New KIDS COUNT Data Shows Why the EITC is Critical to Kids

By Kate Skochdopole

The Annie E. Casey Foundation recently released its annual KIDS COUNT report on the well-being of American children, sparking conversation across the country about how state and federal policymakers can improve the lives of kids, especially those living in poverty.

The KIDS COUNT data book, which ranks all 50 states in several areas of child well-being, makes a powerful case for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).  Minnesota, which offers a state-level EITC, ranked highest overall. Mississippi, which does not, ranked dead last. This trend continues throughout the ranking – states without EITCs often placed low, while states that offer EITCs topped the chart. 

Research consistently shows that protecting and expanding tax credits like the EITC pays huge dividends for kids. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the EITC lifted 3.2 million children out of poverty and made another 7.8 million less poor in 2014 alone. The credit enables working parents to invest in their children’s future by helping them afford quality early education and healthcare, as well as save for college and the future. And the EITC’s benefits aren’t merely financial. The credit has been linked to better educational outcomes among children of recipients and even healthier infant birth weights, a measure that can greatly influence a child’s health throughout their life.

As policymakers brainstorm how to help American children thrive, they can’t afford to forget about tax credits like the EITC. For more information on the EITC’s work to promote economic security for working families, as well as other credits like the Child Tax Credit and Child and Dependent Care Credit, visit our website.