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CT Child Poverty Unchanged, Census Report Says


Wednesday, September 21, 2022   

Connecticut's child poverty statistics have remained the same throughout 2021, according to the latest Census Bureau report.

Nationally, child poverty fell to 5.2% in 2021, from 9.7% in 2020, but Connecticut was one of nine states where child poverty did not change significantly.

Arloc Sherman, vice president for data analysis and research at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, pointed out one reason other states saw vast changes is the expansion of the federal Child Tax Credit. Additional census information revealed monthly payments from the credit helped eligible families meet everyday needs.

"The families were saying, 'We're spending this money to buy food, we're spending it to pay the rent, we're buying books for our children's school,' " Sherman outlined.

Census data show almost three million children were lifted out of poverty last year, but it remains far from being eliminated. Since the expanded tax credit was not renewed, Sherman predicted an uptick in poverty across the U.S. if Congress does not revisit the issue.

Global supply chain problems have played a role in the current inflation issues, Sherman noted. He thinks future investment should be targeted more carefully to low-income families, instead of large pandemic relief bills. He is convinced a more targeted approach would help the country in the near term, rather than creating negative economic repercussions.

"The good news is that now we've shown we actually know how to reduce that kind of poverty and poverty-related stress," Sherman contended.

Last year, Connecticut's William Tong was one of 22 Attorneys General who also advocated for a permanent Child Tax Credit. Lawmakers in Congress who want to revive the credit are looking for new opportunities to negotiate, including pending changes to certain business tax breaks.

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