Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008. INDICATOR 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance

12/20/2008

Figure IND 3a.
Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF by Age: 1970-2006

Figure IND 3a

Note:  See Appendix A, Tables TANF 2, TANF 12 and TANF 14, for more detailed data on recipiency rates, including recipiency rates by calendar year. Recipients are expressed as the fiscal year average of monthly caseloads from administrative data, excluding recipients in the territories. Tribal TANF recipients are also excluded.  Child recipients include a small number of dependents ages 18 and older who are students. The average number of adult and child recipients in 1998 and 1999 are estimated using data from the National Emergency TANF Data Files and thereafter using the National TANF Data Files. Beginning in 2000, the data include both TANF and SSP recipients who have comprised as much as 11 percent of total recipients.

Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • Figure IND 3a shows the percentage of the population who received income from the AFDC program or TANF program by age group from 1970 to 2006.
  • Table IND 3a shows the number and percent of the population receiving AFDC/TANF by age between 1970 and 2006.  In 1993, 5.4 percent of the population received income from AFDC.  In 2006, the percentage was 1.6.  The 2006 rate of TANF receipt was the lowest since 1970.
  • AFDC/TANF recipiency rates have been higher with more pronounced changes over time for children than for adults.  Between 1993 and 2006, AFDC/TANF receipt among children decreased from 13.9 percent to 4.8 percent, the most rapid decline in the time period shown.

Table IND 3a.
Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF by Age:
1970-2006

Fiscal
Year
Total Recipients Adult Recipients Child Recipients
Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent
Note:  See Appendix A, Tables TANF 2, TANF 12 and TANF 14, for more detailed data on recipiency rates, including recipiency rates by calendar year. Recipients are expressed as the fiscal year average of monthly caseloads from administrative data, excluding recipients in the territories.  Tribal TANF recipients are also excluded.  Child recipients include a small number of dependents ages 18 and older who are students. The average number of adult and child recipients in 1998 and 1999 are estimated using data from the National Emergency TANF Data Files and thereafter using the National TANF Data Files. Beginning in 2000, the data include both TANF and SSP recipients who have comprised as much as 11 percent of total recipients.

Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance.  Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

1970 7,188 3.5 1,863 1.4 5,325 7.6
1971 9,281 4.5 2,516 1.8 6,765 9.7
1972 10,345 4.9 2,848 2.0 7,497 10.8
1973 10,760 5.1 2,984 2.1 7,776 11.3
1974 10,591 5.0 2,935 2.0 7,656 11.3
1975 10,854 5.0 3,078 2.1 7,776 11.6
1976 11,171 5.1 3,271 2.2 7,900 11.9
1977 10,933 5.0 3,230 2.1 7,703 11.8
1978 10,485 4.7 3,128 2.0 7,357 11.4
1979 10,146 4.5 3,071 1.9 7,075 11.0
1980 10,422 4.6 3,226 2.0 7,196 11.3
1981 10,979 4.8 3,491 2.1 7,488 11.8
1982 10,233 4.4 3,395 2.0 6,838 10.9
1983 10,467 4.5 3,548 2.1 6,919 11.1
1984 10,677 4.5 3,652 2.1 7,025 11.2
1985 10,630 4.5 3,589 2.0 7,041 11.2
1986 10,810 4.5 3,637 2.1 7,173 11.4
1987 10,878 4.5 3,624 2.0 7,254 11.5
1988 10,734 4.4 3,536 2.0 7,198 11.4
1989 10,741 4.4 3,503 1.9 7,238 11.4
1990 11,263 4.5 3,643 2.0 7,620 11.9
1991 12,391 4.9 4,016 2.1 8,375 12.8
1992 13,423 5.2 4,336 2.3 9,087 13.7
1993 13,943 5.4 4,519 2.3 9,424 13.9
1994 14,033 5.3 4,554 2.3 9,479 13.8
1995 13,479 5.1 4,322 2.2 9,157 13.2
1996 12,477 4.6 3,921 2.0 8,556 12.2
1997 10,779 4.0 3,106 1.5 7,673 10.8
1998 8,653 3.1 2,469 1.2 6,184 8.7
1999 7,068 2.5 1,838 0.9 5,231 7.3
2000 6,218 2.2 1,687 0.8 4,531 6.3
2001 5,673 2.0 1,503 0.7 4,171 5.7
2002 5,576 1.9 1,476 0.7 4,099 5.6
2003 5,452 1.9 1,415 0.7 4,037 5.5
2004 5,315 1.8 1,357 0.6 3,957 5.4
2005 5,064 1.7 1,276 0.6 3,788 5.2
2006 4,695 1.6 1,163 0.5 3,532 4.8

Figure IND 3b.
Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps by Age: 1975-2006

Figure IND 3b

Note:  See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates. Recipient totals exclude the territories and are the fiscal year averages of monthly caseloads from administrative data. From 1975 to 1983 the number of participants includes the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) that was largely replaced by the Food Stamp Program in 1975. From 1975 to 1983 the number of FFAP participants averaged only 88 thousand.

