Child poverty lowest on record in US

The year 2021 was an outlier in many respects. Much of the year was characterised by halting steps to return to something resembling normality following the global health emergency declared in 2020 over the coronavirus pandemic.

There was a recession that started before COVID-19 throttled the United States and much of the world, but that lasted a majority of the year. The federal government worked mightily in both 2020 and ’21 to keep the economy from crashing.

The latest assessment is that those efforts paid off.

A US Census Bureau briefing on 13 September noted that poverty went down almost entirely across the board — age, race and other indicators. One of the big findings was that the Census Bureau’s supplemental poverty measure for children had reached its lowest level since the bureau started recording the figures.

“SPM (supplemental poverty measure) child poverty rates fell 46% in 2021, from 9.7% in 2020 to 5.2% in 2021, a 4.5 percentage-point decline. This is the lowest SPM child poverty rate on record,” the Census Bureau said in its report on the findings. “In 2021, SPM child poverty rates fell for non-Hispanic White (2.7%), Black (8.1%) and Hispanic (8.4%) children, also their lowest rates on record.” Continue reading

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