Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: Thirteenth Report to Congress. INDICATOR 9. Long Term Receipt

03/01/2014

Figure IND 9. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients by Years of Receipt in the 1999 – 2008 Period

Figure IND 9. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients by Years of Receipt in the 1999 – 2008 Period

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Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1999-2008.


  • Figure IND 9 shows the percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients by years of receipt between 1999 and 2008. Among all persons receiving AFDC/TANF at some point within the ten-year period, 71.5 percent received assistance in only one or two of these years. In contrast, 1.1 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 1969 – 1978 time period, 12.8 percent of AFDC recipients received benefits in at least 9 of the 10 years as compared to 1.1 percent of TANF recipients for the 1999 - 2008 time period.
  • Among child recipients, for the 1969 – 1978 time period, 17.3 percent of children birth to age 5 lived in families that received AFDC/TANF in 9 – 10 years as compared to 2.4 percent for the 1999 - 2008 time period.
  • Short spells of TANF receipt were more prevalent in the 1999 - 2008 period compared to earlier periods. Between 1999 - 2008, 71.5 percent of TANF recipients received benefits in only one or two years compared to 47.9 percent in the 1989 to 1998 period, 44.6 percent in the 1979 – 1988 period, and 43.6 percent in the 1969 – 1978 period.
  • Among racial groups, the percentage of Non-Hispanic Black recipients receiving TANF benefits for 9 – 10 years has decreased from a high of 18.4 percent in the 1979 – 1988 period to a low of 2.9 percent in the 1999 – 2008 period. For the 1999 – 2008 period, the data show that there were no Non-Hispanic White recipients receiving TANF for 9 – 10 years as compared to 10.2 percent in the 1969-1978 period.

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

  All Recipients Child Recipients Ages 0-5
1969-1978 1979-1988 1989-1998 1999-2008 1969-1978 1979-1988 1989-1998 1999-2008
All Persons
Years received AFDC/TANF
1-2 years 43.6 44.6 47.9 71.5 33.3 36.8 40.4 73.0
3-5 years 23.1 25.0 31.5 20.5 28.3 25.0 27.1 18.4
6-8 years 20.5 17.3 12.4 6.9 21.1 18.4 17.3 6.2
9-10 years 12.8 13.1 8.2 1.1 17.3 19.8 15.2 2.4
Non-Hispanic Whites
Years received AFDC/TANF
1-2 years 51.0 54.0 51.3 76.4 41.4 47.4 50.9 78.2
3-5 years 21.1 21.2 36.8 18.0 29.1 23.3 31.3 15.2
6-8 years 17.7 15.1 7.4 5.6 16.8 15.5 8.7 5.2
9-10 years 10.2 9.7 4.5 0.0 12.7 13.8 9.1 1.4
Non-Hispanic Blacks
Years received AFDC/TANF
1-2 years 30.2 31.2 44.1 62.6 19.4 20.8 33.0 60.0
3-5 years 26.1 29.1 25.4 25.5 28.8 27.7 23.3 25.1
6-8 years 26.2 21.3 18.0 9.0 28.3 28.3 24.4 9.1
9-10 years 17.5 18.4 12.5 2.9 23.5 28.5 19.3 5.8

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 and public release data files for the 1969-2008,

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