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Antipoverty Programs Having Big Impact, New Government Poverty Measure Shows

November 14, 2012 at 2:38 PM

The Census Bureau today released data showing that SNAP (food stamps), the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and unemployment insurance kept millions of Americans out of poverty in 2011, using a new poverty measure that counts taxes and non-cash government benefits.

These figures are particularly timely given the looming expiration of two key measures that account for part of these programs' large antipoverty impact: federal emergency unemployment insurance and the 2009 Recovery Act's improvements in refundable tax credits like the EITC.

Letting these measures expire at year's end could push large numbers of families into poverty.

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For more details, see our Commentary on the Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity website.