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Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 1998

Publication Date
Sep 30, 1998

Annual Report to Congress

October 1998

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Executive Summary

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence.  This Annual Report on Welfare Indicators, October 1998 is the second of these annual reports.

Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration.  Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs.  The amount of time over which a family depends on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependency.  Although recognizing the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring dependence, the bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed the following definition:

A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities.  Welfare dependence is the proportion of all families who are dependent on welfare.

The proposed definition, unfortunately, cannot be measured precisely at this time with currently available data.  Most importantly, current data do not distinguish between cash benefits where work is required and cash benefits that are paid without work.  Thus it was not possible to construct one single indicator of dependence.  Instead this report includes a number of indicators addressing welfare recipiency, dependence, and labor force attachment.  Selected findings discussed in more detail include the following:

  • In 1994, the most recent year for which SIPP data are available, 5.6 percent of the total population were dependent in the sense of receiving more than half of total income from AFDC, Food Stamps, and SSI (see Indicator 1).  This is approximately the same rate as the previous two years.  This dependency rate would be lower if adjusted to exclude welfare assistance associated with working.
  • Long-term dependency is relatively rare.  Only 4 percent of those who were recipients in 1982, or less than 1 percent of the total population, received more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and Food Stamps in 9 or 10 years over the next decade.  Half of the 1982 recipients never received more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and Food Stamps over the 1982-1991 time period (see Indicator 1, Figure IND 1b).
  • In 1994, 46 percent of AFDC recipients, 38 percent of SSI recipients and 57 percent of Food Stamp recipients were in families with at least one person in the labor force (see Indicator 4).
  • Individuals who receive AFDC or Food Stamps as children are more likely to receive benefits as adults (see Indicator 12).

Since the causes of welfare receipt and dependence are not clearly known, the report also includes a larger set of risk factors associated with welfare receipt.  Indicators of deprivation are included as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation.  The risk factors are loosely organized into three categories:  economic security measures, measures related to employment and barriers to employment, and measures of teen behavior, including nonmarital childbearing.  Additional data on welfare programs, poverty, and non-marital births are included in three appendices.

Chapter I. Introduction

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-432) directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop indicators of the extent to which American families depend upon income from welfare programs and to publish annual reports on welfare dependency. These reports are to address questions concerning the extent to which American families depend on income from welfare programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the Supplemental Security Income Program (SSI) and the Food Stamp Program (FSP). (Data shown for 1997 and later years will include the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in place of AFDC.) Specific issues that HHS is directed to address are the rate of welfare dependency, the degree and duration of welfare recipiency and dependence, and predictors of welfare dependence.

An Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators was established under the Act to assist the Secretary in defining welfare dependence and in choosing appropriate data for inclusion in the first annual report. The Board consisted of a bipartisan group of experts appointed by the Senate, the House of Representatives and the President. Before its termination in October 1997, the Board developed a statistical definition of welfare dependence and oversaw the production of the first of these Annual Reports. This second annual report gives updated data on the measures of welfare recipiency, dependency, and predictors of welfare dependence developed for last year's report.

Organization of Report

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the specific summary measures of welfare dependence proposed by the Advisory Board. It also discusses summary measures of poverty, following the Board’s recommendation that dependence measures not be assessed in isolation from measures of deprivation. Analysis of both measures is important because changes in dependence measures could result either from increases in work activity and other factors that would raise family incomes, or from sanctions in welfare programs that would reduce welfare program participation but might not improve the material circumstances of these families. The introduction concludes with a brief discussion of data sources used for the report.

Chapter II of the report, Indicators of Dependence, presents a broader group of indicators of welfare recipiency and dependence. These indicators include measures of the extent of recipiency for each of the three programs considered separately, as well as information on income from all three programs in combination. Interactions of AFDC, SSI and FSP benefits with periods of employment and with benefits from other programs are also shown. The second chapter also includes data on movements onto and off of welfare programs, and on the extent to which welfare recipiency in adolescence is correlated with later adult recipiency.

Chapter III, Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt, focuses on predictors of welfare dependence -- risk factors believed to be associated with welfare receipt in some way. These predictors are shown in three different groups

  1. Economic security – including measures of poverty, receipt of child support, health care coverage, and so forth -- is important in predicting dependence in the sense that families with fewer economic resources are more likely to rely on welfare programs for their support.
  2. Measures of work status of adult family members also are important, because families must generally receive an adequate income from employment in order to avoid dependence without severe deprivation.
  3. Finally, teen behaviors are very important since a high proportion of long-term welfare recipients became parents as teens, often outside of marriage. Starting a family in these circumstances may lead to dependence because teens generally lack adequate skills, preparation and resources to support a child.

Additional data are presented in three appendices. Appendix A gives basic data on each of the three main welfare programs and their recipients over the past several years. These three programs are the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the Food Stamp Program, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) (Pub. L. 104-193), enacted in 1996, ended the AFDC program and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program, which is run directly by the states. This year=s annual report includes data on the first year of the new program whenever those data have been available. The available data on TANF in 1997 are shown in Appendix A.

Appendix B provides additional detail on potential risk factors that could not be included in Chapter III because of space considerations. These risk factors are primarily measures of poverty and economic security. Finally, additional data on nonmarital childbearing are included in Appendix C.

Measuring Welfare Dependence

Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration. Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs. The amount of time over which a family depends on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependency. Nevertheless, a summary measure of dependence to be used as an indicator for policy purposes must have some fixed parameters that allow one to determine which families should be counted as dependent, just as the poverty line defines who is poor under the official standard. The definition of dependence developed by the Advisory Board for this purpose is as follows:

A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities. Welfare dependence is the proportion of all families who are dependent on welfare.

This measure is not without its limitations. The Advisory Board recognized that no single measure could fully capture all aspects of dependence and that the proposed measure should be examined in concert with other key indicators of dependence and deprivation. In addition, while the proposed definition would count unsubsidized and subsidized employment and work required to obtain benefits as work activities, currently available data do not permit distinguishing between welfare income associated with work activities and non-work-related welfare benefits. As a result, the data shown in this report overstate the incidence of dependence (as defined above) because welfare income associated with work required to obtain benefits is classified as welfare and not as income from work. This proposed definition capture also represents an essentially arbitrary choice of a percentage (50 percent) of income from welfare beyond which families will be considered dependent. However, it is relatively easy to measure and to track over time, and is likely to be associated with any very large changes in total dependence, however defined. For example, as the recent changes in welfare law move more recipients into employment or workrelated activities, dependence under this definition is expected to decline.

In 1994, the most recent year for which complete population data are available on monthly income and benefit recipiency, 18.0 percent of the population received means-tested assistance, and close to one-third of this group, or 5.6 percent of the total population, would be considered dependent under the above definition, as shown in Table SUM1. Recipiency and dependency rates are higher in both 1993 and 1994 than they were in 1987 and 1990. Recipiency rates, for example, rose from rates of about 14 to 15 percent in 1987 and 1990, to rates of 17 to 18 percent in 1993 and 1994. This rise in consistent with administrative data showing higher than average AFDC and Food Stamp caseloads in 1993 and 1994. What is not apparent from administrative records, but is shown in these national survey data, is that dependency rates also were higher in 1993 and 1994, in the range of 5 to 6 percent, as opposed to the rates of between 4 and 5 percent, seen in 1987 and 1990.

Table SUM 1. Percentage of the Total Population with More than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs

 1987199019931994
 Any Receipt of AssistanceMore than 50% of IncomeAny Receipt of AssistanceMore than 50% of IncomeAny Receipt of AssistanceMore than 50% of IncomeAny Receipt of AssistanceMore than 50% of Income

Note: Means-tested assistance includes AFDC, SSI and Food Stamps. While only affecting a small number of cases, General Assistance income is included within AFDC income. The 1993 data have been revised based on the 1993 SIPP panel; the 1993 data in earlier reports were drawn from an earlier SIPP panel.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1987, 1990, and 1993 panels.

All Persons14.94.714.14.217.05.9185.6
Racial Categories        
    Non-Hispanic White9.32.28.92.110.92.811.12.6
    Non-Hispanic Black40.915.736.614.641.816.743.216.8
    Hispanic28.310.929.58.333.914.237.112.9
Age Categories        
    Children Age 0 - 524.510.024.010.329.013.332.412.5
    Children Age 6 - 1023.210.120.28.524.012.328.612.0
    Children Age 11 - 1519.88.018.86.422.610.524.99.3
    Women Age 16 - 6414.44.614.14.617.35.817.55.5
    Men Age 16 - 6410.12.09.51.512.02.712.32.5
    Adults Age 65 & over13.62.612.11.912.22.012.32.2

In Table SUM 2, the dependence indicator is calculated in more detail for specific combinations of programs. The first column shows dependency when counting income from all three programs as welfare (as was done in Table SUM 1), while the second and third columns show dependency when counting AFDC and Food Stamp benefits only, or counting SSI only. In general, about three-fourths of families who are dependent based on income from all three programs also are dependent under a definition that considers AFDC and Food Stamps alone. As might be expected, the one exception involves adults aged 65 and over. Whereas two percent of elderly recipients are dependent under the definition that includes AFDC, Food Stamps and SSI, less than one-half percent are dependent when SSI is excluded. Table SUM 2 also shows that non-whites and the very young are more likely to be dependent than other racial and age categories, and they are primarily dependent on AFDC and Food Stamps. Even in these populations, however, the vast majority of families do not meet the criteria for dependence.

Table SUM 2. Percentage of the Total Population with More than 50 Percent of Income from Various Means-Tested Assistance Programs, 1994

 AFDC, SSI and Food StampsAFDC and Food StampsSSI only
All Persons5.64.10.9
Racial Categories   
    Non-Hispanic White2.61.80.5
    Non-Hispanic Black16.811.92.9
    Hispanic12.910.30.9
Age Categories   
    Children Age 0 - 512.510.60.5
    Children Age 6 - 1012.09.30.9
    Children Age 11 - 159.36.60.7
    Women Age 16 - 645.53.81.1
    Men Age 16 - 642.51.20.8
    Adults Age 65 and over2.20.31.4

A third measure of dependence, shown in Table SUM 3, indicates the proportion of the welfare population that meets the dependence definition over an extended period of time, as well as the proportion receiving any welfare benefits over time. During each of the two time periods presented, about half of all recipients did not receive more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and Food Stamp benefits in any of the ten years examined. About one-quarter (23 percent in the 1982-1991 time period) were dependent for one to two years, with lower proportions dependent for longer periods of time. Only 4 percent of those who were received welfare in 1982, for example, were dependent for 9 to 10 years. This is a smaller percentage than the proportion of recipients that received welfare of any amount for 9 to 10 years (11 percent). There is a small tendency for the proportion of spells of welfare dependence that are longer to grow over this period, but the change is not large enough to be statistically significant. Child recipients have longer spells of welfare receipt and welfare dependence than do recipients in general, as shown in the bottom half of the table.

Table SUM 3. AFDC Receipt and Percentage of Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps by Number of Years

 All Recipients 1972 – 1981All Recipients 1982 – 1991
YearsAny AFDCReceiptAFDC & Food Stamps >50% of IncomeAny AFDC ReceiptAFDC & Food Stamps >50% of Income
0 Years--55--50
1 - 2 Years49224723
3 - 5 Years28142815
6 - 8 Years135159
9 - 10 Years114114
 100%100%100%100%
 Children 0 - 5 in 1972: 1972 - 1981Children 0 - 5 in 1982: 1982 - 1991
YearsAny AFDC ReceiptAFDC & Food Stamps >50% of IncomeAny AFDC ReceiptAFDC & Food Stamps >50% of Income

Note: Recipients include all individuals receiving at least $1 in AFDC or Food Stamp benefits in the first year of the ten-year time period (1972 or 1982). “AFDC Receipt” is defined as whether the person received AFDC at any time during the year. “AFDC & Food Stamps, >50% of Income” is defined as whether the person’s AFDC and Food Stamps benefit was more than 50% of their yearly income. “0 Years” means that while the person received means-tested assistance, their benefits were 50% of their income for zero years during the time period. For example, a person listed as receiving AFDC for 6 - 8 years (“Any AFDC Receipt”) may never have received benefits greater than 50% of their income (0 years, AFDC and Food Stamps >50% of Income).

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1972 - 1991.

0 Years--39--34
1 - 2 Years37253428
3 - 5 Years29212916
6 - 8 Years1561713
9 - 10 Years199208
 100%100%100%100%

Figure SUM 4. Trends in Poverty with and without Means-Tested Benefits: All Persons, 1979-1996

Percent of Total Population in Poverty

 

Figure SUM 4. Trends in Poverty with and without Means-Tested Benefits: All Persons, 1979-1996

Source: Table SUM 4.


Measuring Deprivation

Changes in dependence may or may not be associated with changes in the level of deprivation, depending on the alternative sources of support found by families who might otherwise be dependent on welfare. To assess the social impacts of any change in dependence, changes in the level of poverty or deprivation also must be considered. One way of measuring deprivation is to look at changes in the level of need over time. Elsewhere in this document, for example, measures of food insecurity and of the poverty gap – the amount of income that would be needed to bring all of those below poverty to the poverty line – are presented. (See Table ECON 9 in Chapter III for measures of food insecurity and Tables B-1 and B-2 in Appendix B for poverty gap measures.)

The deprivation measure presented in this chapter, however, focuses directly on changes in the anti-poverty effectiveness of welfare and related programs. Table SUM 4 (and its associated figure) shows how much welfare programs have reduced poverty rates for all persons since 1979.

Similar data are shown for persons in families with related children under age 18 in Figure SUM 5 and Table SUM 5.

Table SUM 4. Percentage of Persons in Poverty before and after the Inclusion of Means-Tested Benefits: All Persons, Selected Years 1979 – 1996

 197919811983198619891991199319951996

Note: The first measure of poverty, labeled cash income plus all social insurance, includes social security but not means-tested cash transfers. Adding means-tested cash transfers yields the official census definition of poverty, the second line in the table. Food and housing benefits may be received either as cash or (more generally) as in-kind benefits in which case the market value of food and housing benefits is added. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, which is always positive whereas Federal payroll and income taxes are a negative adjustment. The fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid is not included.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.

Cash Income plus All Social Insurance12.814.916.014.513.715.216.314.914.8
    Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance11.613.915.213.612.814.215.113.813.7
    Plus Food and Housing Benefits9.712.213.712.211.212.413.412.012.1
    Plus EITC and Federal Taxes10.013.214.713.111.712.613.311.511.5
Reduction in Poverty Rate2.81.71.31.42.02.63.03.43.3

As can be seen by the figures and tables, many more families would be poor if they did not receive welfare benefits. Counting only cash income and social insurance (excluding welfare), the poverty rate for all individuals would be 14.8 percent in 1996, as shown in the top line in Figure SUM 4 and Table SUM 4. The official poverty rate, which adds means-tested cash assistance, was about one percentage point lower, as shown in the second line in the table and figure. The rate is further reduced when counting food and housing benefits (see third line in figure and table) and when counting taxes, including refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) (see fourth line). This final poverty rate – taking into account all sources of support – is a more complete measure of deprivation than is the official poverty rate or other measures that exclude some types of support. Breaking it down in this fashion allows the relative contribution of different sources – including cash welfare and relatively fungible in-kind welfare benefits – to the alleviation of poverty to be observed.

Poverty rates of all types began to increase in 1990 as the economy went into a recession, reaching a peak in 1993. As economic conditions have started to improve rates have come down, both before and after means-tested assistance. The gap between poverty rates before and after public assistance has increased slightly over time, particularly in the last few years as the size of the EITC has grown. The EITC is a work-related benefit, however, and is not included as assistance in estimating dependence. The contribution of all sources of means-tested support (including cash assistance, food and housing benefits, and the EITC and taxes) to the reduction in poverty has remained roughly constant, except that during the recession of the early 1980s these programs did somewhat less to reduce total poverty. Current poverty-reduction rates for assistance programs are about the same as in 1979, although a bit more of the reduction comes in the form of non-cash benefits. In general, the net effect of means-tested support has been to reduce poverty rates by about three percentage points for all individuals (as shown in Table SUM 4) and by about five percentage points for individuals in families with related children under six (as shown in Table SUM 5).

Figure SUM 5. Trends in Poverty before and after Including Means-Tested Benefits: All Persons in Families with Related Children Under 18 Years of Age, 1979 – 1996

Percent of Population in Poverty

Figure SUM 5. Trends in Poverty before and after Including Means-Tested Benefits: All Persons in Families with Related Children Under 18 Years of Age, 1979 – 1996

Source: Table SUM 5.

 


Table SUM 5. Percentage of Persons in Poverty before and after Including Means-Tested Benefits: All Persons in Families with Related Children under 18 Years of Age, 1979-1996

 197919811983198619891991199319951996

Note: The first measure of poverty, labeled cash income plus all social insurance, includes social security but not means-tested cash transfers. Adding means-tested cash transfers yields the official census definition of poverty, the second line in the table. Food and housing benefits may be received either as cash or (more generally) as in-kind benefits in which case the market value of food and housing benefits is added. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, which is always positive whereas Federal payroll and income taxes are a negative adjustment. The fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid is not included.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.

Cash Income plus All Social Insurance14.317.419.117.416.818.820.018.117.8
    Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance12.916.318.416.515.817.718.716.816.6
    Plus Food and Housing Benefits10.213.916.514.613.615.316.414.314.4
    Plus EITC and Federal Taxes10.515.217.715.814.115.315.913.012.9
Reduction in Poverty Rate3.82.21.41.63.53.54.15.14.9

The relatively small changes in the level of overall deprivation since the late 1980s are consistent with the small changes in the dependence rate seen earlier. As larger changes in dependence occur under PRWORA, it will be both necessary and interesting to track changes in these deprivation rates as well. If this legislation succeeds in its aims, dependence should fall noticeably while deprivation measures remain largely unchanged.

Data Sources

For purposes of this report, the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) has been used the most extensively and is considered the most useful national survey. Its strengths are its longitudinal design, system of monthly accounting, and detail concerning employment, income and participation in federal income-support and related programs. These features make the SIPP particularly effective for capturing the complexities of program dynamics and many of the indicators and predictors, or risk factors, associated with welfare receipt.

The SIPP does not, however, follow families for more than three years. Therefore, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) also are used in this report. Both the PSID and NLSY collect annual income data, including transfer income, over a long time-period, providing vital data for indicators of long-term and intergenerational welfare receipt, dependence, and deprivation.

Some indicators in this report are based upon the annual Current Population Survey (CPS), which is available on a more timely basis than the SIPP. The CPS measures income and poverty over a single annual accounting period, and provides important information regarding childhood poverty.

Finally, the report also draws upon administrative data for the AFDC, Food Stamp and SSI programs.

Chapter II . Indicators of Dependence

Following the format of last year’s first annual report to Congress, this second chapter presents summary data related to twelve indicators of dependence. These indicators differ from other welfare statistics because of their emphasis on welfare dependence, rather than simple welfare receipt. As discussed in Chapter I, the Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators suggested consideration of the following proposed definition of dependence:

A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities. Welfare dependence is the proportion of all families who are dependent on welfare.

The indicators in Chapter II were selected to provide information about dependence, following, to the extent feasible, the definition of dependence proposed by the Advisory Board. Existing data from administrative records and national surveys, however, do not generally distinguish welfare benefits received in conjunction with work from benefits received without work. Thus it was not possible to construct one single indicator of dependence, that is, one indicator that measures both percentage of income from means-tested assistance and presence of work activities. Instead, this chapter includes some indicators that focus on the percentage of recipients’ income from meanstested assistance, while other indicators focus on presence of work activities at the same time as welfare receipt. Still other indicators present summary data and characteristics on all recipients, not limited to those with more than 50 percent of total income from welfare programs or those without work activities.

Overall, the twelve indicators of dependency were selected to reflect both the range and depth of dependence. The summary data provide information about:

  • the degree to which recipients are dependent on assistance (Indicator 1),
  • how long recipients receive welfare or remain dependent (Indicators 3, 5, 6),
  • welfare and dependence transitions (Indicators 2 and 11),
  • participation in the labor force while receiving assistance (Indicators 4),
  • multiple program receipt (Indicator 7),
  • events associated with entries and exits from welfare (Indicator 8),
  • recipiency and participation rates over time (Indicators 9 and 10), and
  • intergenerational dependence (Indicator 12).

Indicators in this chapter focus on recipients of three major means-tested cash and nutritional assistance programs: Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for elderly and disabled recipients, and the Food Stamp Program. Only limited administrative data are available to report on recipients of the new Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. These are shown in Indicator 9a, which reports AFDC/TANF recipiency rates through 1997. For some indicators, data are presented for the most recent year only; for other indicators, trend data are provided.

Indicator 1. Degree of Dependence

This indicator captures the degree of dependence by examining total family income and the percentage of total family income from means-tested assistance programs.

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs for the Total Population, 1994

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs for the Total Population, 1994

Source: Table IND 1a.


  • Less than 6 percent of the total population in 1994 received more than half of their total income from AFDC, Food Stamps and SSI.
  • Eighty-two percent of the total population received no means-tested assistance in 1994. Table IND 1a reveals a similar pattern for 1993 (82 percent), 1992 (83 percent), 1990 (86 percent) and 1987 (85 percent).
  • For all persons who received some assistance, most received 25 percent or less of their total family income from AFDC, Food Stamps and SSI (10 percent of the total population). Table IND 1a shows similar percentages for other years (10 percent in 1993, 9 percent in 1992, 8 percent in 1990, and 8 percent in 1987).
  • As shown in Table IND 1a, a larger percentage of non-Hispanic blacks received more than 50 percent of their income from means-tested assistance programs than Hispanics or non-Hispanic whites in all five years presented. However, even in these groups more than 80 percent were not dependent on welfare under the definition used here.

Table IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs for the Total Population, Selected Years

 0%> 0% and <= 25%> 25% and <= 50%Total > 50%> 50% and <= 75%Total > 75%

Note: Means-tested assistance includes AFDC, SSI and Food Stamps. While only affecting a small number of cases, general assistance income is included within AFDC income. Total > 50% includes all persons with more than 50 percent of their income from these means-tested programs. The 1993 data have been revised based on the 1993 SIPP panel; the 1993 data in earlier reports were drawn from an earlier SIPP panel.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1987, 1990, 1992 and 1993 panels.

1994
All Persons829.92.55.61.64
Non-Hispanic White88.97.11.42.60.91.7
Non-Hispanic Black56.8206.316.85.111.7
Hispanic62.917.96.312.93.29.7
Children Age 0 - 567.614.65.312.52.89.7
Children Age 6 - 1071.412.641239
Children Age 11 - 1575.111.83.99.32.66.7
Women Age 16 - 6482.59.72.35.51.73.8
Men Age 16 – 6487.78.41.42.50.91.6
Adults Age 65 and over87.78.222.211.1
1993
All Persons82.29.52.55.91.64.3
Non-Hispanic White88.871.42.80.82
Non-Hispanic Black58.617.76.916.7511.8
Hispanic62.917.25.714.23.211
Children Age 0 - 568.513.94.313.32.910.4
Children Age 6 - 1072.811.13.912.32.79.7
Children Age 11 - 1575.910.23.410.52.87.6
Women Age 16 - 6482.29.52.55.81.74.1
Men Age 16 – 6487.78.21.42.70.81.9
Adults Age 65 and over88.17.72.320.81.2
1992
All Persons83.19.32.74.91.43.5
Non-Hispanic White896.81.82.40.81.6
Non-Hispanic Black5918.36.915.94.111.7
Hispanic66.717.65.110.52.58
Children Age 0 - 571.112.14.612.239.3
Children Age 6 - 1076.210.73.69.52.66.9
Children Age 11 - 1576.811.93.87.52.15.4
Women Age 16 - 64839.22.851.33.7
Men Age 16 – 6488.28.21.61.90.71.3
Adults Age 65 and over87.482.5211.1
1990
All Persons85.97.924.21.23
Non-Hispanic White91.15.71.12.10.61.5
Non-Hispanic Black63.416614.65.29.3
Hispanic70.516.84.48.32.16.2
Children Age 0 - 576112.810.32.47.9
Children Age 6 - 1079.89.22.68.52.46
Children Age 11 - 1581.29.62.86.41.84.5
Women Age 16 - 6485.97.71.84.61.33.2
Men Age 16 – 6490.56.71.31.50.51
Adults Age 65 and over87.97.42.81.910.9
1987
All Persons85.18.22.14.71.33.3
Non-Hispanic White90.75.81.32.20.91.3
Non-Hispanic Black59.118.76.515.73.911.8
Hispanic71.713.63.810.92.28.7
Children Age 0 - 575.510.93.7102.77.3
Children Age 6 - 1076.810.52.610.12.87.3
Children Age 11 - 1580.29.22.681.66.4
Women Age 16 - 6485.67.91.94.61.13.5
Men Age 16 – 6489.96.81.420.81.2
Adults Age 65 and over86.48.62.52.61.41.2

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps by Number of Years

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps by Number of Years

Source: Table IND 1b.


  • For half of all recipients, AFDC and Food Stamps made up 50 percent or less of their total income in all years between 1982 and 1991. As shown in Table IND 1b, this was also true for 55 percent of all recipients between 1972 and 1981.
  • The percentage of recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from AFDC and Food Stamps for 6 to10 years during the 1982 to 1991 period is considerably smaller than the corresponding percentage who were dependent for 1 to 5 years (13 percent compared to 38 percent).
  • As shown in Table IND 1b, among child recipients, the percentage of black children who were not dependent—that is, were in families who did not receive more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and Food Stamps in any year increased across the two time periods (from 24 percent to 31 percent). In comparison, the percentage of non-black recipient children who were not dependent decreased substantially across the two time periods (from 50 percent to 37 percent).

Table IND 1b. Percentage of Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps by Number of Years

 All Recipients: 1982 - 1991
Cumulative YearsAll RecipientsBlackNon-Black
 100%100%100%
0 Years504354
1 - 2 Years232125
3 - 5 Years151714
6 - 8 Years9126
9 - 10 Years472
 Children 0 - 5 in 1982: 1982 - 1991
Cumulative YearsAll Child RecipientsBlackNon-Black
 100%100%100%
0 Years343137
1 - 2 Years281935
3 - 5 Years161815
6 - 8 Years13199
9 - 10 Years8144
 All Recipients: 1972 - 1981
Cumulative YearsAll RecipientsBlackNon-Black
 100%100%100%
0 Years554462
1 - 2 Years222222
3 - 5 Years141911
6 - 8 Years593
9 - 10 Years472
 Children 0 - 5 in 1972: 1972 - 1981
Cumulative YearsAll Child RecipientsBlackNon-Black
 100%100%100%

Note: Recipients are defined as individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC or Food Stamps in the first year (1982 or 1972). Child recipients are defined by age in the first year.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1972 - 1991.

0 Years392450
1 - 2 Years252723
3 - 5 Years212717
6 - 8 Years694
9 - 10 Years9126

Figure IND 1c. Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources by Poverty Status, 1994

Figure IND 1c. Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources by Poverty Status, 1994

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.


