Kids' Share 2020: Report on federal expenditures on children through 2019 and future projections

Kids' Share 2020: Report on federal expenditures on children through 2019 and future projections

Federal expenditures for children and youth up to age 18 totaled $408 billion in fiscal year 2019 — for the second consecutive year, roughly 9 percent of all federal outlays — or $6,738 per child, an annual report from the Urban Institute finds. Supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the report, Kids' Share 2020: Report on federal expenditures on children through 2019 and future projections (64 pages, PDF), estimates that the child tax credit was the largest source of federal support for children in FY19 ($118 billion, 29 percent), surpassing Medicaid ($98 billion, 23 percent), which had been the largest program for many years. The report also found that the government spent $210 billion on all tax provisions benefiting children in 2019; $121 billion on all health programs, including CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program); $58 percent on income insecurity benefits; $54 billion on nutrition programs; $42 billion on education; and $17 billion on early childhood care and education. Although the share of federal expenditures targeted to children in low-income families has increased over time (57 percent in FY19), under pre-COVID law children's programs are projected to receive only 2 percent of the projected $1.6 trillion increase in spending over the next decade, while expenditures for children as a share of total federal spending is expected to decline to 7.3 percent, with only health expenditures projected to increase through 2030. "Growing deficits arising from the economic downturn and federal response to the COVID-19 crisis, along with the rising entitlement spending already scheduled in current law," the authors write, "will continue to put pressure on the budget for children."