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Joint Economic Committee Democrats Chairman - Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA)

Estimates of Advance Child Tax Credit Distribution By Congressional District (2021)

Using state-level data from the Treasury Department on advance Child Tax Credit (CTC) payments, the Joint Economic Committee estimated, by congressional district, the cumulative total CTC payment amounts in 2021 and the number of eligible children receiving the benefit at year’s end. Advance CTC payments began on July 15 and were authorized to continue each month through the end of the year. JEC estimates are based on data available through November 15. 

The expansion of the CTC, included in President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, is one of the largest-ever single-year tax cuts for families with children. It dramatically increased the value of the CTC from $2,000 per child to up to $3,600 per child under six and $3,000 per child six and older, putting money in the pockets of low- and middle-income families to pay for household expenses like food, rent, utilities and child care. As part of the expansion, half of the CTC is being distributed in advance via monthly payments, helping families meet their financial needs in real time. Beginning in July, qualifying families began receiving monthly checks, and because the CTC was made fully refundable, previously ineligible low-income families can receive the full credit. Over 36 million families have received advance Child Tax Credit payments. 

According to JEC analysis of data from the Census Bureau, within weeks of the first CTC payments being distributed, the expanded CTC was already having a major impact on family budgets, with dramatic declines in food insufficiency and financial hardship. The Build Back Better Act proposes to extend the expanded CTC through 2022, including the provisions that increased the value of the CTC and made it fully refundable.  

Over the long term, research has found that an extra $3,000 in a family’s annual income when a child is younger than five leads to 19% higher future earnings. Other research on investments in early childhood finds that increasing family incomes has tangible outcomes for children, including higher test scores and high school and college graduation rates, improved health outcomes, lower rates of incarceration and reduced need for future income support. Overall, a growing body of academic research finds that public investments in children yield significant long-term returns with economy-wide benefits, as healthier, more educated kids grow up to be more productive workers with higher earnings, which in turn generates higher future revenues. 

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