  • Not surprisingly, poorer families received a larger percentage of their income from transfer programs and Food Stamps while wealthier families received a larger percentage of their income from earnings.
  • Poor individuals (those in families with incomes below100 percent of poverty) received 42 percent of their total family income from means-tested assistance programs (transfer income and Food Stamps). In contrast, the percentage of total family income from means-tested assistance programs is much lower for those who are at least 200 percent above the poverty line (less than one percent).
  • Those living in deep poverty (total family income less than 50 percent of the poverty line) relied heavily on transfer income from AFDC and SSI (38 percent of total family income) as well as Food Stamps (35 percent of total family income).
  • The composition of income for all poor persons (less than 100 percent of poverty) is significantly different than the composition for those living in deep poverty (less than 50 percent of poverty). For example, the percentage of income from earnings for all poor individuals is more than twice the percent for those in deep poverty (40 percent compared to 16 percent). Those in deep poverty also rely much more heavily on income from transfer programs and Food Stamps compared to the full poverty population.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources by Poverty Status, 1994

 <50% of poverty<100% of poverty<150% of poverty<200% of poverty200%+ of poverty

Note: Transfer income is defined as AFDC and SSI. While only affecting a small number of cases, general assistance income is included in AFDC income. Other income is non-means-tested, nonearnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest and dividends. Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

All Persons
Means-Tested Transfer Income38.225.715.190.2
Food Stamps34.6168.850
Earnings15.940.354.764.685.1
Other Income11.31821.521.414.6
Average Income$ 6,946$ 10,708$ 13,377$ 16,740$ 57,249
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White     
Means-Tested Transfer Income282010.55.50.2
Food Stamps30.313.26.43.10
Earnings24.242.95564.884.3
Other Income17.821.124.623.715.1
Average Income$ 5,296$ 9,589$ 12,609$ 16,448$ 58,188
Non-Hispanic Black     
Means-Tested Transfer Income44.131.521.815.40.6
Food Stamps40.520.212.78.80.2
Earnings8.33147.358.888.4
Other Income6.517.518.116.810.4
Average Income$ 7,571$ 10,773$ 13,470$ 16,427$ 46,819
Hispanic     
Means-Tested Transfer Income4125.415.711.20.5
Food Stamps3416.69.86.50.1
Earnings15.346.6627089.9
Other Income6.214.716.215.610.4
Average Income$ 8,709$ 12,666$ 15,114$ 17,918$ 48,917
Age Categories
Children Age 0 - 5     
Means-Tested Transfer Income44.428.617.911.80.2
Food Stamps37.119.612.17.70.1
Earnings11.240.858.87093.4
Other Income00000
Average Income$ 7,825$ 11,813$ 14,763$ 18,236$ 59,336
Children Age 6 - 10     
Means-Tested Transfer Income39.928.21811.40.2
Food Stamps36.918.311.16.80
Earnings14.740.958.17093
Other Income6.510.110.59.85.9
Average Income$ 8,675$ 12,802$ 15,688$ 19,408$ 63,068
Children Age 11 - 15     
Means-Tested Transfer Income37.227.716.79.70.2
Food Stamps35.817.910.560
Earnings16.939.956.768.992.4
Other Income8.512.612.811.56.5
Average Income$ 8,628$ 12,822$ 15,718$ 19,780$ 65,892
Women Age 16 - 64     
Means-Tested Transfer Income36.926.615.59.20.2
Food Stamps33.615.58.54.80
Earnings17.240.657.468.487.8
Other Income18.620.221.819.710.9
Average Income$ 6,126$ 9,808$ 12,636$ 16,045$ 57,632
Men Age 16 - 64     
Means-Tested Transfer Income23.518.710.760.2
Food Stamps25.811.65.830
Earnings27.150.363.172.789.1
Other Income18.517.618.617.111.2
Average Income$ 4,837$ 10,173$ 13,488$ 17,335$ 58,751
Adults Age 65 and over     
Means-Tested Transfer Income18.116.49.95.80.4
Food Stamps16.24.11.910
Earnings9.12.25.17.824.8
Other Income25.426.426.425.117.3
Average Income$ 2,970$ 6,400$ 8,877$ 11,199$ 39,791

Indicator 2. Dependence Transitions

Whereas other indicators (Indicator 1a) illustrate the depth of dependence in a single year, this indicator reflects changes in the level of dependence over two years.

Figure IND 2. Dependency Status in 1994 of Persons who Received More Than 50 Percent of Income from Assistance in 1993

Figure IND 2. Dependency Status in 1994 of Persons who Received More Than 50 Percent of Income from Assistance in 1993

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.


  • Four-fifths of all recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 1993 also received more than 50 percent of their total income from these same programs in 1994 (80 percent).
  • Of recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from AFDC, Food Stamps and SSI in 1993, a larger percentage of non-Hispanic whites became “less dependent” in 1994 (received 50 percent or less of their total income from means-tested assistance programs) compared to Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks, although the ratios were similar across all categories.
  • While only a small percentage of all recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 1993 received no aid in 1994, the corresponding percentage for Hispanics in 1994 (3 percent) is somewhat larger than the percentages for the other groups.
  • As shown in Table IND 2, a slightly larger percentage of women who received more than half of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 1993 remained “dependent” in 1994 compared to the same percentage for men (79 percent compared to 76 percent).

Table IND. 2. Dependency Status in 1994 of Persons Who Received More Than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in 1993

  Percentage of Persons Receiving
MORE THAN 50% TRANSFER INCOME IN 1993Total (thousands)No Aid in 1994Up to 50% Aid in 1994More than 50% Aid in 1994

Note: Means-tested assistance is defined as AFDC, Food Stamps, and SSI. While only affecting a small number of cases, general assistance income is included within AFDC income.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

All persons148101.618.679.8
Racial Categories    
Non-Hispanic White51571.921.876.2
Non-Hispanic Black48511.314.983.8
Hispanic origin36232.717.579.8
Age Categories    
Children Age 0−536391.318.180.6
Children Age 6−1022752.514.583.0
Children Age 11−1518001.122.276.7
Men 16−6419371.322.776.0
Women 16−6445882.019.079.0
Adults 65 years and over5710.09.190.7

Indicator 3. Dependence Spell Duration

In contrast to the indicator on duration of spells of means-tested assistance (Indicator 5), this indicator of dependence spell duration combines information on spells of receipt of means-tested assistance and paid employment.

Figure IND 3. Duration of AFDC Spells of Individuals in Families Where No One Is in the Labor Force

Figure IND 3. Duration of AFDC Spells of Individuals in Families Where No One Is in the Labor Force

Source: Table IND 3.


  • Forty-three percent of AFDC spells for individuals in families with no one in the labor force ended within a year.
  • Over one-quarter (27 percent) of AFDC spells for individuals in families where no one participated in the labor force were less than four months long.
  • As shown in Table IND 3, a smaller percentage of AFDC spells to children in families with no labor force participants ended in less than four months compared to their adult counterparts (25 percent compared to 31 percent).

Table IND 3. Percentage of AFDC Spells for Individuals with No Family Member in the Labor Force by Length of Spell

 Percent of Spells
 Spells <4 monthsSpells <12 monthsSpells <20 monthsSpells 20+ months

Note: Spell length categories are not mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells. Due to the length of the observation period, actual spell lengths for spells that lasted more than 20 months cannot be observed. AFDC spells are defined as those spells starting during the 1993 SIPP panel. For certain racial categories, data are not available (NA) because of insufficient sample size.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

All persons27.243.450.349.7
Racial Categories    
Non-Hispanic White30.240.743.057.0
Non-Hispanic Black17.445.6NANA
Hispanic33.2NANANA
Age    
Children 0-1524.741.949.150.9
Adults Age 16-6430.645.851.948.1

Indicator 4. Receipt of Means-tested Assistance and Labor Force Attachment

This indicator illustrates one aspect of the range of dependence by combining information on receipt of means-tested assistance and hours of employment.

Figure IND 4a. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1994

Figure IND 4a. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1994

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.


  • In 1994, 46 percent of individuals who received AFDC, 38 percent of individuals who received SSI, and 57 percent of individuals who received Food Stamps were in families with at least one person in the labor force.
  • A larger percentage of individuals who received Food Stamps, compared to AFDC and SSI, were in families with at least one family member who participated in the labor force full-time.
  • As shown in Table IND 4a, among AFDC recipients, a larger percentage of children under age 6 were in families with at least one full-time labor force participant compared to children age 6 to 15.
  • As further shown in Table IND 4a, similar percentages of non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic black AFDC recipients were in families with at least one full-time labor force participant (22 percent for both groups).

Table IND 4a. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1994

  No One in LFAt least 1 in LF No One FTAt least 1 FT Labor Force Participant

Note: Full-time labor force participants are defined as those who usually work 35 or more hours per week. Data on receipt of SSI for young children is not available.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

AFDCAll Recipients54.525.320.2
 Non-Hispanic White51.226.322.4
 Non-Hispanic Black53.224.822.1
 Hispanic62.520.716.8
 Children Age 0 to 557.121.621.4
 Children Age 6 to 1059.323.816.9
 Children Age 11 to 1557.826.515.7
 Women 16 to 6452.525.721.8
 Men 16 to 6432.040.927.1
 Adults 65 years and over68.729.41.9
SSIAll Recipients62.111.826.1
 Non-Hispanic White60.712.127.2
 Non-Hispanic Black66.712.021.3
 Hispanic61.511.327.1
 Children Age 0 to 5NANANA
 Children Age 6 to 10NANANA
 Children Age 11 to 1558.90.041.1
 Women 16 to 6456.714.928.4
 Men 16 to 6456.913.229.9
 Adults 65 years and over73.16.820.1
FOOD STAMPSAll Recipients43.524.731.8
 Non-Hispanic White40.625.633.8
 Non-Hispanic Black47.323.828.9
 Hispanic44.222.333.6
 Children Age 0 to 543.022.134.9
 Children Age 6 to 1044.624.231.2
 Children Age 11 to 1542.327.230.5
 Women 16 to 6431.030.438.6
 Men 16 to 6443.426.030.6
 Adults Age 65 and over81.96.611.5

Figure IND 4b. Percentage of AFDC Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, Selected Years

Figure IND 4b. Percentage of AFDC Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, Selected Years

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1987, 1990, 1992, and 1993 panels.


As shown in Figure IND 4b, the percentage of all AFDC recipients living in families with at least one full-time labor force participant increased from 17 percent in 1987 to 20 percent in 1994.

In all years shown above, more than half of all AFDC recipients lived in families where no one participated in the labor force.

As shown in Table IND 4b, while 28 percent of AFDC recipients in 1992 lived in families with at least one labor force participant but no full-time participants, this percent decreased to 25 in 1994.

Table IND 4b. Percentage of AFDC Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, Selected Years

 No one In LFAt least 1 in LF No one FTAt least 1 FT Participant

Note: Full-time labor force participants are defined as those who usually work 35 or more hours per week.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1987, 1990, 1992, and 1993 panels.

199454.525.320.2
199356.525.717.8
199254.228.117.7
199157.823.718.5
199058.323.318.4
198858.328.116.6
198755.328.116.6

Indicator 5. Program Spell Duration

One critical aspect of dependence is how long individuals receive means-tested assistance. This indicator provides information on the length of individual spells.

Figure IND 5. Spells of Program Participation, 1993 SIPP Panel

Figure IND 5. Spells of Program Participation, 1993 SIPP Panel

Source: Table IND 5.


Short spells lasting less than 4 months accounted for 31 percent of AFDC spells, 24 percent of SSI spells, and 33 percent of Food Stamp spells.

Over one-half of all AFDC and Food Stamp spells lasted less than one year (56 percent and 60 percent, respectively). In contrast, only 32 percent of SSI spells ended within one year. The percentage of SSI spells that lasted 20 or more months is twice the percentage of AFDC and Food Stamp spells that lasted this long.

As shown in Table IND 5, for AFDC spells, a larger percentage of short spells (lasting less than 4 months) and a smaller percentage of long spells (lasting 20 or more months) occurred among non-Hispanic whites compared to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.

As further shown in Table IND 5, a larger percentage of AFDC and Food Stamp spells among adults age 16 to 64 ended within 4 months compared to spells among children age 0 to 15.

Table IND 5. Percentage of AFDC, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Indiviudals Entering Programs During the 1993 SIPP Panel by Length of Spell

 Percentage of Spells
 Spells <4 monthsSpells <12 monthsSpells <20 monthsSpells 20+ months

Note: Spell length categories are not mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells. Due to the length of the observation period, actual spell lengths for spells that lasted more than 20 months cannot be observed. For certain age and racial categories, data are not available (NA) because of insufficient sample size. Data on SSI recipiency for children are not available.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 Panel.

AFDC
Recipients30.756.168.631.4
Racial Categories    
Non-Hispanic White35.662.272.327.7
Non-Hispanic Black24.652.366.733.3
Hispanic origin30.852.563.436.6
Age Categories    
Children Age 0 to 1528.153.665.634.4
Adults 16 to 64 years33.559.072.227.8
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME
Recipients24.031.936.663.4
Racial Categories    
Non-Hispanic White27.234.640.859.2
Non-Hispanic Black20.526.230.070.0
Hispanic origin20.032.2NANA
Age Categories    
Adults 16 to 64 years26.834.639.760.3
FOOD STAMPS
Recipients33.159.970.030.0
Racial Categories    
Non-Hispanic White34.362.171.528.5
Non-Hispanic Black28.453.464.935.1
Hispanic origin35.464.071.128.9
Age Categories    
Children Age 0 to 1529.856.567.033.0
Adults 16 to 64 years35.963.072.827.2

Indicator 6. Long-term Receipt

Lifetime welfare receipt often occurs in more than one episode. Indicators that measure the duration of receipt over a lifetime further reflect the depth of dependence.

Figure IND 6. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with Long-Term Receipt, 1982 – 1991

Figure IND 6. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with Long-Term Receipt, 1982 – 1991

Source: Table IND 6.


Between 1982 and 1991, almost half of all recipients received AFDC in only one or two years (47 percent) and only about one-fifth of all recipients received AFDC for 9 to 10 years (11 percent). Table IND 6 shows that this was also true between 1972 and 1981 (49 percent and 11 percent respectively).

As shown in Table IND 6, compared to non-black recipients, a smaller percentage of black recipients received AFDC for only 1 to 2 years while a larger percentage received AFDC for 9 to 10 years in both ten-year time periods.

As further shown in Table IND 6, a smaller percentage of child recipients experienced shortterm receipt and a larger percentage experienced longer-term receipt in both time periods relative to the percentages for all recipients.

Table IND 6. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with Long-Term Receipt

 All Recipients 1982 - 1991
Cumulative YearsAll RecipientsBlackNon-Black
1 - 2 Years473753
3 - 5 Years282728
6 - 8 Years151912
9 - 10 Years11176
 Children 0 - 5 in 1982: 1982-1991
Cumulative YearsAll Child RecipientsBlack ChildrenNon-Black Children
1 - 2 Years342839
3 - 5 Years292830
6 - 8 Years171619
9 - 10 Years202913
 All Recipients 1972 - 1981
Cumulative YearsAll RecipientsBlackNon-Black
1 - 2 Years493259
3 - 5 Years283425
6 - 8 Years13199
9 - 10 Years11158
 Children 0 - 5 in 1972: 1972-1981
Cumulative YearsAll Child RecipientsBlack ChildrenNon-Black Children

Note: Recipients are defined as individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC or Food Stamps in the past year (1982 or 1972). Child recipients are defined by age in the first year.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1972 - 1991.

1 - 2 Years372446
3 - 5 Years293127
6 - 8 Years152310
9 - 10 Years192317

Indicator 7. Multiple Program Receipt

Data on multiple program receipt illustrates the nature of means-tested assistance “packages” and one aspect of the depth of dependence.

Figure IND 7. Percentage of Individuals in AFDC Families Receiving Other Assistance, 1994

Figure IND 7. Percentage of Individuals in AFDC Families Receiving Other Assistance, 1994

Source: Table IND 7.


  • The vast majority of the AFDC population receives AFDC benefits in combination with Food Stamps, SSI, or both Food Stamps and SSI. Only about 8 percent received AFDC benefits without other means-tested assistance in 1994, as shown in Figure IND 7.
  • The most common pattern of multiple program receipt in 1994, found among 89 percent of the AFDC population, was to receive both AFDC and Food Stamps. An additional 3 percent received AFDC, Food Stamps, and SSI. Finally, less than one-half percent received AFDC and SSI, but not Food Stamps. (Note that individuals may not receive both AFDC and SSI; however, a SSI recipient may be in a family where other members receive AFDC benefits.)
  • Over time, the proportion of AFDC recipients also receiving Food Stamps has been constant varying only between 88 and 90 percent.

Table IND 7. Percentage of Individuals in AFDC Families Receiving Assistance from Other Programs

 AFDC and Food Stamps OnlyAFDC and SSI Only
 1990199119921993199419901991199219931994
All Recipients88.488.689.689.988.80.30.40.40.20.3
Racial Categories          
Non-Hispanic White86.887.988.288.286.30.30.51.40.20.3
Non-Hispanic Black88.387.090.190.689.80.40.50.60.50.4
Hispanic91.092.390.191.489.10.20.10.40.00.3
Age Categories          
Children Age 0-590.789.792.393.193.70.00.00.00.00.0
Children Age 6-1091.593.492.594.392.40.00.00.00.00.0
Children Age 11-1592.092.194.593.292.20.00.20.00.00.0
Women Age 16-6484.985.085.884.582.40.70.70.90.60.7
Men Age 16-6485.184.683.486.484.90.41.11.10.20.3
 AFDC, SSIand Food StampsAFDC Only
 1990199119921993199419901991199219931994

Note: Categories are mutually exclusive. Individuals may not receive both AFDC and SSI; however, an SSI recipient may be in a family where other members receive AFDC benefits.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1990, 1992, 1993 panels.

All Recipients1.71.92.42.93.29.59.17.67.07.7
Racial Categories          
Non-Hispanic White1.91.72.63.43.711.09.97.88.39.7
Non-Hispanic Black1.72.42.72.83.29.610.16.56.26.7
Hispanic1.31.61.52.22.87.66.08.06.47.7
Age Categories          
Children Age 0-50.00.00.00.00.09.310.37.76.96.3
Children Age 6-100.00.00.00.00.08.56.67.55.77.6
Children Age 11-150.00.00.10.20.28.07.75.36.77.7
Women Age 16-644.14.65.87.88.910.39.67.67.28.0
Men Age 16-644.45.24.73.83.410.19.110.89.611.3

Indicator 8. Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Receipt of Means-tested Assistance

The circumstances that are associated with beginnings or endings of receipt of assistance. reveal an important aspect of dependence that provides critical guidance for policy makers.

Table IND 8a. Percentage of First AFDC Spell Beginnings Associated with Specific Events

 Spell Began 1973 - 1979Spell Began 1980 - 1985Spell Began 1986 - 1991

Note: Events are defined to be neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. Work limitation is defined as a self-reported physical or nervous condition that limits the type of work or the amount of work the respondent can do.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1968 – 1992.

First birth to an unmarried, non-cohabiting mother27.920.922.2
First birth to a married and/or cohabiting mother13.317.411.3
Second (or higher order) birth19.918.215.2
Divorce/separation19.728.117.3
Mother's work hours decreased by more than 500 hours per year26.318.826.2
Other adults' work hours decreased by more than 500 hours, but no change in family structure34.827.921.6
Other adults' work hours decreased by more than 500 hours, and a change in family structure4.77.911.4
Householder acquired work limitation18.115.623.5
Other transfer income dropped by $1,000 or more (in 1996$)4.56.54.1
Changed state of residence4.510.65.4
  • Between 1986 and 1991, the most common events associated with the beginnings of a first AFDC episode were work-related: a decrease in mother’s work hours (26 percent), a decrease in work hours of another adult (22 percent), and the acquisition of a work limitation (24 percent). In addition, over one-fifth (22 percent) of first spells were associated with a first birth to an unmarried, non-cohabiting mother.
  • Between 1973 and 1979, first births to an unmarried, non-cohabiting mother were associated with 28 percent of first AFDC episodes. In contrast, such births were associated with 21 percent of first spells beginning between 1980 and 1985, and 22 percent beginning between 1986 and 1991.
  • The percentage of first AFDC spell beginnings associated with a householder acquiring a work limitation was higher for spells that began between 1986 and 1991 (24 percent) than for spells that began between 1973 and 1979 (16 percent) or 1980 to 1985 (18 percent).

Table IND 8b. Percentage of First AFDC Spell Endings Associated with Specific Events

 Spell Ended 1973 - 1979Spell Ended 1980 – 1985Spell Ended 1986 - 1991

Note: Events are defined to be neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. Work limitation is defined as a selfreported physical or nervous condition that limits the type of work or the amount of work the respondent can do.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1968 - 1992.

Mother married or acquired cohabitor16.117.121.7
Children under 18 no longer present4.44.14.8
Mother's work hours increased by more than 500 hours per year15.425.027.1
Other adults' work hours increased by more than 500 hours, but no change in family structure21.816.816.7
Other adults' work hours increased by more than 500 hours, and a change in family structure6.510.35.8
Householder no longer reports work limitation13.019.215.8
Other transfer income increased by $1,000 or more (in 1996$)5.05.55.8
Changed state of residence5.911.05.9
  • During the 1986 to 1991 time period, over one-fourth (27 percent) of first AFDC spell endings were associated with increases in mother’s work hours. The corresponding percentage was slightly smaller for spells ending in the 1980 to 1985 period (25 percent) and much smaller for spells ending between 1973 and 1979 (15 percent).
  • In the 1973 - 1979 period, a greater percentage of spell endings was associated with an increase in work hours for other adults (22 percent) as compared to mothers (15 percent). In the more recent time period (1986 - 1991), a greater percentage of spell endings was associated with an increase in mother’s work hours (27 percent) compared to other adults (17 percent).

Indicator 9. Percent of the Population Receiving Means-tested Assistance

The rate of receipt reflects an important aspect of dependence by measuring the extent to which various population subgroups rely on the major means-tested programs.

Figure IND 9a. AFDC Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Figure IND 9a. AFDC Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • In all years between 1970 and 1997, the percentage of all children who received AFDC is much larger than that for adults.
  • Participation for children under age 18 increased substantially between 1970 and 1976. While remaining relatively stable through most of the 1980s, the trend again increased dramatically from 1990 to 1994 before declining to its current level.
  • Table IND 9a shows that between 1994 and 1997 the percentage of all children who received AFDC decreased more than three percentage points (from 14.0 percent to 10.8 percent).

Table IND 9a. AFDC/TANF Recipients as a Percent of the Population, Selected Years 1

 197019751980198519881990199419961997 4

1 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC Program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Program.

2 Does not include the territories.

3 Includes a small number of dependents 18 and older who are students.

4 Average number of adults and children based on the first three quarter of 1997 only; data on number of adults and children under TANF not currently available.

Note: Only selected years of data presented in Figure IND 9a are included in the table.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (available online at http://www.census.gov).

AFDC/TANF Recipients (millions) 2
Total Recipients7.210.910.410.610.711.314.012.510.8
Adult Recipients1.93.13.23.63.53.64.63.93.1
Child Recipients 35.37.87.27.07.27.69.58.67.7
AFDC/TANF RecipiencyRates (percent)
Total3.55.04.64.54.44.55.44.74.0
Adults1.42.12.02.02.02.02.42.01.6
Children7.611.611.311.211.411.913.912.411.0

Figure IND 9b. Food Stamp Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Figure IND 9b. Food Stamp Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Summer 1996, and earlier reports and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • In all years between 1970 and 1997, the percentage of all children who received AFDC is much larger than that for adults.
  • Participation for children under age 18 increased substantially between 1970 and 1976. While remaining relatively stable through most of the 1980s, the trend again increased dramatically from 1990 to 1994 before declining to its current level.

Table IND 9a shows that between 1994 and 1997 the percentage of all children who received AFDC decreased more than three percentage points (from 14.0 percent to 10.8 percent).

 19751980198519881990199219941996

1 Does not include the territories.

Note: Only selected years of data presented in Figure IND 9b are included in the table.

Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Summer 1996, and earlier reports and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov.)

Food Stamp Recipients (millions) 1
Total (all ages)17.119.219.818.620.025.427.425.5
Adults (60 and over)NA1.71.81.51.51.72.01.9
Adults (18 to 59)NA7.28.37.58.110.511.510.8
ChildrenNA9.99.99.410.113.314.413.0
Food Stamp Recipiency Rates (percent)
Total (all ages)7.98.48.37.68.09.910.59.6
Adults (60 and over)NA4.94.53.73.64.04.54.3
Adults (18-59)NA5.66.15.35.67.27.77.1
ChildrenNA15.515.814.815.820.221.218.8

Figure IND 9c. SSI Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Figure IND 9c. SSI Recipients as a Percent of the Population

Note: Recipients are reported as of December in each year.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html) and U.S. Bureau of the Census, Release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • In all years between 1974 and 1996, the percentage of adults 65 and older who received SSI is much larger than that for all other age groups.
  • Trends are similar for all persons under age 64 generally increasing between 1974 and 1996. For those 65 and older, the trend moves in the opposite direction decreasing dramatically from nearly 11 percent in 1974 to 6 percent in 1996.

Table IND 9c. SSI Recipients as a Percent of the Population, Selected Years

 Dec '75Dec '80Dec '85Dec '88Dec '90Dec '92Dec '94Dec '96Dec '97

1 December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the Census’ July 1 population estimate for the current and the following year.

2 Children includes some recipients 18 and older who are students.

Note: Only selected years of data presented in Figure IND 9c are included in the table.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics (data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html) and U.S. Bureau of the Census, release PPL-91, United States Population Estimates, by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin, 1990 to 1997, (Available online at http://www.census.gov).

SSI Recipients (millions)
Total (all ages)4.34.14.14.54.85.66.36.66.5
Adults (65 and over)2.52.22.02.02.12.12.12.12.1
Adults (18 to 64)1.71.71.82.22.42.83.33.53.5
Children 20.10.20.30.30.30.60.91.00.9
SSI Recipiency Rates (percent)
Total (all ages)2.01.81.71.81.92.22.42.52.4
Adults (65 and over)10.98.67.16.66.56.56.46.26.0
Adults (18-64)1.31.21.21.41.61.82.12.12.1
Children0.20.40.40.50.50.91.31.51.3

Indicator 10. Rates of Participation in Means-tested Assistance Programs

Not all eligible households participate in means-tested programs. This indicator reflects “take up rates” – the number of families that actually participate in the program as a percent of those who are eligible.

Figure IND 10a. AFDC Caseload versus Number of Eligible Families: Number of Cases & Percentage of Total Eligibles

Figure IND 10a. AFDC Caseload versus Number of Eligible Families: Number of Cases & Percentage of Total Eligibles

Source: Participation rates estimated by the Urban Institute using TRIM model simulations. Caseload based on data from DHHS, Administration for Children and Families.


  • The percentage of all eligible families who participated in AFDC has varied between 77 percent and 86 percent according to estimates for selected years between 1981 and 1995. Estimates of the total eligible population varied from 4.5 million to over 6 million families over the same time period.

Table IND 10a. AFDC Caseload as a Percentage of Eligible Families

 198119831985198719891990199219941995
Source: Participation rates estimated by the Urban Institute using TRIM model simulations. Caseload based on data from DHHS, Administration for Children and Families.
Average Monthly Eligibles4,8274,7004,6554,9334,5124,8345,5656,1435,775
Average Caseload3,8713,6513,6923,7843,7713,9744,7685,0464,869
Participation rate807879778482868284

Figure IND 10b. Food Stamp Households as a Percentage of Eligible Households

Figure IND 10b. Food Stamp Households as a Percentage of Eligible Households

Source: Table IND 10b.


  • In all years, larger percentages of children in eligible households received Food Stamps compared to other age groups, and smaller percentages of the elderly in eligible households received Food Stamps compared to other adults and children.
  • For disabled persons under age 60, the percentage in eligible households who received Food Stamps increased substantially between 1985 and 1994, from 47 percent in 1985 to 71 percent in 1994.

Table IND 10b. Food Stamp Households as a Percentage of Eligible Households

 PersonsHouseholdsElderlyChildrenDisabled Under 60Adults 18-59
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates, various years.
August 1985645937744765
January 1988595634705566
January 1989595629685760
January 1992746933866777
January 1994716935807173

Figure IND 10c. SSI Adult Recipients as a Percentage of Eligible Adults

Figure IND 10c. SSI Adult Recipients as a Percentage of Eligible Adults

Source: Table IND 10c.


  • For all adults, the percentage of those eligible that received SSI remained constant between 1993 and 1994 (63 percent) and increased substantially in 1995 (from 63 percent to 70 percent).
  • For all adults in 1995, a larger percentage of eligible disabled adults in one-person units participated in the SSI program (74 percent) compared to both eligible aged adults in oneperson units (65 percent) and adults in married-couple units (52 percent).

Table IND 10c. SSI Adult Recipients by Type as a Percentage of Eligible Group

 199319941995

Note: The figure for married-couple units is based on very small sample sizes–married couple units were only about 5 percent of the adults units in the average month of 1995.

Source: Participation rate estimated by the Urban Institute using the TRIM model.

All adults636370
One-person units– agedNANA65
One-person units– disabledNANA74
Married-couple unitsNANA52

Indicator 11. Means-tested Assistance Program Transition Rates

This indicator shows how many people have moved onto means-tested assistance programs and how many recipients have moved off means-tested assistance programs.

Figure IND 11a. Percentage of Non-Recipients Moving on to Assistance from 1993 to 1994

Figure IND 11a. Percentage of Non-Recipients Moving on to Assistance from 1993 to 1994

Figure IND 11b. Percentage of Recipients Moving off Assistance from 1993 to 1994

Figure IND 11b. Percentage of Recipients Moving off Assistance from 1993 to 1994

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.


