The infusion of large-scale federal aid in the form of enhanced unemployment support and stimulus checks, and has led to a decline in poverty in 2020. The supplemental poverty rate, in which government aid to low-earning individuals and the unemployed is factored in, slid to 9.1% last year from 11.8% in 2019.
This is the lowest figure ever since this figure became part of government statistics in 2009. A 4-member family, with an income lower than $26,496, is considered below the poverty threshold in 2020.
The poverty rate, which doesn’t take into account government aid in any form, went up a bit in 2020 to reach 11.4% from 10.5% a year ago.
The slide in the poverty rate indicates that federal aid doled out to help people affected by the pandemic and the economic recession had an effect. Millions were able to come out of insufficiency for the first time.
The Contribution Of The Stimulus Check To Rein In Poverty In 2020
The poverty rate was affected the most by several key programs. The initial two stimulus checks with a combined total of $1,200 per individual pushed around 11.7M citizens above the poverty line.
Other benefits such as the extended unemployment benefits kept another 5.5M people out of the grips of the economic recession post the pandemic.
President Biden is mulling over more direct stimulus checks in various forms. Democrats in Congress are at work to chalk out the particulars of the coming $3.5T package. Though conservatives are against the safety-net programs,
President Biden has pointed to the success of the pandemic aid to show that additional resources can dramatically decrease hardship and poverty.
It will be the single most significant investment in this generation and will expand the social safety net when passed.