Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1998. Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Intergenerational Poverty

10/01/1998

The extent to which parental poverty is associated with poverty of their children as adults illustrates a significant risk to current and future dependence.

Figure ECON 6. Poverty Status in 1990 of Persons under 18 and Poor in 1970

Figure ECON 6. Poverty Status in 1990 of Persons under 18 and Poor in 1970

Source: Table ECON 6.


  • Among children who were age 0 to 18 and lived in poor families in 1970, 17 percent of white children and 38 percent of black children also lived in poverty as adults in 1990. In other words, poor black children were more than twice as likely as poor white children to be poor as adults.
  • Similar percentages of white and black children who were age 0 to 18 and poor in 1970 were “near-poor” (above 100 percent but less than 200 percent of the poverty level) as adults in 1990 (30 percent for whites and 28 percent for blacks). In contrast, white children were much more likely to be living above 200 percent of the poverty level as adults in 1990 (53 percent) than were black children (34 percent).

Table ECON 6. Poverty Status in 1990 of Persons Who Were under 18 and Poor in 1970

  Income under 100% of Poverty Income between 100% and 200% of Poverty Income at or above 200% of Poverty
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1970 and 1990.
White 16.6 30.4 53.2
Black 37.8 28.1 34.2

 

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