  • As shown in Figure IND 11a, only a small percentage of individuals who did not receive AFDC in 1993 began receiving AFDC benefits in 1994 (1 percent). In comparison, the percentage of non-recipients who began receiving Food Stamps in 1994 was slightly higher (2 percent) and the percentage of non-recipients who began receiving SSI in 1994 was lower (less than 1 percent).
  • As shown in Figure IND 11b, 18 percent of AFDC recipients in 1993 moved off AFDC in 1994. Similarly, 17 percent of Food Stamp recipients in 1993 were no longer receiving Food Stamp benefits in 1994. In contrast, only 9 percent of individuals who received SSI in 1993 left the SSI program in 1994.
  • Non-Hispanic whites are somewhat less likely to move from non-assistance to assistance than non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics, as shown in Table IND 11. For example, while only 1 percent of non-Hispanic white individuals who did not receive AFDC in 1993 began receiving AFDC benefits in 1994, the corresponding percentages for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics were somewhat higher (3 percent).
  • As shown in Table IND 11, a much higher percentage of Hispanic AFDC recipients in 1993 exited AFDC in 1994 (25 percent) compared to both non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks (17 percent and 12 percent, respectively).
  • As further shown in Table IND 11, men are much more likely to move off AFDC and Food Stamps than are women. For example, while 18 percent of women who received AFDC in 1993 were no longer receiving AFDC benefits in 1994, 33 percent of men who received AFDC in 1993 left the AFDC program in 1994.

Table IND 11. Means-Tested Assistance Program Transition Rates, 1993 to 1994

 Number andPercentage of Non-RecipientsMoving onto Assistance
 Non-AFDC to AFDCNon-FS to FSNon-SSI to SSI
 Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
All Persons22151.038781.87020.3
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White11590.620411.23970.2
Non-Hispanic Black5033.09224.71550.6
Hispanic4372.77344.31140.5
Age Categories
Children Age 0 - 54032.45733.900
Children Age 6 - 103131.95183.600
Children Age 11 - 153482.13612.400
Women Age 16 - 647801.012991.84150.5
Men Age 16 – 643430.49821.32640.3
Adults Age 65 and over280.11450.6230.1
 Number and Percentage of RecipientsMoving off Assistance
 AFDC to Non-AFDCFS to Non-FSSSI to Non-SSI
 Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent

Note: Receipt is measured by at least one month of receipt in a given year and non-receipt is measured as no months of receipt in a given year.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel

All Persons279917.5518416.64538.5
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White149316.6299921.52328.8
Non-Hispanic Black64111.9101211.416210.7
Hispanic58325.0107015.4354.3
Age Categories
Children Age 0 - 561015.381813.700
Children Age 6 - 1040814.060213.200
Children Age 11 - 1530814.346412.600
Women Age 16 - 6499218.3179617.628812.2
Men Age 16 – 6447032.5141826.21189.3
Adults Age 65 and over1124.1876.1472.8

Indicator 12. Intergenerational Dependence

Another key aspect of dependence is the extent to which parental receipt of means-tested assistance is associated with receipt by their children when the children become adults.

Figure IND 12. Percentage of Youth Recipients (14 to 16) and Youth Non-Recipients (14 to 16) who Received Three Years of Benefits as Adults (25 to 27)

Figure IND 12. Percentage of Youth Recipients (14 to 16) and Youth Non-Recipients (14 to 16) who Received Three Years of Benefits as Adults (25 to 27)

Source: Table IND 12.


  • Individuals who receive AFDC or Food Stamps as children are more likely to receive benefits as adults, as shown in Figure IND 12. Almost one-third (31 percent) of women who received AFDC or Food Stamps in childhood between the ages of 14 and 16 also received AFDC or Food Stamps at ages 25, 26 and 27. In comparison, only 5 percent of women who did not receive AFDC or Food Stamps as youths received three years of benefits as adults.
  • The same relationship exists among men, although they have lower rates of receipt of means-tested assistance. As shown in Table IND 12, 14 percent of men who received AFDC or Food Stamps between the ages of 14 and 15 also received three years of benefits in adulthood and a much lower percentage – 2 percent – of men who did not receive AFDC or Food Stamps as youths received benefits at age 25, 26, and 27.
  • As shown in Table IND 12, 61 percent of women and 32 percent of men who received AFDC or Food Stamps between the ages of 14 and 16 also received AFDC or Food Stamp benefits in at least one year as adults between the ages of 25 and 27. These percentages are much larger than those for men and women who received benefits as children between the ages of 14 and 16 and received benefits as adults in all three years from age 25 to 27 (31 percent for women and 14 percent for men).

Table IND 12. Association of Benefit Receipt as Youth (14 to 16) with Benefit Receipt as Adults (25 to 27)

 Females born 1960 - 1964Males born 1960 - 1964

Note: Receipt of AFDC or Food Stamps in a year refers to any amount at any point during the year.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1974 - 1992.

Percent who did not receive AFDC or Food Stamps between the ages of 14 and 16 who received AFDC or Food Stamps in all 3 years from age 25 to 27.5.22.3
Percent who received AFDC or Food Stamps for all 3 years between the ages of 14 and 16 who also received AFDC or Food Stamps in all 3 years from age 25 to 27.30.813.5
Percent who did not receive AFDC or Food Stamps between the ages of 14 and 16 who received AFDC or Food Stamps in at least 1 year from age 25 to 27.10.08.5
Percent who received AFDC or Food Stamps for all 3 years between the ages of 14 and 16 who received AFDC or Food Stamps in at least 1 year from age 25 to 27.61.331.8

Chapter III. Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt

The Welfare Indicators Act challenges the Department of Health and Human Services, and indirectly the Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators, to identify and set forth not only indicators of welfare dependence and welfare duration, but also predictors and causes of welfare receipt. Up to this point, welfare research has not established clear and definitive causes of welfare dependence. However, research has identified a number of risk factors associated with welfare utilization. For purposes of this report, the terms “predictors” and “risk factors” are used somewhat interchangeably, although the differences between them are acknowledged.

Where the Advisory Board recommended narrowing the focus of dependence indicators, it recommended an expansive view toward predictors and risk factors. The range of possible predictors is extremely wide, and until they are measured and analyzed over time as the PRWORA changes are implemented, their value will not be known. Some of the “predictors” included in this chapter may turn out to be simply correlates of welfare receipt, some may have a causal relationship, some may be consequences, and some may have predictive value.

For purposes of this report, the predictors/risk factors included in this chapter are grouped into three categories:

ECON. The first group includes measures associated with economic security. This group encompasses measures of poverty, child support receipt, food insecurity, health care coverage, household mobility, and adult incarceration. The poverty-related measures in this group include overall and child poverty rates, transitions in and out of poverty, lengths of poverty spells, events associated with entries and exits from poverty, intergenerational poverty, pre- and post-cash transfers poverty rates, and high-poverty neighborhoods. For ease of presentation, the tables and figures illustrating measures of economic security are labeled with the prefix ECON throughout this chapter.

WORK. The second grouping (labeled with the WORK prefix) includes factors related to employment and barriers to employment. Data on labor force attachment and earnings for low-skilled workers are included, as are data on barriers to work. The latter category includes incidence of adult disabilities and children with chronic health conditions, adult substance abuse, levels of educational attainment and school drop-out rates, and child care costs.

TEEN. The final group addresses behavioral issues primarily affecting teenagers. This category includes out-of-wedlock childbearing data, onset of sexual activity, teen substance abuse and arrest data, and information on teens who are neither in school nor working. The tables and figures in this subsection are labeled with the TEEN prefix.

As noted above, the predictors/risk factors included in this chapter do not represent an exhaustive list of measures. They are, in fact, a sampling of available data that address in some way the question of how a family is faring on the deprivation/well-being scale. Such questions are a necessary part of the dependence discussion during this time of major change in the welfare rules. It is important to examine whether decreases in dependence measures are accompanied by improvements in family well-being (as, for example, if work activities increase) or by reductions in family’s material circumstance (which could happen as families lose access to benefits because of time limits or sanctions).

Economic Security Risk Factor 1. Poverty Rates

Poverty rates illustrate the economic condition of families and, as such, a key risk factor of dependence.

Figure ECON 1a. Percentage in Poverty by Age

Figure ECON 1a. Percentage in Poverty by Age

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and unpublished tables available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • The percentage of people living in poverty fell from 13.7 percent to 13.3 percent between 1996 and 1997. This decline continues the trend since 1993, when poverty rates were at a ten-year high of 15.1 percent.
  • Children, particularly young children, have much higher poverty rates than the overall population. The poverty rate for related children under 6 reached 25.7 percent in 1992. Since then it has declined, falling to 21.6 percent in 1997.
  • Table Econ 1a shows that the poverty rate for blacks declined from 28.4 percent in 1996 to 26.5 percent in 1997. It still remains higher than the 11.0 percent rate for whites. The poverty rate for Hispanics also dropped between 1996 and 1997 from 29.4 percent to 27.1 percent.

Table ECON 1a. Number and Percentage of Persons in Poverty by Age, Sex, Race and Hispanic Origin, Selected Years

 Related ChildrenAll Persons   
YearUnder 66-17TotalUnder 18118 to 6465 & overWhiteBlackHispanic Origin2

1 Persons under 18 include both related children (own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other
children in the household who are related to the householder by blood, marriage, or adoption) and unrelated individuals under 18
who are not living with any relatives.

2 Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and
unpublished tables available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

1959NANA22.427.317.035.218.155.1NA
1963NANA19.523.1NANA15.3NANA
1966NANA14.717.610.528.511.341.8NA
196915.313.112.114.08.725.39.532.2NA
197315.713.611.114.48.316.38.431.421.9
197617.715.111.816.09.015.09.131.124.7
197917.915.111.716.48.915.29.031.021.8
198020.316.813.018.310.115.710.232.525.7
198122.018.414.020.011.115.311.134.226.5
198223.320.415.021.912.014.612.035.629.9
198324.620.415.222.312.413.812.135.728.0
198423.419.714.421.511.712.411.533.828.4
198522.618.814.020.711.312.611.431.329.0
198621.618.813.620.510.812.411.031.127.3
198722.318.913.420.310.612.510.432.428.0
198821.817.513.019.510.512.010.131.326.7
198921.917.412.819.610.211.410.030.726.2
199023.018.213.520.610.712.210.731.928.1
199124.019.514.221.811.412.411.332.728.7
199225.719.414.822.311.912.911.933.429.6
199325.620.015.122.712.412.212.233.130.6
199424.519.514.521.811.911.711.730.630.7
199523.718.313.820.811.410.511.229.330.3
199622.718.413.720.511.410.811.228.429.4
199721.618.013.319.910.910.511.026.527.1
  • The percentage of people living in poverty increased 2.3 percentage points to a level of 15.1 percent between 1989 and 1992 and has since declined to 13.3 percent as the economy has recovered from the recession.

Figure ECON 1b. Percentage of Population Below 50 and 100 Percent of Poverty

Figure ECON 1b. Percentage of Population Below 50 and 100 Percent of Poverty

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and unpublished tables available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • Since 1975, the percentage of the population with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty threshold has risen and fallen in a pattern that reflects to some degree the trend in the overall poverty rate. For example, the percentage of people below 50 percent of poverty rose from a low of 3.3 percent in 1976 to a high of 5.9 percent in 1983 and then after falling slightly, rose to a second peak of 6.2 percent in 1993. The overall poverty rate – the percentage of people below 100 percent of poverty – also peaked in 1983 and 1993 in a somewhat similar pattern, although with more pronounced peaks and valleys.
  • Over the past two decades, however, there has been an overall increase in the proportion of the poverty population that falls below 50 percent of the poverty level. Whereas the population below 50 percent of the poverty threshold was 30 percent of the poverty population in 1975, it rose to 39 percent of the total poverty population by 1983, and to 41 percent by 1997.
  • Between 1995 and 1997, the percentage of the total population with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty level increased slightly, from 5.3 percent to 5.4 percent, in contrast to the decline in the overall poverty level, from 13.8 percent to 13.3 percent.

Table ECON 1b. Number and Percentage of People Below 50, 75, 100, and 125 Percent of Poverty Level, 1975 – 1997

(in Thousands)

  Below 50 percentBelow 75 percentBelow 100 percentBelow 125 percent
YearTotal PopulationNumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercentNumberPercent
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and unpublished tables available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.
1975210,9007,7003.715,4007.325,90012.337,10017.6
1976212,3007,0003.314,9007.025,00011.835,50016.7
1977213,9007,5003.515,0007.024,70011.635,70016.7
1978215,7007,7003.614,9006.924,50011.434,10015.8
1979222,9008,6003.816,3007.326,10011.736,60016.4
1980225,0009,8004.418,7008.329,30013.040,70018.1
1981227,20011,2004.920,7009.131,80014.043,80019.3
1982229,40012,8005.623,20010.134,40015.046,60020.3
1983231,70013,6005.923,60010.235,30015.247,00020.3
1984233,80012,8005.522,7009.733,70014.445,40019.4
1985236,60012,4005.222,2009.433,10013.644,20018.7
1986238,60012,7005.322,4009.432,40014.044,60018.7
1987241,00012,5005.221,7009.032,20013.443,10017.9
1988243,50012,7005.221,4008.831,70013.042,60017.5
1989246,00012,0004.920,7008.431,50012.842,60017.3
1990248,60012,9005.222,6009.133,60013.544,80018.0
1991251,20014,1005.624,4009.735,70014.247,50018.9
1992256,50015,5006.126,20010.238,00014.850,50019.7
1993259,30016,0006.227,20010.539,30015.151,90020.0
1994261,60015,4005.926,40010.138,10014.550,50019.3
1995263,70013,9005.324,5009.336,40013.848,80018.5
1996266,20014,4005.424,8009.336,50013.749,30018.5
1997268,50014,6005.424,2009.035,60013.347,80017.8
  • In 1997, there were 35.6 million people with family income below 100 percent of the poverty threshold, as shown in Table ECON 1b. This included 14.6 million people with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty threshold.

Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Poverty Transition Rates

Data on poverty transitions show the extent of new entries into and exits from poverty.

Figure ECON 2a. Percentage of Poor Individuals Moving out of Poverty from 1993 to 1994

Figure ECON 2a. Percentage of Poor Individuals Moving out of Poverty from 1993 to 1994

Figure ECON 2b. Percentage of Non-Poor Individuals Moving into Poverty from 1993 to 1994

Figure ECON 2b. Percentage of Non-Poor Individuals Moving into Poverty from 1993 to 1994

Source: Table ECON 2.


  • As shown in Figure ECON 2a, nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of all individuals who were poor in 1993 moved out of poverty in 1994. The percentage of poor non-Hispanic whites who exited poverty in 1994 (29 percent) was larger than the corresponding percentages for non-Hispanic blacks (17 percent) and Hispanics (24 percent).
  • Only 3 percent of all individuals who were above the poverty line in 1993 became poor in 1994, as shown in Figure ECON 2b. A larger percentage of Hispanic individuals who were not poor in 1993 entered poverty in 1994 (7 percent) compared to both non-Hispanic Blacks (5 percent) and non-Hispanic whites (3 percent).
  • As shown in Table ECON 2, 33 percent of men age 16 to 64 who were poor in 1993 moved out of poverty in 1994, compared to only 27 percent of women age 16 to 64. Poor adults age 65 or older were even less likely to exit poverty than poor adults age 16 to 64: only 15 percent of the elderly poor population in 1993 exited poverty in 1994.

Table ECON 2. Percentage of Individuals Changing Poverty Status, 1993-1994

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.
 From Poor to Non-Poor
All Poor Persons23.8
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White29.4
Non-Hispanic Black17.1
Hispanic23.6
Age Categories
Children Age 0 - 519.9
Children Age 6 - 1019.2
Children Age 11 - 1519.3
Women Age 16 - 6426.5
Men Age 16 - 6432.7
Adults Age 65 and over14.9
 From Non-Poor to Poor
All Non-Poor Persons3.2
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White2.5
Non-Hispanic Black5.4
Hispanic7.4
Age Categories
Children Age 0 - 55.0
Children Age 6 - 104.9
Children Age 11 - 153.4
Women Age 16 - 643.5
Men Age 16 - 642.6
Adults Age 65 and over2.0

Economic Security Risk Factor 3. Poverty Spells

The length of a poverty episode illustrates one aspect of the risk of dependence.

Figure ECON 3. Length of Spells of Poverty for Persons Who Became Poor during the 1993 SIPP Panel

Figure ECON 3. Length of Spells of Poverty for Persons Who Became Poor during the 1993 SIPP Panel

Source: Table ECON 3.


  • Nearly half (47 percent) of all poverty spells ended within 4 months and three-quarters of all poverty spells ended within one year. Only 16 percent of all poverty spells were 20 months or longer.
  • As shown in Table ECON 3, a larger percentage of poverty spells among non-Hispanic blacks were 20 months or longer (23 percent) than was the case for spells among non-Hispanic whites (14 percent) and among Hispanics (15 percent).
  • Spells of poverty among adults age 65 and older tend to last longer than poverty spells among adults age 16 to 64 and spells among children age 0 to 15. As shown in Table ECON 3, only 65 percent of poverty spells among adults age 65 and older ended within one year compared to 80 percent for women age 16 to 64, 75 percent for men age 16 to 64, and 73 percent for children age 0 to 15.

Table ECON 3. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 SIPP Panel by Length of Spell

 Percent of Spells
 Spells <4 monthsSpells <12 monthsSpells <20 monthsSpells 20+ months

Note: Spell length categories are not mutually exclusive. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells. Due to the length of the observation period, actual spell lengths for spells that lasted more than 20 months cannot be observed.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

All persons47.375.484.315.7
Racial Categories    
Non-Hispanic White47.378.886.313.7
Non-Hispanic Black39.964.176.723.3
Hispanic origin42.574.484.715.3
Age Categories    
Children Age 0 to 1543.873.082.217.8
Women Age 16 - 6447.679.988.911.1
Men Age 16 - 6451.675.284.215.8
65 years and over40.765.473.027.0

Economic Security Risk Factor 4. Long-term Poverty

As with welfare, poverty experiences often occur in a number of discrete episodes. Measures that illustrate the total length of poverty episodes reveal an important aspect of the severity of the risk of dependence.

Figure ECON 4. Percentage of Children Ages 0 to 5 in 1982 Living in Poverty by Cumulative Number of Years in Poverty

 src=

Source: Table ECON 4.


  • Among children who were age 0 to 5 in 1982, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) never lived in poverty for any year over the next ten years, as shown in Figure ECON 4. The percentage of children who remained above the poverty line in all years between 1972 and 1981 is similar although somewhat larger (76 percent), as shown in Table ECON 4.
  • During the 1982 to 1991 period, 28 percent of black children experienced longer-term poverty of 6 to 10 years, a percentage much higher than that for non-black children during the same ten-year time period (3 percent).
  • For both time periods, the percentages of all individuals who were poor for only one to two years are much larger than the percentages of all individuals who experienced longer-term poverty, as shown in Table ECON 4. For example, while 11 percent of all individuals were poor for only one to two years between 1982 and 1991, only 3 percent were poor for 6 to 8 years and only 2 percent were poor for 9 to 10 years during the same time period.
  • As shown in Table ECON 4, a somewhat larger percentage of children compared to the percentage of total persons experienced long-term poverty in both time periods, especially long-term poverty of 9 to 10 years.
Table ECON 4. Percentage of Individuals Living in Poverty by Number of Years in Poverty
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1972 - 1991.
 All Persons: 1982 – 1991
Cumulative Years in PovertyAll PersonsBlackNon-Black
0 Years78.850.682.9
1 - 2 Years11.314.910.7
3 - 5 Years5.314.44.0
6 - 8 Years2.811.22.0
9 - 10 Years1.88.90.7
 100100100
 Children 0 - 5 in 1982: 1982-1991
Cumulative Years in PovertyAll ChildrenBlack ChildrenNon-Black Children
0 Years73.340.979.2
1 - 2 Years12.316.511.6
3 - 5 Years7.514.86.1
6 - 8 Years3.211.11.7
9 - 10 Years3.816.81.4
 100100100
 All Persons: 1972 - 1981
Cumulative Years in PovertyAll PersonsBlackNon-Black
0 Years79.245.683.7
1 - 2 Years12.32011.3
3 - 5 Years4.616.63.1
6 - 8 Years2.510.41.5
9 – 10 Years1.27.50.4
 100100100
 Children 0 - 5 in 1972: 1972-1981
Cumulative Years in PovertyAll ChildrenBlack ChildrenNon-Black Children
0 Years75.634.182.3
1 - 2 Years13.121.711.7
3 - 5 Years5.620.53.2
6 - 8 Years3.211.11.9
9 – 10 Years2.512.80.9
 100100100

Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of a Poverty Spell

Events that trigger the beginning or ending of a poverty episode indicate an increased or decreased likelihood of future dependence.

Table ECON 5a. Percentage of First Poverty Spell Beginnings Associated with Specific Events

 Spell Began 1973 – 1979Spell Began 1980 - 1985Spell Began 1986 - 1991

Note: Events are defined to be neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. Work limitation is defined as a self-reported physical or nervous condition that limits the type of work or the amount of work the respondent can do.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1968 - 1992.

First birth to an unmarried, non-cohabiting mother4.25.87.3
First birth to other circumstances2.34.52.3
Second (or higher order) birth9.210.217.9
Divorce/separation10.916.214.6
Mother's work hours decreased by more than 500 hours per year12.521.428.6
Other adults' work hours decreased by more than 500 hours, but no change in family structure29.027.627.7
Other adults' work hours decreased by more than 500 hours, and a change in family structure24.622.916.3
Householder acquired work limitation13.917.223.7
Other transfer income dropped by $1,000 or more (in 1996$)5.93.52.9
Changed state of residence7.510.08.0
  • During the 1986 to 1991 time period, first poverty spell beginnings were most often associated with a second or higher order birth (18 percent), a decrease in mothers’ work hours (29 percent), a decrease in other’s work hours (28 percent and 16 percent), or a work limitation (24 percent).
  • The percentages of first poverty spell beginnings associated with decreases in mothers’ work hours increased dramatically over the three time periods, from 13 percent in the earliest period to 29 percent in the most recent period.
  • The percentages of first poverty episodes associated with the householder acquiring a work limitation increased over time to nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of all first poverty spells beginning between 1986 and 1991.

Table ECON 5b. Percentage of First Poverty Spell Endings Associated with Specific Events

 Spell Ended 1973 – 1979Spell Ended 1980 - 1985Spell Ended 1986 - 1991

Note: Events are defined to be neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive. Work limitation is defined as a self-reported physical or nervous condition that limits the type of work or the amount of work the respondent can do.

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1968 - 1992.

Mother married or acquired cohabitor14.214.011.5
Children under 18 no longer present2.01.34.3
Mother's work hours increased by more than 500 hours19.822.521.1
Other adults' work hours increased by more than 500 hours, but no change in family structure23.729.522.5
Other adults' work hours increased by more than 500 hours, and a change in family structure12.18.58.1
Householder no longer reports work limitation14.319.120.1
Other transfer income increased by $1,000 or more (in 1996$)4.25.33.8
Changed state of residence8.914.09.5
  • Between 1986 and 1991, most first poverty spell exits were associated with increased work hours of mothers (21 percent), increased work hours for other adults (23 percent) or a change in work limitations (20 percent).
  • The percentage of first poverty spell endings associated with marriage or cohabitation decreased somewhat in the 1986 to 1991 time period relative to the earlier time periods (from 14 to 12 percent).
  • The percentages of first poverty spell endings associated with increases in transfer income remained relatively stable over the three time periods (around 4 to 5 percent).
  • The percentages of spell endings associated with a householder no longer reporting a work limitation increased between the first two time periods and remained stable between the last two time periods.

Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Intergenerational Poverty

The extent to which parental poverty is associated with poverty of their children as adults illustrates a significant risk to current and future dependence.

Figure ECON 6. Poverty Status in 1990 of Persons under 18 and Poor in 1970

Figure ECON 6. Poverty Status in 1990 of Persons under 18 and Poor in 1970

Source: Table ECON 6.


  • Among children who were age 0 to 18 and lived in poor families in 1970, 17 percent of white children and 38 percent of black children also lived in poverty as adults in 1990. In other words, poor black children were more than twice as likely as poor white children to be poor as adults.
  • Similar percentages of white and black children who were age 0 to 18 and poor in 1970 were “near-poor” (above 100 percent but less than 200 percent of the poverty level) as adults in 1990 (30 percent for whites and 28 percent for blacks). In contrast, white children were much more likely to be living above 200 percent of the poverty level as adults in 1990 (53 percent) than were black children (34 percent).

Table ECON 6. Poverty Status in 1990 of Persons Who Were under 18 and Poor in 1970

 Income under 100% of PovertyIncome between 100% and 200% of PovertyIncome at or above 200% of Poverty
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1970 and 1990.
White16.630.453.2
Black37.828.134.2

Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Pre-transfer and Posttransfer Poverty Rates

Trends in the pre- and post-transfer rates of poverty which show the anti-poverty effectiveness of social security and of the major means-tested assistance program benefits.

Figure ECON 7. Poverty Rate of All Persons in Families with Related Children Under 18 Using Alternative Definitions of Income, 1979-1996

Figure ECON 7. Poverty Rate of All Persons in Families with Related Children Under 18 Using Alternative Definitions of Income, 1979-1996

Note: The pre-transfer rate measures poverty in terms of cash income (only) before all transfers. The official rate measures it in terms of cash income plus social security and means-tested cash transfers. The post-transfer rate measures poverty after adding not only social security and means-tested cash transfers but also the market value of food and housing benefits plus taxes (including the refundable EITC as well as Federal payroll and income taxes); it does not include the fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.


  • In all years reported, the pre-transfer poverty rate for families with related children under age18 was much higher than both the official poverty rate and the post-transfer poverty rate.
  • Table ECON 7 shows that the total effect of transfers and taxes was to reduce the poverty rate by 6.1 percentage points in 1972, 4.2 percentage points in 1983, and 6.7 percentage points in 1996.

Table ECON 7. Antipoverty Effectiveness of Cash and Near-Cash Transfers for All Persons in Families with Related Children Under 18, Selected Fiscal Years

 197919831989199319951996

Note: EITC denotes Earned Income Tax Credit. The pre-transfer rate measures poverty in terms of cash income (only) before all transfers. The official rate measures it in terms of cash income plus social security and means-tested cash transfers. The post-transfer rate measures poverty after adding not only social security and means-tested cash transfers but also the market value of food and housing benefits plus taxes (including the refundable EITC as well as Federal payroll and income taxes); it does not include the fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.

Total Population (in millions)133.4132.1135.4144.6146.2146.8
Pre-Transfer Poor Population (in millions)22.128.925.232.229.228.7
Percent of Poor Persons Removed from Poverty Due to:      
    Social Insurance (other than Social Security)4.46.93.44.23.52.7
    Social Security9.15.96.56.36.16.3
    Means-Tested Cash8.23.55.15.86.66.3
    Food and Housing Benefits16.58.711.710.212.511.2
    EITC and Fed. Payroll and Income Taxes-1.7-5.8-2.82.36.67.6
Total Percent of Pre-Transfer Poor Removed from Poverty by All Transfers36.619.123.928.935.234.1
Poverty Rate (in percent):      
    Cash Income Before Transfers (pre-transfer)16.621.918.622.320.019.6
    Plus Social Ins. (other than Social Security)15.820.418.021.419.319.1
    Plus Social Security14.319.116.820.018.117.8
    Plus Means-Tested Cash Transfers (official poverty rate)12.918.415.818.716.816.6
    Plus Food and Housing Benefits10.216.513.616.414.314.4
    Plus EITC, less Fed. Payroll & Income Taxes (post-trans.)10.517.714.115.913.012.9
    Total Reduction in Poverty Rate6.14.24.56.47.06.7
  • Table ECON 7 shows that a substantial percentage of the poor population was removed from poverty by transfers in all years shown. The percentage of poor persons removed from poverty due to transfers was 37 percent in 1979, declining to 19 percent in 1983, and rising to 34 percent in 1996.
  • Table ECON 7 shows that the percentage of the poor population removed from poverty due to food and housing benefits is much larger in all reported years than the percentage removed due to other transfers. In 1996, more than 11 percent of the poor population was removed from poverty due to food and housing benefits.
  • Table ECON 7 also shows that whereas tax policies, including the EITC and Federal payroll and income taxes, did not remove any poor individuals from poverty in 1979, 1983, and 1989, the trend reversed in 1993. By 1996, EITC net of Federal payroll and income taxes removed about 8 percent of the poor population from poverty

Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Child SUPPORT

Child support provides critical income to families with children and reduces the likelihood of dependence. These child support risk factors reflect the presence and magnitude of child support payments made by noncustodial parents for families receiving services from the Child Support Enforcement Program.

