There is good news on the horizon for our nation’s children. According to a new study, Child poverty in the U.S. has fallen by more than half since the early 1990s.
A comprehensive new analysis shows that child poverty has fallen 59 percent since 1993, with need receding on nearly every front,” Jason wrote in a recent New York Times article on the subject. “Child poverty has fallen in every state, and it has fallen by about the same degree among children who are white, Black, Hispanic and Asian, living with one parent or two, and in native or immigrant households.”
So, just how did this happen? Well, thanks to the expansion of government aid, the government was able to reduce the number of children living in poverty. According to an excerpt from The New York Times, with welfare less generous, Democrats (sometimes in alliance with Republicans) pushed for policies to help low-income workers, such as expansions of the earned-income tax credit and food stamps. Increases in state-level minimum wages also played a role.
“I don’t know where I’d be right now if I didn’t have that help,” said Stacy Tallman, a mother of three and a waitress in Marlinton, W.Va., to the popular news outlet, referring to Medicaid, tax credits and food stamps.
In terms of the size of the decline, the study’s co-author, Dana Thomson, pointed out that the size of the decline “is unequaled in the history of poverty measurement.” Where as Dolores Acevedo-Garcia of Brandeis University stated that 12 million additional children would be poor today if the poverty rate were still as high as it was in the 1990s.
Although we still have a ways to go with 20 million Americans still living in poverty, we are making strides. Longtime progressive policy advisor Robert Greenstein stated that, “The decline in child poverty is very, very impressive, and it is overwhelmingly due to the increased effectiveness of government programs.”
Looks like we are starting to get it right when it comes to our nation’s children!