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Number of U.S. children in poverty rises by 3.7M after Child Tax Credit ends

Number of U.S. children in poverty rises by 3.7M after Child Tax Credit ends
A study released Friday by Columbia University found a 4.9% increase in the number of U.S. children that fell into poverty from December to January after the expiration of the monthly Child Tax Credit. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Approximately 3.7 million more American children fell into poverty in January after the 2021 Child Tax Credit expired, according to a study released Friday by Columbia University's Center on Poverty and Social Policy.

The study found the child poverty rate increased from 12.1% in December 2021, to 17% in January, without the monthly payments.

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Overall, a total of 12,574,000 children in the United States were in poverty in January, compared to 8,912,000 in December.

The January figure is the highest rate since the end of 2020.

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The Child Tax Credit was issued to eligible families under the American Rescue Plan of 2021, meant to help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latino children saw the largest percentage-point increase in poverty at 7.1%, followed by Black children at 5.9%.

Asian children saw the smallest increase at 3.2%.

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Between July and December 2021, the Internal Revenue Service paid out six months of advance CTC payments, reaching over 61 million children in over 36 million households.

Payments were worth up to $250 per child aged 6 to 17 and up to $300 per child under 6.

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"While in place, the monthly Child Tax Credit payments buffered family finances amidst the continuing pandemic, increased families' abilities to meet their basic needs, reduced child poverty and food insufficiency, and had no discernable negative effects on parental employment," the study's authors write.

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The last of the IRS checks were mailed in December.

President Joe Biden attempted to extend the CTC, but his Build Back Better Act was hit with opposition from Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who did not support certain aspects of the spending.

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