Fact Sheets

Evaluating 2019 Census Child Poverty Data in the Wake of COVID-19

Poverty & Family Economics

On September 15th and 17th, 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau released national and state-level poverty estimates from 2019. However, these estimates did not adequately capture our present-day realities due to the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic has not only disrupted the everyday lives of children and families, but also exposed and exacerbated the extreme racial, income, and wealth disparities in our nation. There is a glaring disconnect between federal poverty estimates and the real experience and extent of economic hardship in America. Moreover, the Census Bureau’s data lacks timeliness, is not statistically relevant, and does not accurately estimate the income needed for children and families to meet their basic needs. While the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey has provided some insight and information on changes in child well-being since the pandemic hit, the survey ends in October 2020 and fails to capture data on poverty.

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