The share of Americans, particularly children, in poverty rose significantly last year, in large part because Congress did not renew a Covid-19 pandemic enhancement to the child tax credit, according to Census Bureau data released Tuesday.
Some 12.4% of children were in poverty last year, up from 5.2% the year before and roughly comparable to where it was prior to the pandemic in 2019, based on a broader alternative measure developed by the Census Bureau. It was the largest jump in child poverty since the Supplemental Poverty Measure began in 2009. The measure takes into account certain non-cash government assistance, tax credits and needed expenses – addressing a major flaw in the official poverty rate, economists say.
Overall, the supplemental poverty rate was 12.4% for 2022, up from 7.8% a year earlier and higher than it was prior to the pandemic. It’s the first increase in the rate since 2010.
Meanwhile, median household income was $74,580 last year, down 2.3% from 2021 and 4.7% lower than it was prior to the pandemic. The figures are adjusted for inflation.
And the uninsured rate fell to 7.9% last year from 8.3% in 2021 and comparable to where it was in 2017. However, the recent advance is not expected to continue in 2023 since states have restarted terminating the Medicaid coverage of residents they deem ineligible.
This story is breaking and will be updated.