Source:  Recipient data by age from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2006 and earlier reports (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm), and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank. Population denominators for the percents in each category are from U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • Figure IND 3b shows the percentage of the population who received food stamps by age category from 1975 to 2006.
  • The food stamp recipiency rate increased to 8.9 percent in 2006 from a low of 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001, the lowest rate since the Food Stamp Program became available nationwide. While the 2006 recipiency rate is higher than the 2005 rate, it is still lower than the peak rate of 10.4 percent experienced in 1993 and 1994.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, food stamp recipiency rates have been higher over time for children than for adults.  Between 1980 and 2006, the percentage of all children who received food stamps was at least double the percentage for all adults ages 18 to 59.
  • Table IND 3b shows the number and percentage of the population receiving food stamps by age from 1975 to 2006.  Trends in food stamp recipiency across all age groups are similar over the time period.  The trends may largely reflect changes in the rate of unemployment and programmatic changes.
  • The percentage of all persons receiving food stamps declined between 1984 and 1988 and then increased in the early 1990s reaching a peak rate in 1993 (10.4 percent). The percentage then declined through 2000 and since then has risen to 8.9 percent in 2006.

Table IND 3b.
Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps
by Age: 1975-2006

Fiscal
Year
Total Recipients Adult Recipients
Ages 60 and over
Adult Recipients
Ages 18-59
Child Recipients
Ages 0-18
Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent
Note:  See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates.  Recipient totals exclude the territories and are the fiscal year averages of monthly caseloads from administrative data.  From 1975 to 1983 the number of participants includes the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) that was largely replaced by the Food Stamp Program in 1975.  From 1975 to 1983 the number of FFAP participants averaged only 88 thousand.

Source:  Recipient data by age from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2006 and earlier reports (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm), and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank.  Individual age groups do not sum exactly to total recipients. The population denominators for the percents in each category are from U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

1975 16,320 7.6
1976 17,033 7.8 9,126 13.8
1977 15,604 7.1
1978 14,405 6.5
1979 15,942 7.1
1980 19,253 8.5 1,741 4.9 7,186 5.6 9,876 15.5
1981 20,654 9.0 1,845 5.0 7,811 6.0 9,803 15.5
1982 21,754 9.4 1,641 4.4 7,838 6.0 9,591 15.3
1983 21,668 9.3 1,654 4.4 8,960 6.7 10,910 17.4
1984 20,796 8.8 1,758 4.5 8,521 6.3 10,492 16.8
1985 19,847 8.3 1,783 4.5 8,258 6.1 9,906 15.8
1986 19,382 8.1 1,631 4.1 7,895 5.7 9,844 15.7
1987 19,072 7.9 1,589 3.9 7,684 5.5 9,771 15.5
1988 18,613 7.6 1,500 3.7 7,506 5.3 9,351 14.8
1989 18,778 7.6 1,582 3.8 7,560 5.3 9,429 14.9
1990 20,020 8.0 1,511 3.6 8,084 5.6 10,127 15.8
1991 22,599 8.9 1,593 3.8 9,190 6.3 11,952 18.3
1992 25,370 9.9 1,687 3.9 10,550 7.2 13,349 20.1
1993 26,957 10.4 1,876 4.3 11,214 7.5 14,196 21.0
1994 27,439 10.4 1,955 4.5 11,615 7.7 14,391 21.0
1995 26,579 10.0 1,920 4.4 11,105 7.3 13,860 20.0
1996 25,495 9.5 1,891 4.3 10,769 7.0 13,189 18.8
1997 22,820 8.4 1,831 4.1 9,373 6.0 11,847 16.7
1998 19,749 7.2 1,635 3.6 7,760 4.9 10,524 14.7
1999 18,146 6.5 1,696 3.7 7,079 4.4 9,332 13.0
2000 17,156 6.1 1,700 3.7 6,612 4.0 8,743 12.1
2001 17,282 6.1 1,658 3.6 6,778 4.1 8,819 12.1
2002 19,059 6.6 1,684 3.6 7,625 4.5 9,688 13.3
2003 21,222 7.3 1,786 3.7 8,503 5.0 10,605 14.5
2004 23,819 8.1 1,917 3.9 9,753 5.7 11,771 16.1
2005 25,677 8.7 2,044 4.1 10,390 6.0 12,405 16.9
2006 26,631 8.9 2,226 4.4 10,751 6.1 12,579 17.1

Figure IND 3c.
Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2006

Figure IND 3c

Note:  December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1 population estimates for the current and the following year. See Appendix A, Tables SSI 2, SSI 8 and SSI 9 for more detailed data on SSI recipiency rates.

