On February 25th, The Annie E. Casey Foundation published Measuring Access to Opportunity in the United States, KIDS COUNT Data Snapshot. This report highlights Massachusetts as the state with the best overall child well-being. According to the report, government programs reduced the state’s child poverty rate by half. That means that 220,000 children in Massachusetts were kept out of poverty due to assistance from the government. Assistance programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) have helped to alleviate poverty in Massachusetts, but more can be done.
There are still 200,000 children in Massachusetts living in poverty. Many children and families are still struggling. Child poverty in Massachusetts rose last year, in contrast to a drop nationwide. This indicates that the state’s most vulnerable residents are still in need of assistance, despite an improving economy. You can search Massachusetts indicators here to evaluate child poverty in your community.
The report utilizes a new method to measure poverty in the US, the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) and shows how government programs affect state poverty rates. Recommendations on targeting families in need give policymakers input on implementing efficient and cost-effective public programs. MPHA is working to advocate for improvements and maintenance of these crucial public health programs that help alleviate poverty in Massachusetts such as SNAP, the EITC, and others.
Download the report here, see what else The Annie E. Casey Foundation is doing to reduce poverty in Massachusetts, and read Government Programs Cut State’s Child Poverty in Half, Report Says (The Boston Globe) with insight from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.