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Study: Child poverty rose by 3.7 million after expanded child tax credit expired

Since the monthly payments from the expanded Child Tax Credit expired at the end of 2021, close to 3.7 million more children are in poverty, according to a new study from Columbia University.

“While in place, the monthly child tax credit payments buffered family finances amidst the continuing pandemic, increased families’ abilities to meet their basic needs, reduced child poverty and food insufficiency, and had no discernable negative effects on parental employment,” the authors of the study wrote.

In the span of just one month, from December 2021 and January 2022, the monthly child poverty rate increased from 12.1% to 17%, the highest rate seen since the end of 2020. Black and Latino children experienced even higher increases in poverty, with 5.9% and 7.1% increases, respectively.

The study comes from the university’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy, which had been tracking child poverty rates and the impact of the monthly expanded Child Tax Credit payments.

The CTC’s expanded program sent checks out monthly rather than one annual lump-sum of money during tax season. It also increased the amount of money getting sent to families, and expanded the number of families who were eligible for the payments. Families who file taxes will get the remaining half of the credit when they file this year.

Researchers say child poverty rates often fall during tax season as people get their returns. So, the second half of the credit received from filing taxes is “likely to result in substantial, but temporary, dips in monthly child poverty rates.”

After April though, researchers say the child poverty rate “could be persistently high through the rest of 2022” if the monthly Child Tax Credit payments aren’t renewed by Congress.

ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH 

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NPR

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Paul, 37, is from Scotland in the UK, but currently lives and works in Bangkok. Paul has worked in different industries such as telemarketing, retail, hospitality, farming, insurance, and teaching, where he works now. He teaches at an all-girls High School in Bangkok. “It’s a lot of work, but I love my job.” Paul has an active interest in politics. His reason for writing for FBA is to offer people the facts and allow them to make up their own minds. Whilst he believes opinion columns have their place, it is also important that people can have accurate news with no bias.

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