 2007 to 21.9 percent in 2010.

These statistics, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, are used as one of the criteria to allocate federal funds to local educational agencies. State and local programs use these statistics for distributing funds and managing school programs.

In all, 653 counties nationwide saw a significant increase in poverty for children ages 5 to 17 in families, and eight counties saw a significant decrease over the period.

-- McClatchy Newspapers contributed to this report.