Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1998. Indicator 9. Percent of the Population Receiving Means-tested Assistance

10/01/1998

The 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

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • In all years between 1970 and 1997, the percentage of all children who received AFDC is much larger than that for adults.
  • 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 1997 the percentage of all children who received AFDC decreased more than three percentage points (from 14.0 percent to 10.8 percent).

Table IND 9a. AFDC/TANF Recipients as a Percent of the Population, Selected Years 1

  1970 1975 1980 1985 1988 1990 1994 1996 1997 4

1 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC Program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program.

2 Does not include the territories.

3 Includes a small number of dependents 18 and older who are students.

4 Average number of adults and children based on the first three quarter of 1997 only; data on number of adults and children under TANF not currently available.

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 Family Assistance and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (available online at http://www.census.gov).

AFDC/TANF Recipients (millions) 2
Total Recipients 7.2 10.9 10.4 10.6 10.7 11.3 14.0 12.5 10.8
Adult Recipients 1.9 3.1 3.2 3.6 3.5 3.6 4.6 3.9 3.1
Child Recipients 3 5.3 7.8 7.2 7.0 7.2 7.6 9.5 8.6 7.7
AFDC/TANF RecipiencyRates (percent)
Total 3.5 5.0 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 5.4 4.7 4.0
Adults 1.4 2.1 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.4 2.0 1.6
Children 7.6 11.6 11.3 11.2 11.4 11.9 13.9 12.4 11.0

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

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

Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Summer 1996, and earlier reports and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • In all years between 1970 and 1997, the percentage of all children who received AFDC is much larger than that for adults.
  • 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 1997 the percentage of all children who received AFDC decreased more than three percentage points (from 14.0 percent to 10.8 percent).

  1975 1980 1985 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996

1 Does not include the territories.

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

Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Summer 1996, and earlier reports and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov.)

Food Stamp Recipients (millions) 1
Total (all ages) 17.1 19.2 19.8 18.6 20.0 25.4 27.4 25.5
Adults (60 and over) NA 1.7 1.8 1.5 1.5 1.7 2.0 1.9
Adults (18 to 59) NA 7.2 8.3 7.5 8.1 10.5 11.5 10.8
Children NA 9.9 9.9 9.4 10.1 13.3 14.4 13.0
Food Stamp Recipiency Rates (percent)
Total (all ages) 7.9 8.4 8.3 7.6 8.0 9.9 10.5 9.6
Adults (60 and over) NA 4.9 4.5 3.7 3.6 4.0 4.5 4.3
Adults (18-59) NA 5.6 6.1 5.3 5.6 7.2 7.7 7.1
Children NA 15.5 15.8 14.8 15.8 20.2 21.2 18.8

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

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

Note: Recipients are reported as of December in each year.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html) and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • 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

  Dec '75 Dec '80 Dec '85 Dec '88 Dec '90 Dec '92 Dec '94 Dec '96 Dec '97

1 December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the Census’ July 1 population estimate for the current and the following year.

2 Children includes some recipients 18 and older who are students.

Note: 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 (data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html) and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).

 

SSI Recipients (millions)
Total (all ages) 4.3 4.1 4.1 4.5 4.8 5.6 6.3 6.6 6.5
Adults (65 and over) 2.5 2.2 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1
Adults (18 to 64) 1.7 1.7 1.8 2.2 2.4 2.8 3.3 3.5 3.5
Children 2 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.3 0.6 0.9 1.0 0.9
SSI Recipiency Rates (percent)
Total (all ages) 2.0 1.8 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.2 2.4 2.5 2.4
Adults (65 and over) 10.9 8.6 7.1 6.6 6.5 6.5 6.4 6.2 6.0
Adults (18-64) 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.1 2.1 2.1
Children 0.2 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.5 0.9 1.3 1.5 1.3

 

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