It now costs more than $60,000 per year for a family of four to live in Rhode Island says a new study released on Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute.
The report, titled the Rhode Island Standard of Need (RISN), finds that it costs a single-parent family over $55,000 and a two-parent family more than $60,000 to raise a toddler and school-age children.
A single adult has expenses close to $22,000.
“All Rhode Islanders deserve the opportunity for economic stability. The RISN shows how work support programs, including child care assistance, subsidized health insurance and SNAPA help working families close their budget gap when earnings are not enough. An adequate minimum wage and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are vital to boosting workers’ incomes. Rhode Island should continue to move forward with improving access to child care assistance and increasing the minimum wage and the state EITC,” said Rachel Flum, executive director of the Economic Progress Institute.
According to the report, the federal poverty level is not an adequate measure of economic security.
The report states that families with young children need income over two and a half times the federal poverty level to meet their basic needs.
The RISN report also highlights the gap between income and expenses for families receiving cash assistance through the RI Works program, and for seniors and people with disabilities who rely on SSI benefits.
Lastly, the report shows how raising the state’s minimum wage to $15/hour would help Rhode Island workers.