The poverty rate in the U.S. has risen dramatically in the year since pandemic benefits ran out — and the child poverty rate has more than doubled, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday.
Just a year ago, the Census Bureau found child poverty had hit a historic low. Experts point to the expanded child tax credit as key to this poverty yo-yo. Adam Ruben of the Economic Security Project says the tax credit went to more people, in larger amounts, and was paid out monthly.
“You could learn to count on it and know that you were going to be able to plan it into your budget,” Ruben says. “And when it stopped, it throws people back into a place of instability and insecurity.”
After the extra tax credit ended, surveys found many parents struggled to pay bills and buy enough food. The Census data also shows that median household income declined from last year, as wage gains were outpaced by inflation.