Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2005 . Indicator 7. Dependence Spell Duration

08/30/2005

Figure IND 7. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 7. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993 and 2001 panels.

  • In the early 2000s, 45 percent of TANF spells for individuals in families with no one in the labor force ended within four months and over two-thirds (71 percent) ended within a year. These spells are measured for individuals living in families with no labor force participants at the start of 2001 who entered TANF between 2001 and 2003.
  • Spells were much longer for families entering AFDC between 1993 and 1995, as shown in Figure IND 7 and Table IND 7b. Half (50 percent) of AFDC/TANF spells for individuals in families where no one participated in the labor force lasted more than 20 months in the 1993 SIPP panel, compared with only 15 percent of that length in the 2001 SIPP panel.
  • As shown in Table IND 7a, the percentage of TANF spells ending in four months or less were larger for non-Hispanic whites (57 percent) than for non-Hispanic blacks (47 percent) and Hispanics (47 percent).
  • Spells shown in Indicator 7 are limited to spells of recipients in families without any labor force participation at the start of each panel. Spell lengths, on average, are slightly shorter in Indicator 8, which shows spells for all recipients, including those in families with labor force participants. For example, whereas 45 percent of spells between 2001 and 2003 shown in Figure IND 7 end in four months or less, 50 percent of all TANF spells during the same time period end in four months or less, as shown in Figure IND 8.
Table IND 7a. Percentage of TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length
of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age
  Spells <=4 Months Spells 5-12 Months Spells 13-20 Months Spells >20 Months
All Persons 44.7 25.9 14.6 14.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 56.7 14.0 18.0 11.2
Non-Hispanic Black 47.0 21.8 11.0 20.2
Hispanic 46.8 33.6 9.3 10.3
Age Categories
Ages 0-15 Years 39.4 25.2 18.8 16.6
Ages 16-64 Years 54.4 22.8 9.5 13.3

Note: Spell length categories are 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. TANF spells are defined as those spells starting during the 2001 SIPP panel for individuals in families with no labor force participants at the start of the panel.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

Table IND 7b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 1993, 1996 and 2001 SIPP Panels

  Spells <=4 Months Spells 5-12 Months Spells 13-20 Months Spells >20 Months
1993 Panel All Persons 27.2 16.2 6.9 49.7
1996 Panel All Persons 40.5 27.5 13.3 18.7
2001 Panel All Persons 44.7 25.9 14.6 14.9

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

 

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