Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Thirteenth Report to Congress. INDICATOR 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance

03/01/2014

 

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF: 1975-2011

(In percent)

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF: 1975-2011

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 percentage of the population who received income from the AFDC program or the TANF program by age group from 1975 to 2011.
  • Table IND 3a shows the number and percentage of the population receiving AFDC/TANF by age between 1975 and 2011. In 1993, 5.4 percent of the population received income from AFDC. In 2011 the TANF recipiency rate was 1.5 percent, a sharp decline from pre-welfare reform levels.
  • AFDC/TANF recipiency rates have been higher and have had more pronounced changes over time for children than for adults.
  • Between 1993 and 2011, AFDC/TANF receipt among children decreased from 13.9 percent to 4.6 percent, a recent increase from 4.1 percent in 2008.

Table IND 3a. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF by Age: 1970-2011

Fiscal Year Total Recipients Adult Recipients Child Recipients
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 5.2
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 3,197 4.3
2010 4,531 1.5 1,138 0.5 3,393 4.6
2011 4,554 1.5 1,150 0.5 3,405 4.6

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 Food Stamps/SNAP by Age 1975-2011

(In percent)

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps/SNAP by Age 1975-2011

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 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/SNAP by age category from 1975 to 2011.
  • In 1993, 10.4 percent of all persons received SNAP benefits, which declined steadily through 2000 and since then has risen to 14.1 percent in 2011.
  • Food Stamp/SNAP recipiency for adults ages 60 and over has always been lower than the rates of receipt for children and adults ages 18 – 59.
  • The percentage of older adults receiving SNAP benefits remained close to or below 5.0 percent until 2010 and 2011 when it increased to 5.4 and 6.4 percent respectively.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp/SNAP recipiency rates have been higher over time for children than for adults. Between 1980 and 2011, the percentage of all children who received SNAP benefits was at least double that of the adult recipiency rate. Among adults ages 18- 59 years old, 11.4 percent received SNAP benefits compared to 26.9 percent of children under 18 in 2011.
  • Table IND 3b shows the number and percentage of the population receiving Food Stamps/SNAP by age group from 1975 to 2011. 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.

Table IND 3b. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SNAP benefits: 1975-2011 (part 1)

Fiscal Year Total Recipients Adult Recipients Ages 60 and over
Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
1975 16,320 7.6
1976 17,033 7.8
1977 15,604 7.1
1978 14,405 6.5
1979 15,942 7.1
1980 19,253 8.5 1,741 4.9
1981 20,655 9.0 1,845 5.0
1982 20,391 8.8 1,641 4.4
1983 21,668 9.3 1,654 4.4
1984 20,796 8.8 1,758 4.5
1985 19,847 8.3 1,783 4.5
1986 19,381 8.1 1,631 4.1
1987 19,072 7.9 1,589 3.9
1988 18,613 7.6 1,500 3.7
1989 18,777 7.6 1,582 3.8
1990 20,020 8.0 1,511 3.6
1991 22,599 8.9 1,593 3.8
1992 25,371 9.9 1,687 3.9
1993 26,957 10.4 1,876 4.3
1994 27,439 10.4 1,955 4.5
1995 26,579 10.0 1,920 4.4
1996 25,495 9.5 1,891 4.3
1997 22,820 8.4 1,831 4.1
1998 19,748 7.2 1,635 3.6
1999 18,114 6.5 1,696 3.7
2000 17,054 6.0 1,700 3.7
2001 17,262 6.1 1,658 3.6
2002 19,003 6.6 1,684 3.6
2003 20,898 7.2 1,786 3.7
2004 23,447 8.0 1,917 3.9
2005 24,841 8.4 2,044 4.1
2006 25,555 8.6 2,226 4.4
2007 25,887 8.6 2,263  4.3 
2008 27,751 9.1 2,517 4.7
2009 32,842 10.7 2,724 4.9
2010 39,703 12.8 3,117 5.4 
2011 44,086  14.1 3,765 6.4

Table IND 3b. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SNAP benefits: 1975-2011 (part 2)

Fiscal Year Adult Recipients Ages 18-59 Child Recipients Ages 0-18
Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
1975
1976 9,126 13.8
1977
1978
1979
1980 7,186 5.6 9,876 15.5
1981 7,811 6.0 9,803 15.5
1982 7,838 6.0 9,591 15.3
1983 8,960 6.7 10,910 17.4
1984 8,521 6.3 10,492 16.8
1985 8,258 6.1 9,801 15.8
1986 7,895 5.7 9,844 15.7
1987 7,684 5.5 9,771 15.5
1988 7,506 5.3 9,351 14.8
1989 7,560 5.3 9,429 14.9
1990 8,084 5.6 10,127 15.8
1991 9,190 6.3 11,952 18.3
1992 10,550 7.2 13,349 20.1
1993 11,214 7.5 14,196 21.0
1994 11,615 7.7 14,391 21.0
1995 11,105 7.3 13,860 20.0
1996 10,769 7.0 13,189 18.8
1997 9,373 6.0 11,847 16.7
1998 7,760 4.9 10,520 14.7
1999 7,079 4.4 9,332 13.0
2000 6,612 4.0 8,743 12.1
2001 6,778 4.1 8,820 12.1
2002 7,625 4.5 9,688 13.3
2003 8,503 5.0 10,605 14.5
2004 9,753 5.7 11,771 16.0
2005 10,390 6.0 12,404 16.8
2006 12,758 7.3 12,579 17.0
2007 13,030 7.5 12,695 17.1
2008 14,145 8.0 13,472 18.1
2009 16,181 9.1 15,589 21.0
2010 18,102 10.2 18,484 24.9
2011 20,430 11.4 19,892 26.9

