Child poverty more than doubled in U.S. after expanded tax credit, stimulus checks ended

Children ages 3 to five take part on the Head Start classroom in the Carl and Norma Miller Children’s Center in Frederick, Maryland, March 13, 2023.

Maansi Srivastava | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Child poverty more than doubled in the U.S. final yr after monetary help that supported households in the course of the earlier days of the Covid-19 pandemic expired, the U.S. Census Bureau stated Tuesday.

The child poverty rate surged to 12.4% in 2022, up from 5.2% in the yr prior, in keeping with the bureau’s information. The Census Bureau attributed the rise to the expiration of expanded little one tax credit and the tip of stimulus checks that helped hold individuals afloat in the course of the financial downturn brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

As pandemic-era monetary help fell by the wayside, households had been additionally underneath important strain from inflation. The price of residing surged 7.8% from 2021 to 2022, the biggest annual enhance since 1981, in keeping with the Census Bureau.

The U.S. had made historic features in combating little one poverty in the course of the pandemic due in massive half to the expanded tax credit. The little one poverty price fell 46% in 2021 to the bottom stage on report, in keeping with Census information released last year.

But the tip of key pandemic advantages and surging inflation worn out that progress. Liana Fox, a Census official, instructed reporters throughout a press convention Tuesday that little one poverty returned to its ranges previous to the pandemic.

The total poverty price additionally spiked almost 5%, the primary enhance since 2010, in keeping with the information. The median revenue of all staff fell 2.2% in 2022 in comparison with the yr prior, in keeping with the Census.

Political stalemate

The Democratic-led Congress injected almost $2 trillion of stimulus into the economic system via the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. The Democrats handed the aid and not using a single Republican vote via a course of known as funds reconciliation.

The large help package deal considerably elevated little one tax credit on a brief foundation. Working households obtained $3,600 for kids underneath the age of 6 and $3,000 for teenagers ages 6 to 17. The laws additionally supplied a 3rd spherical of stimulus checks, following earlier aid underneath the Trump administration.

The expanded little one tax credit expired on the finish of 2021. Republicans gained management of the House in the 2022 midterm elections and Congress has been unable to achieve an settlement to revive the credit.

President Joe Biden, in an announcement Tuesday, blamed the GOP for the lapse of the tax credit and vowed to struggle to revive these advantages as he campaigns for a second time period in workplace.

“The rise reported as we speak in little one poverty is not any accident — it’s the results of a deliberate coverage alternative congressional Republicans made to dam assist for households with kids whereas advancing large tax cuts for the wealthiest and largest company,” Biden stated.

The Census information displaying a spike in little one poverty doesn’t keep in mind the tip of a number of different pandemic advantages this yr. Expanded meals advantages lapsed in March, and hundreds of thousands of individuals have been kicked off Medicaid after protections that saved individuals enrolled in this system expired final spring.

Researchers at Georgetown University estimate more than 760,000 kids have misplaced Medicaid protection. The federal authorities has warned states that many kids might have been kicked off regardless of nonetheless being eligible for this system.

The information revealed by the Census Bureau on Tuesday differs from the official poverty price, which remained basically unchanged at 11.5% in 2022.

The official poverty price appears to be like at individuals’s revenue earlier than taxes and doesn’t embody stimulus funds and tax credit. The Census information that confirmed little one poverty doubling is an alternate measure that appears at revenue after taxes and contains these advantages.

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