Economic Security Programs Reduce Overall Poverty, Racial and Ethnic Inequities
Author: Danilo Trisi, Matt Saenz
Topic: Poverty issues, Racial equity
Publisher: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Location: United States
Format: Report
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: January 28, 2021

Economic security programs such as Social Security, food assistance, tax credits, and housing assistance can help provide opportunity by ameliorating short-term poverty and hardship and, by doing so, improving children’s long-term outcomes. Over the last half-century, these assistance programs have reduced poverty for millions of people in the United States — including children, who are highly susceptible to poverty’s ill effects.

At the same time, barriers to opportunity, including discrimination and disparities in access to employment, education, and health care, remain enormous and keep poverty rates much higher for some racial and ethnic groups than others. While government programs have done much to narrow these disparities in poverty, further progress will require stronger government efforts to reduce poverty and discrimination and build opportunity for all.

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