Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2007. Indicator 1. Degree of Dependence

07/31/2007

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2004

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Only 3.7 percent of the total population in 2004 received more than half of their total family income from TANF, food stamps and SSI. As shown in Table IND 1b, the percentage of families dependent on public assistance has dropped dramatically since 1993, with most of the decline occurring between 1996 and 2000. Since 2000, there have been small increases in dependency each year resulting in a shift from 3.0 to 3.7 percent.
  • 15 percent of the overall population received at least one dollar in means-tested assistance in 2004. However, for 59 percent of these individuals (9 percent of the total population), such assistance represented 25 percent or less of annual family income. The vast majority (85 percent) of the population received no means-tested assistance in 2004.
  • As shown in Table IND 1a, individuals living in female-headed families were much more likely to be dependent on assistance from means-tested programs (more than 50% of total income from means-tested programs) than individuals in married-couple or male-headed families (13.8 percent compared to 1.0 and 4.0 percent respectively).
  • In 2004, about one in four individuals receiving some public assistance reported that TANF, food stamps and SSI accounted for more than half of their total family income. This number reflected a decline in dependence since 1993, when more than 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: 2004

  0% > 0% and <= 25% > 25% and <= 50% > 50% and <= 75% > 75% and <= 100% Total > 50%
All Persons 85.0 8.8 2.5 1.1 2.5 3.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 89.9 6.4 1.5 0.7 1.5 2.2
Non-Hispanic Black 67.6 16.2 6.1 2.9 7.1 10.0
Hispanic 77.4 13.4 4.1 1.8 3.4 5.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-5 75.4 12.6 5.0 2.6 4.5 7.1
Children Ages 6-10 77.8 11.6 4.6 2.2 3.8 6.0
Children Ages 11-15 79.6 11.3 4.0 1.9 3.2 5.1
Women Ages 16-64 85.0 8.9 2.4 1.1 2.6 3.7
Men Ages 16-64 88.4 7.6 1.6 0.5 1.9 2.4
Adults Ages 65 and over 90.0 6.2 1.6 0.8 1.5 2.2
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families 91.4 6.3 1.3 0.4 0.7 1.0
Persons in Female-Headed Families 57.4 19.9 9.0 4.8 9.0 13.8
Persons in Male-Headed Families 78.1 14.4 3.6 1.5 2.5 4.0
Unrelated Individuals 87.3 7.0 1.2 0.5 4.0 4.5

Note: Means-tested assistance includes 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. Spouses are not present in the Female-Headed and Male-Headed family categories.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. 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 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance
Programs: 1993-2004

  0% > 0% and <= 25% > 25% and <= 50% > 50% and <= 75% > 75% and <= 100% Total > 50%
See above for note and source.
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
2000 87.5 7.3 2.2 1.0 2.0 3.0
2001 87.4 7.3 2.2 1.0 2.1 3.1
2002 86.8 7.8 2.3 1.0 2.1 3.2
2003 85.9 8.2 2.4 1.1 2.4 3.6
2004 85.0 8.8 2.5 1.1 2.5 3.7

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2004

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005, analyzed
using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


 

  • Those in families with income below the poverty level received almost half (48 percent) of their total family income from earnings and 31 percent of their total family income from means-tested assistance programs (TANF, SSI and food stamps) in 2003. In contrast, those with family income over 200 percent of the poverty level received the majority (87 percent) of their income from earnings and less than one percent of their income from means-tested assistance (a percentage so small that it is not visible in Figure IND 1b).
  • 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 persons living in deep poverty (below 50 percent of poverty) was only 26 percent, compared to 48 percent for all poor persons in 2004.
  • On average, persons in married-couple families rely on earnings more and on means-tested assistance programs less than persons in other families at all income levels, as shown in Table IND 1c.
  • 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 only 40 percent of their income from earnings; this percentage rose to 48 percent in 1998 and has remained above 45 percent ever since. Over the same time period, there was a decline in the percentage of income from means-tested programs among poor families from 41 percent in 1995 to 31 percent in 2004.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status
Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2004

  < 50% Poverty < 100% of Poverty < 200% of Poverty 200% + of Poverty All Individuals
All Persons
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 58.4 31.1 10.4 0.2 1.2
Earnings 25.7 48.2 67.2 86.8 84.9
Other Income 15.9 20.7 22.4 13 13.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 49 27.9 7.9 0.1 0.6
Earnings 29.6 44.1 61.4 85.8 84.3
Other Income 21.5 28 30.7 14.1 15.1
Non-Hispanic Black
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 69.8 43.4 18.5 0.5 4.2
Earnings 17 36.6 60.3 87.3 81.8
Other Income 13.2 20 21.2 12.1 14
Hispanic
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 56.5 24.5 9 0.5 2.6
Earnings 31.5 64 81.1 92.1 89.4
Other Income 12 11.5 9.9 7.4 8
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-5
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 65 35.5 13.3 0.2 2.3
Earnings 23.5 53.6 78 94.4 91.9
Other Income 11.5 10.9 8.7 5.3 5.9
Children Ages 6-10
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 63.6 34.1 12.3 0.2 2
Earnings 23.8 52.1 76.2 93.4 90.9
Other Income 12.6 13.9 11.5 6.4 7.2
Children Ages 11-15
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 63.8 34.4 12.1 0.2 1.7
Earnings 22.2 50 73.8 92.1 89.8
Other Income 14.1 15.6 14.1 7.7 8.5
Women Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 55.4 31.1 11 0.2 1.1
Earnings 27 48.4 71 89.3 87.8
Other Income 17.6 20.4 18.1 10.5 11.1
Men Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 48.5 26.3 8.3 0.2 0.7
Earnings 32.5 53 75 90.5 89.5
Other Income 19 20.8 16.7 9.3 9.8
Adults Ages 65 and over
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 39.6 23.3 6.6 0.3 1.1
Earnings 3.7 5 9.3 38.6 34.9
Other Income 56.8 71.7 84 61.1 64
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 45.9 20.6 6.1 0.1 0.5
Earnings 37.9 64.8 76.2 87.7 87
Other Income 16.2 14.6 17.7 12.1 12.5
Persons in Female-Headed Families
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 68.8 44.6 21.2 1 7
Earnings 17.2 36.1 57.6 80.9 74.1
Other Income 14 19.4 21.2 18 19
Persons in Male-Headed Families
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 55.1 28.7 11.2 0.6 2.1
Earnings 30.5 51.4 72.5 86.9 84.9
Other Income 14.4 19.9 16.3 12.5 13.1

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

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. 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 Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005, 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
AFDC, 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
2000
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 54.3 30.3 9.8 0.2
Earnings 30.5 49.5 68.7 86.7
Other Income 15.2 20.3 21.5 13.0
2004
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps 58.4 31.1 10.4 0.2
Earnings 25.7 48.2 67.2 86.8
Other Income 15.9 20.7 22.4 13.0
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

 

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