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 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: 1975-2011

(In percent)

Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2011

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, 2011, (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 from 1975 through 2011.
  • Unlike the recipiency rates for AFDC/TANF and Food Stamps/SNAP, overall recipiency rates for SSI 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 stayed consistent since then increasing to 2.6 percent in 2011.
  • Overall the SSI recipiency rate has increased from 2.0 percent in 1975 to 2.6 in 2011, and stayed consistently between 2.3 percent and 2.6 percent between 1993 and 2011.
  • Table IND 3c shows the percentage of the population and number of persons receiving SSI by age group between 1975 and 2011.
  • 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 declined from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.0 percent in 2011.
  • 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 declined from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.0 percent in 2011.

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2011 (part 1)

Date Total Recipients Adult Recipients Ages 60 and over
Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
Dec 1975 4,314 2.0 2,508 10.9
Dec 1976 4,236 1.9 2,397 10.2
Dec 1977 4,239 1.9 2,353 9.7
Dec 1978 4,217 1.9 2,304 9.3
Dec 1979 4,150 1.8 2,246 8.8
Dec 1980 4,142 1.8 2,221 8.6
Dec 1981 4,019 1.7 2,121 8.0
Dec 1982 3,858 1.7 2,011 7.4
Dec 1983 3,901 1.7 2,003 7.3
Dec 1984 4,029 1.7 2,037 7.2
Dec 1985 4,138 1.7 2,031 7.1
Dec 1986 4,269 1.8 2,018 6.9
Dec 1987 4,385 1.8 2,015 6.8
Dec 1988 4,464 1.8 2,006 6.6
Dec 1989 4,593 1.9 2,026 6.5
Dec 1990 4,817 1.9 2,059 6.5
Dec 1991 5,118 2.0 2,080 6.5
Dec 1992 5,566 2.2 2,100 6.4
Dec 1993 5,984 2.3 2,113 6.4
Dec 1994 6,296 2.4 2,119 6.3
Dec 1995 6,514 2.4 2,115 6.2
Dec 1996 6,634 2.4 2,110 6.2
Dec 1997 6,495 2.4 2,054 6.0
Dec 1998 6,566 2.4 2,033 5.9
Dec 1999 6,557 2.3 2,019 5.8
Dec 2000 6,602 2.3 2,011 5.7
Dec 2001 6,688 2.3 1,995 5.6
Dec 2002 6,788 2.3 1,995 5.6
Dec 2003 6,902 2.4 1,990 5.5
Dec 2004 6,988 2.4 1,978 5.4
Dec 2005 7,114 2.4 1,995 5.4
Dec 2006 7,236 2.4 2,004 5.3
Dec 2007 7,360 2.4 2,017 5.3
Dec 2008 7,521 2.5 2,034 5.2
Dec 2009 7,677 2.5 2,026 5.1
Dec 2010 7,912 2.5 2,041 5.0
Dec 2011 8,113 2.6 2,059 5.0

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2011 (part 2)

Date Adult Recipients Ages 18-64 Child Recipients Ages 0-17
Number (thousands) Percent Number (thousands) Percent
Dec 1975 1,699 1.3 107 0.2
Dec 1976 1,714 1.3 125 0.2
Dec 1977 1,738 1.3 147 0.2
Dec 1978 1,747 1.3 166 0.3
Dec 1979 1,727 1.3 177 0.3
Dec 1980 1,731 1.3 190 0.3
Dec 1981 1,703 1.2 195 0.3
Dec 1982 1,655 1.2 192 0.3
Dec 1983 1,700 1.2 198 0.3
Dec 1984 1,780 1.2 212 0.3
Dec 1985 1,879 1.3 227 0.4
Dec 1986 2,010 1.4 241 0.4
Dec 1987 2,119 1.4 251 0.4
Dec 1988 2,203 1.5 255 0.4
Dec 1989 2,302 1.5 265 0.4
Dec 1990 2,450 1.6 309 0.5
Dec 1991 2,642 1.7 397 0.6
Dec 1992 2,910 1.8 556 0.8
Dec 1993 3,148 2.0 723 1.1
Dec 1994 3,335 2.1 841 1.2
Dec 1995 3,482 2.1 917 1.3
Dec 1996 3,568 2.2 955 1.4
Dec 1997 3,562 2.1 880 1.2
Dec 1998 3,646 2.1 887 1.2
Dec 1999 3,691 2.1 847 1.2
Dec 2000 3,744 2.1 847 1.2
Dec 2001 3,811 2.1 882 1.2
Dec 2002 3,878 2.2 915 1.3
Dec 2003 3,953 2.2 959 1.3
Dec 2004 4,017 2.2 993 1.4
Dec 2005 4,083 2.2 1,036 1.4 
Dec 2006 4,152 2.2 1,079 1.5
Dec 2007 4,222 2.2 1,121 1.5
Dec 2008 4,333 2.3 1,154 1.6
Dec 2009 4,451 2.3 1,200 1.6
Dec 2010 4,632 2.4 1,239 1.7
Dec 2011 4,777 2.4 1,277 1.7

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, 2011, (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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