Published by UpTogether on
Sep 12, 2023 4:41:56 PM
UpTogether, a national nonprofit working to change how we address poverty, expressed alarm over newly-released U.S. Census Bureau data showing the child poverty rate more than doubled between 2021 and 2022. Experts cite the expiration of refundable tax credits and pandemic stimulus programs as the reason for the increase from 5.2% to 12.4% in one year – the largest since 2010.
“This increase in child poverty was avoidable. We know what works to alleviate poverty – policy makers chose not to do it,” said UpTogether CEO Jesús Gerena.
The U.S. Census also found the overall poverty rate increased nearly 7.8% to 12.4%. The data showing poverty has worsened uses the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which accounts for government assistance programs and geographic variations when measuring economic deprivation in households.
Since 2020, UpTogether has invested more than $195 million in unrestricted cash in more than 200,000 individuals and families in all 50 states. Our data shows UpTogether members primarily spend funds on basic needs, and experience increased housing and food stability and mental well-being.
UpTogether members also told us how the now-expired Child Tax Credit impacted their lives. For example, participants in our 25-month San Antonio cash transfer reported the Tax Credit expansion reduced stress related to parenting and providing for their family (48%), improved the household’s financial stability (40%), improved their household’s quality of life (33%), and allowed them to spend more time and resources on their children’s well-being (32%). (This represents survey data from 341 members.)
“UpTogether’s approach of trusting and investing in people demonstrates how they will find their own pathways to socioeconomic mobility. People need deeper and sustained investments to get ahead and stay ahead,” Gerena said.