Figure ECON 8a. Total, Non-AFDC/TANF, and AFDC/TANF Title IV-D Child Support Collections, 1978 – 1997

Figure ECON 8a. Total, Non-AFDC/TANF, and AFDC/TANF Title IV-D Child Support Collections, 1978 – 1997

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1997 Data Report, 1998 (and earlier years), Washington, DC.


  • Total collections paid through the Child Support Enforcement system (Title IV-D of the Social Security Act) grew at an annual rate of growth of 14.4 percent (current dollars) from FY 1978 to FY 1997. The average rate of growth was higher for collections on behalf of non-AFDC families (16.5 percent) than for collections on behalf of AFDC families (9.9 percent). This rate of growth is attributable to both increases in the number of noncustodial parents paying child support and increases in the amount of child support paid per case.

Table ECON 8a. Total, Non-AFDC/TANF, and AFDC/TANF Title IV-D Child Support Collections, 1978 to 1997

 Total Collections (In millions) 
 TotalAFDC Collections  
Fiscal YearCurrent DollarsConstant '97 DollarsTotalPayments to AFDC FamiliesFederal & State Share of CollectionsNon-AFDC CollectionsTotal IV-D Administrative Expenditures

Note: Not all states report current child support collections in all years. Constant dollar adjustments to 1997 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year average price index.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1997 Data Report, 1998 (and earlier years), Washington, DC.

1978$1,047$2,527$472$13$459$575$312
19791,3332,95459712584736383
19801,4782,93760310593874466
19811,6292,94867112659958526
19821,7712,99278615771985612
19832,0243,284880158651,144691
19842,3783,6961,000179831,378723
19852,6944,0381,0901899011,604814
19863,2494,7501,2252759552,019941
19873,9175,5691,3492781,0702,5691,066
19884,6056,2901,4862891,1883,1281,171
19895,2416,8311,5933071,2863,6481,363
19906,0107,4621,7503341,4164,2601,606
19916,8868,1381,9843811,6034,9021,804
19927,9649,1362,2594351,8245,7051,995
19938,9079,9192,4164461,9716,4912,241
19949,85010,6862,5504572,0937,3002,556
199510,82711,4282,6894742,2158,1383,012
199612,02012,3442,8554802,3759,1653,055
199713,38013,3802,8561572,69810,5243,424
  • From FY 1984 through FY 1996, the first $50 dollars of each month’s child support collection was passed-through to families that were receiving AFDC benefits. The “Collections Paid to Families” shown in Table ECON 8a reflects this $50 pass-through and other benefit adjustments. In FY 1997, states were no longer required to continue the $50 pass-through, and so collections paid to families dropped from $480 million in FY 1996 to $157 million in FY 1997.

Figure ECON 8b. Average Annual Child Support Enforcement Payments for Current Support by Noncustodial Parents with an Obligation and Payment in Nominal and Constant 1997 Dollars, 1986 to 1997

Figure ECON 8b. Average Annual Child Support Enforcement Payments for Current Support by Noncustodial Parents with an Obligation and Payment in Nominal and Constant 1997 Dollars, 1986 to 1997

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1997 Data Report, 1998, and Twentieth Annual Report to Congress, for the period ending September 30, 1995 (and earlier years), Washington, DC.


  • Figure ECON 8b represents the average annual payment of current support by noncustodial parents for families receiving services through the child support enforcement system. Payments on behalf of families not receiving AFDC were about twice as large as those payments for families receiving AFDC. (Note that many families not on AFDC may have received AFDC sometime in the past.)
  • As shown in Table ECON 8b, annual payments in current dollars on behalf of AFDC and non-AFDC families have increased by more than 40 percent between FY 1986 and FY 1997. However, when converted to constant dollars, per capita payments have not quite kept pace with inflation.
  • In FY 1996, collections were received from about 60 percent of the cases with orders and those collections represented about 52 percent of the current child support due (Table ECON 8b2). About 32 percent of the current support due on behalf of AFDC families is collected, compared to 60 percent collected on behalf of families not receiving AFDC.

Table ECON 8b1. Average Annual Child Support Enforcement Payments for Current Support by Noncustodial Parents with an Obligation and Payment in Nominal and Constant Dollars, 1986 – 1997

 AFDC/TANFNon-AFDC/TANFTotals 
 Current DollarsConstant ’97 DollarsCurrent DollarsConstant ’97 DollarsCurrent DollarsConstant ’97 DollarsFY CPI-U
1986-97       
– change$402-$27$379-$515$685$2350.5
– percent41.9%-1.9%19.6%-18.2%47.8%1.1%46.2%
Note: Data for 1997 are preliminary and does not include information from Florida, Hawaii, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1997 Data Report, 1998, and Twenty-first Annual Report to Congress, for the period ending September 30, 1996 (and earlier years), Washington, DC.
1986$959$1,402$1,936$2,830$1,433$2,095109.3
19879101,2941,8512,6321,4162,013112.4
19889751,3321,7932,4491,4682,005117.0
19891,0461,3631,7702,3071,4571,899122.6
19901,1101,3781,9982,4811,6722,076128.7
19911,0491,2401,9892,3511,7112,022135.2
19921,2101,3882,3142,6551,9192,201139.3
19931,2301,3702,4982,7821,9902,216143.5
19941,1781,2782,2662,4581,8892,049147.3
19951,2941,3662,5952,7392,1672,287151.4
19961,2801,3152,5912,6612,1522,210155.6
19971,3611,3612,3152,3152,1182,118159.8

Table ECON 8b2. Proportion of IV-D Cases with Orders and Collections and Proportion of Amount Paid to Amount Due, FY 1996 (In millions)

 AFDC CasesNon-AFDC CasesTotal Cases

Note: FY 1997 data are not available.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1996 Data Report, Washington, DC, 1997 and unpublished data.

Number of Cases with Orders (Current Support)2.444.136.57
Number of Cases with Collections (Current Support)1.202.763.96
Percent of Cases with Collection (Current Support)49%67%60%
Amount of Current Support Due$4,795$11,971$16,766
Amount of Current Support Paid$1,535$ 7,150$ 8,684
Percent Paid32%60%52%

Figure ECON 8c. Percentage of Single Mothers Receiving Child Support by Marital Status and Receipt of Income Assistance, 1977 – 1996

Figure ECON 8c. Percentage of Single Mothers Receiving Child Support by Marital Status and Receipt of Income Assistance, 1977 – 1996

Source: Elaine Sorensen, the Urban Institute, unpublished data from the March Current Population Survey Public Use Files, 1978 – 1997.


  • Single mothers enrolled in the AFDC program are less likely than other single mothers to receive child support, even after controlling for marital status. Since the authorization of the Child Support Enforcement program in the mid-1970s, the proportion of single AFDC mothers receiving child support has generally increased, resulting in a narrowing of the gap between AFDC and non-AFDC mothers. Between 1995 and 1996, however, the proportion of AFDC recipients receiving child support declined, following drops in the AFDC caseload and shifts in its composition.

Table ECON 8c. Percentage of Single Mothers Receiving Child Support and Alimony by Marital Status and Receipt of Income Assistance, 1977 – 1996

 DivorcedSeparatedNever Married
 AFDCNon-AFDCAFDCNon-AFDCAFDCNon-AFDC
1977-96 Change14.5-4.013.2-0.613.214.8

Note: Married women also receive child support, but the proportion of eligible married women cannot be identified on the March CPS file. Child support and alimony were not collected as separate items prior to 1988. They are left combined for all years to ensure comparability across years.

Source: Elaine Sorensen, the Urban Institute, unpublished data from the March Current Population Survey Public Use Files,
1978 - 1997.

197713.257.57.134.22.63.7
197814.056.17.232.45.49.9
197912.255.29.334.34.69.9
198013.053.37.428.41.89.2
198113.956.910.433.23.35.6
198210.852.08.030.34.09.7
198313.849.59.132.33.98.2
198415.653.36.228.64.210.9
198518.354.110.328.29.011.2
198629.455.016.732.59.012.2
198730.652.214.831.111.39.6
198826.550.314.430.310.311.3
198932.952.417.330.013.511.1
199025.053.716.630.314.012.4
199127.954.515.027.112.713.1
199230.654.617.230.414.815.5
199333.153.723.028.113.418.1
199433.652.124.232.114.418.9
199535.051.326.332.616.618.9
199627.753.520.333.615.818.5
  • Figure ECON 8c also shows that divorced and separated women are more likely to receive child support than are never-married women.
  • The proportion of never-married women receiving child support is similar for the AFDC and non-AFDC populations. The upward trend lines for both groups reflect the paternity establishment activities of the Child Support Enforcement Program, as very few paternities are established outside of the CSE system.
  • The proportion of divorced and separated women receiving child support but not AFDC payments has remained relatively constant.

Figure ECON 8d. Estimated Children Under 18 Born Outside of Marriage With Paternity Established, 1978 – 1997

 src=

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics of the United States, annual and Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 1, Supplement 2, September 11, 1997 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1997 Data Report, 1998 (and earlier years), Washington, DC.


  • The cumulative number of children needing paternity to be established has risen steadily over the last two decades due to growing numbers of children being born outside of marriage. The cumulative total of children born outside of marriage as of 1997 was about 17.5 million as shown in Figure ECON 8d. While the number and percentage of paternity establishments has increased, 45 percent of these children still did not have a legally identified father.

Table ECON 8d. Estimated Children under 18 Born Outside of Marriage with Paternity Established

(In thousands)

 19781980198219841986198819901992199419961997

1 Non-marital births in 1997 are estimated based on the 12 months ending June 1997 as compared to the preceding 12 months.

Note: Total children under 18 years of age who were born outside of marriage is the cumulative total of nonmarital births less deaths; paternities established is the cumulative total of voluntary and C.S.E. paternity establishment as well as estimated births legitimated by marriage and adoption. An unknown number of children born outside of marriage are living with step-fathers who may have assumed paternal responsibility without legal adoption.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Vital Statistics of the United States, annual and Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 1, Supplement 2, September 11, 1997 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Preliminary Child Support Enforcement FY 1997 Data Report, 1998 (and earlier years), Washington, DC.

Children Under 18 Born Outside of Marriage (est.)6,2126,9327,7818,6749,68010,81612,17513,74315,32616,81617,501
Paternity Not Established3,4603,8694,3714,8775,4876,0936,7867,6388,3068,2687,910
Paternity Established2,7523,0633,4103,7974,1934,7225,3896,1057,0208,5489,591
    Percent of Children44.344.243.843.843.343.744.344.445.850.854.8
Paternities Established for Nonmarital Births in a Year:
Nonmarital Births15446667157708781,0051,1651,2251,2901,2601,267
Paternities Established1111441732192453073935126761,0431,282
    Percent of Births20.421.624.228.427.930.533.741.852.582.7101.2
  • As shown in Table ECON 8d, the number of paternities established each year as a percent of the number of children born outside of marriage each year has increased from 20 percent in 1978 to over 100 percent in 1997. This increasing rate of paternity establishment in the 1990s has increased the proportion of children with paternity established from about 44 percent in the period prior to 1994 to nearly 55 percent in 1997.
  • The proportion of all children under age 18 with paternities established has increased significantly in the past few years. This increase reflects the additional paternities now being established in the hospitals at the time of the birth of the child.
  • Reporting of in-hospital paternity establishments is voluntary and reflects reports from only 39 states, therefore the rate of increase in paternity establishments over the past few years may be underestimated.

Economic Security Risk Factor 9. Food Insecurity

Household food insecurity, including (at a severe level) direct hunger among children in the household, is related to general income poverty and is expected to affect children’s health, cognitive and social development, and general school success.

Figure ECON 9. Percentage of Households Classified as Food Insecure, 1995

Figure ECON 9. Percentage of Households Classified as Food Insecure, 1995

Source: Table ECON 9. See table for definition of food secure households.


  • A large majority (88 percent) of American households was food secure in the year ending April 1995. Food secure households show little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • About 11.9 million (of approximately 100 million) households experienced food insecurity - not being able to afford enough food - at some level during 1995. Most of the food insecure households were food insecure without hunger, meaning that although food insecurity was evident in their concerns and in adjustments to household food management, including reduced quality of diets, little or no reduction in food intake was reported.
  • About 4 percent of the 100 million households were classified as food insecure with hunger. Thus, one or more adult members of some 4.2 million households were estimated to have experienced reduced food intake and hunger as a result of financial constraints in the year ending April 1995.
  • About 800,000 households were classified as food insecure with severe hunger, meaning that children, as well as adults, experienced reduced food intake and hunger.

Table ECON 9. Percentage of Households Classified as Food Insecure, 1995

 Food SecureFood Insecure No HungerFood Insecure Moderate HungerFood Insecure Severe Hunger

Note: Persons of Hispanic ethnicity can be any race. Food secure households show little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake. Households classified as food insecure without hunger report food-related concerns and adjustments to household food management but report little or no reduction in food intake. Households classified as food insecure with moderate hunger report reduced food intake and hunger among adults, while households are defined as food insecure with severe hunger if they report reduced food intake and hunger among children as well as adults.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Household Food Security in the United States in 1995.

All Households88.17.83.30.8
Households with Children Under 6, by Race
White82.613.13.60.6
Black70.119.78.81.4
Hispanic66.823.67.91.7
Other79.414.14.02.6
Households with Children Under 18, by Race
White84.611.13.60.7
Black71.818.18.51.6
Hispanic69.621.67.51.3
Other81.112.64.71.6
Households with Elderly but no Children, by Race
White95.33.21.30.2
Black81.712.64.31.4
Hispanic79.115.24.01.7
Other87.77.83.60.9
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio (all races and household types)
Under 0.5058.424.612.14.9
Under 1.0064.722.110.03.1
Under 1.3068.120.09.32.6
Under 1.8573.817.07.31.9
1.85 and over95.82.81.20.2
Households with Children under 18 (all races)
Married-Couple Families88.58.82.30.5
Female Head, No Spouse64.722.910.32.0
Male Head, No Spouse81.412.05.61.0
  • The prevalence of food insecurity is higher among non-white households than among white households. As shown in Table ECON 9, 10 percent of black and Hispanic households with children under six experience food insecurity with either moderate or severe hunger, compared with 4 percent of white households with children under six.
  • Households with an income-to-poverty ratio under 1.00 have a higher rate of food insecurity with moderate or severe hunger – 13 percent – than the 4 percent rate for the total population.
  • Female-headed households with children under 18 had a higher prevalence of food insecurity with moderate or severe hunger (12 percent) than male-headed families (7 percent) or married-couple families (3 percent).

Economic Security Risk Factor 10. Health Insurance

A lack of health insurance may be the precursor to future health problems and as such a risk factor of dependence.

Figure ECON 10. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance by Age, 1996

Figure ECON 10. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance by Age, 1996

Source: Table ECON 10.


  • Among all age categories, young adults age 18 to 24 were the most likely to be without health insurance in 1996 (29 percent).
  • Sixteen percent of the population was without health insurance in 1996 as shown in Table ECON 10.
  • Table ECON 10 also shows that among racial groups, a much larger percentage of Hispanics were without health insurance (34 percent) than non-Hispanic whites (12 percent) or non-Hispanic blacks (22 percent).
Table ECON 10. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance by Age, 1996
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, March Current Population Survey, 1997.
All Persons16
 
Non-HispanicWhite12
Non-HispanicBlack22
Hispanic34
Other21
 
Children 0 - 514
Children 6 - 814
Children 9 - 1115
Children 12 - 1416
Children 15 - 1717
Total 0 - 1715
 
Adults 18 - 2429
Adults 25 - 3422
Adults 35 - 4416
Adults 45 - 5414
Adults 55 - 6414
 
Women Age 18 - 6414
Men Age 18 - 6418
  
Adults Age 65 and over1

Economic Security Risk Factor 11. Percentage Residing in High-poverty Neighborhoods

High-poverty neighborhoods are often associated with relatively lower quality services (e.g., education, medical) that can have a negative effect on development and increase the risk of dependence.

Figure ECON 11. Percentage of Total Population Residing in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, 1990

Figure ECON 11. Percentage of Total Population Residing in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, 1990

Source: Table ECON 11.


  • Black and Hispanic individuals were disproportionately represented in high-poverty neighborhoods in 1990, as shown in Figure ECON 11. Whereas 14 percent of black individuals and 9 percent of Hispanic individuals resided in neighborhoods where over 40 percent of residents were poor, only 1 percent of white individuals lived in such neighborhoods.
  • The percentage of black individuals living in high-poverty neighborhoods has increased over time, from 11 percent in 1970 to 14 percent in 1990, as shown in Table ECON 11. This has contributed to an overall increase in the percentage of the population residing in high-poverty neighborhoods, from 2 percent in 1970 to 3 percent in 1990.

Table ECON 11. Percentage of Total Population Residing in High-Poverty Neighborhoods, Selected Years

 197019801990

Note: Neighborhoods are defined as census tracts and block-numbering areas. A highpoverty area is defined as having 40% or more of the residents' incomes below the official poverty line.

Source: Jargowsky, Paul. Poverty and Place: Ghetto, Barrios, and the American City. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1997.

All persons2.12.33.2
White0.60.60.9
Black11.212.114.3
Hispanic8.27.39.0

Economic Security Risk Factor 12. Residential Mobility

Frequent changes of residence are disruptive events for children and may increase the risk of dependence.

Figure ECON 12. Percentage of Persons and Families with Children Who Moved in a Given One-Year Period

Figure ECON 12. Percentage of Persons and Families with Children Who Moved in a Given One-Year Period

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Geographical Mobility,” Current Populations Reports, Series P20, Nos. 463,
473, 481, 485, 497 and 510.


  • Single-parent families with children under age 18 were much more likely to move in a year than married-couple families in each of the periods shown above.
  • Residential mobility for all persons age 1 year and older remained essentially unchanged, dropping only one percentage point from 17 percent to 16 percent over the period as the economy recovered from the recession in the early 1990s.
  • Female-headed families with children were much more likely to move in a year than marriedcouple families with children, in each of the one-year periods shown.
  • Residential mobility decreased one percentage point every two years for children age 1 to 14 from 1987 - 1988 to 1993 - 1994.
  • Residential mobility for adults age 25 and above remained essentially unchanged, dropping only one percentage point over this period.

Table ECON 12. Number and Percentage of Individuals and Families Who Moved in a Given One-Year Period, Selected Years

 1990-911991-921992-931993-941995-961996-97

Note: Residential mobility measures the percent of individual over age 1 who changed houses between March of the first year and March of the next year. The mobility of married-couple and female single-parent families is the percent of householders age 15 to 54 with own children under 18 who changed houses.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Geographical Mobility,” Current Populations Reports, Series P20, Nos. 463, 473, 481, 485, 497 and 510.

 Number Moving (in millions)
Total Population 1 year and older41.542.842.042.842.542.1
Persons 25 years and over32.333.233.033.632.2NA
All Families with Children      
    Age 1-4 years3.53.53.53.53.93.7
    Age 5-9 years3.33.33.13.33.63.8
    Age 10-14 years2.52.82.52.52.82.9
Married Couples with Children      
    Under 18 years3.73.93.83.73.63.5
    Under 6 years1.61.61.61.51.51.3
Single Parents with Children      
    Under 18 years2.32.52.32.52.42.6
    Under 6 years0.80.90.91.00.90.9
 Percent Moving
Total Population 1 year and older17.017.316.816.716.316.0
Persons 25 years and over16.717.016.716.715.8NA
All Families with Children      
    Age 1-4 years22.723.022.221.524.323.0
    Age 5-9 years17.618.016.516.917.918.7
    Age 10-14 years14.115.413.412.914.215.0
Married Couples with Children      
    Under 18 years15.816.316.015.415.014.2
    Under 6 years25.125.425.023.924.521.8
Single Parents with Children      
    Under 18 years29.030.327.328.126.827.7
    Under 6 years46.446.743.643.942.843.4

Economic Security Risk Factor 13. Adult Incarceration

This risk factor tracks trends in the extent to which adults are living apart from their children because they are incarcerated. An incarcerated parent leaves his orher family at increased risk of dependence.

Figure ECON 13. Estimated Number of Sentenced Male Prisoners Under State or Federal Jurisdiction per 100,000 Resident Population, 1981 to 1996

Figure ECON 13. Estimated Number of Sentenced Male Prisoners Under State or Federal Jurisdiction per 100,000 Resident Population, 1981 to 1996

Source: Table ECON 13.


  • From 1980 to 1996, the number of black men incarcerated per 100,000 population increased 185 percent, while the rate for white men increased 144 percent in the same period.
  • Table ECON 13 shows that the rate of incarceration for women, while still very small relative to men, rose 364 percent from 1980 to 1996, with white female incarceration increasing 400 percent and black female incarceration increasing 307 percent.
  • Table ECON 13 also shows that the rates for black men and black women were much higher than the rates for white men and white women in 1996.

Table ECON 13. Estimated Number of Sentenced Prisoners Under State or Federal Jurisdiction per 100,000 Resident Population

 Total Men and WomenaAll MenaWhite MenBlack MenAll WomenaWhite WomenBlack Women
1980139275188111111645
1981154304186121712750
1982171337206134514857
1983179354217141215958
1984188370228145916963
19852023972461559171068
19862174262611895201277
19872314532771800221382
19882474822901951241591
198927653531722002917115
199029756433822343119117
199131359535223683319129
199233263137324993520136
199335968540227184023155
199438973943229234526169
199541178144930954727176
199642780945831625130183

Notes: Sentenced prisoners are those with a sentence of more than 1 year. Rates are based on U.S. resident population on July 1 of each year. Rates for 1990--1996 may differ from those previously published because the number of prisoners under jurisdiction have been revised and the resident population by sex and race have been adjusted for the Census undercount.

a Includes Asians, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and other racial groups.

Sources: Correctional Populations in the United States, 1994, 1995, 1996; U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ-160091, June 1996; NCJ-163916, May 1997; NCJ-170013, November 1998.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 1. Labor Force Attachment

This risk factor focuses exclusively on the participation of an adult in the labor market, without regard to whether means-tested assistance was received concurrently. Measuring labor force attachment reflects a critical aspect of the risk of dependence.

Figure WORK 1. Percentage of All Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1994

Figure WORK 1. Percentage of All Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1994

Source: Table WORK 1a.


  • In 1994, most individuals, regardless of race, lived in families with at least one person participating in the labor force on a full-time basis.
  • Non-Hispanic blacks were more likely than Hispanics or non-Hispanic whites to live in families with no one in the labor force.
  • As shown in Table WORK 1a, younger children were slightly more likely than older children to live in families with no one in the labor force.
  • Table WORK 1a shows that working-age women were more likely than working-age men to live in families with no one in the labor force, and less likely to live in families with at least one full-time labor force participant.
  • The percentage of individuals in families with no one in the labor force increased slightly, from 16 percent in 1987 to 17 percent in 1994, as shown in Table WORK 1b.

Table WORK 1a. Percentage of All Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1994

 No One in Labor ForceAt Least One Person in Labor Force, No Full-Time ParticipantsAt Least One Full-Time Labor Force Participant

Note: Full-time labor force participants are defined as those who usually work 35 or more hours per week.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 panel.

All Persons16.79.174.3
Racial Categories   
Non-Hispanic White16.28.275.6
Non-Hispanic Black21.712.366.0
Hispanic16.610.772.7
Age Categories   
Children Age 0 - 512.38.978.9
Children Age 6 - 1011.69.379.1
Children Age 11 - 159.69.481.0
Women Age 16 - 6419.29.471.4
Men Age 16 - 6414.18.677.3

Table WORK 1b. Percentage of All Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, 1987 to 1994

 198719881990199119931994

Note: Full-time labor force participants are defined as those who usually work 35 or more hours per week.

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1987, 1990, and 1993 panels.

No One in the Labor Force15.715.515.816.216.316.7
At Least One Person in Labor Force, no Full-Time Participants8.37.77.88.69.59.1
At Least One Full-Time Labor Force Participant76.076.876.475.274.274.3

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 2. Employment Among the Low-skilled

This risk factor tracks trends in the percentage of men and women with 12 years of schooling or less who are engaged in paid employment. These trends illustrate a key risk of dependence.

Figure WORK 2. Percent of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with no more than a High School Education who were Employed, 1969 to 1998

Figure WORK 2. Percent of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with no more than a High School Education who were Employed, 1969 to 1998

Source: Table WORK 2.


  • The percentage of low-skilled men who were employed dropped significantly between 1969 and 1984, with the largest decline among black men. During this time period, the percentage of high school-educated black men who were employed dropped 20 percentage points, from 90 percent to 70 percent; for low-skilled white men, employment rates dropped 8 percentage points over this time period, from 93 percent to 85 percent.
  • Since 1984, employment levels for high school-educated white men and Hispanic men have leveled off, hovering close to 85 percent. Employment levels for low-skilled black men have fluctuated over the past fifteen years, rising as high as 76 percent in 1991, and falling as low as 69 percent in 1995.
  • In 1998, only 72 percent of black men with no more than a high school education were working compared to 85 percent of similarly educated white and Hispanic men.
  • The employment rates for low-skilled women have steadily increased since the early 1970s. Since 1973, employment levels for white and black women have improved by about 20 percentage points. The improvement for Hispanic women, however, has been much less pronounced.

Table WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More Than a High School Education Who Were Employed, 1969 to 1998

 MenWomen
YearWhiteBlackHispanicWhiteBlackHispanic

Note: White and Black includes Hispanic for all years. Hispanic was not available until 1975.

Source: ASPE tabulations of March Current Population Surveys.

196992.889.9NA55.865.8NA
197092.189.2NA56.164.9NA
197290.986.1NA55.259.4NA
197384.176.8NA45.647.4NA
197688.278.886.258.357.249.7
197888.378.689.859.857.451.4
198088.678.589.462.358.755.0
198188.075.387.462.357.453.0
198287.374.487.962.357.752.1
198385.471.385.460.756.250.6
198484.869.984.661.455.350.8
198586.171.683.962.958.453.1
198685.774.584.163.759.452.4
198786.374.286.764.460.353.0
198886.673.985.665.859.954.0
198986.574.187.866.461.354.6
199086.674.086.267.260.955.8
199187.475.685.466.860.455.0
199286.273.985.066.560.754.6
199385.571.483.765.957.853.3
199484.471.183.566.159.952.2
199584.769.383.266.660.753.3
199685.570.283.367.059.753.9
199785.670.084.067.763.655.4
199885.371.885.067.766.156.9

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. Earnings of Low-skilled Workers

The economic condition of the low-skill labor market is key to the ability of young adult men and women to support families without receiving means-tested assistance. This measure tracks trends in the earnings of low-skilled workers.

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More Than a High School Education (1995 Dollars), 1970 to 1994

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More Than a High School Education (1995 Dollars), 1970 to 1994

Source: Table WORK 3.


  • Mean weekly wages for full-time work by high school-educated men have decreased in real terms over the past quarter of a century. In 1970 the mean weekly wage for low-skilled men working full-time was $593 (in 1995 dollars); the comparable wage in 1994 was $523, representing a decrease of 12 percent.
  • A large gap exists between mean weekly wages for high school-educated white and black men, although it has been narrowing over time. In 1970, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled black men working full-time was $432 (in 1995 dollars), or 70 percent of the $615 average for white men. In 1994, full-time working black men with no more than a high school education received 82 percent of the weekly wages of white men, or a mean wage of $446, compared to a mean wage for white men of $539. The narrowing of this gap is predominantly a result of the declining value of white men’s mean wages.

Table WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More Than a High School Education (1995 Dollars), 1970 to 1994

 197019751980198519901994

Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and 35 hours per week. These data have been weighted to create an average for all men with no more than a high school diploma using population numbers from U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Reports, Series P-20. The population weights were calculated for 1970, 1980, and 1990 and the Other year weights were calculated using linear extrapolation.

Source: Blank, R., It Takes a Nation, 1997.

