In 2022, the child poverty rate in the United States more than doubled, with a staggering 12.4% compared to the previous year’s 5.2%. This increase was due to the expiration of financial assistance programs and the impact of inflation that continues to rise.
This surge in child poverty is a significant step back after historic progress made during the pandemic. In 2021, child poverty rates dropped by 46%, reaching record lows. However, the benefits of the pandemic ended and inflation continued to rise, erasing these improvements.
The American Rescue Plan and the government’s response to the pandemic played a crucial role in mitigating child poverty. The plan provided extended child tax credits and stimulus checks, but these benefits ended at the close of 2021. The Democratic-led Congress has been unable to reinstate these credits, leading to a marked increase in child poverty.