Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2002. Indicator 1. Degree of Dependence

03/01/2002

Figure IND 1a.Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1999

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1999

Source:  March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • About 3.3 percent of the total population in 1999 received more than half of their total family income from TANF, food stamps and SSI. As shown in Table IND1b, the percentage of families dependent on public assistance steadily decreased over the past several years.
  • A total of 13.3 percent of the overall population received at least one dollar in means-tested assistance in 1999. However, for over half of these individuals (7.7 percent of the total population), such assistance represented 25 percent or less of annual family income. The vast majority (87 percent) of the population received no means-tested assistance in 1999.
  • Very young children (birth to five years) were more likely than children of other ages to be in families receiving some amount of public assistance. As shown in Table IND 1a, 6 percent of very young children were dependent on public assistance in 1999.
  • In 1999, only one out of four of individuals receiving some public assistance reported that TANF, food stamps, and SSI accounted for more than half of their total family income. This number showed a decline in dependence since 1996, when nearly one in three individuals receiving public assistance were dependent on it.

Table IND 1a. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 1999

  0% >0% and <= 25% >25% and <= 50% >50% and <= 75% >75% and <= 100% Total > 50%
All Persons 86.7 7.7 2.3 1.1 2.2 3.3

Non-Hispanic White

91.7 5.3 1.2 0.7 1.2 1.8

Non-Hispanic Black

70.2 14.5 6.2 3.0 6.1 9.1

Hispanic

76.6 13.5 4.5 1.9 3.5 5.4

Children Ages 0-5

78.5 11.3 4.0 2.3 3.9 6.2

Children Ages 6-10

80.2 9.9 3.8 2.5 3.6 6.1

Children Ages 11-15

82.7 9.3 3.6 1.8 2.7 4.4

Women Ages 16-64

86.5 7.9 2.2 1.2 2.3 3.5

Men Ages 16-64

90.4 6.4 1.4 0.6 1.4 1.9

Adults Age 65 and over

90.0 6.2 1.9 0.6 1.4 2.0

Note:  Means-tested assistance includes AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps. Total >50% includes all persons with more than 50 percent of their total annual family income from these means-tested programs. Income includes cash income and the value of food stamps.

Source:  March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 1b. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1993-1999

  0% >0% and <= 25% >25% and <= 50% >50% and <= 75% >75% and <= 100% Total > 50%
1993 83.4 7.8 3.0 1.8 4.1 5.9
1994 82.8 8.4 3.1 1.8 4.0 5.8
1995 83.2 8.5 3.1 1.8 3.5 5.3
1996 84.0 7.8 3.1 1.9 3.3 5.2
1997 85.3 7.7 2.5 1.5 3.1 4.5
1998 86.5 7.3 2.5 1.3 2.5 3.8
1999 86.7 7.7 2.3 1.1 2.2 3.3

Note:  Means-tested assistance includes AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps. Total >50% includes all persons with more than 50 percent of their total annual family income from these means-tested programs. Income includes cash income and the value of food stamps.

Source:  March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Figure IND 1c.  Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 1999

Figure IND 1c.  Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 1999

Source:  March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Those in families with incomes below the poverty level received nearly half (49 percent) of their total family income from earnings and 30 percent of their total family income from means-tested assistance programs (AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps) in 1999. In contrast, those with family incomes over 200 percent of the poverty level received the majority (85 percent) of their incomes from earnings and less than one percent of their income from means-tested assistance (a percentage so small as to not be visible in Figure IND 1c).
  • The percentage of family income received from earnings is inversely proportional to overall family income relative to the poverty line. For example, the percentage of income received from earnings for those living in deep poverty (below 50 percent of poverty) was only 30 percent, compared to 49 percent for all poor individuals in 1999.
  • On average, children were more likely than the elderly to live in families receiving a higher percentage of their income from means-tested assistance programs, as shown by Table IND 1c. The elderly received more income from other sources, such as Social Security benefits and private pensions.
  • The percentage of income received from earnings for families with incomes below the poverty level has increased over time, as shown in Table IND 1d. In 1995, poor families received 40 percent of their incomes from earnings; this percentage rose to 49 percent in 1999.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Age: 1999

  < 50% poverty <100% of poverty <200% of poverty 200%+ of poverty

All Persons

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

53.1 29.8 9.7 0.2

Earnings

30.2 49.3 69.1 85.0

Other Income

16.6 20.8 21.2 14.7

Racial/Ethnic Categories

       

Non-Hispanic White

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

46.8 25.9 6.7 0.1

Earnings

30.0 45.9 65.4 84.2

Other Income

23.2 28.2 27.8 15.7

Non-Hispanic Black

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

62.0 41.1 16.7 0.5

Earnings

24.8 39.2 63.9 87.1

Other Income

13.2 19.8 19.4 12.4

Hispanic

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

49.7 25.2 9.9 0.6

Earnings

38.0 63.2 80.0 90.7

Other Income

12.3 11.6 10.1 8.7

Age Categories

       

Children Ages 0-5

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

61.1 33.5 11.8 0.3

Earnings

26.8 56.2 80.0 93.0

Other Income

12.2 10.3 8.2 6.8

Children Ages 6-10

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

60.0 33.9 11.4 0.2

Earnings

27.0 52.7 78.0 91.9

Other Income

13.0 13.3 10.7 8.0

Children Ages 11-15

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

56.6 31.7 10.8 0.2

Earnings

26.6 51.5 75.2 90.8

Other Income

16.8 16.8 13.9 9.0

Women Ages 16-64

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

49.8 31.6 10.7 0.2

Earnings

32.9 48.5 72.5 88.0

Other Income

17.3 19.9 16.9 11.8

Men Ages 16-64

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

40.4 23.7 7.6 0.2

Earnings

40.7 55.3 76.4 89.1

Other Income

19.0 21.0 16.1 10.7

Adults Age 65 and over

       

TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps

25.3 18.7 6.3 0.4

Earnings

2.6 4.9 10.5 34.1

Other Income

72.1 76.4 83.1 65.5

Note:  Total income is total annual family income, including the value of food stamps. Other income is non means-tested, non-earnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest, and dividends. Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive.

Source:  March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 1d. Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources: Selected Years

  < 50% poverty <100% of poverty <200% of poverty 200%+ of poverty
1995        
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps 65.9 41.3 14.2 0.3
Earnings 22.5 40.4 64.8 85.4
Other Income 11.6 18.3 21.0 14.3
1998        
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps 58.9 32.0 10.6 0.2
Earnings 27.0 47.9 67.8 85.3
Other Income 14.1 20.1 21.6 14.5
1999        
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps 53.1 29.8 9.7 0.2
Earnings 30.2 49.3 69.1 85.0
Other Income 16.6 20.8 21.2 14.7

Note:  Total income is total annual family income, including the value of food stamps. Other income is non means-tested, non-earnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest, and dividends. Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive.

Source:  March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

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