The Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University has released its newest monthly report on child poverty, finding that 3.4 million more children were in poverty in February 2022 than in December 2021, when families were still receiving the monthly Child Tax Credit payments.
Monthly poverty remained elevated in February. Child poverty rates saw a small decrease between January and February, from 17.0 percent to 16.7 percent, but February continues the sharp increase in poverty from December 2021 when the monthly child poverty rate was 12.1 percent. January 2022 marked the first month that the American Rescue Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit monthly payments expired and Columbia University documented previously how child poverty rates increased sharply in response.
Columbia University also released a new report from the New York City Poverty Tracker Series: “Spotlight on the Child Tax Credit: Transforming the Lives of Families”, which illustrates the impact of the CTC by featuring interviews from 18 families in NYC over six months describing how they incorporated the monthly Child Tax Credit payments into their household budgets.
Consistent with findings from other Child Tax Credit studies nationwide, the report found that families used the payments to cover basic needs like food, housing, and child care, with some families also paying down debt and saving for the future. Nearly every parent interviewed used the Child Tax Credit for child-related expenses, such as children’s clothing, educational supports and resources, and extracurricular activities. Parents have also reported increased hardship following the expiration of the monthly payments at the end of 2021.