Stimulus Kept Millions From Poverty

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Census figures are in and it turns out that stimulus helped keep millions from slipping further into poverty.

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The U.S. poverty rate rose in 2020 after five years of annual declines, but the broader Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in some expenses and accounts for a wider range of income—including hundreds of billions of dollars in pandemic aid—dropped to a record low 9.1%, marking the first time that yardstick has fallen below the official poverty rate.

Household income declined significantly for the first time in nearly a decade, but 2020’s relatively low poverty rate highlights the role of government safety nets, including the more than $400 billion dollars distributed through the first two rounds of stimulus checks.

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