Report: Child poverty falling in the US

(your mother) – A new report finds that child poverty rates in the United States fell dramatically between 1993 and 2019.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vice president for policy, Avenel Joseph, says economic assistance policies have significantly impacted the federal poverty line, which in turn has had real impacts on people’s lives.

The report, conducted by the nonprofit Child Trends, found that child poverty has fallen nationally by an unprecedented 59% over the past 25 years.

“So this report got a really deep dive into poverty levels over a period of time from 1993 to 2019,” Joseph said. “What we saw during that time period is that in New York State, child poverty fell by more than half. It went from 32% to 14%. In 2019, in Vermont, it went from 17% to 9% in 2019. And in Connecticut, it went from 22% in 1993, to 9% in 2019. And in Massachusetts, we saw child poverty, and it went down from 24% to 7% over the 25-year period. In that across the country, is that these big reductions and poverty, we’re because of policies that, again, help kids and help families meet their basic needs, like being able to buy food, being able to get cash help through the Child Tax Credit or the Earned Income Tax Credit , to pay their utilities, their rent or their mortgage and all of that helped raise people above the poverty line.”

Although encouraged by the numbers, Joseph fears that the expiration of relief programs in the era of the pandemic could reverse the trend.

“What we do know is that as of 2021 and 2022, due to the pandemic, we had emergency assistance put in place from the federal government that increased the tax credit for children, increased capacity for universal school lunches, and increased food stamps,” the Supplemental Nutrition Program said. Joseph.All of these things have helped tremendously in just one year, as these policies combined have reduced child poverty by more than 50%.This was not included in the Child Trends report because it was an odd year, and we made these investments in response to the pandemic, and most of the These investments have since then. As a result, what we are seeing is that families and children are being beaten back into poverty.”

Joseph notes that race is still a major factor, and believes that the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade could significantly affect child poverty in the future.

“Poor black and Latino Americans are disproportionately affected by poverty,” Joseph said. This is also true when it comes to the impact of Dobbs’ decision on women of color. And for women who live in poverty. When you put these things together, it means that what you will have is more children living in poverty. So it is more important now than ever that we invest in policies that support families and children. These include things like affordable childcare, safe housing, paid family and medical leave, including the child tax credit I mentioned before. I think that in addition to Dobbs, there will also be a period of inflation, which will make the pressure on families all over the floor more prominent and narrow.”

According to 2019 Children’s Opportunity Index statistics 2.0 compiled by the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at Brandeis University, in Albany, 68.7% of black children live in very low-opportunity neighborhoods compared to only 9.2% of white children. In January 2020, Dolores Acevedo Garcia, project manager at iversitydatakids.org, told WAMC that the indicator was already a catalyst for change in the metropolitan area.

“There was concern about the arrangement that Albany got in really bad conditions for black children, and that has moved some people, I think, in terms of the debate about school funding, in the Three Cities region,” Acevedo-Garcia said.

Joseph stresses that despite the dramatic improvements in just one generation in reducing child poverty in the United States, 8 million children still live in poverty.

Read the full report over here.

Copyright 2022 WAMC.

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