New Census Data Shows Poverty Down and the Powerful Impact of Anti-Poverty Policies like EITC

We have some good news to report – poverty in the U.S. is declining. This morning, the Census Bureau released its latest income and poverty data, showing that the poverty rate declined from 14.8 percent in 2014 to 13.5 percent in 2015. That means that 3.5 million fewer Americans lived in poverty in 2015. The poverty rate for children also dropped from 21.1 percent to 19.7 percent. This is encouraging news indeed.

But, we cannot celebrate when 1 in 10 US households had incomes below $13,300 last year. When one in seven Americans still live below the federal poverty line (just over $24,000 for a family of four). When almost one in five American children are living in poverty. Instead, we must act!

Media outlets across the country will be covering the release of this data, giving us a chance to connect the dots between policy decisions and the struggles of people in our community. This is a chance to urge candidates for office and policymakers to support expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit for young workers and others not raising children in the home. The Census’s Supplemental Poverty Measure showed the pro-work EITC and Child Tax Credit lifted 9.2 million Americans above the poverty line in 2015. Congress and the new President have the opportunity to build on bipartisan proposals to expand the EITC.

This article originally appeared on August 3, 2016 on cfed.org. To access the original article please click here.

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