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  • Ryan Wittler

Child Poverty Went Up by 41% in the First Month Without the Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments


A new analysis from the Center on Poverty & Social Policy at Columbia University shows that 3.7 million more U.S. children are living in poverty without the monthly Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments from the government.

The payments:

Between July and December 2021, the Internal Revenue Service paid six months of advance CTC payments worth up to $250 per child aged 6 to 17 and up to $300 per child under 6. The payments eventually reached 61 million children in over 36 million households.

The analysis:

According to the analysis, the U.S. monthly child poverty rate increased from 12.1% in December 2021 to 17.0% in January 2022, the highest rate since December 2020. The 4.9 percentage point (41%) increase represents 3.7 million more children living in poverty due to the expiration of the federal monthly CTC payments.

Latino (7.1 percentage points) and Black (5.9 points) children saw the largest increases in poverty, followed by white (3.9 points) and Asian (3.2 points) children.

Overall, according to the analysis, there are 12.6 million U.S. children currently living in poverty.

It was working:

According to the analysis, in June 2021, prior to the rollout of the monthly CTC payments, the U.S. child poverty rate was 15.8%. By July 2021, it dropped to 11.9%.

By December 2021, the payments were keeping 3.7 million children out of poverty and had brought the nation’s child poverty rate down by 30%.

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