Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2009-2013. INDICATOR 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance

04/01/2013

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF: 1970-2009

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 also are 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 (Separate State Program) 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 average monthly percentage of the population who received income from the AFDC/TANF program overall and by age group from 1970 to 2009.Figure IND 3a shows the average monthly percentage of the population who received income from the AFDC/TANF program overall and by age group from 1970 to 2009.
  • Table IND 3a shows the average monthly number and percentage of the population receiving AFDC/TANF, by age, between 1970 and 2009. In 1993, 5.4 percent of the population received income from AFDC. In 2008 the average monthly TANF recipiency rate was 1.3 percent.
  • Average monthly AFDC/TANF recipiency rates have been higher and have had more pronounced changes over time for children than recipiency rates for adults.
  • Between 1993 and 2008, the average monthly AFDC/TANF recipiency rate among children decreased from 13.9 percent to 4.1 percent. However for 2009, the downward trend ceased and the rate increased to 4.3 percent.
  • Average monthly AFDC/TANF recipiency rates dropped below 1970 levels in the late 1990s for both adults and children and have stayed well below those levels in the 2000s. However the rates for both adults and children increased slightly in 2009.

Table IND 3a. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF by Age: 1970-2009

  Total Recipients Adult Recipients Child Recipients
Fiscal Year Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
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 3,102 2.1 7,753 11.5
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 3,068 1.9 7,071 11.0
1980 10,422 4.6 3,225 2.0 7,197 11.3
1981 10,979 4.8 3,491 2.1 7,488 11.8
1982 10,233 4.4 3,396 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 3,625 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 4,335 2.3 9,087 13.7
1993 13,943 5.4 4,520 2.3 9,424 13.9
1994 14,033 5.3 4,554 2.3 9,479 13.8
1995 13,480 5.1 4,323 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 1,477 0.7 4,099 5.6
2003 5,452 1.9 1,415 0.7 4,037 5.5
2004 5,316 1.8 1,358 0.6 3,957 5.4
2005 5,064 1.7 1,276 0.6 3,788 5.1
2006 4,699 1.6 1,164 0.5 3,535 4.8
2007 4,099 1.4 962 0.4 3,138 4.2
2008 3,949 1.3 927 0.4 3,022 4.1
2009 4,217 1.4 1,021 0.4 3,196 4.3

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 also are 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 (Separate State Program) 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 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SNAP by Age: 1975-2009

Note: See Appendix A, Tables SNAP 1 and SNAP 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 2009, No. SNAP-09-CHAR and earlier reports (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Published/SNAP/FILES/Participation/200...), and unpublished data from the 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 average monthly percentage of the population who received FSP/SNAP by age category from 1975 to 2009.
  • The average monthly FSP/SNAP recipiency rate for all persons increased to 10.7 percent in 2009 from a low of 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001. The 2009 recipiency rate surpassed the peak rate of 10.4 percent experienced in 1993 and 1994. The 2009 FSP/SNAP recipiency rate is the highest in the history of food assistance programs in the U.S.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, average monthly FSP/SNAP recipiency rates have been higher over time for children than for adults. Between 1980 and 2009, the percentage of all children who received SNAP benefits was more than double that of the adult recipiency rate. Among adults ages 18- 59 years old, 9.1 percent received SNAP benefits compared to 20.9 percent of children 0 – 18 years of age in 2009.
  • Table IND 3b shows the average monthly number and percentage of the population receiving Food Stamps/SNAP by age group from 1975 to 2009. While the levels are different, the trend in Food Stamp/SNAP recipiency for children and adults 18 – 59 years of age are similar over the time period. The trends may largely reflect changes in the rate of unemployment and programmatic changes.
  • The average monthly percentage of all persons receiving SNAP benefits declined between 1983 and 1988 and then increased in the early 1990s reaching a peak rate in 1993 and 1994 (10.4 percent). The percentage then declined through 2000 and since then has risen to 10.7 percent in 2009 surpassing the 1993/1994 peak rate.

