For the first time in more than 10 years, the United States’ poverty rate increased in 2022.
According to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. poverty rate increased by 4.6% in 2022, which marks the first time the rate has gone up since back in 2010.
Also in 2022, the SPM – or Supplemental Poverty Measure – increased to 12.4%. The SPM measures benefits and income plus government programs such as food stamps and tax refunds.
The child poverty rate also increased by more than 100%, according to the data, going from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% last year. The rates for people between the ages of 18 and 64, as well as 65 and older, also increased.
Immediately after the information was released, President Joe Biden played politics by saying that the reason for the sharp increase in poverty over the last year was the fact that the expansion of the child tax credit ended. Democrats had pushed for the CTC to be expanded, but that measure – which was passed during the pandemic – didn’t pass.
On Tuesday, Biden released a statement about the data that said:
“Today’s Census report shows the dire consequences of congressional Republicans’ refusal to extend the enhanced Child Tax Credit, even as they advance costly corporate tax cuts. We cut child poverty by nearly half to record lows for all children in this nation largely by expanding the Child Tax Credit. Last year, Congressional Republicans insisted on raising taxes on families with children.”
The expanded CTC expired back in December of 2021, after Democrats failed at extending it. During the pandemic, eligible parents were able to receive $3,000 for every child they had who was older than 6 and $3,600 for every child younger than six.
What’s more, parents could receive half of the amount paid out in six monthly installments, with the other half being claimed on their annual tax returns.
Biden’s statement continued:
“The rise reported today in child poverty is no accident – it is the result of a deliberate policy choice congressional Republicans made to block help for families with children while advancing massive tax cuts for the wealthiest and largest corporations.
“No child should grow up in poverty, and I will continue to fight to restore the expanded Child Tax Credit to give tens of millions of families the tax relief and breathing room they deserve.”
It seems as though the White House knew that the data was going to paint the picture that it did, as they issued a blog post late last week that said poverty was likely to continue to increase unless Congress restored the enhanced CTC.
The Census Bureau report on poverty, income and health insurance is released annually. This year’s report showed that 6.4 million people moved out of SPM poverty in 2022 due to the refundable tax credits. That number sat at 9.6 million the year before.