All Men$593$580$584$555$531$523
White Men615597603572545539
Black Men432460448440442446

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 4. ADULT/CHILD Disability

Health conditions that limit parents’ ability to work are important predictors of family economic problems and future dependence.

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of the Total Population Reporting a Disability, 1994

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of the Total Population Reporting a Disability, 1994

Source: Table WORK 4.


  • In 1994, adults were more likely than school-age children to have a functional disability, and school-age children were in turn more likely to have a functional disability than younger children.
  • As shown in Table WORK 4, the percentage of non-Hispanic blacks who reported a functional disability was larger than the percentages for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics.
  • Table WORK 4 also shows that while adults were more likely in 1994 to report a functional disability than children, a higher percentage of children than adults were actually recipients of disability program benefits.
Table WORK 4. Percentage of the Total Population Reporting a Disability, 1994

Note: Functional disability only includes those disabilities expected to last at least 12 months. Functional disabilities were defined as either: (1) limitations in or inability to perform a variety of physical activities (i.e. walking, lifting, reaching); (2) serious sensory impairments (i.e. inability to read newsprint even with glasses or contact lenses); (3) serious symptoms of mental illness (i.e. frequent depression or anxiety; frequent confusion, disorientation, or difficulty remembering) which has seriously interfered with life for the last year; (4) use of selected assistive devices (i.e. wheelchairs, scooter, walkers); (5) developmental delays for children identified by a physician (i.e. physical, learning); (6) for children under 5, inability to perform age-appropriate functions (i.e. sitting up, walking); and, (7) long-term care needs. Work disability is defined as limitations in or the inability to work as a result of a physical, mental or emotional health condition. Perceived disability is a new disability measure based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and includes individuals who were perceived by themselves or others as having a disability. Disability program recipients include persons covered by Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Special Education Services, Early Intervention Services, and/or disability pensions.

Source: Unpublished data from the 1994 National Health Interview Survey on Disability, Phase I; 1994 NHIS, and 1994 Family Resources Supplement.

Functional Disability
All Persons18.3
Racial Categories 
Non-Hispanic White8.7
Non-Hispanic Black11.0
Hispanic7.7
Age Categories 
Children Age 0 - 57.2
Children Age 6 - 179.5
Adults Age 18 - 6416.2
Functional, Work, Perceived or Program Disability
Age 0 - 17 
Functional Disability8.7
Work DisabilityNA
Perceived Disability2.8
Disability Program Recipient6.7
Age 18 - 64 
Functional Disability16.2
Work Disability10.7
Perceived Disability7.0
Disability Program Recipient5.7

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 5. Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Adult alcohol and substance abuse is a risk factor for dependence.

Figure WORK 5. Percentage of Adults who used Cocaine, Marijana, or Alcohol, 1997

Figure WORK 5. Percentage of Adults who used Cocaine, Marijana, or Alcohol, 1997

Source: Table WORK 5.


  • In 1997, young adults (age 18 to 25) were more likely than other adults to report cocaine use, marijuana use, or alcohol abuse in the past month. One-eighth (13 percent) of adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month, compared with 6 percent of adults 26 to 34 and 3 percent of adults 35 and older. The age differences were less pronounced for cocaine use and alcohol abuse.
  • The percentages of persons reporting binge alcohol use were significantly larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors, across all age groups and for all years with reports on alcohol use, as shown in Table WORK 5. In 1997, for example, about one-fourth of adults under 35 (28 percent for adults 18 to 25, and 23 percent for adults 26 to 34) reported drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion at least once within the past month.
  • As shown in Table WORK 5, marijuana use was more prevalent than heavy alcohol use among adults ages 18 to 25 in the most recent years (1996 and 1997), as had been the case in earlier years (1985 and 1988). In the intervening years, however, heavy alcohol use was more prevalent than marijuana use among this age group. The recent trend is a result of both increasing marijuana use and decreasing heavy alcohol use in the 1990s, a reversal of the prior trend.

Table WORK 5. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997

 1979198519881991199419961997

Note: Cocaine and marijuana use is defined as use during the past month. “Binge" Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days. "Occasion" means at the same time or within a couple hours of each other. Heavy Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days; all Heavy Alcohol Users are also "Binge" Alcohol Users. Data for 1997 are preliminary.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Estimates, 1998.

Cocaine
Age 18 - 259.98.14.82.21.22.01.2
Age 26 - 343.06.32.81.91.31.50.9
Age 35 and Above0.20.50.40.50.40.40.5
Marijuana
Age 18 - 2535.621.715.312.912.113.212.8
Age 26 - 3419.719.012.37.76.96.36.0
Age 35 and Above2.92.61.82.62.32.02.6
Binge Alcohol Use
Age 18 - 25NA34.428.231.233.632.028.0
Age 26 - 34NA27.519.721.524.022.823.1
Age 35 and AboveNA12.99.710.111.811.311.7
Heavy Alcohol Use
Age 18 - 25NA13.812.015.213.212.911.1
Age 26 - 34NA11.57.17.98.07.17.5
Age 35 and AboveNA5.24.04.44.83.84.0

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 6. Children's Health Conditions

Health limitations may limit the labor force participation of parents and therefore illustrate a risk of dependence.

Table WORK 6. Selected Chronic Health Conditions per 1,000 Children Ages 0 to 17, 1984 to 1994

 198419871990199219931994
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Trends in the Well-Being of America’s Children and Youth: 1997. Table HC 2.4.
Respiratory Conditions
Chronic Bronchitis506253545955
Chronic Sinusitis475857698065
Asthma435358637269
Chronic Diseases of Tonsils or Adenoids343023282623
Impairments
Deformity or Orthopedic Impairment353629332928
Speech Impairment161914212021
Hearing Impairment241621151718
Visual Impairment91091079
Other Conditions
Heart Disease232219192018
Anemia1181011912
Epilepsy744355
  • Respiratory conditions were the most prevalent chronic health conditions experienced by children ages 0 to 17 throughout the time period, especially asthma. In 1994, 69 children per thousand had asthma, up from 43 children per thousand in 1984. The prevalence of chronic sinusitis also increased, from 47 children per thousand in 1984, to 65 children per thousand by 1994.
  • In 1994, 28 children per thousand had a deformity or orthopedic impairment, down from 35 children per thousand in 1984.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 7. Child CARE Expenditures

Proportion of total family income spent on child care in families with employed mothers is an important dimension of the risk of dependency.

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of Monthly Income Spent on Child Care for Preschoolers by Families with Employed Mothers, 1993

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of Monthly Income Spent on Child Care for Preschoolers by Families with Employed Mothers, 1993

Source: Table WORK 7.


  • Poor families with employed mothers of preschoolers spent a much larger percentage of their monthly family income on child care in 1993 relative to non-poor families with employed mothers (18 percent compared to 7 percent).
  • As shown in Table WORK 7, employed single mothers (no husband present) spent a larger percentage of their monthly family income on child care expenses than did employed married mothers.
  • Table WORK 7 shows that employed mothers who received assistance from AFDC, WIC or Food Stamps spent a larger percentage of their total monthly family income on child care relative to non-recipients (13 percent compared to 7 percent). Among recipients of these programs, AFDC recipients spent the largest percentage of their monthly family income on child care.

Table WORK 7. Percentage of Monthly Income Spent on Child Care for Preschoolers by Families with Employed Mothers, 1993

Table WORK 7. Percentage of Monthly Income Spent on Child Care for Preschoolers by
Families with Employed Mothers, 1993
All Families7.6
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White7.4
Non-Hispanic Black8.5
Hispanic9.0
Marital Status
Married, Husband Present7.0
Widowed, Separated, Divorced12.3
Never Married12.5
Poverty Status
Poor17.7
Non-Poor7.3
Program Participation
Recipient12.8
    AFDC17.1
    WIC12.3
Food Stamps14.6
Non-Recipient7.3

Note: Non-recipients are those in families not receiving AFDC, general assistance, Food Stamps or WIC.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, "What Does It Cost to Mind Our Preschoolers," Current Population Reports, Series P70-52, 1995.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 8. Educational Attainment

Completed schooling is one measure of job-skill level. Individuals with no more than a high school education have the lowest amount of human capital and are at the greatest risk of becoming poor despite their work effort. This risk factor tracks the trend in educational attainment.

Figure WORK 8. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and Over by Level of Educational Attainment, 1970 to 1997

Figure WORK 8. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and Over by Level of Educational Attainment, 1970 to 1997

Source: Table WORK 8.


  • Since 1970 there has been a marked decline in the percentage of the population with less than a high school education, dropping from 45 percent in 1970 to 18 percent in 1997.
  • The percentage of the population receiving a high school education but with no subsequent college was 34 percent in 1970, rose somewhat in the 1970s and 1980s, and then fell back to 34 percent by 1997.
  • Since 1970 there has been a consistent increase in the percentage of the population with some college (one to three years), rising from 11 to 25 percent.
  • The percentage of the population completing four or more years of college more than doubled from 1970 to 1997, rising steadily from 11 to 24 percent.

Table WORK 8. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and Over by Level of Educational Attainment, 1970 to 1997

 197019751980198519901991199219931997

Note: Completing the GED is not considered completing high school within this table. Beginning with data for 1992, a new question results in different categories than for earlier years. Data shown as 'High School, 4 years' is now collected by the category 'High School Graduate.' Data shown as 'College 1 to 3 years,' is now collected by 'Some College;' and two 'Associate Degree' categories. Data shown as 'College 4 years or more,' is now collected by the categories, 'Bachelor's Degree; Master's Degree;' 'Doctorate Degree;' 'Professional Degree.'

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Educational Attainment in the United States" Current Population Reports, Series P20, Nos. 476 (1994) and 505 (1998).

Less than High School453731262222212018
Finished High School, No College343637383839363534
One to Three Years of College101215161818222325
Four or More Years of College111417192121212224

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 9. High-school Dropout Rates

Although some teens who drop out of high school eventually graduate or obtain GEDS, dropout rates are reliable risk factors associated with teen problem behavior and future economic problems.

Figure WORK 9. Percentage of Students Enrolled in Grades 10 to 12 in the Previous Year Who Were Not Enrolled and Had Not Graduated in the Survey Year, 1975 to 1996

Figure WORK 9. Percentage of Students Enrolled in Grades 10 to 12 in the Previous Year Who Were Not Enrolled and Had Not Graduated in the Survey Year, 1975 to 1996

Source: Table WORK 9.


  • After declining steadily during the 1980s and the 1990s, dropout rates for teens in grades 10 to 12 began rising, from a total dropout rate of 4 percent in 1990 to a rate of 6 percent in 1995. The overall rate dropped back to 5 percent in 1996.
  • Dropout rates are highest for Hispanic teens. In 1996, the dropout rate was 9 percent for Hispanic teens, compared to 7 percent for black teens and 4 percent for white teens.

Table WORK 9. Percentage of Students Enrolled in Grades 10 to 12 in the Previous Year Who Were Not Enrolled and Had Not Graduated in the Survey Year, 1975 to 1996

 1975198019851990199119921993199419951996
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Trends in the Well-Being of America’s Children and Youth: 1998. Table EA 1.4.
Total5.86.15.24.04.04.44.55.35.75.0
White5.05.24.33.33.23.73.94.24.54.1
Black8.78.27.85.06.05.05.86.66.46.7
Hispanic10.911.79.87.97.38.26.710.012.39.0

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 1. Percentage of Births That are to Unmarried Women Within Age Groups

This risk factor shows the percentage of all births, within each age group, that are to unmarried women.

Figure TEEN 1. Percentage of Births That Are to Unmarried Women, by Age Group, 1940 to 1997

Figure TEEN 1. Percentage of Births That Are to Unmarried Women, by Age Group, 1940 to 1997

Source: Table TEEN 1.


  • The percentage of children born outside of marriage to women of all ages has increased over the past half-century, from 4 percent in 1940 to 32 percent in 1997. This increase reflects changes in several factors: the rate at which unmarried women have children, the rate at which married women have children, and the rate at which women marry.
  • The percentage of children born outside of marriage is especially high for teen women, as shown in Figure TEEN 1. Among teens, over three-quarters (78 percent) of births were outside of marriage in 1997. The comparable percentage for all women is 32 percent.
  • Figure TEEN 1 shows that the percentage of unmarried births to all women has leveled off since 1994. Growth in the percentage of unmarried births to teen mothers has also slowed since 1994, but it is still rising (from 76 percent in 1994 to 78 percent in 1997).
  • The trend toward leveling off has occurred for both black and white women (see Table C-1 in Appendix C for non-marital birth data by age and race).

Table TEEN 1. Percentage of Births That Are to Unmarried Women by Age Group, 1940 to 1997

YearUnder 1515-17 Years18-19 YearsAll TeensAll Women

Notes: Births to unmarried women in the United States for 1940 - 1979 are estimated from data for registration areas in which marital status of the mother was reported; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, births to unmarried women in the United States are based on data from states reporting marital status directly and data from non-reporting states for which marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate; see sources below. Data for 1997 are preliminary.

Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Births to Unmarried Mothers: United States, 1980 - 1992"; Vital and Health Statistics, Series 21, No. 53, 1995; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1995," Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 45, No. 11, Supplement, 1997; Ventura, S.J., Anderson, R.N., Martin, J.A, and Smith, B.L., "Births and Deaths: Preliminary Data for 1997," National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 47, No. 4, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD, 1998.

194064.5NANA143.8
194164.1NANA14.23.8
194264.5NANA13.23.4
194364.2NANA13.43.3
194464.5NANA15.73.8
194570NANA18.24.3
194666.4NANA15.73.8
194765.1NANA133.6
194861.420.88.512.73.7
194961.821.18.612.93.7
195063.722.69.413.94
195162.921.89.113.53.9
195263.622.89.2143.9
19536422.39.614.14.1
195464.423.210.114.74.4
195566.323.210.314.94.5
195666.1231014.64.6
195766.123.19.814.54.7
195866.223.310.314.95
195967.924.210.615.45.2
196067.82410.715.45.3
196169.725.311.316.25.6
196269.526.711.316.45.9
196371.128.212.5186.3
196474.229.913.519.76.8
196578.532.815.321.67.7
196676.335.316.122.68.4
196780.337.718259
19688140.420.127.69.7
196979.341.321.128.710
197080.84322.430.510.7
197182.144.523.231.811.3
197281.945.924.733.812.4
197384.846.725.63513
197484.648.32736.413.2
19758751.429.839.314.2
197686.45431.641.214.8
197788.256.634.443.815.5
197887.357.536.244.916.3
197988.86038.146.917.1
198088.761.539.848.318.4
198189.263.341.449.918.9
198289.2654351.419.4
198390.467.545.754.120.3
198491.169.248.156.321
198591.870.950.758.722
198692.573.353.661.523.4
198792.975.8566424.5
198893.677.158.565.925.7
198992.477.760.467.227.1
199091.677.761.367.628
199191.378.763.269.329.5
199291.379.264.670.530.1
199391.379.966.171.831
199494.584.17075.932.6
199593.583.769.875.632.2
199693.884.470.876.332.4
199795.786.672.378.132.4

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 2. Percentage of All Births That are to Unmarried Teens

This risk factor shows the percentage of total births that are to unmarried teen mothers each year.

Figure TEEN 2. Percentage of all Births That Are to Unmarried Teens Ages 15-19, 1940 to 1997

Figure TEEN 2. Percentage of all Births That Are to Unmarried Teens Ages 15-19, 1940 to 1997

Source: Table TEEN 2.


  • In contrast to Figure TEEN 1, which showed births to unmarried teens as a percentage of all teen births, Figure TEEN 2 shows births to unmarried teens as a percentage of births to all women, teens or adults, married or unmarried. Births to unmarried teens as a percentage of all births have risen, from 2 percent in 1940 to 10 percent in 1997. This percentage is affected by several factors: the age distribution of the population, the marriage rate among teens, the birth rate among unmarried teens, and the birth rate among all other women.
  • The percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens leveled off over the last four years for births to both white and black women.
  • Between 1970 and 1994, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens had been increasing steadily among white women.
  • Among births to black women, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens varied greatly during the same period, peaking in 1975, then falling until the early 1990s. The sharp increase in the percentage for black women in the early 1970s reflects a rise in non-marital teen births concurrent with a decline in total black births.

Table TEEN 2. Percentage of All Births That Are to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19, 1940 to 1997

YearAll RacesWhiteBlack

Notes: Births to unmarried women in the United States for 1940 - 1979 are estimated from data for registration areas in which marital status of the the mother was reported; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, births to unmarried women in the United States are based on data from states reporting marital status directly and data from non-reporting states for which marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child; see sources below. Data for 1997 are preliminary.

Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Births to Unmarried Mothers: United States, 1980 - 1992," Vital and Health Statistics, Series 21, No. 53, 1995; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1995," Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 45, No. 11, Supplement, 1997; Ventura, S.J., Anderson, R.N., Martin, J.A., Smith, B.L., "Births and Deaths: Preliminary Data for 1997," National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 47, No. 4, National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD, 1998.

19401.70.8NA
19411.70.7NA
19421.50.7NA
19431.50.6NA
19441.60.8NA
19451.80.8NA
19461.50.7NA
19471.40.7NA
19481.50.7NA
19491.50.6NA
19501.60.6NA
19511.50.6NA
19521.50.6NA
19531.60.6NA
19541.70.7NA
19551.70.7NA
19561.70.7NA
19571.80.7NA
19581.90.8NA
195920.9NA
196020.9NA
19612.21NA
19622.31.1NA
19632.51.2NA
19642.81.3NA
19653.31.6NA
19663.81.9NA
19674.12.1NA
19684.52.3NA
19694.72.417.5
19705.12.618.8
19715.52.620.3
19726.2322.6
19736.53.223.4
19746.73.323.9
19757.13.724.2
19767.13.823.8
19777.2423.4
19787.2422.7
19797.24.122.5
19807.34.422.2
19817.14.521.5
19827.14.521.2
19837.24.621.2
19847.14.620.7
19857.24.820.3
19867.55.120.1
19877.75.320
198885.620.3
19898.35.918.6
19908.46.118.3
19918.76.418.1
19928.76.520.2
19938.96.820.2
19949.77.521.1
19959.67.621.1
19969.67.720.9
19979.87.920.7

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 3. Unmarried Teen Birth Rates Within Age Groups

This indicator tracks trends in the number of births per 1,000 unmarried teen women within specific age groups.

Figure TEEN 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, 1966 to 1996

Figure TEEN 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, 1966 to 1996

Figure TEEN 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 to 19, 1966 to 1996

 src=

Source: Table TEEN 3.


  • The birth rate per 1,000 single teens fell between 1994 and 1996 for both black and white teens in the 15 to 17 and 18 to 19 age groups, with the largest relative decline among black teens age 15 to 17.
  • Prior to 1994, birth rates among single white teens in both age groups rose steadily for nearly three decades.
  • Among single black teens in both age groups, birth rates varied greatly over the period, peaking in 1991, and falling thereafter. Rates for both age groups were lower in 1996 than in 1970.

Table TEEN 3. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teen Women Within Age Groups, 1966 to 1996

 Ages 15-17Ages 18-19
YearTotalWhiteBlackTotalWhiteBlack

Note: Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group; rates prior to 1980 are estimated. Births to unmarried women in the United States for 1940 - 1979 are estimated from data for registration areas in which marital status of the mother was reported; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, births to unmarried women in the United States are based on data from states reporting marital status directly and data from non-reporting states for which marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child; see sources below. Rates for 1981-1989 have been revised and differ, therefore, from rates published in Vital Statistics in the United States, Vol. 1, Natality, for 1991 and earlier years.

Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Births to Unmarried Mothers: United States, 1980 - 1992," Vital and Health Statistics, Series 21, No. 53, 1995 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1996," Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 11, Supplement, 1998.

196613.15.4NA25.614.1NA
196713.85.6NA27.615.3NA
196814.76.2NA29.616.6NA
196915.26.672.030.816.6128.4
197017.17.577.932.917.6136.4
197117.57.480.731.715.8135.2
197218.58.082.830.915.1128.2
197318.78.481.230.414.9120.5
197418.88.878.631.215.3122.2
197519.39.676.832.516.5123.8
197619.09.773.532.116.9117.9
197719.810.573.034.618.7121.7
197819.110.368.835.119.3119.6
197919.910.871.037.221.0123.3
198020.612.068.839.024.1118.2
198120.912.665.939.024.6114.2
198221.513.166.339.625.3112.7
198322.013.666.840.726.4111.9
198421.913.766.542.527.9113.6
198522.414.566.845.931.2117.9
198622.814.967.048.033.5121.1
198724.516.269.948.934.5123.0
198826.417.673.551.536.8130.5
198928.719.378.956.040.2140.9
199029.620.478.860.744.9143.7
199130.921.880.465.749.6148.7
199230.421.678.067.351.5147.8
199330.622.176.866.952.4141.6
199432.024.175.170.156.4141.6
199530.523.668.667.655.4131.2
199629.022.764.065.954.1129.2

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 4. Early Sexual Intercourse

Early sexual intercourse is a strong predictor of subsequent childbearing at an early age, which increases the risk of dependence.

Figure TEEN 4. Percentage of High School Students Grades 9 to 12 Who Reported Ever Having Sexual Intercourse, 1997

Figure TEEN 4. Percentage of High School Students Grades 9 to 12 Who Reported Ever Having Sexual Intercourse, 1997

Source: Table TEEN 4.


  • Between 1995 and 1997, the percentage of high school students reporting ever had sexual intercourse dropped by 5 percentage points, from 53 percent to 48 percent, as shown in Table TEEN 4.
  • The percentage of high school students who report ever having had sexual intercourse increases with each grade, particularly among female students. In 1997, the rates rose from 34 percent for female 9th grade students to 62 percent for female 12th grade students, as depicted in Figure TEEN 4.
  • Female students in grade 9 were less likely than their male counterparts to report ever having had sexual intercourse (34 percent compared to 42 percent). By grades 10 through 12, however, rates reported by female students had risen slightly above rates reported by male students.
  • As shown in Table TEEN 4, in 1997, four-fifths (80 percent) of non-Hispanic black male students reported ever having had sexual intercourse, a percentage that is 14 percentage points above the 66 percent reported by non-Hispanic black female students. Among Hispanic students, the rate for males (58 percent) is 12 percentage points higher than the rate for females (46 percent). Among non-Hispanic white students, however, nearly equal percentages of males and females report ever having had sexual intercourse – 43 percent for males and 44 percent for females.

Table TEEN 4. Percentage of High School Students Grades 9 to 12 Who Reported Ever Having Sexual Intercourse, 1995 and 1997

 19951997
 TotalMaleFemaleTotalMaleFemale
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Surveillance Summaries, Vol. 45 No. SS-4 and Vol. 47, No. SS-3, Table 26.
Total53.154.052.148.448.947.7
Grade
936.940.632.138.041.834.0
1048.050.046.042.541.743.5
1158.657.160.249.749.350.3
1266.467.166.060.960.161.9
Racial Categories
Non-Hispanic White48.948.949.043.643.344.0
Non-Hispanic Black73.481.067.072.780.365.6
Hispanic57.662.053.352.257.745.7

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 5. Never-married Family Status

This measure complements the measures of nonmarital births by showing the “stock” of children living with never-married women. Children living with never-married women are at increased risk of dependence.

Figure TEEN 5. Percentage of all Children Living in Families Headed by Never- Married Women, 1983 to 1997

Figure TEEN 5. Percentage of all Children Living in Families Headed by Never- Married Women, 1983 to 1997

Source: Table TEEN 5.


  • The percentage of children living with never-married women increased from 5 percent in 1983 to 9 percent in 1997. This increase reflects growth across all racial categories, as shown in Figure TEEN 5.
  • A very small percentage (2 percent) of white children were living in families headed by never-married women in 1983. Although this percentage increased by 150 percent over the time period, the percentage of white children in families headed by never-married women was still relatively small (5 percent) in 1997.
  • The percentage of black children living in families headed by never-married women was much higher than the percentages for other groups throughout the time period. In 1997, for example, 31 percent of black children, compared to 12 percent of Hispanic children and 5 percent of white children, lived in families headed by never-married women.

Table TEEN 5. Percentage of all Children Living in Families Headed by Never-Married Women, 1983 to 1997

YearAllWhiteBlackHispanic

Note: Data are for all children under 18 who are not family heads.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, "Marital Status and Living Arrangements," Current Population Reports, Series P20-399, 418, 433, 450, 468, 484, 491, 496, and 505, various years.

19835.21.923.56.5
19845.21.923.96.5
19865.92.426.67.2
19887.03.030.49.2
19907.03.029.68.7
19928.43.933.110.3
19949.04.532.912.0
19958.74.332.310.8
19969.04.631.211.3
19979.35.031.411.8

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 6. Detached Youth

Teens who are neither in school nor working are likely to be at significant risk of dependence.

Figure TEEN 6. Percentage of Youths Ages 16 to 19 Who Were Neither in School Nor Working by Race, 1985 to 1996

Figure TEEN 6. Percentage of Youths Ages 16 to 19 Who Were Neither in School Nor Working by Race, 1985 to 1996

Source: Table TEEN 6.


  • Black and Hispanic youths ages 16 to 19 are more likely than white youths to be neither in school nor working. In 1996, for example, Hispanic youths were twice as likely as white youths to be out of school and work, 16 percent compared to 8 percent.
  • In 1975, 12 percent of all youths ages 16 to 19 were neither in school nor working, as shown in Table TEEN 6. This percentage has gradually declined since then, reaching 9percent in 1996.
  • The percentage of female youths who are neither in school nor working in 1996 was higher (11 percent) than the comparable percentage (8 percent) of male youths.

Table TEEN 6. Percentage of Youths Ages 16 to 19 Who Were Neither in School Nor Working, 1975 to 1996

 19751985199019921993199419951996
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Trends in the Well-Being of America’s Children and Youth: 1998. Table ES 3.6.
All Youths1211101091099
Male 9888888
Female 13121211111111
Racial Categories
White 10998988
Black 18151715141514
Hispanic 17171616171616

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 7. Teen Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Teen alcohol and substance abuse are important examples of teen problem behavior and may increase the risk of dependence.

Figure TEEN 7. Percentage of Teens Ages 12 to 17 Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997

Figure TEEN 7. Percentage of Teens Ages 12 to 17 Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997


  • Source: Table TEEN 7.
  • Although both binge and heavy alcohol use declined among teens ages 12 to 17 throughout most of the period, the percentage of teens abusing alcohol rose slightly in 1997.
  • Marijuana use among teens declined fairly continuously through the 1980s but has risen fairly sharply since, from a minimum of 4 percent in 1991 to 9 percent in 1997. It is still below the 14 percent level occurring in 1979.
  • As shown in Table TEEN 7, cocaine use more than tripled between 1994 and 1997, and in 1997 was at its highest level (1 percent) since 1988.

Table TEEN 7. Percentage of Teens Ages 12 to 17 Who Used Cocaine, Marijuana, or Alcohol, 1979 to 1997

 19791982198519881991199419961997

Note: Cocaine and marijuana use is defined as use during the past month. “Binge" Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days. "Occasion" means at the same time or within a couple hours of each other. Heavy Alcohol Use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of five or more days in the past 30 days; all Heavy Alcohol Users are also "Binge" Alcohol Users.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Preliminary Estimates, 1998.

Cocaine1.51.91.51.20.40.30.61.0
Marijuana14.29.910.25.43.66.07.19.4
Binge Alcohol UseNANA21.915.113.28.37.28.3
Heavy Alcohol UseNANA9.54.06.02.52.93.1

Teen Behavior Risk Factor 8. Teen Violent Crime Arrests

Teen crime data indicate serious adolescent problem behavior and may predict future dependence.

Figure TEEN 8. Arrest Rates for Violent Crime for Youths Ages 10 to 17, per 100,000 Youths, 1980 to 1996

Figure TEEN 8. Arrest Rates for Violent Crime for Youths Ages 10 to 17, per 100,000 Youths, 1980 to 1996

Source: Table TEEN 8.


  • Arrest rates for violent crimes for all youths peaked in 1994 but have gradually been decreasing since that time.
  • Historically, youths become more likely to be arrested for violent crimes as they grow older; 17 year-olds, for example, were more than twelve times as likely to be arrested than ten to twelve year-olds in 1996.
  • Table TEEN 8 also shows that, as expected, violent crime arrest rates were consistently much higher among males than among females for all ages over the time period.

