Children ages 3 to 5 participate in a Head Start classroom at the Carl and Norma Miller Children’s Center on March 13, 2023, in Frederick, Maryland.
Maansi Srivastava | Washington Post | Getty Images
The U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday that child poverty has more than doubled in the United States as financial aid that supported families in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic expired.
of child poverty rate According to the bureau’s data, it will rise to 12.4% in 2022 from 5.2% the previous year. The Census Bureau attributed the increase to the expiration of the expanded child tax credit and the end of economic stimulus checks that helped keep people afloat during the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ta.
Families were also under tremendous pressure from inflation as pandemic-era financial aid was cut short. The cost of living rose 7.8% from 2021 to 2022, the largest annual increase since 1981, according to the Census Bureau.
The United States has made historic gains in combating child poverty during the pandemic, primarily through the expansion of tax credits.Child poverty rate fell by 46% in 2021, reaching record low, According to census data released last year.
But that progress has been undone by the end of key benefits and soaring inflation due to the pandemic. Census official Leanna Fox told reporters at a news conference Tuesday that child poverty has returned to pre-pandemic levels.
The overall poverty rate also jumped by nearly 5%, the first increase since 2010, the data showed. According to the census, median income for all workers in 2022 decreased by 2.2% from the previous year.
The Democratic-led Congress has injected nearly $2 trillion in stimulus into the economy. American Rescue Plan March 2021. Democrats passed the relief bill without a single Republican vote through a process called budget reconciliation.
The massive aid package resulted in a large, temporary increase in the child tax credit. Working families received $3,600 for children under age 6 and $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17. The bill also provided a third round of stimulus checks., Following initial relief under the Trump administration.
The expanded child tax credit expired at the end of 2021. Republicans won a House majority in the 2022 midterm elections, but Congress has been unable to reach an agreement to restore the tax credits.
President Joe Biden blamed Republicans for the expiration of the tax credit in a statement Tuesday and vowed to fight to restore the benefit in his bid for a second term.
“The increase in child poverty reported today is not a coincidence,” Biden said. “The increase in child poverty reported today is not a coincidence. It is a deliberate effort by Republicans in Congress to block aid for families with children while pushing for massive tax cuts for the richest and largest corporations.” This is the result of poor policy choices.”
Census data showing a sharp rise in child poverty does not take into account the end of several other pandemic benefits this year. Expanded food benefits expired in March, and millions of people were removed from Medicaid after the protections that kept people enrolled in the program expired last spring.
Georgetown University researchers estimate that more than 760,000 children have lost Medicaid coverage. The federal government is warned says many children may have been excluded even though they were still eligible for the program.
Data released by the Census Bureau on Tuesday shows that the poverty rate in 2022 is essentially unchanged at 11.5%, unlike the official poverty rate.
The official poverty rate looks at people’s income before taxes and does not include stimulus payments or tax credits. Census data showing that child poverty has doubled is an alternative measure that focuses on after-tax income and includes these benefits.