Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2009-2013. Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

04/01/2013

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Persons Entering Poverty during the 2004 SIPP Panel by Length of Spell

Note: Spell length categories are mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2004 panel (2004 – 2007).

  • Figure ECON 5 shows the percentage of poverty spells that are of various lengths for persons who became poor during the 2004 - 2007 period. Nearly half (47.8 percent) of poverty spells that began between 2004 and 2007 ended within 4 months. Almost three-quarters (74.5 percent) of poverty spells during this period ended within one year while 13.4 percent of spells lasted more than 20 months.
  • Table ECON 5a shows the percentage of poverty spells for persons entering poverty during the 2004 - 2007 period by length of spell and demographic characteristics.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, a larger percentage of Non-Hispanic Whites had short spells of poverty (50.0 percent) than Non-Hispanic Blacks (46.5 percent) or Hispanics of any race (42.8 percent). For poverty spells greater than 20 months, a larger percentage of Non-Hispanic Blacks had long poverty spells (18.3 percent) compared to Non-Hispanic Whites (10.5 percent) and Hispanics of any race (17.5 percent).
  • When examining long spells of poverty, greater than 20 months, by age group, children 11-15 years of age had the highest rate (16.6 percent) and men 16-64 years of age had the lowest rate (10.6 percent).

Table ECON 5a. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Persons Entering Poverty during the 2004 SIPP Panel by Length of Spell and Selected Characteristics

 
Spells<=4 Months
Spells 5-12 Months
Spells 13-20 Months
Spells >20 Months
All Persons 47.8 26.7 12.2 13.4
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 50.0 32.1 7.3 10.5
Non-Hispanic Black 46.5 20.6 14.5 18.3
Hispanic 42.8 17.6 22.1 17.5
Age Categories
Children ages 0-5 years 45.8 21.9 16.1 16.2
Children ages 6-10 years 45.1 21.0 19.2 14.7
Children ages 11-15 years 46.9 23.6 13.0 16.6
Women ages 16-64 years 47.5 25.6 12.8 14.1
Men ages 16-64 years 50.9 34.0 4.6 10.6
Adults ages 65 years and over 42.5 17.8 27.1 12.6

Note: Spell length categories are mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells.

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, 2004 panel (2004 – 2007).

Table ECON 5b. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Persons Entering Poverty during Selected SIPP Panels by Length of Spell

 
Spells<=4 Months
Spells 5-12 Months
Spells 13-20 Months
Spells>20 Months
1993 – 1995 47.3 28.1 8.9 15.7
1996 – 1999 51.3 29.0 8.3 11.4
2001 – 2003 49.2 27.7 7.7 15.5
2004 – 2007 47.8 26.7 12.2 13.4
 
Note: Spell length categories are mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells.
 
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 , 2001, and 2004 panels.

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