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Expanding the child tax credit would reduce child poverty to less than 10% in most states, study finds

In just a few months, the new child tax credit featuring advance monthly payments has relieved financial instability and lowered food insecurity for many families with children.

Continuing the expanded credit beyond 2021 would slash child poverty even further, reducing it to about 8.4% from 14.2%, a fall of roughly 40%, according to a recent study by Gregory Acs, vice president for income and benefits policy at the Urban Institute, and Kevin Werner, a research analyst in the income and benefits policy center at the Washington, D.C., think tank.  

In 2021, a family of four making $26,500 or less is considered to live in poverty, according to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The median national household income was $68,703 in 2019, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau.

"Even after the pandemic ends, we will still have a child poverty rate that's typically a little bit over 14%," said Elaine Maag, a principal research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. "But if we were to keep this child tax credit, we could drop that down closer to 8%."

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