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Child poverty soars nationwide but holds steady in NY and NJ


The child poverty rate in the US more than doubled in 2022, from about 5% in 2021 to more than 12% after the expiration of a lot pandemic-era federal aid. The rate in New York state is higher, but hasn’t changed much, according to Jamie Bussel of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

“Interestingly the child poverty rate has essentially remained pretty consistent for a long time so it hovers just above and just below 20%,” she said.

The rate in New Jersey is about half that.

“It’s about 9.7%, so obviously a bit lower than the national average, and that has not fluctuated that much the last few years,” said Bussel.

Both states have policies, she said, that enabled them to avoid the surge that took place nationwide.

“They’ve expanded Medicaid, they are really looking hard at extending universal school meals, certain things that we could point to, that we could probably hypothesize, progressive policies have led to less fluctuation,” she said.

Experts say if the expanded child tax credit had been renewed, about 3 million children would have avoided falling into poverty last year. Instead, poverty now afflicts more than 9 million children nationwide.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.