TEEN 8. Arrest Rates for Violent Crime for Youths Ages 10 to 17, per 100,000 Youths, 1980 to 1996

 198019851990199119921993199419951996

Note: Violent crime is the sum of murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault. Rates refer to the number of arrests made per 100,000 inhabitants belonging to the prescribed age group.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Trends in the Well-Being of America’s Children and Youth: 1998. Table SD 1.6.

Total
Ages 10-17334.1303.0428.6461.5482.9505.4527.8511.6464.7
Ages 10-1246.456.470.679.085.586.191.889.181.4
Ages 13-14261.4251.9368.0405.4444.9461.4494.2461.7409.4
Age 15503.8446.1669.7732.7770.0828.2857.5809.6731.2
Age 16638.5565.9876.2935.2994.41,028.61,055.61,021.0905.6
Age 17739.5651.1982.71,066.51,056.91,110.21,113.61,109.41,022.1
Male
Ages 10-17587.6529.8740.5797.9825.7857.7888.6855.7772.3
Ages 10-1281.699.5119.8135.1145.2114.8153.7147.4133.8
Ages 13-14445.6426.1603.9668.5725.4744.8793.1737.2649.1
Age 15875.4771.71,144.11,250.61,291.91,386.51,421.71,329.91,195.2
Age 161,132.6997.31,534.91,637.31,730.71,776.51,809.11,733.51,530.8
Age 171,325.81,166.11,758.11,909.71,877.61,956.81,950.21,933.61,760.4
Female
Ages 10-1770.266.9104.0111.4126.0138.8152.2153.4144.6
Ages 10-123.44.07.58.19.29.710.510.710.0
Ages 13-1447.452.777.082.895.9107.9121.5117.0107.5
Age 1563.455.388.593.5112.4118.7130.6134.7123.3
Age 16129.6114.6187.4208.9219.8249.9265.4268.0257.1
Age 17131.0114.1183.9189.0210.6224.5246.8250.3247.5

Appendices

Appendix A. Program Data

The Welfare Indicators Act specifies that the annual welfare indicators reports shall include analyses of families and individuals receiving assistance under three means-tested benefit programs: the program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (replaced with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program by the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996), the Food Stamp Program under the Food Stamp Act of 1997, and the Supplemental Security Income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act. This chapter includes information on the three programs, derived primarily from administrative data reported by state and federal agencies, instead of the national survey data presented in previous chapters. Discussion of each of the three individual programs is preceded, however, by an overview of several recent studies of caseload changes in the AFDC, Food Stamp, and SSI programs.

Recent Studies of Caseload Change

Historically, caseload size has served as the preeminent indicator of welfare dependence. Given the anticipated growth in state-level program variations since enactment of the PRWORA, several recent studies have looked at caseload changes among states.

A May 1997 report by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) attempted to determine the cause of the 20 percent decline in number of individuals receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children from January 1993 and January 1997 by examining the impacts of three potential factors. The factors considered were economic growth, federal waivers which allowed states to experiment with innovative ways to reduce welfare dependence, and other policies affecting work-related incentives including expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and increased state and federal spending on child care. The CEA attributed over 40 percent of the caseload decline to falling unemployment rates associated with economic growth. Their analysis also found that almost one-third of the decline resulted from statewide welfare reform waivers in six broad categories: termination time limits, work-requirement time limits, reduced work program exemptions, increased work program sanctions, caps on benefits to families that have additional children while on welfare, and increased earnings disregards. Other factors, which might include policies such as the EITC expansions, accounted for the remainder of the caseload decline.

Another study, done by The Lewin Group, sought to improve understanding of state-level factors behind historical growth in AFDC caseloads by analyzing the relationship between state AFDC caseload growth and the strength and structure of the state economy, demographic trends, and changes in the structure of AFDC and other public assistance programs. Separately, Rebecca Blank investigated the determinants of aggregate public assistance (principally the AFDC program) caseload changes over time, by investigating the role of macroeconomic forces, public policies and demographic change.

Methodological differences notwithstanding, all three efforts concluded that the effects of the economy on welfare caseload changes were substantial. Unemployment rates, wage levels and job growth were all determined to be important factors. These are critical findings for states as they prepare for the implications of economic recessions and recoveries under the TANF block grant. Welfare caseload reductions caused by economic factors are also the most likely to be reflected in commensurate movement along the continuum from dependence to self-sufficiency at the family level.

Several other factors were also found to influence the size of welfare caseloads, including program parameters and operating rules. Benefit levels and eligibility criteria are significant determinants of caseload levels. In recent years, many states received waivers of federal requirements in order to experiment with policies that varied widely in scope. Many policies were designed to promote work, both through incentives for recipients (such as increased earnings disregards and expanded child care) and measures designed to strengthen enforcement of work requirements. Policies that reduced the number of exemptions from work requirements, increased sanctions or required work after a limited time period in exchange for benefits were adopted in a number of states. Interestingly, some of the estimated waiver effects on caseloads occurred even before the waiver was approved or implemented.

The increased options available to state agencies in implementing the TANF program under the new welfare law highlight the role that policy forces play in effecting caseload changes. State responses to their increased flexibility to define eligibility are still evolving. It is clear, however, that these policy decisions will determine even how “cases” are defined for data reporting purposes.

Concern about an increase of one million persons participating in the Food Stamp Program between the second quarters of fiscal years 1989 and 1990, a time with no major changes in the program or the economy, prompted Congress to ask the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct a study detailing the specific factors and trends responsible. While the program growth was widespread, the size and timing of the participation increases varied considerably by state, with three states accounting for nearly half the increase.

The study concluded that no one factor could explain the increase, and that the importance of the three factors most responsible varied significantly from state to state. In some states, the expansions in Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women and children appeared to be a major contributor, although no clear regional pattern was evident. Increased unemployment was a key contributor in the northeast and north central states, while the changes in immigration laws, particularly the legalization of undocumented aliens (by the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986) were important in California and other southern and western states.

Aside from specific factors attributed to discrete periods of dramatic caseload changes, a number of factors are associated with changes in Food Stamp Program participation. Economic factors such as increases in unemployment, increases in the number of “working poor,” increases in food prices, and changes in the distribution of income are important, as are demographic changes such as an increase in the number of female-headed households. Other factors include changes in the number of eligible households caused by immigration legislation, changes in the Food Stamp Program itself, and changes in other public assistance programs that bring more people into the public assistance system.

Similarly, several factors have contributed to the growth of the Supplemental Security Income program. According to the General Accounting Office (GAO), three groups accounted for nearly 90 percent of the SSI program’s growth since 1991: adults with mental impairments, children and noncitizens. The GAO attributes caseload growth to several factors including: expansion in disability eligibility (particularly for mentally impaired adults and for children), increased outreach, immigration growth, and transfers from state programs.

The remainder of this chapter presents brief descriptions of the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI programs and highlights some of the recent legislative changes that will affect program participation and expenditures over time. (Effects from some of the Food Stamp Program changes, in particular, under PRWORA are already reflected in the data.) National caseload and expenditure trend information on each of the three programs is included, as well as state-by-state trend tables on each program and information on the characteristics of participants in each program.

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was established by the Social Security Act of 1935 as a grant program to enable states to provide cash welfare payments for needy children who have been deprived of parental support or care because their father or mother is absent from the home, incapacitated, deceased, or unemployed. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands operated an AFDC program. States defined “need,” set their own benefit levels, established (within federal limitations) income and resource limits, and administered the program or supervised its administration. States were entitled to unlimited federal funds for reimbursement of benefit payments, at “matching” rates which were inversely related to state per capita income. States were required to provide aid to all persons who were in classes eligible under federal law and whose income and resources were within state-set limits.

AFDC enrollments and benefit outlays have generally increased in times of economic recession and declined in times of economic growth. Both caseloads and outlays rose to all-time high levels in fiscal year 1994. That year a monthly average of 14.2 million persons (9.6 million children) in 5 million families received benefits totaling $22.8 billion. AFDC participation then fell to 12.6 million persons in fiscal year 1996.

Recent Legislative Changes. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996 (PRWORA) eliminated the AFDC cash welfare and other related programs (AFDC administration, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program and the Emergency Assistance program) and created in their place a cash welfare block grant called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Its purpose is to increase state flexibility in providing assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for at home; end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families. The implementation date for the TANF block grant was July 1, 1997, although states could, and most did, begin their block grant programs sooner.

Spending through the TANF block grant is capped and funded at $16.4 billion per year, slightly above fiscal year 1995 federal expenditures for the four component programs. Each year between 1996 and 2002, the basic block grant provides each state with the highest of recent annual funding levels it received for the four constituent programs to operate welfare programs that stress work instead of government dependence. To receive each year’s full TANF block grant, a state must spend in the previous year on behalf of TANF-eligible families a sum equal to 75 percent of state funds used in fiscal year 1994 on the replaced programs (its “historic” level of welfare expenditures). If a state fails to meet work participation rates, its required “maintenance of effort” spending rises to 80 percent. To assist in recessions or other emergencies, states that maintain 100 percent of fiscal year 1994 AFDC-related spending are eligible to receive matching grants from a $2 billion contingency fund.

The new law gives states wide latitude in developing innovative programs that will get families off welfare and into jobs. States set TANF eligibility standards and benefit levels. TANF block grant funds are guaranteed payments to states, but can be reduced if states fail to meet specified requirements such as meeting work participation requirements and ensuring that funds are spent on children and families. In addition, states are prohibited from using federal cash welfare block grant funds to: (1) provide cash or noncash TANF benefits to families in which an adult has already received assistance through the block grant for 5 years with an exemption of 20 percent of the caseload, (2) pay TANF benefits to noncitizens (including legal immigrants) arriving after the date of enactment (August 22, 1996) during their first 5 years in the United States1, and (3) pay benefits to parents who fail to participate in work or a state-designed welfare-to-work program after 24 months (or shorter at state option) of receiving cash welfare. The new law also gives states wide flexibility to combat out-of-wedlock births, which are related to increased welfare use and long-term dependence. They may deny or offer aid to two-parent families or to any group; however, if states offer TANF to unmarried teen parents they must require them to live at home or in another adult-supervised setting and attend school in order to be eligible for payments.

AFDC/TANF Program Data. The following tables and figures present a variety of data about the AFDC program:

  • Tables A-1 through A-5 and Figures A-1 through A-3 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the AFDC program. As noted above, the transition from AFDC to TANF began in some states as early as October 1996 and was completed by July 1, 1997. As a result, fiscal year 1997 data reflect some TANF program experience, although it is much too early to draw any conclusions about TANF trends;
  • Figure A-4 and Table A-6 present some demographic characteristics of the AFDC caseload; and
  • Tables A-7 through A-13 present some state-by-state trend data on the AFDC program, plus provisional 1997 data that reflect the phasing out of AFDC and the phasing in of TANF.

Table A-1 presents information on the average monthly number of AFDC families and recipients for each fiscal year since 1970 through Fiscal Year 1997. The U.S. caseload peaked at record highs in 1994, with an average 14.2 million recipients in over 5 million families receiving AFDC benefits each month. Since then the caseload has declined about 22 percent -- by a little over 1 million families and 3.2 million recipients. Preliminary data for the first several months of 1998 suggest that the caseload has continued to decline during the first year of TANF implementation falling as low as 8.4 million recipients in 3.0 million families in June 1998, as shown in Table A-10. (Because data on the demographic characteristics of the TANF caseload are not available, most of the other tables in this Appendix present data through June 1997). As shown on Table A-2, the average monthly benefit per recipient has continued the steady decline (in 1997 dollars) which began in 1988; recipients received an average 23 percent less in AFDC/TANF benefits (in 1997 dollars) in 1997 than in 1988.

Table A-1. Trends in AFDC/ TANF Enrollments, 1962 – 1997 1

 Average Monthly Number (In thousands)Children as Average
Total Families 2UnemployedTotalTotalof Children
TotalFamiliesParent

1 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997

2

3 Based on data for the first 9 months of the fiscal year.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, (Available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/).

1962 3,59349 2,77877.3 
1963 3,83454 2,89675.5 
1964 4,05960 3,04375.0 
1965 4,32369 3,24275.0 
1966 4,47262 3,36975.3 
1967 4,71858 3,56175.5 
1968 5,34867 4,01175.0 
1969 6,14766 4,59174.7 
1970 7,42978 5,49474.0 
1971 9,556143 6,96372.9 
1972 10,632134 7,69872.4 
1973 11,038120 7,96572.2 
1974 10,84595 7,82472.1 
1975 11,067101 7,92871.6 
1976 11,339135 8,15671.9 
1977 11,108149 7,81870.4 
1978 10,663128 7,47570.1 
1979 10,311114 7,19369.8 
1980 10,597141 7,32069.1 
1981 11,160209 7,61568.2 
1982 10,431232 6,97566.9 
1983 10,659272 7,05166.1 
1984 10,866287 7,15365.8 
1985 10,813261 7,16566.3 
1986 10,995254 7,30066.4 
1987 11,065236 7,38166.7 
1988 10,920210 7,32567.1 
1989 10,935193 7,37067.4 
1990 11,460204 7,75567.7 
1991 12,595268 8,51567.6 
1992 13,625322 9,22567.7 
1993 14,143359 9,53967.6 
1994 14,226363 9,59067.6 
1995 13,659335 9,27567.9 
1996 12,644301 8,67368.6 
1997 11,0152751,158 3370.62.0 3

Figure A-1. AFDC/TANF Families Receiving Income Assistance 1

Figure A-1. AFDC/TANF Families Receiving Income Assistance

1 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

Note: Shaded areas are periods of recession. Effective July 1, 1981 families with incomes greater than 150 percent of a State's standard of need were no longer eligible for income assistance; this income cut-off was raised to 185 percent in 1984. Last data point plotted is June 1997 for U-P and Basic Families and March 1998 for Total Families.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.


Figure A-2. Average Number of Children per Family For Families with Related Children Under 18 by Living Arrangement, 1960 – 1996

(In millions)

Figure A-2. Average Number of Children per Family For Families with Related Children Under 18 by Living Arrangement, 1960 – 1996

Note: For 1960-74 the average number of children per married-couple family is estimated based on all male-headed families of which during this period they comprised 98-99 percent.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Quarterly Public Assistance Statistics, 1992-1993 and earlier years; U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1996," Current Population Reports, Series P60-198 and earlier years.


Table A-2. Trends in AFDC/TANF Average Monthly Payments, 1962 – 1997 1

Fiscal YearMonthly Benefit per RecipientAverage Number of Persons per FamilyMonthly Benefit per Family
(not reduced by Child Support)
Weighted Average2 Monthly Benefit
(per 3-person Family)
Current Dollars1997 DollarsCurrent Dollars1997 DollarsCurrent Dollars1997 Dollars

1 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

2 The maximum benefit for a 3-person family in each state is weighted by that state’s share of total AFDC families.

3 Estimated based on the weighted average benefit for a 4-person family.

Note: AFDC benefit amounts have not been reduced by child support collections. Constant dollar adjustments to 1997 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year price index.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Quarterly Public Assistance Statistics, 1992 & 1993 and earlier years along with unpublished data.

1962$31$1523.9$121$593NANA
1963311514.0126608NANA
1964321524.1131626NANA
1965341584.2140659NANA
1966351614.2146670NANA
1967361624.1150670NANA
1968401714.1162698NANA
1969431794.01737171863774
1970461813.91787051943769
1971481813.81806832013761
1972511883.61876842053751
1973531863.51876562133747
1974571833.41946272293740
1975631863.3209616243717
1976711953.2226622257708
1977782003.1241619271696
1978832003.0249603284685
1979871932.9257570301667
1980941872.9274545320638
1981961742.9277501326590
19821031742.9300508331560
19831061722.9311503336544
19841101712.9321499352546
19851121682.9329493369553
19861161692.9339495383560
19871231752.9359511393559
19881271742.9370506404552
19891311712.9381497412538
19901351672.9389483421523
19911351592.9388458425502
19921361562.9389446419480
19931311462.8373415414461
19941341452.8376408420451
19951341422.8377397418441
19961351382.8374384422433
19971341342.8373373420420

Figure A-3. Average Monthly AFDC Benefit By Family and Recipient in Current and Constant Dollars

Figure A-3. Average Monthly AFDC Benefit By Family and Recipient in Current and Constant Dollars

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Quarterly Public Assistance Statistics, 1992 & 1993, and unpublished data.


Table A-3. Total, Federal, and State AFDC/TANF Expenditures, 1970 – 1997 1

[In millions of current and 1997 dollars]

Fiscal YearFederal Share
(Current Dollars)
State Share
(Current Dollars)
Total
(Current Dollars)
Total
(Constant 97 Dollars 4)
BenefitsAdministrativeBenefitsAdministrativeBenefitsAdministra- tiveBenefitsAdministrative

1 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. Spending categories not entirely equivalent.

2 Includes expenditures for services.

3 Administrative expenditures only.

4 Constant dollar adjustments to 1997 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year price index.

5 Provisional data, subject to change.

Note: Benefits do not include emergency assistance payments and have not been reduced by child support collections. Foster care payments are included from 1971 to 1980. Beginning in fiscal year 1984, the cost of certifying AFDC households for food stamps is shown in the food stamp program’s appropriation under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Administrative costs include: Child Care administration, Work Program, ADP, FAMIS, Fraud Control, SAVE and other State and local administrative expenditures.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Program Systems.

1970$2,187$572 2$1,895$309$4,082$881 2$16,146$3,485
19713,0082712,4692545,47752520,7401,988
19723,612240 32,9422416,554481 323,966NA
19733,8653133,1382967,00361024,5952,142
19744,0713793,3003627,37174023,8442,394
19754,6255523,7875298,4121,08224,8013,190
19765,2585414,4185279,6761,06926,7052,950
19775,6265954,76258310,3881,17726,6883,024
19785,7246314,89861710,6211,24825,5993,008
19795,8256834,95466810,7791,35023,8902,992
19806,4487505,50872911,9561,47923,8232,947
19816,9288355,91781412,8451,64823,2732,986
19826,9228785,93487812,8571,75621,7642,973
19837,3329156,27591513,6071,83022,0302,963
19847,7078766,66482214,3711,69822,3182,637
19857,8178906,76388914,5801,77921,8562,667
19868,2399936,99696715,2351,96022,2742,866
19878,9141,0817,4091,05216,3232,13323,2073,033
19889,1251,1947,5381,15916,6632,35322,7593,214
19899,4331,2117,8071,20617,2402,41722,4713,150
199010,1491,3588,3901,30318,5392,66123,0193,304
199111,1651,3739,1911,30020,3562,67324,0603,159
199212,2581,4599,9931,37822,2502,83725,5243,255
199312,2701,51810,0161,43822,2862,95624,8173,292
199412,5121,68010,2851,62122,7973,30124,7313,581
199512,0191,77010,0141,75122,0323,52123,2543,717
199611,0651,6339,3461,63320,4113,26620,9623,354
1997 59,7461,2867,9021,12817,6483,23417,6483,234

Table A-4. Federal and State AFDC Benefit Payments Under the Single Parent and Unemployed Parent Programs, Fiscal Years 1970 to 1996

[In millions of current and 1996 dollars]

Fiscal Year(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)
Single Parent1Unemployed ParentChild Support Collections2Net Benefits3 (1) + (2) minus (3)Net Benefits
(1996 dollars)4

1 Includes payments to two-parent families where one adult is incapacitated.

2 Total AFDC collections (including collections on behalf of foster care children) less payments to AFDC families.

3 Net AFDC benefits--Gross benefits less those reimbursed by child support collections.

4 Constant dollar adjustments to 1996 level were made using a CPI-U-XI fiscal year price index.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Financial Management.

19703,85123104,08215,722
19714,99341205,40519,882
19725,97242206,39422,715
19736,45941406,87322,504
19746,88132407,20522,740
19757,79136208,15323,363
19768,8255252459,10524,469
19779,4206173959,64224,121
19789,6245654599,73022,870
19799,8655225849,80321,156
198010,84769359310,94721,186
198111,7691,07565912,18521,472
198211,6011,25677112,08619,879
198312,1361,47186512,74220,128
198412,7591,61298313,38820,264
198513,0241,55690113,67919,967
198613,6721,56395114,28420,335
198714,8071,5161,07015,25221,115
198815,2431,4201,19615,46620,569
198915,8891,3501,28615,95220,246
199017,0591,4801,41617,12320,702
199118,5291,8271,60318,75321,583
199220,1302,1211,82420,42622,816
199319,9882,2981,97120,31522,028
199420,3932,4042,09320,70421,871
199519,8202,2122,21519,81720,367
199618,4381,9732,37418,03718,037

Table A-5. Number of AFDC/TANF Recipients, and Recipients as a Percentage of Various Population Groups, 1970 – 1997

Calender YearTotal AFDC Recipients in the States & DC
(in thousands)
AFDC Child Recipients in the States & DC
(in thousands)
AFDC Recipients as a Percent of Total Population1AFDC Recipients as a Percent of Poverty Population2AFDC Recipients as a Percent of Pretransfer Poverty Population3AFDC Child Recipients as a Percent of Total Child Population1AFDC Child Recipients as a Percent of Children in Poverty2

1 Population numbers used as denominators are resident population. See Current Population Reports, Series P25-1106.

2 For poverty population data see Current Population Reports, Series P60-201.

3 The pretransfer poverty population used as denominator is the number of all persons in families with related children under 18 years of age whose income (cash income plus social insurance plus Social Security but before taxes and means-tested transfers) falls below the appropriate poverty threshold. See Appendix J, Table 20, 1992 Green Book; data for subsequent years are unpublished Congressional Budget Office tabulations.

4 Average for January through June of 1997.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance and U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1996," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and earlier years, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

19708,3036,1044.132.7NA8.858.5
197110,0437,3034.939.3NA10.569.2
197210,7367,7665.143.9NA11.275.5
197310,7387,7635.146.7NA11.380.5
197410,6217,6375.045.4NA11.375.2
197511,1317,9285.243.0NA11.871.4
197611,0987,8505.144.4NA11.876.4
197710,8567,6324.943.9NA11.774.2
197810,3877,2704.742.4NA11.273.2
197910,1407,0574.538.953.111.068.0
198010,5997,2954.736.249.211.463.2
198110,8937,3974.734.247.111.759.2
198210,1616,7674.429.540.610.849.6
198310,5696,9674.529.941.911.150.1
198410,6447,0174.531.643.611.252.3
198510,6727,0734.532.345.011.354.4
198610,8517,2064.533.546.611.556.0
198710,8427,2404.533.646.711.555.9
198810,7287,2014.433.847.711.457.8
198910,7997,2864.434.347.611.557.9
199011,4977,7814.634.247.112.157.9
199112,7288,6015.035.649.113.260.0
199213,5719,1835.335.750.813.960.1
199314,0079,4395.435.748.514.160.2
199413,9769,4405.436.750.013.961.8
199513,2409,0095.036.350.113.161.5
199612,1508,3554.633.346.412.157.8
199710,2367,340 43.828.8NA10.652.0

Figure A-4. Characteristics of AFDC Families

Figure A-4. Characteristics of AFDC Families

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of AFDC Recipients: Fiscal Year 1996 and earlier years, (Current data available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/ofa/content.htm).


Table A-6. AFDC Characteristics, 1969 – 1996

 May 1969May 1975March 1979Fiscal year1
19831988199019921994199519965

1 Percentages are based on the average monthly caseload during the year. Hawaii and the territories are not included in 1983. Data after 1986 include the territories and Hawaii.

2 Calculated on the basis of total number of families.

3 For years after 1983, data are for adult female recipients.

4 States began collecting child support directly in 1975, removing one source of non-AFDC income.

5 Preliminary data.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of AFDC Recipients: Fiscal Year 1996 and earlier years, (Current data available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/ofa/content.htm).

Average Family Size (persons)4.03.23.03.03.02.92.92.82.82.8
Number of Child Recipients (percent of AFDC Cases):
    One26.637.942.343.442.542.242.542.643.243.9
    Two23.026.028.129.830.230.330.230.030.429.9
    Three17.716.115.615.215.815.815.515.615.515.0
    Four or More32.520.013.910.19.99.910.19.69.69.2
    UnknownNANANA1.51.71.40.71.51.31.3
Basis for Eligibility (percent children):
    Parents Present:
        Incapacitated11.727.75.33.43.73.64.13.94.34.3
        Unemployed4.623.74.18.76.56.48.28.77.88.3
    Parents Absent:          
        Death5.523.72.21.81.81.61.61.71.81.6
        Divorce or Separation43.3248.344.738.534.632.930.026.525.424.3
        No Marriage Tie27.9231.037.844.351.954.053.155.757.458.6
        Other Reason3.524.05.91.41.61.92.02.62.52.4
        UnknownNANANA1.7NANA0.91.00.80.6
Mother's Employment Status (percent mothers):3
    Full-Time Job8.210.48.71.52.22.52.23.23.74.7
    Part-Time Job6.35.75.43.44.24.24.24.55.15.4
Presence of Income (percent families):
    With EarningsNA14.612.85.78.48.27.48.79.511.1
    No Non-AFDC Income56.071.180.6486.8479.6480.1478.9478.077.376.0
Median Months on AFDC
    Since Most Recent Opening23.031.029.026.026.323.022.521.523.223.6
Proportion of Households (percent families):
    Living in Public Housing12.814.6NA10.09.69.69.28.38.08.8
    Participating in Food Stamp Or Donated Food Program52.975.175.183.084.685.687.388.789.889.3
    Incld. Non-Recipient Members33.134.8NA36.936.837.738.946.448.349.9

Table A-7. AFDC/TANF Assistance by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1978 – 1997

[Millions of dollars]

 197819821986198819921994199619971
United States$10,621$12,857$15,235$16,663$22,251$22,797$20,411$17,648

1 Provisional.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Program Support, Office of Management Services, unpublished data from the ACF-196 TANF Report and ACF-231 AFDC Line by Line Report.

Alabama$78$72$68$62$85$92$75$64
Alaska173246549611310799
Arizona304979103243266228187
Arkansas5134485361575248
California1,8132,7343,5744,0915,8286,0885,9085,036
Colorado7487107125163158129108
Connecticut169210223218377397323321
Delaware2828252437403531
Dist. of Columbia91867776102126121105
Florida145207261318733806680544
Georgia103172223266420428385316
Guam34438121411
Hawaii83887377125163173163
Idaho2120191924303020
Illinois700802886815883914833707
Indiana118139148167218228154126
Iowa107127170155164169131120
Kansas7381919711912398112
Kentucky122123104143213198191181
Louisiana97127162182182168130117
Maine515984801181089990
Maryland166213250250333314285232
Massachusetts476468471558751730560472
Michigan7801,0641,2481,2311,1621,132779754
Minnesota165235322338387379333228
Mississippi3355748589826860
Missouri152176209215274287254219
Montana1519374146494643
Nebraska3849625665625449
Nevada812162041484840
New Hampshire2125202154625044
New Jersey489513509459527531463426
New Mexico32455156106144153131
New York1,6891,6412,0992,1402,9442,9132,9292,657
North Carolina138143138206335353300270
North Dakota1414202228262119
Ohio4416068048059841,016763697
Oklahoma747410011916916512294
Oregon148100120128200197155175
Pennsylvania726740389747906935822702
Puerto Rico2565336775746345
Rhode Island59707982128136125118
South Carolina52761039111911510172
South Dakota1817152125252218
Tennessee7774100125206215190130
Texas122118281344517544496365
Utah4147556176776458
Vermont2138404067655653
Virgin Islands23224443
Virginia136166179169225253199161
Washington175240375401606610585499
West Virginia535610910712012610289
Wisconsin260407444506453425291206
Wyoming69161927211712

Table A-8. Comparison of Federal Funding for AFDC and Related Programs and Family Assistance Grants Under PRWORA

[In millions]

StateFY 1996 Grants for AFDC, EA & JOBS1FY 1997 State Family Assistance Grant2Increase from FY 1996 LevelPercent Increase from FY 1996 Level
United States$14,931$16,489$1,55810.4

1 Excludes IV-A child care. AFDC benefits include the Federal share of child support collections to be comparable to the Family LAssistance Grant; 1996 expenditures as reported through February 25, 1997.

2 Does not include additional funds authorized under P.L. 104-327.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Legislative Affairs and Budget.

