UpLift – The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot

UpLift - The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot was launched in 2023 through the support of seven private and corporate foundations in partnership with four local governments.

110

participants

$500

monthly payment

2 Years

duration

$1,320,000

invested in community

logo
Pilot Features  
Number of Participants110 individuals
Amount$500
FrequencyMonthly
Program DatesMay 2023-April 2025
EligibilityLive in Polk, Dallas, or Warren County, 18+ years of age, live with at least one dependent up to the age of 25 years, household income at or below 60% of the area median income.

About UpLift – The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot

UpLift is a community-wide collaborative learning opportunity to study the impacts of a basic income on Central Iowan residents. This study is the first basic income pilot to incorporate metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural geographies. CGIR is implementing a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) evaluation of health, well-being and financial security outcomes among 110 residents across the tri-county area of Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties who receive $500 a month for 24 months. Community-based organizations have been integral to the development of this pilot including informing eligibility guidelines. This project is supported through a public-private partnership of 11 funding organizations that want research findings to inform community investment decisions and policies to reduce poverty. Funding partners include Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Principal Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Bank of America Foundation, The Director’s Council, Telligen Community Initiative, United Way of Central Iowa, City of Des Moines, City of Urbandale, City of Windsor Heights, and Polk County. Pilot project coordination is housed at The Harkin Institute at Drake University. Des Moines University's Department of Public Health serves as local research partner.

Data last updated on 3/29/2024.

Demographic Data for Study Participants

Median Annual Household income

UpLift

$24,000

Iowa

$71,734

Annual Household Income (Mean)

$24,542

Sample Size

110

Avg. Age of Respondent

37.00

Avg. Children in Household

2

Avg. Household Size

4

gender

Male

15.50%

Female

84.60%

Other

0.00%

marital status

Married

26.40%

Single

62.70%

Partnered/In-Relationship

10.90%

children in household

Yes

95.50%

No

4.60%

race

White

54.60%

African American

26.40%

American Indian/Alaska Native

0.00%

Asian

4.60%

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

0.00%

Latino

4.60%

Other/Mixed

10.00%

ethnicity

Hispanic

19.30%

Non-Hispanic

80.70%

primary language at home

English

86.20%

Spanish

6.40%

Other

5.50%

Economic Context for Pilot Participants

The guaranteed income pilot launched during a period of dynamic change and economic challenges for pilot participants. The chart below situates this pilot in the context of unemployment and inflation.

Start of Covid-19 PandemicJan 2019MarMayJulSepNovJan 2020MarMayJulSepNovJan 2021MarMayJulSepNovJan 2022MarMayJulSepNovJan 2023MarMayJulSepNovJan 2024MarMayJulSepNovJan 2025MarMayJulSepNovJan 202602468101214161820Unemployment02468101214161820Inflation
Unemployment  
Inflation  
Pilot Timeline
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Spending Breakdown

The data in this pie chart shows aggregate spending for guaranteed income participants in Iowa. This includes all non-cash expenditures from the participants' pre-paid debit card that is loaded with guaranteed income payments monthly.

Spending breakdown

Food and groceries accounted for the largest share of spending, at 41.55%, followed by Retail sales and services (26.47%) and Transport related expenses (11.38%).

Christina

“It’s a relief that I feel – everything that I went through and all of the struggles – and then The Bridge Project came along. I swear, if it wasn’t for The Bridge Project – I don’t know where I would be mentally, physically, etc."

Christina

The Bridge Project

New York City, NY

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