Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2001 . Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

03/01/2001

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty During the 1993 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Figure ECON 5.  Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty During the 1993 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Source:  Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.


  • Nearly half (47 percent) of all poverty spells that began during the 1993 SIPP panel ended within 4 months and three-fourths ended within one year.  Only 16 percent of all such spells were longer than 20 months.

  • Spells of poverty among adults age 65 and older tend to last longer than poverty spells among younger individuals.  As shown in Table ECON 5, only 65 percent of poverty spells among adults age 65 and older ended within one year compared to 80 percent for women ages 16 to 64, 75 percent for men ages 16 to 64, and 73 percent for children ages 0 to 15.

  • A larger percentage of poverty spells among non-Hispanic blacks were longer than 20 months (23 percent) than was the case for spells among non-Hispanic whites (14 percent) and among Hispanics (15 percent).

  • In general, poverty spells are shorter than spells of welfare receipt begun in the same time period, as can be seen by comparing Figure ECON 5 to Figure IND 8 in Chapter II.  That is, there is more movement in and out of poverty than movement on and off welfare.  For example, 75 percent of poverty spells lasted a year or less, whereas only 60 percent of food stamp spells and 56 percent of AFDC spells lasted a year or less.

Table ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty During the 1993 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell, Race, and Age

  Spells <=4 months Spells <=12 months Spells <=20 months Spells >20 months
All Persons 47.3 75.4 84.3 15.7
Racial Categories        
Non-Hispanic White 47.3 78.8 86.3 13.7
Non-Hispanic Black 39.9 64.1 76.7 23.3
Hispanic 42.5 74.4 84.7 15.3
Age Categories        
Children Ages 0 – 15 43.8 73.0 82.2 17.8
Women Ages 16 – 64 47.6 79.9 88.9 11.1
Men Ages 16 – 64 51.6 75.2 84.2 15.8
Adults Age 65 and over 40.7 65.4 73.0 27.0

Note: Spell length categories are not mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells. Due to the length of the observation period, actual spell lengths for spells that lasted more than 20 months cannot be observed.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

View full report

Preview
Download

"Indicators of Welfare Dependence Annual Report to Congress March 2001 .pdf" (pdf, 430.45Kb)

Note: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®. If you experience problems with PDF documents, please download the latest version of the Reader®