Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2001 . Indicator 9. Long-term Dependency

03/01/2001

Figure IND9. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps Between 1982 and 1991, by Years of Dependency

Figure IND9. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps Between 1982 and 1991, by Years of Dependency

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1983-1992.


  • Half of all recipients in 1982 were not dependent on welfare in any year over the following decade.  Specifically, in they did not receive more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and food stamps in any year between 1982 and 1991(SSI receipt is excepted).  This was also true for 55 percent of all recipients a decade earlier, as shown in the lower half of Table IND 9.
  • About 13 percent of recipients in 1982 were “dependent” (received more than 50 percent of annual income from AFDC and food stamps) for more than five years over the following decade.  In addition, 15 percent were dependent for three to five years, and 23 percent were dependent for one or two years.
  • Only 34 percent of young child recipients in 1982 were not dependent in any year between 1982 and 1991, as shown in Table IND 9.  A slightly higher percentage (39 percent) of child recipients had no years of dependency in the earlier decade.  The percentage of young black children who were not dependent increased across the two time periods (from 24 percent to 31 percent).  In comparison, the percentage of non-black recipient children who were not dependent on public assistance decreased substantially across the two time periods (from 50 percent to 37 percent).

Table IND 9. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps Across Two Ten-Year Time Periods, by Years of Dependency, Race, and Age

Between 1982 and 1991:      
    All Recipients  
  All Recipients Black Non-Black
0 Years 50 43 54
1 - 2 Years 23 21 25
3 - 5 Years 15 17 14
6 - 8 Years 9 12 6
9 - 10 Years 4 7 2
    Children 0 - 5 in 1982  
  All Child Recipients Black Children Non-Black Children
0 Years 34 31 37
1 - 2 Years 28 19 35
3 - 5 Years 16 18 15
6 - 8 Years 13 19 9
9 - 10 Years 8 14 4
Between 1972 and 1981:      
    All Recipients  
  All Recipients Black Non-Black
0 Years 55 44 62
1 - 2 Years 22 22 22
3 - 5 Years 14 19 11
6 - 8 Years 5 9 3
9 - 10 Years 4 7 2
    Children 0 - 5 in 1972  
  All Child Recipients Black Children Non-Black Children
0 Years 39 24 50
1 - 2 Years 25 27 23
3 - 5 Years 21 27 17
6 - 8 Years 6 9 4
9 - 10 Years 9 12 6

Note: The base for the percentages is recipients in a one-year time period, defined as individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC in the first year (1982 or 1972). Child recipients are defined by age in the first year. This measures years of dependency over the specified ten-year time periods, and does not take into account years of dependency that may have occurred before the initial year (1982 or 1972).

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1973-1992.

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