Table IND 3b. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SNAP benefits: 1975-2009

  Total Recipients Adult Recipients Ages 60 and over Adult Recipients Ages 18-59 Child Recipients Ages 0-18
Fiscal Year Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
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 20,655 9.0 1,845 5.0 7,811 6.0 9,803 15.5
1982 20,391 8.8 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 9,801 15.8
1986 19,381 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 25,371 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 19,748 7.2 1,635 3.6 7,760 4.9 10,524 14.7
1999 18,114 6.5 1,696 3.7 7,079 4.4 9,332 13.0
2000 17,054 6.0 1,700 3.7 6,612 4.0 8,743 12.1
2001 17,262 6.1 1,658 3.6 6,778 4.1 8,819 12.1
2002 19,003 6.6 1,684 3.6 7,625 4.5 9,688 13.3
2003 20,898 7.2 1,786 3.7 8,503 5.0 10,605 14.5
2004 23,447 8.0 1,917 3.9 9,753 5.7 11,771 16.1
2005 24,841 8.4 2,044 4.1 10,390 6.0 12,405 16.9
2006 25,555 8.6 2,226 4.4 12,758 7.3 12,579 17.1
2007 25,887 8.6 2,263 4.3 13,030 7.4 1 ,695 17.2
2008 27,751 9.1 2,517 4.7 14,145 8.0 13,472 18.2
2009 32,842 10.7 2,724 4.9 16,181 9.1 15,589 21.0

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 2009, No. SNAP-09-CHAR and earlier reports (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/published/SNAP/FILES/Participation/200...), and unpublished data from the Food Stamp National Data Bank. Individual age groups do not sum exactly to total recipients. The population denominators for the percentage in each category are from U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2009

Note: 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, 2009, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy). Population denominators for the percentage 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 in the month of December from 1975 through 2009.
  • Unlike the average monthly recipiency rates for AFDC/TANF and FSP/SNAP, the December monthly SSI recipiency rates show less variation over time. After decreasing from 1975 to the early 1980s, the proportion of the total population that received SSI increased from 1.7 percent in 1985 to 2.4 percent in 1994. The rate has remained roughly constant since then, increasing to 2.5 percent in 2008 and 2009. The total number of recipients has increased more than 80 percent since the mid-1980s, from 4.1 million in 1985 to roughly 7.7 million people in 2009.
  • Table IND 3c shows the December percentage of the population and number of persons receiving SSI by age group between 1975 and 2009.
  • Elderly adults (ages 65 and older) have higher monthly recipiency rates than any other age group. The gap, however, has narrowed as the percentage of adults aged 65 and older receiving SSI has declined from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.1 percent in 2009.
  • 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 December rate then fell through 2000 before rising to 1.6 percent in 2008 where it has remained.

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2009

  Total Recipients Adult Recipients Ages 65 & over Adult Recipients Ages 18-64 Child Recipients Ages 0-17
Date
Number
(thousands)
Percent
Number
(thousands)
Percent
Number
(thousands)
Percent
Number
(thousands)
Percent
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 4,239 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 1.3 190 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 1.4 241 0.4
Dec 1987 4,385 1.8 2,015 6.8 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 6.4 2,910 1.8 556 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 2.4 2,115 6.2 3,482 2.1 917 1.3
Dec 1996 6,634 2.4 2,110 6.2 3,568 2.2 955 1.4
Dec 1997 6,495 2.4 2,054 6.0 3,562 2.1 880 1.2
Dec 1998 6,566 2.4 2,033 5.9 3,646 2.1 887 1.2
Dec 1999 6,557 2.3 2,019 5.8 3,691 2.1 847 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 2.4 1,995 5.6 3,878 2.2 915 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
Dec 2007 7,360 2.4 2,017 5.3 4,222 2.2 1,121 1.5
Dec 2008 7,521 2.5 2,034 5.2 4,333 2.3 1,154 1.6
Dec 2009 7,677 2.5 2,026 5.1 4,451 2.3 1,200 1.6

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, 2009, (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).

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