Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases annual statistics measuring poverty, income, and health insurance rates from the previous year. CLASP experts provide commentary and analysis of the data as a resource for policymakers, researchers, journalists, fellow advocates, and the general public. As an antipoverty and racial equity organization, CLASP is committed to advancing evidence-based policy solutions for eradicating poverty among children and families.
A family’s income during the prenatal and early years of a child’s life plays a significant role in her health, well-being, and cognitive development, all of which shape her future outcomes. Evidence abounds on the positive impact that income support programs—especially cash transfers—have on children.
Children experience poverty through hardships like hunger and inadequate nutrition, insufficient access to health care, unstable housing and homelessness, and the toxic stress experienced by their parents.
The release of 2021 poverty and health insurance coverage data from the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrates how government action in response to the pandemic stabilized households, uplifted millions of people from poverty, and brought uninsurance rates to historic lows.
Thanks to powerful federal investments in programs that support people seeking economic security, the child poverty rate in 2021 as measured by the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) dropped by nearly half, from 9.7 percent in 2020 to 5.2 percent in 2021, the lowest level measured.