Enhancing the Child Tax Credit Would Substantially Lessen the Depth of Child Poverty Across States

See also: Harnessing the Child Tax Credit as a Tool to Invest in the Next Generation by Rachel West, Melissa Boteach, and Rebecca Vallas

Families with children have been particularly hard hit by the combination of rising costs and stagnant wages over the past decade. Child poverty now costs the U.S. economy an astounding $672 billion each year. The Child Tax Credit, or CTC, is an important policy tool to help families meet the costs of childrearing. However, the CTC can be significantly enhanced to better help low- and moderate-income families address the many challenges that they face.

A proposal from the Center for American Progress would make the credit fully refundable and eliminate its minimum earnings requirement, link the credit’s value to inflation, and introduce a supplemental monthly Young Child Tax Credit for children younger than age 3. The following interactive shows how these enhancements would reduce the child poverty gap—the amount by which children’s family income falls short of the federal poverty line—in each state.

Rachel West is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. Melissa Boteach is the Vice President of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center. Rebecca Vallas is the Director of Policy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center. Andrew Lomax is the Data Visualization Producer at the Center.