Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1997. Indicator 9. Percent of the Population Receiving Means-tested Assistance

10/01/1997

he rate of receipt reflects an important aspect of dependence by measuring the extent to which various population subgroups rely on the major means-tested programs.

Figure IND 9a. AFDC Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Figure IND 9a. AFDC Recipients as a Percent of the Population

  • In all years between 1970 and 1996, the percentage of all children who received AFDC is much larger than that for adults age 18 to 59.
  • Participation for children under age 18 increased substantially between 1970 and 1976. While remaining relatively stable through most of the 1980s, the trend again increased dramatically from 1990 to 1994 before declining to its current level.
  • Table IND 9a shows that between 1994 and 1996 the percentage of all children who received AFDC decreased almost one and a half percentage points (from 14.1 percent to 12.5 percent).

Table IND 9a. AFDC Recipients as a Percent of the Population, Selected Years

Ages 1970 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1992 1994 1995 1996
All (under 59) 4.2 6.0 5.7 5.4 5.5 5.5 6.4 6.6 6.2 5.7
Adults (18 to 59) 1.8 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.6 3.0 3.1 2.9 2.6
Children (under 18) 7.9 11.5 11.5 11.1 11.6 12.1 13.9 14.1 13.5 12.5

Note: Only selected years of data presented in Figure IND 9a are included in the table.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of AFDC Recipients: Fiscal Year 1995 and earlier years, (Current data available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/ofa/content.htm).

Figure IND 9b. Food Stamp Recipients as a Percent of Population

Figure IND 9b. Food Stamp Recipients as a Percent of the Population

 

  • In all years between 1980 and 1995, the percentage of all children who received Food Stamps is much larger than that for all adults.
  • Similar trends existed for each age group: children under 18, adults age 18 to 59 and adults 60 and older. The percentages for each group declined between 1984 and 1988, each peaked in 1994 and declined thereafter.

Table IND 9b. Food Stamp Recipients as a Percent of the Population, Selected Years

Ages 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1995
Total (all ages) 8.4 8.8 8.8 8.1 7.6 8.0 9.9 10.5 10.1
Adults (60 and over) 4.9 4.4 4.5 4.1 3.7 3.6 4.0 4.5 4.4
Adults (18 to 59) 5.6 6.0 6.3 5.7 5.3 5.6 7.2 7.7 7.3
Children (under 18) 15.5 15.3 16.8 15.7 14.8 15.8 20.2 21.2 20.2

Note: Only selected years of data presented in Figure IND 9b are included in the table.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 1995 and earlier years.

Figure IND 9c. SSI Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Figure IND 9c. SSI Recipients as a Percent of the Population

  • In all years between 1974 and 1996, the percentage of adults 65 and older who received SSI is much larger than that for all other age groups.
  • Trends are similar for all persons under age 64 generally increasing between 1974 and 1996. For those 65 and older, the trend moves in the opposite direction decreasing dramatically from nearly 11 percent in 1974 to 6 percent in 1996.

Table IND 9c. SSI Recipients as a Percent of the Population, Selected Years

Ages 1974 1978 1982 1986 1990 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996
Total (all ages) 1.9 1.9 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.5
Adults (65 and over) 10.8 9.3 7.4 6.9 6.5 6.5 6.4 6.4 6.3 6.2
Adults (18 to 64) 1.2 1.3 1.1 1.3 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.2
Children 0.1 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.5

Note: Children includes some recipients 18 and older who are students. Only selected years of data presented in Figure IND 9c are included in the table.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, various years,(Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html).