When It Comes To Reducing Child Poverty Rates, Researchers Say It’s All About Safety Nets

Research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found on-the-ground safety net programs have brought millions of children out of poverty.

Photo via Stockpic/Pixabay.


The child poverty rate in the U.S. dropped to a historic low of 15.6% in 2016.

We’ve seen years where the poverty rate among kids is higher than the poverty rate among adults. That’s right: The biggest population of impoverished citizens in the U.S. is children. A child living in poverty is defined as any child in a family with an income below the federal poverty line. In order to cover a child’s basic needs, that family needs to earn approximately twice the poverty line income (in 2017 the federal poverty line for a family of three was $20,420 in 48 states and Washington, D.C.).

Here’s the good news: The child-poverty rate fell to a record low in 2016. So the country’s making progress. A new analysis put out by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says the child-poverty rate came down to 15.6% in 2016. It was 18.1% in 2012.

The decreased rate of child poverty is thanks in part to the job market. Because of the increased demand, more parents have been able to find work. And a better job market means employers are motivated to offer higher wages in order to keep their workers around.

However, a better job market doesn’t necessarily help the poorest Americans. It helps the Americans who already have jobs, for the most part. What has helped combat child poverty more are governmental programs that directly cater to the least fortunate citizens. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities researchers found that on-the-ground safety net programs have helped millions of children get out of poverty. These types of programs include food stamps and the Child Tax Credit, which grants a credit of up to $1,000 per child on income taxes.

There’s still work to be done, of course. Among developed nations, the U.S. has some of the highest child-poverty rates, even with the recent decrease. France and Germany both had a child-poverty rate of under 10% in 2013. That’s why these safety net programs are imperative if we’re serious about continuing the reduction of child poverty.

Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

Keep Reading Show less

It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less
via / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less