On Tuesday, September 13th, the U.S. Census Bureau released new poverty data. Child poverty, calculated by the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), fell to its lowest recorded level in 2021, declining 46% from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021.
The Census Bureau noted that this sharp decline was, in part, “due to the impact of large anti-poverty programs established or expanded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the stimulus payments, expansions to SNAP, and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).”
Unfortunately, despite its success in reducing poverty, the expanded Child Tax Credit, which increased both the number of families eligible and the amount received per child, expired at the end of 2021 and has not been renewed by Congress at this point.
There may still be a path forward for the CTC this year, according to this recent Vox article, but as this Congressional session winds down there will be fewer opportunities to include a renewed expansion of this important program.