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Joint Economic Committee Democrats Chairman - Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

Expanding Economic Security Programs During the Pandemic Led to a Historic Decline in Poverty

Key Points:
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, poverty fell to a historic low in 2021
The American Rescue Plan and other policies reduced poverty in 2021
The number of children living in poverty fell to a historic low in 2021
Expanding economic security programs dramatically reduced racial disparities in poverty
Expanding economic security programs reduces poverty and can provide a guide for future policy

Action by Democrats in Congress and the current administration prevented millions of families from falling below the poverty line in 2021. Even as the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring recession threatened the lives and economic well-being of countless Americans, federal policies were remarkably effective at mitigating the economic effects of the pandemic. 

In total, the American Rescue Plan and Biden administration actions helped lift 4.5 million Americans across races and ethnicities out of poverty from 2020 to 2021, including more than 3 million children 

Although many of the policies that reduced economic hardship have expired, the Rescue Plan and executive actions demonstrate the effectiveness of public investments to reduce poverty and economic hardship, which provides a roadmap for future policymaking. 

Read the full report.