Source:  Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2006, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy). Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • Figure IND 3c shows the percentage of the population who received income assistance from the SSI program by age category from 1975 through 2006.
  • Unlike the recipiency rates for AFDC/TANF and food stamps, overall recipiency rates for SSI show less variation over time.  After decreasing from 1975 to the early 1980s, the proportion of the population that received SSI increased from 1.7 percent in 1985 to 2.5 percent in 1996.  The percentage then declined to 2.4 percent in 2006.  The total number of recipients has increased by 72 percent over the same period, from 4.1 million in 1985 to 7.2 million people in 2006.
  • Table IND 3c shows the percentage of the population and number of persons receiving SSI by age between 1975 and 2006.
  • Elderly adults (ages 65 and older) have higher recipiency rates than any other age group.  The gap, however, has narrowed as the percentage of adults aged 65 and older receiving SSI has been cut in half, declining from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.3 percent in 2006.
  • The proportion of children receiving SSI increased gradually between 1975 and 1990, and grew more rapidly in the early and mid-1990s, reaching 1.4 percent in 1996.  The rate then fell through 2000 before rising to 1.5 percent in 2006.

Table IND 3c.
Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI
by Age: 1975-2006

Date Total Recipients Adult Recipients
Ages 65 & over
Adult Recipients
Ages 18-64
Child Recipients
Ages 0-18
Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent Number
(thousands)
Percent
Note:  December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1 population estimates for the current and the following year.  See Appendix A, Tables SSI 2, SSI 8 and SSI 9 for more detailed data on SSI recipiency rates.

Source:  Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2006, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy). Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

Dec 1975 4,314 2.0 2,508 10.9 1,699 1.3 107 0.2
Dec 1976 4,236 1.9 2,397 10.2 1,714 1.3 125 0.2
Dec 1977 4,238 1.9 2,353 9.7 1,738 1.3 147 0.2
Dec 1978 4,217 1.9 2,304 9.3 1,747 1.3 166 0.3
Dec 1979 4,150 1.8 2,246 8.8 1,727 1.3 177 0.3
Dec 1980 4,142 1.8 2,221 8.6 1,731 1.2 190 0.3
Dec 1981 4,019 1.7 2,121 8.0 1,703 1.2 195 0.3
Dec 1982 3,858 1.7 2,011 7.4 1,655 1.2 192 0.3
Dec 1983 3,901 1.7 2,003 7.3 1,700 1.2 198 0.3
Dec 1984 4,029 1.7 2,037 7.2 1,780 1.2 212 0.3
Dec 1985 4,138 1.7 2,031 7.1 1,879 1.3 227 0.4
Dec 1986 4,269 1.8 2,018 6.9 2,010 1.3 241 0.4
Dec 1987 4,385 1.8 2,015 6.7 2,119 1.4 251 0.4
Dec 1988 4,464 1.8 2,006 6.6 2,203 1.5 255 0.4
Dec 1989 4,593 1.9 2,026 6.5 2,302 1.5 265 0.4
Dec 1990 4,817 1.9 2,059 6.5 2,450 1.6 309 0.5
Dec 1991 5,118 2.0 2,080 6.5 2,642 1.7 397 0.6
Dec 1992 5,566 2.2 2,100 6.5 2,910 1.9 556 0.8
Dec 1993 5,984 2.3 2,113 6.4 3,148 2.0 723 1.1
Dec 1994 6,296 2.4 2,119 6.3 3,335 2.1 841 1.2
Dec 1995 6,514 2.5 2,115 6.3 3,482 2.2 917 1.3
Dec 1996 6,630 2.5 2,110 6.2 3,568 2.2 955 1.4
Dec 1997 6,495 2.4 2,054 6.0 3,562 2.2 880 1.3
Dec 1998 6,566 2.4 2,033 5.9 3,646 2.2 887 1.3
Dec 1999 6,557 2.4 2,019 5.8 3,691 2.2 847 1.2
Dec 2000 6,602 2.3 2,011 5.7 3,744 2.1 847 1.2
Dec 2001 6,688 2.3 1,995 5.6 3,811 2.1 882 1.2
Dec 2002 6,788 2.3 1,995 5.6 3,878 2.1 915 1.3
Dec 2003 6,902 2.4 1,990 5.5 3,953 2.2 959 1.3
Dec 2004 6,988 2.4 1,978 5.4 4,017 2.2 993 1.4
Dec 2005 7,114 2.4 1,995 5.4 4,083 2.2 1,036 1.4
Dec 2006 7,236 2.4 2,004 5.3 4,152 2.2 1,079 1.5

 

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