Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2006. Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

08/30/2006

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty 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Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993 and 2001 panels.


  • About half of all poverty spells that began during the 2001 SIPP panel ended within four months, and 77 percent ended within one year. Only 15 percent of all such spells were longer than 20 months.
  • Spells of poverty that began between 1993 and 1995 were similar to those between 2001 and 2003; 47 percent ended within four months and 16 percent were longer than 20 months.
  • Poverty spells among adults ages 65 and older were more likely to last longer than 20 months (21 percent) than spells among other age groups, as shown in Table ECON 5a.

Table ECON 5a. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty 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 49.2 27.7 7.7 15.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 52.3 27.1 7.1 13.5
Non-Hispanic Black 42.1 27.4 9.4 21.1
Hispanic 45.7 29.7 7.8 16.8
Age Categories
Ages 0-5 Years 48.0 29.6 8.3 14.2
Ages 6-10 Years 48.0 28.5 7.7 15.8
Ages 11-15 Years 50.3 27.8 8.5 13.4
Women Ages 16-24 49.4 28.6 7.6 14.4
Men Ages 16-64 Years 52.0 28.3 7.6 12.1
Adults Ages 65 Years and over 47.7 23.7 7.4 21.2

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.

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Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.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 ECON 5b Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 1996 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell and Panel

  Spells <=4 Months Spells 5-12 Months Spells 13-20 Months Spells >20 Months
1993 Panel All Persons 47.3 28.1 8.9 15.7
1996 Panel All Persons 51.3 29.0 8.3 11.4
2001 Panel All Persons 49.2 27.7 7.7 15.5

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

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