In 2021, the federal government of the United States expanded a set of income transfers that led to strong reductions in child poverty. This research note uses microdata from more than 50 countries and U.S. data spanning more than 50 years to place the 2021 child poverty rate in historical and international perspective. We demonstrate that whether using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), relative poverty measures, or an absolute poverty measure, the U.S. child poverty rate in 2021 was at its lowest level since at least 1967. The U.S. tax and transfer system reduced the 2021 SPM child poverty rate by more than 75% relative to the pre-tax/transfer child poverty rate; this reduction was three times the mean reduction effect between 1967 and 2019. These policy changes improved the country's standing from having a relative poverty rate twice that of Germany's in 2019 to the same as Germany's in 2021. Moreover, the U.S. progressed from reducing child poverty at less than half the rate of Norway in 2019 to a rate comparable to Norway in 2021. However, the U.S. success was temporary: after the expiration of the 2021 income provisions, the child poverty rate doubled and returned to being higher than in most other high-income countries.

The United States' record-low child poverty rate in International and historical perspective: a research note

Parolin, Zachary
;
Filauro, Stefano
In corso di stampa

Abstract

In 2021, the federal government of the United States expanded a set of income transfers that led to strong reductions in child poverty. This research note uses microdata from more than 50 countries and U.S. data spanning more than 50 years to place the 2021 child poverty rate in historical and international perspective. We demonstrate that whether using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), relative poverty measures, or an absolute poverty measure, the U.S. child poverty rate in 2021 was at its lowest level since at least 1967. The U.S. tax and transfer system reduced the 2021 SPM child poverty rate by more than 75% relative to the pre-tax/transfer child poverty rate; this reduction was three times the mean reduction effect between 1967 and 2019. These policy changes improved the country's standing from having a relative poverty rate twice that of Germany's in 2019 to the same as Germany's in 2021. Moreover, the U.S. progressed from reducing child poverty at less than half the rate of Norway in 2019 to a rate comparable to Norway in 2021. However, the U.S. success was temporary: after the expiration of the 2021 income provisions, the child poverty rate doubled and returned to being higher than in most other high-income countries.
In corso di stampa
2023
Parolin, Zachary; Filauro, Stefano
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4061028
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