Rising USA poverty rate: exploring the causes behind the surge
The USA poverty rate has seen its first increase in over a decade, with the child poverty rate doubling since 2021, according to a new report published by the US Census Bureau, a key agency of the Federal Statistical System.
The report revealed that the poverty rate rose to 12.4% in 2022, meaning millions of people were living without the minimum level of resources needed to meet their basic needs.
This data is based on the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which takes into account certain non-cash government benefits and necessary expenses.
Parrott pointed to the end of the expanded federal child tax credit in 2022 as the cause of the significant increase in child poverty and called on lawmakers to reinstate this benefit.
The child poverty rate also doubled, with over 12% of American children living in poverty last year.
“Child poverty has experienced a sharp increase,” said Timothy Smeeding, an expert on poverty thresholds and professor of public affairs and economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
USA poverty rate is growing in 2022
Zachary Parolin, a professor at Columbia University and author of the book “Poverty in the Pandemic: Lessons from COVID-19,” stated that child tax credits, extended unemployment benefits, Medicaid, and food vouchers contributed to the historic lows in poverty rates in the United States in 2020 and 2021.
Parolin added that this year’s increase in the poverty rate confirms the predictions of social scientists in recent years.
Meanwhile, leading US economists predict that the chances of the US economy entering a recession are high, making the year challenging for many Americans already struggling with poverty.
Former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin declared last October that the United States was in a recession and would remain so for at least two years.
“The recession will be long, protracted, severe, and associated with widespread financial difficulties,” warned the economist.