Alabama$75.9$93.3$17.422.9
Alaska58.763.64.98.4
Arizona197.8222.424.712.5
Arkansas51.956.74.99.4
California3,622.83,733.8111.13.1
Colorado158.3136.1-22.3-14.1
Connecticut215.3266.851.523.9
Delaware35.232.3-2.9-8.2
Dist of Columbia70.892.621.830.8
Florida497.5562.364.813.0
Georgia288.4330.742.314.7
Hawaii97.998.91.01.0
Idaho31.331.90.62.0
Illinois601.1585.1-16.0-2.7
Indiana133.1206.873.755.3
Iowa128.9131.52.72.1
Kansas89.8101.912.213.6
Kentucky157.2181.324.015.3
Louisiana114.3164.049.743.5
Maine74.878.13.34.5
Maryland214.3229.114.86.9
Massachusetts353.1459.4106.330.1
Michigan632.2775.4143.122.6
Minnesota220.8268.047.121.3
Mississippi70.386.816.423.4
Missouri195.4217.121.711.1
Montana40.445.55.112.7
Nebraska56.058.02.03.6
Nevada41.444.02.66.3
New Hampshire34.738.53.811.1
New Jersey383.2404.020.95.4
New Mexico132.1126.1-6.0-4.6
New York2,160.72,442.9282.313.1
North Carolina312.6302.2-10.4-3.3
North Dakota25.726.40.72.9
Ohio543.7728.0184.333.9
Oklahoma118.2148.029.825.2
Oregon142.0167.925.918.2
Pennsylvania770.1719.5-50.6-6.6
Rhode Island89.595.05.56.2
South Carolina94.4100.05.65.9
South Dakota20.221.91.78.2
Tennessee137.4191.554.139.3
Texas419.0486.367.216.0
Utah64.776.812.118.8
Vermont42.447.45.011.7
Virginia121.4158.336.930.4
Washington415.4404.3-11.1-2.7
West Virginia87.7110.222.525.7
Wisconsin276.4318.241.815.1
Wyoming15.021.86.845.5

Table A-9. Average Monthly AFDC Recipients by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 – 1997

[In thousands]

 19771981198519891992199419961997Percent Change
1989-931993-97
United States11,13011,16010,81310,93413,62514,22612,64410,94129.3-22.6
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Time Trends, FY 1984-1995, and unpublished data.
Alabama169171151129142132105868.3-38.6
Alaska111616193238363587.3-2.8
Arizona58627210518120117214786.5-25.0
Arkansas95846470756958534.4-26.9
California1,4341,5231,6191,7632,3072,6392,6262,40439.7-2.4
Colorado92827997122119998026.6-35.4
Connecticut13514212210615716616215452.1-4.4
Delaware313324192627232244.2-20.2
Dist. of Columbia968158486074706639.4-0.7
Florida242277271327601669561451112.5-35.0
Georgia24823623926638839335328249.8-29.2
Guam4664578833.642.5
Hawaii566251435062677130.627.2
Idaho202017172023231626.6-24.4
Illinois7717097356326887126555809.0-15.8
Indiana16517216514719921614812243.0-42.0
Iowa951101239810311089783.6-22.6
Kansas767467748587685419.2-39.0
Kentucky20217516015622920817515844.4-29.8
Louisiana218216230277274248236187-5.0-28.6
Maine605757516864564932.8-26.8
Maryland21322119517622122220416325.6-26.3
Massachusetts37334423524231030723720734.6-36.3
Michigan6517596916406746665274497.5-34.8
Minnesota13114915216419218717115717.1-18.1
Mississippi174176155179177159129102-4.0-40.3
Missouri26521519720325126323219728.7-24.7
Montana182022283235312724.9-22.4
Nebraska343944414845393717.6-23.6
Nevada121414203238382974.9-16.3
New Hampshire2524141328302420131.9-33.1
New Jersey44946936729835333528825117.3-28.2
New Mexico55565159881021018162.6-14.6
New York1,2471,1081,1129791,1171,2551,1841,04822.2-12.4
North Carolina20020116620031333327824367.1-27.3
North Dakota141312151816131121.1-38.4
Ohio56359067362974968554649414.2-31.3
Oklahoma8991821031351311058234.0-40.7
Oregon122927487116114876234.8-46.9
Pennsylvania65564356152359462054446116.3-24.2
Puerto Rico1881721731851941831551442.6-24.4
Rhode Island535544425963585547.3-11.7
South Carolina1401571201071401401199036.4-38.8
South Dakota24191619201916136.2-33.2
Tennessee18817415519526630026018459.0-40.7
Texas31532536354075878868457444.8-26.6
Utah374238445250403420.6-35.6
Vermont222522202928252344.7-19.3
Virgin Islands4443445511.120.3
Virginia17317515414618819516213033.4-33.1
Washington14315517821927329227425431.4-11.8
West Virginia648110610911911495828.9-31.2
Wisconsin201241288245244226170120-3.3-49.4
Wyoming771014191613732.8-59.9

Table A-10. AFDC Caseload by State, October 1989 to June 1998 Peak

[In thousands]

StatePeak Caseload Oct ‘89 to June ‘98Date Peak Occurred Oct ’89 to June ‘98June ‘97 CaseloadJune ‘98 CaseloadPercent Decline1 From June ‘97Percent Decline From Peak
Alabama52.3Mar-9332.022.729.356.7
Alaska13.4Apr-9412.010.116.224.5
Arizona72.8Dec-9352.537.029.549.1
Arkansas27.1Mar-9220.712.937.652.5
California933.1Mar-95789.9689.412.726.1
Colorado43.7Dec-9328.719.830.854.7
Connecticut61.9Mar-9555.541.026.133.8
Delaware11.8Apr-949.56.728.742.9
Dist. of Columbia27.5Apr-9423.720.513.625.5
Florida259.9Nov-92160.698.738.562.0
Georgia142.8Nov-9398.269.828.951.1
Guam2.6Sep-972.21.912.525.2
Hawaii23.6Jan-9823.423.6-0.90.0
Idaho9.5Mar-956.71.872.780.7
Illinois243.1Aug-94191.6164.214.332.5
Indiana76.1Sep-9342.438.59.149.3
Iowa40.7Apr-9428.424.214.840.6
Kansas30.8Aug-9318.212.928.958.0
Kentucky84.0Mar-9362.549.620.640.9
Louisiana94.7May-9051.748.46.348.9
Maine24.4Aug-9318.215.216.237.5
Maryland81.8May-9555.046.016.443.8
Massachusetts115.7Aug-9376.063.516.545.1
Michigan233.6Apr-91145.8115.420.850.6
Minnesota66.2Jun-9252.348.77.026.5
Mississippi61.8Nov-9136.420.842.966.4
Missouri93.7Mar-9467.657.015.639.2
Montana12.3Mar-948.87.416.340.0
Nebraska17.2Mar-9313.313.30.122.7
Nevada16.3Mar-9511.79.915.639.5
New Hampshire11.8Apr-947.96.122.448.2
New Jersey132.6Nov-9297.676.821.342.1
New Mexico34.9Nov-9425.922.712.434.9
New York463.7Dec-94371.0324.812.529.9
North Carolina134.1Mar-9495.668.028.949.3
North Dakota6.6Apr-934.03.220.651.9
Ohio269.8Mar-92180.5131.427.251.3
Oklahoma51.3Mar-9328.322.321.256.6
Oregon43.8Apr-9322.718.419.258.0
Pennsylvania212.5Sep-94157.0129.417.639.1
Puerto Rico61.7Jan-9247.340.913.533.8
Rhode Island22.9Apr-9419.519.02.817.1
South Carolina54.6Jan-9330.323.323.457.4
South Dakota7.4Apr-935.03.725.749.3
Tennessee112.6Nov-9364.457.111.449.3
Texas287.5Dec-93204.0132.535.053.9
Utah18.7Mar-9311.610.59.743.9
Vermont10.3Apr-928.27.212.530.3
Virgin Islands1.4Dec-951.21.24.218.3
Virginia76.0Apr-9450.940.819.946.3
Washington104.8Feb-9591.475.017.928.5
West Virginia41.9Apr-9328.713.453.468.1
Wisconsin82.9Jan-9238.111.370.486.4
Wyoming7.1Aug-922.01.337.081.9
United States5,098Mar-943,7893,03120.040.5

1 Negative values denote percent increase.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Division of Data Collection and Analysis.

Table A-11. Average Number of AFDC Child Recipients By State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 – 1997 1

[In thousands]

 197719811985198919921994199619971Percent Change
1989-931993-97
United States7,8187,6147,1657,3709,2269,6118,6717,78129.7-18.6

1 Data shown for 1997 are averages for the first nine months of the fiscal year because information on child recipients is currently
available only through June of 1997.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, unpublished data.

Alabama130122105921019679699.2-31.1
Alaska81110132024232382.3-0.2
Arizona4445507412613611810582.1-21.8
Arkansas72614550534942394.4-24.4
California9771,0091,0701,1861,6021,8041,8051,70143.7-0.2
Colorado635653668280686026.1-27.4
Connecticut9898827110511110810451.5-4.1
Delaware222316131819161542.0-19.3
Dist. of Columbia665643384251484720.42.6
Florida179197191235417463395339103.3-29.0
Georgia18917116618726827425121647.9-21.8
Guam3443356631.148.3
Hawaii404133283441444631.524.7
Idaho131411111316161424.3-4.8
Illinois5434914934324724864564149.3-12.4
Indiana1161201111001331451048639.8-38.3
Iowa65727763677259534.9-19.9
Kansas545245505759484017.9-32.4
Kentucky14712210710514713712011138.4-22.9
Louisiana155158163195195180162138-3.2-26.8
Maine413936324240353231.3-22.8
Maryland15414912611714915114011727.4-22.0
Massachusetts24922215215420819715313635.3-34.8
Michigan4174934414144414393543128.6-30.6
Minnesota89989510512512411610819.4-13.8
Mississippi1271291121291281169681-3.5-34.5
Missouri19414412913416417616214527.7-15.5
Montana131415182123211826.2-18.5
Nebraska232729283331272516.3-22.3
Nevada8109142227272374.0-7.5
New Hampshire17169818191614122.6-27.1
New Jersey31632224720524122819517416.3-27.0
New Mexico413834415766655752.4-7.9
New York87875972964874381377170420.8-10.0
North Carolina15014111313621022319117164.1-23.3
North Dakota9981012119817.6-32.6
Ohio39838942441148945538235815.1-24.3
Oklahoma666657719290746133.4-35.7
Oregon816049587676604533.3-41.8
Pennsylvania47043836934839741736832517.1-20.4
Puerto Rico115120116126132124105992.4-23.6
Rhode Island373728283941393746.9-9.3
South Carolina991118477100102896937.5-34.4
South Dakota18131113141412107.2-26.3
Tennessee13112210513318020318113763.1-36.9
Texas23523625637852854948442744.2-21.8
Utah222724283433272422.7-32.3
Vermont171614121817161541.3-16.8
Virgin Islands333333438.822.9
Virginia1221201031001291341149633.6-28.1
Washington1019911314117618717716931.1-8.5
West Virginia506264677372625510.1-26.2
Wisconsin14115918116116515312394-1.4-41.0
Wyoming557913119634.4-51.8

Table A-12. AFDC Recipiency Rates for Children by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 - 1997

[In percent]

 19771981198519891992199419961997Percent Change
1989-931993-97

Note: Recipiency rate refers to the average monthly number of AFDC child recipients in each State during the given fiscal year as a percent of the resident population under 18 years of age as of July 1 of that year. The numerators are from Table A-11.

Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Alabama11.010.79.78.69.58.97.46.49-31
Alaska5.48.35.97.310.912.812.512.269-0
Arizona5.85.75.97.611.912.19.68.262-33
Arkansas10.79.37.17.98.57.76.45.93-28
California15.315.715.615.619.120.820.319.028-5
Colorado7.86.86.17.68.88.46.85.916-33
Connecticut11.112.210.89.513.714.213.713.146-6
Delaware12.414.010.28.110.410.58.98.533-21
Dist. of Columbia40.740.033.930.736.844.644.043.93010
Florida7.78.27.68.413.414.111.69.878-35
Georgia11.410.410.110.814.914.612.810.938-27
Hawaii14.314.811.610.111.513.614.515.32423
Idaho4.44.33.63.74.14.64.63.915-10
Illinois16.015.416.114.515.615.814.413.07-16
Indiana6.97.67.56.99.29.87.05.840-40
Iowa7.58.910.28.89.39.98.27.34-20
Kansas8.18.16.97.68.48.67.05.814-33
Kentucky13.311.510.510.915.414.112.411.638-23
Louisiana11.611.812.215.515.914.613.411.6-1-25
Maine12.212.311.710.413.813.111.810.932-21
Maryland12.313.011.410.212.212.011.19.218-24
Massachusetts15.515.311.211.415.113.910.69.431-37
Michigan14.418.317.716.917.717.514.112.56-31
Minnesota7.28.58.59.210.310.19.48.713-16
Mississippi15.416.114.017.117.115.412.710.8-3-35
Missouri13.610.79.810.212.212.911.710.324-18
Montana5.46.06.17.99.09.78.98.022-17
Nebraska4.96.06.86.57.57.16.15.715-24
Nevada4.24.33.95.06.67.16.55.137-26
New Hampshire6.56.13.73.16.36.75.44.6114-29
New Jersey14.816.613.511.312.811.79.98.710-30
New Mexico9.99.17.89.012.113.513.111.442-11
New York17.516.616.715.116.818.116.915.416-12
North Carolina8.88.77.18.512.512.710.49.254-30
North Dakota4.74.84.35.76.96.45.44.923-30
Ohio12.212.914.714.617.316.013.412.614-24
Oklahoma7.97.66.38.310.710.48.56.931-37
Oregon11.38.26.98.210.09.77.55.622-45
Pennsylvania14.114.412.912.413.914.412.811.315-20
Rhode Island14.315.612.612.116.917.716.715.743-9
South Carolina10.411.99.18.310.710.89.47.336-36
South Dakota8.36.55.76.77.06.65.95.33-23
Tennessee9.99.58.610.914.415.713.710.357-39
Texas5.65.45.47.910.410.48.87.634-27
Utah4.64.74.04.55.34.94.03.416-35
Vermont11.310.99.98.812.211.710.810.037-17
Virginia8.08.37.16.78.28.47.05.827-31
Washington9.18.69.711.512.913.312.411.617-13
West Virginia8.811.212.614.817.016.814.713.316-23
Wisconsin9.811.914.212.612.411.49.27.0-5-42
Wyoming3.63.34.16.69.28.16.94.537-50
United States11.811.811.211.413.814.012.411.023-22

Table A-13. AFDC Recipiency Rates for Total Population by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 – 1997

[In percent]

 19771981198519891992199419971997Percent Change
1989-931993-97
United States5.04.84.54.45.35.44.74.024-25

Note: Recipiency rate refers to the average monthly number of AFDC recipients in each State during the given fiscal year expressed as a percent of the total resident population as of July 1 of that year. The numerators are from Table A-9.

Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Alabama4.54.43.83.23.43.12.52.04-40
Alaska2.83.93.03.55.46.36.05.872-5
Arizona2.42.22.32.94.74.83.93.269-34
Arkansas4.33.72.83.03.12.82.32.11-30
California6.46.36.16.07.58.48.27.431-6
Colorado3.42.72.53.03.53.32.62.016-41
Connecticut4.44.53.83.24.85.15.04.753-4
Delaware5.35.53.92.93.83.93.23.036-24
Dist. of Columbia14.212.79.27.710.313.113.012.5518
Florida2.72.72.42.64.54.83.93.196-39
Georgia4.84.24.04.15.75.64.83.839-35
Hawaii6.16.34.93.94.45.35.66.02324
Idaho2.32.11.71.71.82.01.91.314-31
Illinois6.86.26.45.55.96.15.54.96-17
Indiana3.03.13.02.73.53.82.52.139-44
Iowa3.33.84.33.53.73.93.12.72-23
Kansas3.33.12.83.03.43.42.72.116-40
Kentucky5.74.84.34.26.15.44.54.040-32
Louisiana5.45.05.26.56.45.85.44.3-6-30
Maine5.45.04.94.25.55.24.54.031-27
Maryland5.15.24.43.74.54.44.03.220-28
Massachusetts6.56.04.04.05.25.13.93.435-37
Michigan7.18.27.66.97.16.95.44.64-36
Minnesota3.33.63.63.84.34.13.73.312-21
Mississippi7.16.96.06.96.86.04.83.8-6-42
Missouri5.54.33.94.04.85.04.33.625-27
Montana2.32.62.73.53.94.13.63.119-26
Nebraska2.22.52.82.63.02.82.32.215-26
Nevada1.81.71.41.82.42.62.31.844-31
New Hampshire2.92.51.41.22.52.72.11.7128-36
New Jersey6.16.34.93.94.54.23.63.115-30
New Mexico4.54.23.53.95.66.25.94.751-20
New York7.06.36.25.46.26.96.55.821-12
North Carolina3.53.42.63.14.64.73.83.358-32
North Dakota2.12.01.82.42.92.62.11.823-39
Ohio5.25.56.35.86.86.24.94.412-32
Oklahoma3.12.92.53.34.24.03.22.531-42
Oregon5.03.52.83.13.93.72.71.924-50
Pennsylvania5.55.44.84.45.05.14.53.815-24
Rhode Island5.65.74.54.25.96.35.95.548-11
South Carolina4.74.93.63.13.93.83.22.430-41
South Dakota3.52.72.32.72.82.62.21.82-35
Tennessee4.33.83.34.05.35.84.93.452-44
Texas2.42.22.23.24.34.33.63.035-32
Utah2.82.82.32.62.82.62.01.610-41
Vermont4.54.84.23.55.14.84.33.941-21
Virginia3.33.22.72.43.03.02.41.926-36
Washington3.83.74.04.65.35.55.04.519-17
West Virginia3.34.15.56.06.66.35.24.58-31
Wisconsin4.35.16.15.04.94.53.32.3-7-51
Wyoming1.61.42.03.04.13.42.71.530-61

Food Stamp Program

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, is the largest food assistance program in the country, reaching more poor individuals over the course of a year than any other public assistance program. In fiscal year 1997, 22.9 million persons were served and $19.6 billion in benefits were distributed. Unlike many other public assistance programs, the Food Stamp Program has few categorical requirements for eligibility, such as the presence of children, elderly or disabled individuals in a household. As a result, the program offers assistance to a large and diverse population of needy persons, many of whom are not eligible for other forms of assistance.

The Food Stamp Program was designed primarily to increase the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to the point where they can buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet. Participating households are expected to be able to devote 30 percent of their counted monthly cash income to food purchases. Food stamp benefits then make up the difference between the household’s expected contribution to its food costs and an amount judged to be sufficient to buy an adequate low-cost diet. This amount, the maximum food stamp benefit level, is derived from USDA’s lowest-cost food plan (the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP)).

The Federal government is responsible for virtually all of the rules that govern the program and, with limited variations these rules are nationally uniform, as are the benefit levels. Nonetheless, States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, through their local welfare offices, have primary responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the program2. They determine eligibility, calculate benefits, and issue food stamp allotments. The Food Stamp Act provides 100 percent Federal funding of food stamp benefits. States and other jurisdictions have responsibility for about half the cost of state welfare agency administration.

The Food Stamp Program has financial, employment/training-related and “categorical” tests for eligibility. The basic food stamp beneficiary unit is the “household.” Generally, individuals living together constitute a single food stamp household if they customarily purchase food and prepare meals in common. Members of the same household must apply together, and their income, expenses, and assets normally are aggregated in determining food stamp eligibility and benefits. Except for households composed entirely of AFDC, SSI, or general assistance recipients (who generally are automatically eligible for food stamps), monthly cash income is the primary food stamp eligibility determinant. Unless exempt, adult applicants for food stamps must register for work, typically with the welfare agency or a state employment service office. To maintain eligibility, they must accept a suitable job if offered one and fulfill any work, job search, or training requirements established by the administering welfare agencies.

Food stamp benefits are a function of a household’s size, its net monthly income, and maximum monthly benefit levels. Allotments are not taxable and food stamp purchases may not be charged sales taxes. Receipt of food stamps does not affect eligibility for or benefits provided by other welfare programs, although some programs use food stamp participation use food stamps as a “trigger” for eligibility and others take into account the general availability of food stamps in deciding what level of benefits to provide. In fiscal year 1997, monthly benefits averaged $71 a person and about $178 a household.

The size of the population eligible for food stamps is influenced by many factors, including changes in program rules (including immigration laws), changes in the economy, and demographics. Similarly, changes in the economy and changes in attitudes toward “welfare” affect the rate at which eligible individuals participate in the program and may also influence the average length of time spent in the program.

Recent Legislative Changes. Subtitle A of title VIII of the PRWORA contains major and extensive revisions to the Food Stamp Program, including provisions designed to strengthen work and other nonfinancial eligibility requirements and control future spending increases. The impact on program participation and expenditures resulting from some of those provisions are reflected in preliminary 1997 data, while the effects of others will be observable over time.

A new work requirement was added for able-bodied adult food stamp recipients without children. Unless exempt, no individual may be eligible for food stamps if, during the preceding 36-month period, the individual received food stamp benefits for any 3 months while not: (1) working at least 20 hours a week; (2) participating in and complying with a work program for at least 20 hours a week; or (3) participating in and complying with a workfare program. USDA was authorized to waive application of the work requirement to any group of individuals at the request of the state agency, if a determination is made that the area where they reside has an unemployment rate over 10 percent or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide them employment. The impacts were further moderated by provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33).

Separately, title IV of the act made significant changes in the eligibility of noncitizens for Food Stamp benefits. Most qualified aliens (including legal immigrants -- illegal aliens are already ineligible) were barred from Food Stamps until citizenship. Subsequently, the Agriculture Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 [PL 105-185] restored food stamp eligibility to certain groups of qualified aliens who were legally residing in the United States before passage of PRWORA (August 22, 1996). The ban was lifted for children, disabled and people who were 65 on August 22, 1996.

Growth in future program expenditures was restrained by changes in the benefit structure for eligible participants, including a reduction in the maximum food stamp allotment. Other provisions of the act disqualify from eligibility those convicted of drug-related felonies and give states the option to disqualify individuals, both custodial and noncustodial parents, from food stamps when they do not cooperate with child support agencies or are in arrears in their child support.

Food Stamp Program Data. The following six tables and figures provide information about the Food Stamp Program:

  • Tables A-14 and A-15 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the Food Stamp program. As noted above, some PRWORA effects are reflected in the fiscal year 1997 data;
  • Figure A-5 and Table A-16 present some demographic characteristics of the food stamp caseload; and
  • Tables A-17 through A-19 present some state-by-state trend data on the Food Stamp program through fiscal year 1996.

Table A-14 presents information on the average monthly number of food stamp recipients for each fiscal year since 1970 through Fiscal Year 1997. The health of the economy has historically been a good predictor of the number of participants in the Food Stamp Program. Food stamp participation (excluding Puerto Rico) has continued to fall from its peak in of 28 million in March 1994 to an average of 22.9 million persons in 1997, reaching their lowest point since 1990.3 As shown in Table A-15, total program costs have also declined, reaching their lowest levels since 1990, after adjusting for inflation. Total program costs (including Puerto Rico) were $25.6 billion in Fiscal Year 1996 and declined by 11 percent in 1997 to $22.8 billion. The average monthly benefit per person has also declined and, after adjusting for inflation, is at the same level paid in 1981.

Table A-14. Trends in Food Stamp Participation, 1970 – 1997

Fiscal YearTotal Food Stamp Participants1 (in thousands)Child Food Stamp Participants1 (in thousands)Participants as a Percent of Total Population2Participants as a Percent of All Poor Persons2Participants as a Percent of Pre-transfer Poverty Population3Child Participants as a Percent of Total Child Population2Child Participants as a Percent of Children in Poverty2

1 Total participants includes all participating States, the District of Columbia, and the territories. The number of child participants includes only the participating States and D.C. (the territories are not included). From 1970 to 1974 the number of participants includes the family food assistance program (FFAP) which was largely replaced by the Food Stamp program in 1975. The FFAP participants for these five years were: 3,977; 3,642; 3,002; 2,441; and 1,406 (all in thousands). The monthly average number of participants for all fiscal years (including 1970-76) is computed as an average from October of the prior calender year to September of the current year.

2 Includes all participating States and the District of Columbia only--the territories are excluded from both numerator and denominator. Population numbers used as denominators are the resident population—see Current Population Reports, Series P25-1106. For the persons living in poverty used as denominators, see Current Population Reports, Series P60-201.

3 The pretransfer poverty population used as denominator is the number of all persons in families or living alone whose income (cash income plus social insurance plus Social Security but before taxes and means-tested transfers) falls below the appropriate poverty threshold. See Appendix J, Table 20, 1992 Green Book; data for subsequent years are unpublished Congressional Budget Office tabulations.

4 The first fiscal year in which food stamps were available nationwide.

5 The fiscal year in which the food stamp purchase requirement was eliminated, on a phased in basis.

6 Participation figures in column 1 from 1982 on include enrollment in Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program (averaging 1.4 to 1.5 million persons a month under the nutrition assistance grant and higher figures in earlier years under Food Stamps).

e Estimated value.

Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, National Data Bank, the 1996 Green Book, and U.S. Bureau of the Census,“Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and earlier years.

19708,277NA4.132.6NANANA
197113,042NA6.351.0NANANA
197214,102NA6.757.7NANANA
197314,641NA6.963.7NANANA
197414,784NA6.963.2NANANA
1975418,308NA7.966.2NANANA
197618,2409,1267.766.7NA13.888.8
197717,014NA7.162.7NANANA
197815,988NA6.558.9NANANA
1979517,682NA7.160.957.1NANA
198021,0829,4938.465.560.715.585.6
198122,4309,6749.064.660.815.578.4
1982622,0559,5458.859.056.315.370.3
1983623,19510,7839.261.158.517.478.4
1984622,38410,3728.861.758.516.878.2
1985621,3799,8248.360.056.615.876.1
1986620,9099,8468.159.956.215.776.5
1987620,5839,7657.959.255.615.575.4
1988620,0959,3637.658.655.214.875.1
1989620,2669,4297.659.655.614.974.9
1990621,54710,1278.059.755.715.875.4
1991624,11511,9529.063.359.318.483.3
1992626,88613,3499.966.764.020.287.3
1993628,42214,19610.568.663.821.290.3
1994628,84414,39110.572.166.821.294.1
1995627,94513,86010.173.067.620.294.5
1996626,87013,1899.669.964.719.191.2
1997624,16011,800e8.564.2NA17.0e83.6e

Table A-15 Trends in Food Stamp Expenditures, 1970 – 1997

Fiscal YearTotal Federal CostBenefits2 (Federal)
[In millions]
Administration1 Average Monthly Benefit per Person
 Current Dollars
[In millions]
 1997 Dollars3
[In millions]
Federal
[In millions]
State & Local
[In millions]
Total Cost
[In millions]
Current Dollars1997 Dollars3

1 All Federal administrative costs of the Food Stamp Program and Puerto Rico's block grant are included: Federal matching for the various administrative and employment and training expenses of States and other jurisdictions, and direct Federal administrative costs. Beginning in 1984 the administrative cost of certifying AFDC households for food stamps are shown in the food stamp appropriation. Figures for Federal administrative costs beginning with fiscal year 1989 include only those paid out of the Food Stamp appropriation and the Food Stamp portion of the general appropriation for food program administration. Figures for earlier years include estimates of food stamp related Federal administrative expenses paid out of other Agriculture Department accounts. State and local costs are estimated based on the known Federal shares and represent an estimate of all administrative expenses of participating States (including Puerto Rico).

2 All benefit costs associated with the Food Stamp Program and Puerto Rico's block grant are included. The benefit amounts shown in the table reflect small downward adjustments for overpayments collected from recipients and, beginning in 1989, issued but unredeemed benefits. Over time, the figures reflect both changes in benefit levels and numbers of recipients.

3 Constant dollar adjustments to 1997 level were made using the CPI-U-X1 price index.

4 From 1970 to 1974 total Federal cost includes the cost of the family food assistance program (FFAP) which was largely replaced by the Food Stamp program in 1975. The FFAP amounts for these years were: $289, $321, $312, $255, and $205 (in millions).

5 The first fiscal year in which benefit and eligibility rules were, by law, nationally uniform and indexed for inflation.

6 The first fiscal year in which food stamps were available nationwide.

7 The fiscal year in which the food stamp purchase requirement was eliminated, on a phased in basis.

8 Beginning 1984 USDA took over from DHHS the administrative cost of certifying public assistance households for food stamps.

