Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008. INDICATOR 9. Long Term Receipt

12/20/2008

Figure IND 9.
Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients
by Years of Receipt during the 1995 – 2004 Period

Figure IND 9

Note:  The base for the percentages consists of mothers who received at least $1 of AFDC/TANF in any year in the ten-year period. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the 10-year period. This indicator measures years of recipiency over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of recipiency that may have occurred before or after each ten-year period.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1996-2005.


  • Figure IND 9 shows the percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients by years of receipt between 1995 and 2004.  Among all persons receiving AFDC/TANF at some point within the ten-year period, 65.3 percent received assistance in only one or two of these years. In contrast, 2.6 percent received assistance in 9 or 10 of the years.
  • Table IND 9 shows the percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients with varying years of receipt across three ten-year time periods by demographic characteristics.  Long spells of welfare receipt were more common in earlier time periods than they were in later time periods. For example, for the 1975 - 1984 time period, 14.6 percent of AFDC recipients received benefits in at least 9 of the 10 years as compared to 2.6 percent of AFDC/TANF recipients for the 1995 – 2004 time period.
  • Short spells of TANF were more prevalent in the 1995 to 2004 period compared to earlier periods.  Between 1995 and 2004, 65.3 percent of TANF recipients received benefits in only one or two years compared to 44.5 percent in the 1985 to 1994 period and 46.2 percent in the 1975 to 1984 period.
  • Among child recipients, for the 1975 – 1984 time period, 36.3 percent of children birth to age 5 lived in families that received AFDC/TANF in only 1 or 2 of the years as compared to 66.3 percent for the 1995 – 2004 time period.
  • Among racial groups, the percentage of Non-Hispanic Black recipients receiving TANF benefits in only one or two years during a ten-year period increased by 25.6 percentage points between the 1975 to 1984 period and the 1995 to 2004 period.  In comparison, this same percentage for Non-Hispanic White recipients increased by 15.8 percentage points across the same two time periods.

Table IND 9.
Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients across Three Ten-Year Time Periods
by Years of Receipt and Selected Characteristics

Years received AFDC/TANF

All Recipients Child Recipients Ages 0-5
1975-1984 1985-1994 1995-2004 1975-1984 1985-1994 1995-2004
Note:  The base for the percentages consists of mothers who received at least $1 of AFDC/TANF in any year in the ten-year period. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the 10-year period. This indicator measures years of recipiency over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of recipiency that may have occurred before or after each ten-year period.

Due to small sample size, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the estimates for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1976-2005, and unreleased data from 2003-2005

All Persons
1-2 years 46.2 44.5 65.3 36.3 32.1 66.3
3-5 years 24.4 27.1 24.7 24.5 28.1 19.5
6-8 years 14.8 17.9 7.4 16.5 21.0 12.6
9-10 years 14.6 10.5 2.6 22.6 18.9 1.7
Non-Hispanic Whites
1-2 years 55.1 50.1 70.9 44.7 41.9 67.7
3-5 years 20.8 27.7 22.5 19.1 28.1 17.0
6-8 years 12.4 17.7 6.6 13.9 22.7 14.6
9-10 years 11.8 4.6 0.0 22.4 7.3 0.6
Non-Hispanic Blacks
1-2 years 32.6 38.0 58.2 24.1 21.6 63.2
3-5 years 29.5 25.9 27.6 32.4 28.1 24.8
6-8 years 18.9 18.5 8.4 20.5 19.2 8.1
9-10 years 19.0 17.6 5.9 23.0 31.1 3.9

 

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