In response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of new data on poverty in 2022, Rebecca Riddell, Oxfam America’s Economic Justice Policy Lead, said:
“The new poverty data for 2022 tells the story of a deeply unequal United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, poverty rose 4.6% in 2022. Even more shameful, child poverty more than doubled, rising 7.2%, which is the biggest single-year increase on record. This rise in poverty and post-tax income inequality is no accident – it’s the inevitable result of the political choice to suspend crucial pandemic-era support, particularly the expanded Child Tax Credit.”
“These aren’t just abstract numbers. Millions of kids across the U.S. are living in real poverty—going without sufficient food, shelter, and access to opportunities—not because we lack the resources to fix this injustice, but because we choose not to. Amidst a lot of mixed signals about the state of our economy, this is a stark reminder that despite being the richest country in the world, we continue to permit shocking levels of poverty and extreme inequality.”
“In the country with the most billionaires on Earth, and amidst historic recent gains for the ultra-rich, child poverty should not exist. Our analysis shows that a 3 percent wealth tax on billionaires alone would raise more than enough to reinstate the Child Tax Credit program. Ending child poverty is a choice this country can make, and progressive taxation could help prevent millions of children from experiencing poverty by providing critical support for families.”
Notes to editors:
One of two poverty measures that the U.S. Census Bureau reports annually, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) takes into account many of the government programs designed to assist low-income families, as well as certain taxes and tax credits.