Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2003. Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Long-term Poverty

03/01/2003

Figure ECON 6. Percentage of Children Ages 0 to 5 in 1987 Living in Poverty between 1987 and 1996, by Years in Poverty and Race

Figure ECON 6. Percentage of Children Ages 0 to 5 in 1987 Living in Poverty between 1987 and 1996, by Years in Poverty and Race

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1987-1996.

  • ECON 6, which analyzes poverty over a ten-year period using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), is only periodically updated. This figure is unchanged from last year’s report and is included to assist those without previous reports.
  • Among children who were ages 0 to 5 in 1987, two-thirds (66 percent) never lived in poverty for any year over the next ten years. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) lived in poverty for one to five years and 10 percent were poor for six to ten years.
  • For all three time periods, the percentages of all individuals who were poor for only one to two years were much larger than the percentages of all individuals who experienced longer-term poverty. For example, while 15 percent of all individuals were poor for only one to two years between 1987 and 1996, only 5 percent were poor for six to ten years during the same time period.
  • Long-term poverty of six or more years decreased for blacks more than for non-blacks across the three ten-year time periods. As shown in Table ECON 6, the percentage of persons experiencing long-term poverty decreased from 27 percent in the earliest period to 22 percent in the most recent period for blacks, but remained essentially unchanged for non-blacks. The percentage of black children experiencing long-term poverty was steady across the periods, while the percentage for non-black children increased slightly, from 3 to 5 percent.

Table ECON 6: Percentage of Individuals Living in Poverty across Three Ten-Year Time Periods, by Years in Poverty, Race, and Age

Between 1967 and 1976:
Note: The base for the percentages consists of individuals in the PSID family units for all the ten-year period. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the ten-year period. This table measures years of poverty over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of poverty that may have occurred before or after the ten-year time period.
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID 1968-93 final release files and 1994-1997 unreleased preliminary data as of January, 2002.
  All Persons Children 0-5 in 1967
Cumulative Years in Poverty: All Black Non-Black All Black Non-Black
0 Years 1-2 Years 75.3 13.1 37.3 18.9 80.2 12.3 70.0 14.4 26.7 19.8 76.5 13.6
3-5 Years 6.2 16.6 5.0 9.1 20.5 7.4
6-8 Years 3.5 15.8 1.9 3.5 15.8 1.8
9-10 Years 1.9 11.5 0.7 2.9 17.9 0.7
Between 1977 and 1986:
  All Persons Children 0-5 in 1977
Cumulative Years in Poverty: All Black Non-Black All Black Non-Black
0 Years 77.9 46.3 82.2 73.7 36.7 80.0
1-2 Years 11.6 15.7 11.0 11.9 16.7 11.0
3-5 Years 5.3 14.5 4.1 5.6 12.5 4.4
6-8 Years 3.4 14.0 1.9 5.1 16.5 3.2
9-10 Years 1.9 9.5 0.8 3.7 17.6 1.3
Between 1987 and 1996:
  All Persons Children 0-5 in 1987
Cumulative Years in Poverty: All Black Non-Black All Black Non-Black
0 Years 74.7 44.7 79.3 66.4 30.7 75.1
1-2 Years 14.6 18.7 14.0 15.8 17.2 15.5
3-5 Years 5.5 14.3 4.1 7.6 18.8 4.8
6-8 Years 3.1 10.3 2.0 5.6 12.5 4.0
9-10 Years 2.2 12.0 0.7 4.6 20.9 0.7

 

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