As state policymakers consider ways to strengthen the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a refundable state credit for workers with low incomes, a new California Budget & Policy Center analysis examines the demographic characteristics of individuals statewide who are likely eligible to benefit from the CalEITC. We find that children of color and women particularly stand out as groups that can benefit from the credit.
The Budget Center’s analysis* uses Census data to identify individuals who are likely eligible for the CalEITC, based on their reported work and income, and then examines the demographics of these workers and their family members. Results show that:
- Women make up the majority of tax filers who are eligible to claim the CalEITC. More than half of all tax filers likely eligible to claim the CalEITC (59 percent) are women. The share of women is even larger among eligible parents, who receive the largest credits under the CalEITC: Women make up 7 in 10 tax filers with children who are eligible for the CalEITC.
- The CalEITC particularly benefits people of color, especially children of color. About two-thirds of workers who are likely eligible to claim the credit (68 percent) are people of color, Latinos accounting for the largest share. Among children eligible to benefit from the CalEITC, 4 in 5 are children of color, and more than half are Latino.
- Families and individuals who can benefit from the CalEITC are spread throughout California. Eligible CalEITC beneficiaries live in all regions of the state. About 40 percent of the parents, children, and single adults eligible to benefit from the credit reside in the Los Angeles and South Coast region.
State legislators have shown interest in strengthening the CalEITC and expanding eligibility to benefit more families and individuals. Doing so would help workers with low incomes — and their families — move toward greater financial security, which would particularly benefit women and people of color throughout California.
— Sara Kimberlin