Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
Analyzing how changing demographics and economic inequality affect family and individual well-being.

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    A new report finds government spending on children in 2022 fell from pandemic highs and will continue to decline in the coming decade.




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    Our Impact
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    Our work impacts how programs are designed to best improve people’s lives. For example, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously approved a bill establishing baby bonds for children in families with low incomes, influenced by Urban research and testimony. The wealth-building program will create trust funds for these children with up to $1,000 contributions each year. The funds will accrue annually until the children reach age 18, when they can access the funds to pay for education, start a business, buy property, or invest in retirement. “This legislation has a critical racial equity impact, given that the median wealth of a white household in the District is 81 times that of a Black household.”
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    Vice President, Labor, Human Services, and Population
    Associate Vice President
    Senior Fellow
    Senior Fellow, Research
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    Senior Fellow, Policy
    Senior Fellow
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    Senior Fellow, Research
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    Statistical Methods Group Lead
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    Director, Financial Well-Being Data Hub
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    Associate Director
    Principal Research Associate
    Senior Survey Methodologist
    Urban Institute Associate


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    About

    Our Issues

    We study how family, youth, and individual well-being is shaped by economic, social, and demographic trends, and how policies and programs can improve economic security, work, and child welfare and development.

    Understanding how families are faring in the face of economic pressures, demographic change, and public health and social challenges is essential for policymakers and practitioners who oversee social services and programs. Our research explores the implications of these changes for people and policies and contributes to the evolving conversation about growing inequities and the persistence of structural racism.

    Our Approach

    • We combine rigorous quantitative methods and experimental demonstrations with the in-depth and nuanced insight that comes from qualitative research, and we apply this knowledge to capacity building. This approach grounds our work in data and a deep understanding of the complexity of people’s lives and the systems that support and invest in them.
    • We work at the national, state, and local levels—observing programs on the ground, suggesting practical ways to streamline delivery, documenting the damaging effects of persistent childhood poverty, and assessing what Americans need to successfully work and support their families.
    • Much of our research focuses on groups of people who face serious structural barriers to stability and success, such as children in poverty, young people disconnected from work and school, parents with low incomes, immigrants, and people most affected by racism. We examine the strengths, needs, and capacities of these populations, not only the programs and policies designed to help them. 

    Our Impact

    Our work impacts how programs are designed to best improve people’s lives. For example, the Council of the District of Columbia unanimously approved a bill establishing baby bonds for children in families with low incomes, influenced by Urban research and testimony. The wealth-building program will create trust funds for these children with up to $1,000 contributions each year. The funds will accrue annually until the children reach age 18, when they can access the funds to pay for education, start a business, buy property, or invest in retirement. “This legislation has a critical racial equity impact, given that the median wealth of a white household in the District is 81 times that of a Black household.”

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    • Vice President, Labor, Human Services, and Population
    • Senior Fellow
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    • Principal Research Associate
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    • Senior Policy Program Manager
    • Research Analyst
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      Statistical Methods Group Lead
    • Principal Research Associate
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    • Senior Fellow, Research
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      Apprentice
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      Director, Financial Well-Being Data Hub
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    • Stattelman Scanlan
    • Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher Chair
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      Senior Survey Methodologist
    • Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator
    • Urban Institute Associate
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    • Nonresident Fellow
    • Research Analyst
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    • Senior Project Manager
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