Statement on Census Data Shows Large Spike in US Poverty Rates in 2022 As Aid LapsesSeptember 12, 2023
LOS ANGELES—Today, Amy Everitt, President of Golden State Opportunity, released the following statement after new Census data revealed that child poverty skyrocketed to the highest ever rate on record in 2022. According to the Census Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), the child poverty rate more than doubled from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022 as pandemic-era relief program expansions and implementations lapsed.
Today’s Census data reveals that, when the government suddenly stops supporting families in need, there are dramatic consequences. We need a new strategy to get things done.
“12.4% of children living in poverty in one of the richest countries on Earth is completely unacceptable. We can and must do better. In fact, we already did better in 2021 when we had the lowest child poverty rate on record. Today’s news confirms, Congress failed. Congress let it fail by letting politics get in the way of good policies. They left families to suffer from inflation and the lingering impacts of the pandemic without any support. Poverty is a policy choice that we cannot afford to keep making. These policy choices, like letting the expanded Child Tax Credit expire, do not deliver on their promise to meaningfully support and uplift our communities. Why do we keep making policy choices that fail our children and families?”
The news comes in the wake of programs being allowed to expire as the pandemic has waned, including direct payments to households in 2020 and 2021, enhanced benefits ranging from rental assistance to unemployment benefits and an expanded child tax credit.