9 Includes funding for Puerto Rico's nutrition assistance grant; earlier years include funding for Puerto Rico under the regular food stamp program. Average benefit figures do not reflect the lower benefits in Puerto Rico under its nutrition assistance program.

Sources: Budget documents of the U.S. Department Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service and the 1996 Green Book .

197086643,42755027208869.0035.60
19711,89747,1841,52353401,93712.6047.70
197252,18247,9801,79773552,23713.5049.40
19732,46648,6612,13180602,52614.6051.30
19743,04749,8572,718124953,14217.6056.90
197564,62413,6324,3862381804,80421.4063.10
19765,69215,7085,3273652755,96723.9066.00
19775,46914,0515,0674023005,76924.7063.50
19785,57313,4335,1394343255,89826.8064.60
197976,99515,5046,4805153887,38330.6067.80
19809,22418,3798,7215033759,59934.4068.50
1981.11,30820,48810,63067850411,81239.5071.60
1982911,31819,15910,60970955711,87539.2066.40
1983912,73320,61611,95577861213,34543.0069.60
1984912,47019,36511,499971880513,27542.7066.30
1985912,59918,88611,5561,04387113,47045.0067.50
1986912,52818,31611,4151,11393513,46345.6066.70
1987912,53917,82711,3441,19599613,53545.8065.10
1988913,28918,15011,9991,2901,08014,36949.8068.00
1989913,90418,12212,5721,3321,10115,00551.9067.60
1990916,51220,50215,0901,4221,17417,68659.0073.30
1991919,76523,36118,2491,5161,24721,01263.9075.50
1992923,53927,00321,8831,6561,37524,91468.5078.60
1993924,74927,56023,0331,7161,57226,32167.9675.70
1994925,60027,77223,8111,7891,64327,24369.0174.90
1995925,81827,25123,9011,9171,74827,56671.2775.20
1996925,59126,28223,6071,9841,84227,43373.2275.20
1997922,77822,77820,7512,0261,88224,66071.2771.30

Figure A-5. Characteristics of Food Stamp Recipients

Figure A-5. Characteristics of Food Stamp Recipients

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 1996 and earlier years.


  • The percentage of food stamp households with earnings has stayed in a range of 18 to 23 percent, with an average over the years of 20 percent. Correspondingly, the percentage with gross monthly income below the poverty level has ranged from a low of 87 percent in 1980 to a high of 95 percent in the recession year 1982. During the 1990s, it has stayed almost constant at around 92 percent.
  • The percentage of households receiving food stamps with children has also been fairly constant at a little over 60 percent.
  • The percentage of food stamp households with public assistance income has ranged from a low of 65 percent in 1980 to a high of 73 percent in the recession year 1990.

Table A-16. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, 1980 - 1996

[In percent]

 Year
 198011982119841198611988119901199211994119961

1 Survey was conducted in August in the years 1980-84 and during the summer in the years from 1986 to the present.

2 Public assistance income includes AFDC, SSI, and general assistance.

3 In 1996 female heads of household with children whose spouse is present comprised about 7 percent of all female heads of household with children.

4 Elderly members and heads of household include those age 60 or older.

* Less than 0.5 percent.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 1996 and earlier years.

With Gross Monthly Income:
    Below the Federal Poverty Levels879593939292929091
    Between the Poverty Levels and 130 Percent of the Poverty Levels1056688898
    Above 130 Percent of Poverty2*1****11
With Earnings191819212019212123
With Public Assistance Income2656971697273666967
    With AFDC/TANF IncomeNA4242384243403837
    With SSI Income181818182019192324
With Children605861616161626160
    And Female Heads of HouseholdNA4547485051515150
        With No Spouse Present3NANANANA3937444343
With Elderly Members4232022201918151616
    With Elderly Female Heads of Household4NA1416151411911NA
Average Household Size2.82.82.82.72.62.62.52.52.5

Table A-17. Value of Food Stamps Issued by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 – 1997

[Millions of dollars]

 19771981198519891992199419961997
United States1$5,067$10,630$11,556$12,572$21,883$23,796$23,607$20,700

1 Totals include small amounts not allocated to individual states: $6 million in 1977, $26 million in 1985, and $4 million in 1992.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, unpublished data from the National Data Bank.

Alabama$99$293$318$276$451$456$443$393
Alaska531252441535452
Arizona45125121176377418377316
Arkansas66138126130207212225214
California3336046397471,7602,3952,5592,378
Colorado488894133219224211182
Connecticut45716253131152175170
Delaware2627221942489591
Dist. of Columbia847403670864741
Florida2615023684551,3061,3241,2961,061
Georgia93062903026276952727
Guam1431818142822706597
Hawaii35699374121153195189
Idaho28535363753571,034933
Illinois595067137291,0701,069330293
Indiana29204242185373415141125
Iowa1075107971431456153
Kansas15526480133146135112
Kentucky126268332300430416418372
Louisiana134270365484677642597512
Maine29696248109111115103
Maryland84171171176316350365320
Massachusetts147191173154315330294262
Michigan132395541537846834774678
Minnesota4284105131234229224192
Mississippi106235264319421397376313
Missouri69183212255447482482401
Montana923313652565955
Nebraska1131445078797872
Nevada621223174889274
New Hampshire1327151245464235
New Jersey157280260232433486513449
New Mexico409088100182194200168
New York4048759389301,5861,9452,0441,780
North Carolina133272237228461490552478
North Dakota412162135343229
Ohio2625086977511,1021,076944750
Oklahoma3782134159275305307256
Oregon42133142150226241260216
Pennsylvania2044905475549161,001983865
Puerto Rico5818797868719731,0501,1021,134
Rhode Island1841353369767870
South Carolina89212194167297303299281
South Dakota721263142414139
Tennessee134339280312562600545475
Texas2556007011,0982,1032,3202,1471,765
Utah930406196948778
Vermont1122201737444340
Virgin Islands12212314192345125
Virginia7020118920640644842379
Washington63135140191344386429387
West Virginia60122159169255261253239
Wisconsin3899148157236220200158
Wyoming37151826272823

Table A-18. Average Number of Food Stamp Recipients by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 – 1997

[In thousands]

 19771981198519891992199419961997Percent Change
1989-931993-97
United States17,01422,43021,37920,26626,88628,87926,87024,15640-15
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, unpublished data from the National Data Bank.
Alabama31660558843655054550946929-16
Alaska1132222638464645655
Arizona14021020626445751242736485-26
Arkansas21330525322727728327426625-7
California1,3451,6051,6151,7762,5583,1553,1432,81561-2
Colorado14717517021126026824421729-20
Connecticut17817514511420222322321090-3
Delaware265640305159585495-7
Dist. of Columbia98101725882919390484
Florida7289576306681,4041,4741,3711,192125-21
Georgia45965456748575483079369867-14
Guam2225201320151818041
Hawaii1081049978941151301273223
Idaho336459617282807030-11
Illinois9229841,1109901,1561,1891,1051,02019-14
Indiana19640540628544851839034874-30
Iowa10816320316819219617716117-18
Kansas6210811912817519217214947-21
Kentucky39451956044752952248644419-16
Louisiana4255746447257797566705757-26
Maine1011401148413313613112464-11
Maryland25534628724934239037535451-5
Massachusetts57943733731442944237434041-23
Michigan6359429858749941,03193583917-18
Minnesota15820222824530931829526029-18
Mississippi3335144954935365114573999-26
Missouri22137836240454959355447846-19
Montana274758566671716726-5
Nebraska407594921071111029723-14
Nevada1837324180979782126-12
New Hampshire4454282258625346176-24
New Jersey49360846435349454554049050-8
New Mexico11818315715122124423520562-16
New York1,6461,8511,8341,4631,8852,1542,0991,91440-6
North Carolina42860547439059763063158661-6
North Dakota152933394645403825-22
Ohio8039761,1331,0681,2511,2451,04587419-31
Oklahoma15820626326134637635432242-13
Oregon15323222821326528628825933-9
Pennsylvania8431,0711,0329161,1371,2081,1241,00929-15
Puerto Rico1,4721,8051,4801,4601,4801,4101,330e 1,306-1-9
Rhode Island798869578794918562-8
South Carolina28044337327236938535834945-11
South Dakota264648505553494711-16
Tennessee39267751850070273563858655-24
Texas8231,2261,2631,6342,4542,7262,3722,03463-23
Utah366575951231281109840-26
Vermont464844345465565370-9
Virgin Islands2534321616203120815
Virginia24043236033349554753847661-11
Washington21227128132143146847644244-5
West Virginia19925227825931032130028724-11
Wisconsin17526936329133433028323216-31
Wyoming91527273334332925-16

Table A-19. Food Stamp Recipiency Rates by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1977 – 1997

[In percent]

 19771981198519891992199419961997Percent Change
1989-931993-97

Note: Recipiency rate refers to the average monthly number of food stamp recipients in each State during the particular fiscal year expressed as a percent of the total resident population as of July 1 of that year. The numerator is from Table A-18.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, unpublished data from the National Data Bank and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Alabama8.415.414.810.813.312.911.910.924-19
Alaska2.77.74.14.86.47.67.67.4513
Arizona5.87.56.57.311.812.39.68.068-35
Arkansas9.713.310.99.711.611.510.910.521-10
California6.06.66.16.18.310.19.98.751-5
Colorado5.55.95.36.57.57.36.45.619-27
Connecticut5.85.64.53.56.26.86.86.490-3
Delaware4.59.36.54.57.38.48.07.384-12
Dist. of Columbia14.515.911.49.414.116.017.217.16014
Florida8.29.45.55.310.410.69.58.1107-26
Georgia8.811.79.57.611.211.810.89.355-20
Hawaii11.810.69.57.18.29.811.010.72421
Idaho3.86.75.96.16.77.26.75.817-19
Illinois8.18.69.78.710.010.19.38.616-15
Indiana3.67.47.45.27.99.06.75.969-32
Iowa3.75.67.26.16.96.96.25.715-19
Kansas2.74.54.95.26.97.56.75.744-23
Kentucky11.014.215.212.114.113.712.511.415-19
Louisiana10.613.414.617.018.217.615.413.27-27
Maine9.212.49.86.910.711.010.610.062-11
Maryland6.18.16.55.37.07.87.47.044-8
Massachusetts10.17.65.75.27.27.36.15.541-25
Michigan6.910.210.89.410.510.89.68.614-20
Minnesota4.04.95.55.76.97.06.35.624-21
Mississippi13.520.319.119.120.519.216.914.66-28
Missouri4.57.77.27.910.611.210.38.842-22
Montana3.65.97.17.08.18.38.17.620-9
Nebraska2.64.75.95.96.76.86.25.920-17
Nevada2.74.43.43.66.06.66.04.986-27
New Hampshire5.15.82.82.05.25.44.63.9172-27
New Jersey6.78.26.14.66.36.96.86.148-10
New Mexico9.713.710.910.014.014.713.711.851-22
New York9.210.510.38.110.411.911.610.639-6
North Carolina7.510.27.65.98.78.98.67.952-12
North Dakota2.44.44.96.07.27.16.25.927-22
Ohio7.59.110.69.911.411.29.47.816-32
Oklahoma5.56.78.08.310.811.610.79.739-15
Oregon6.38.78.57.68.99.39.08.022-14
Pennsylvania7.19.08.87.79.510.09.38.428-15
Rhode Island8.39.37.25.78.79.49.28.663-7
South Carolina9.413.911.37.910.310.59.69.338-15
South Dakota3.86.66.97.27.67.36.66.47-18
Tennessee8.914.611.010.314.014.212.010.948-28
Texas6.28.37.89.713.914.812.410.551-29
Utah2.74.34.65.66.86.65.54.827-32
Vermont9.49.48.26.19.411.19.69.065-11
Virginia4.67.96.35.47.88.48.17.152-15
Washington5.66.46.46.88.48.88.67.930-11
West Virginia10.412.914.614.317.117.716.515.824-11
Wisconsin3.85.77.66.06.76.55.54.512-33
Wyoming2.13.05.46.07.27.26.96.023-18
United States7.19.08.37.69.910.59.68.537-18

Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program is a means tested, federally administered income assistance program authorized by title XVI of the Social Security Act. Established in 1972 (Public Law 92-603) and begun in 1974, SSI provides monthly cash payments in accordance with uniform, nationwide eligibility requirements to needy aged, blind and disabled persons. To qualify for SSI payments, a person must satisfy the program criteria for age, blindness or disability. Children may qualify for SSI if they are under age 18, unmarried, and meet the applicable SSI disability or blindness, income and resource requirements. Individuals and couples are eligible for SSI if their countable incomes fall below the Federal maximum monthly SSI benefit levels, which were $484 for an individual and $726 for a couple in fiscal year 1997. SSI eligibility is restricted to qualified persons who have countable resources/assets of not more than $2,000, or $3,000 for a couple.

SSI law requires that SSI applicants file for all other money benefits for which they may be entitled. Since its inception, SSI has been viewed as the “program of last resort”-- after evaluating all other income, SSI pays what is necessary to bring an individual to the statutorily prescribed income “floor.” (The Social Security Administration, which administers the SSI program, works with recipients and helps them get any other benefits for which they are eligible.) As of December 1996, 37 percent of all SSI recipients also received Social Security benefits; Social Security benefits are the single highest source of income for SSI recipients.

No individual could receive both SSI payments and AFDC benefits; if eligible for both, the individual was required to choose which benefit to receive. Generally, the AFDC agency encouraged individuals to file for SSI and, once the SSI payments had started, the individual was removed from the AFDC filing unit. The PRWORA does not specifically prohibit an individual’s receipt of both TANF benefits and SSI; states have complete authority to set TANF eligibility standards and benefit levels.

Except in California, which converted food stamp benefits to cash that is included in the State supplementary payment, SSI recipients may be eligible to receive food stamps. If all household members receive SSI, they do not need to meet the Food Stamp Program financial eligibility standards to participate in the program because they are categorically eligible. If SSI beneficiaries live in households where other household members do not receive SSI benefits, the household must meet the net income eligibility standard of the Food Stamp Program to be eligible for food stamp benefits.

Recent Legislative Changes. Several legislative changes made in the 104th Congress are likely to affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI) participation and expenditures. Public Law 104-121, the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996, prohibits SSI eligibility to individuals whose drug addiction and/or alcoholism (DAA) is a contributing factor material to the finding of disability. This provision applied to individuals who filed for benefits on or after the date of enactment (March 29, 1996) and to individuals whose claims were finally adjudicated on or after the date of enactment. It applied to current beneficiaries on January 1, 1997.

The PRWORA made several changes designed to maintain the SSI program’s goal of providing benefits for severely disabled children while preventing children without serious impairments from receiving benefits. First, the act replaced the former law “comparable severity” test with a new definition of childhood disability based on a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. Second, it discontinued use of the Individualized Functional Assessment (IFA) which authorized subjective judgment to determine children’s eligibility for SSI. Third, it eliminated references to “maladaptive behavior” in the Listings of Impairments (among medical criteria for evaluation of mental and emotional disorders in the domain of personal/behavioral function). The latter two provisions were effective for all new and pending applications upon enactment (August 22, 1996). Current beneficiaries receiving benefits due to an IFA or maladaptive behavior listing received notice no later than January 1, 1997, that their benefits might end when their case is redetermined. All currently receiving benefits are subject to redetermination using the new eligibility criteria by February 28, 1998 (per P.L. 105-33, enacted August 5, 1997).

Title IV of PRWORA also made significant changes in the eligibility of noncitizens for SSI benefits. Essentially, qualified aliens (including legal immigrants) are barred from SSI. Some of the restrictions were subsequently moderated, most notably by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33), which grandfathered immigrants who were receiving SSI at the time of enactment of the PRWORA.

SSI Program Data. The following six tables and two figures provide SSI program data:

  • Tables A-20 through A-23 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the SSI program;
  • Figures A-6 and A-7 present some demographic characteristics of the SSI caseload; and
  • Tables A-24 through A-26 present some state-by-state trend data on the SSI program through fiscal year 1996.

Table A-20 presents information on the number of persons receiving SSI payments in December of each year from 1974 through 1997. Data on the total number of SSI recipients are shown, as well as recipients by eligibility category (aged, blind and disabled) and by type of recipient (child, adult age 18-64, and adult age 65 or older). From 1990 to 1994, growth in the total number of beneficiaries averaged 370 thousand per year, almost 6.5 percent per year. The increase slowed in 1995 and 1996, with the number of recipients peaking at 6.6 million beneficiaries in December 1996. In 1997 growth stopped and the number of recipients declined slightly, to 6.5 million in December 1997.

Recent trends in the changing composition of the SSI caseload continued through 1997, as shown in Table A-22. The number of aged beneficiaries continued to decline, both as an absolute number (from a high of 2.3 million persons in December 1975 to less than 1.4 million in December 1997) and as a proportion of the SSI caseload. The number of aged, as a percentage of all SSI participants, has dropped steadily, from 60.6 percent in December 1974 to 31.6 percent in December 1997. This relative decline is a result of very little change in the number of aged participants between December 1990 and December 1997 while the number of persons 18 to 64 receiving benefits grew by 45 percent during the same time period. Moreover, the number of children increased by 177 percent, from 340 thousand to 943 thousand, bringing them from 7 percent of the SSI caseload in 1990 to 15 percent in 1997. Many analysts attribute this growth to outreach activities, the Supreme Court decision in the Zebley case4, expansion of the medical impairment category, and reduction in reviews of continuing eligibility.

Table A-20. Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments 1974 – 1997

[In thousands]

DateTotalEligibility CategoryType of Recipient
AgedBlind and DisabledChildren1Adults
TotalBlindDisabledAge 18-6465 or Older

1 Includes students 18-21; there were 50,661 students 18-21 in December 1997.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html).

Dec 19743,9962,2861,710751,636711,5032,422
Dec 19754,3142,3072,007741,9331281,6782,508
Dec 19764,2362,1482,088762,0121531,6862,397
Dec 19774,2382,0512,187772,1091751,7092,353
Dec 19784,2171,9682,249772,1721971,7162,304
Dec 19794,1501,8722,278772,2012121,6922,246
Dec 19804,1421,8082,334782,2562291,6932,221
Dec 19814,0191,6782,341792,2622301,6682,121
Dec 19823,8581,5492,309772,2312291,6182,011
Dec 19833,9011,5152,386792,3072361,6622,003
Dec 19844,0291,5302,499812,4192491,7432,037
Dec 19854,1381,5042,634822,5512651,8412,031
Dec 19864,2691,4732,796832,7132801,9722,018
Dec 19874,3851,4552,930832,8462892,0812,015
Dec 19884,4641,4333,030832,9482902,1682,006
Dec 19894,5931,4393,154833,0712962,2712,026
Dec 19904,8171,4543,363843,2793402,4182,059
Dec 19915,1181,4653,654853,5694392,6002,080
Dec 19925,5661,4714,095854,0106242,8432,100
Dec 19935,9841,4754,509854,4247713,1012,113
Dec 19946,2961,4664,830854,7458933,2842,119
Dec 19956,5141,4465,068844,9849743,4252,115
Dec 19966,6141,4135,201825,1191,0183,5062,090
Dec 19976,4951,3625,133815,0529433,4992,054

Table A-21. Federal and State SSI Benefit Payments, 1974 – 1997 1

[In millions of current and 1997 dollars]

Calender YearTotal BenefitsFederal PaymentsState SupplementationAdministrative Costs
(fiscal year)
19972 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered

1 Payments and adjustments during the respective year but not necessarily accrued for that year.

2 Data adjusted for inflation by ASPE using the CPI-U-X1.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of SSI, and Office of Budget, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 1998 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html).

1974$16,222$5,246$3,833$1,413$1,264$149$285
197516,7875,8784,3141,5651,403162399
197616,3906,0664,5121,5541,388166500
197716,0146,3064,7031,6031,431172NA
197815,5796,5524,8811,6711,491180539
197915,3457,0755,2791,7971,590207610
198015,4867,9415,8662,0741,848226668
198115,3078,5936,5182,0761,839237718
198215,0788,9816,9072,0741,798276779
198315,1549,4047,4231,9821,711270830
198416,02210,3728,2812,0911,792299864
198516,49811,0608,7772,2831,973311953
198617,69212,0819,4982,5832,2433401,022
198718,29812,95110,0292,9222,563359976
198818,70413,78610,7343,0522,671381975
198919,38914,98011,6063,3742,9554191,051
199020,38316,59912,8943,7053,2394661,075
199121,82918,52414,7653,7593,2315291,257
199225,43322,23318,2473,9863,4355501,538
199327,27624,55720,7223,8353,2705661,467
199428,02425,87722,1753,7013,1165851,775
199529,09627,62823,9193,7083,1185901,973
199629,45328,79225,2653,5272,9885391,949
199729,05229,05225,4573,5952,9136822,055

Table A-22. Average Monthly SSI Benefit Payments, 1974 – 1997

Calender YearTotal1Federal PaymentsState Supplementation
1997 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
1974$440$135$108$64$71$35
197531311292666945
1980297158133899176
1984323211187939393
19853242191939999102
1986338232202107108101
1987338242208117118110
1988339253219118118118
1989342267230126126127
1990341283244132131136
1991347297260125122143
1992373328292124121147
1993373337306112107150
199436433831010599152
1995368350322110103164
1996366359332108103145
19973693693429910286
Calender YearNumber of PersonsReceiving Payments (in thousands)
TotalFederalState Supplementation
TotalFederally AdministeredState Administered

1 Total is a weighted average of the Federal plus State average benefit, the Federal-only average benefit, and Stateonly
average benefit.

Note: The numerators for these averages are given in Table A-21. Averages were computed by DHHS. Data adjusted for inflation using the monthly values of the CPI-U-X1 index.

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of SSI, and Office of Budget.

Jan19743,2492,9561,8391,480358
Dec19754,3603,8931,9871,684303
Dec19804,1943,6821,9341,685249
Dec19844,0943,6991,8751,607268
Dec19854,2003,7991,9161,661255
Dec19864,3473,9222,0031,723279
Dec19874,4584,0192,0791,807272
Dec19884,5414,0892,1551,885270
Dec19894,6734,2062,2241,950275
Dec19904,8884,4122,3442,058286
Dec19915,2004,7302,5122,204308
Dec19925,6475,2022,6842,372313
Dec19936,0655,6362,8502,536314
Dec19946,3775,9652,9502,628322
Dec19956,5766,1942,8172,518300
Dec19966,6776,3262,7322,421310
Dec19976,5656,2123,0292,372657

Table A-23. SSI Participation Rates, 1974 - 1997

[In percent]

 All Recipients as a Percent Of Total Population1Child Recipients
as a Percent of All Children1
Elderly Recipients (Persons 65 & Older) as a Percent of
All Persons 65 & Older1All Elderly Poor2Pretransfer Elderly Poor3

1 Population numbers used for the denominators are Census resident population estimates adjusted to the December date by averaging the July 1 population of the current year with the July 1 population of the following year; see Current Population Reports, Series P25-1106.

2 For the number of persons (65 years of age and older living in poverty) used as the denominator, see Current Population Reports, Series P60-198.

3 The pretransfer poverty population used as the denominator is the number of all elderly persons living in elderly-only units whose income (cash income plus social insurance plus Social Security but before taxes and means-tested transfers) falls below the appropriate poverty threshold. See Appendix J, Table 20, 1992 Green Book; data for subsequent years are unpublished Congressional Budget Office tabulations.

Notes: Numerators for these ratios are from Table A-20. Rates computed by DHHS.

Source: 1994 Green Book and U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1996," Current Population Reports, Series P60-198, and earlier years, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Dec 19741.90.110.878.5NA
Dec 19752.00.210.975.6NA
Dec 19761.90.210.272.4NA
Dec 19771.90.39.774.1NA
Dec 19781.90.39.371.5NA
Dec 19791.80.38.861.366.8
Dec 19801.80.48.657.564.7
Dec 19811.70.48.055.063.3
Dec 19821.70.47.453.662.3
Dec 19831.70.47.355.261.9
Dec 19841.70.47.261.266.3
Dec 19851.70.47.158.764.5
Dec 19861.80.46.957.963.4
Dec 19871.80.56.756.564.7
Dec 19881.80.56.657.664.3
Dec 19891.90.56.560.364.6
Dec 19901.90.56.556.363.3
Dec 19912.00.76.555.061.1
Dec 19922.20.96.553.559.8
Dec 19932.31.16.456.363.3
Dec 19942.41.36.457.965.6
Dec 19952.51.46.463.771.4
Dec 19962.51.56.261.069.3
Dec 19972.41.36.060.8NA

Figure A-6. SSI Recipients by Age, 1974 – 1997

Figure A-6. SSI Recipients by Age, 1974 – 1997

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics/ores_home.html).


  • The proportion of persons receiving SSI who are 65 years of age or older (as a percent of all SSI recipients) has decreased steadily from a high of 61 percent in 1974 to a low of 32 percent in 1997 essentially cutting the proportion of elderly recipients in half. The actual number who are 65 or older has declined from 2.5 million in 1975 to a little less than 2.1 million today.
  • The percentage of child recipients increased two and one half times during the 1970s, going from 2 percent in 1974 to 5 percent by the end of the decade. During the 1980s, it remained fairly constant at about 6 percent. In the 1990s, the share of child recipients increased rapidly, more than doubling to 15 percent.
  • The percentage of persons receiving SSI between the ages of 18 and 64 has increased steadily over time, rising from 38 percent in 1974 to 54 percent in 1997.

Figure A-7. Number and Percentage Distribution of Persons Age 15 or Older with Supplemental Security Income, by Race and Hispanic Origin, 1985 & 1995

(In thousands)

Figure A-7. Number and Percentage Distribution of Persons Age 15 or Older with Supplemental Security Income, by Race and Hispanic Origin, 1985 & 1995

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Money Income in the United States: 1995," Current Population Reports, Series P60-193 and earlier years.


Table A-24. Total SSI Payments, Federal SSI Payments And State Supplementary Payments, Fiscal 1997

(In Thousands)

StateTotal1Total Federal2Federal SSI2State Supplementation
Federally Administered2State Administrated
    Other: N. Mariana Islands2,5182,5182,518
Total$29,052,091$28,370,538$25,457,355$2,913,281$681,521

1 Includes $463,000 for unknown States. Federal SSI includes $643,000 for unknown States.

2 The sum of federally administered State supplementation payments exceeds the total by $214,000. This represents refunds of State payments that had not yet been credited to States.

3 Data estimated.

4 Represents recovered State payments. Administration changed from Federal to State: Maine in April 1996, Wisconsin in January 1996.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 1998.

Alabama634,096633,109633,109987
Alaska43,05230,08030,08012,972 3
Arizona316,054315,742315,742312
Arkansas335,331335,331335,331
California5,512,7885,512,7883,593,4951,919,293
Colorado296,154229,554229,55466,600
Connecticut288,158195,349195,34992,809
Delaware45,50045,50044,626874
District of Columbia84,90684,90682,1632,743
Florida1,467,0421,448,6581,448,650818,384
Georgia744,478744,475744,478
Hawaii88,66988,66977,36311,306
Idaho78,96568,54968,54910,416
Illinois1,174,1341,144,9741,144,97429,160
Indiana373,244369,668369,6683,576
Iowa164,641153,316150,3113,00511,325
Kansas146,264146,264146,264
Kentucky692,039676,463676,46315,576
Louisiana728,659728,116728,116543
Maine100,768100,064100,122-58 4704
Maryland370,584363,907363,896116,677
Massachusetts740,252740,252579,728160,524
Michigan949,061945,255917,56927,6863,806
Minnesota306,218252,921252,92153,297 3
Mississippi517,694517,694517,694
Missouri477,882452,689452,68925,193
Montana54,34454,34453,512832
Nebraska87,41881,21981,2196,199
Nevada88,17688,17683,9154,261
New Hampshire54,65143,56343,56311,088
New Jersey627,617627,617550,79476,823
New Mexico177,662177,394177,394268
New York2,931,5272,931,5272,408,404523,123
North Carolina791,473698,905698,90592,568
North Dakota31,72229,80629,8061,916 3
Ohio1,111,2371,111,2371,111,2352
Oklahoma320,881283,469283,46937,412
Oregon218,164197,990197,99020,174 3
Pennsylvania1,235,4721,235,4721,109,806125,666
Rhode Island109,271109,27189,62819,643
South Carolina423,542410,499410,49913,043
South Dakota50,84048,93648,92971,904
Tennessee657,844657,844657,844
Texas1,491,3091,491,3091,491,309
Utah85,86085,86085,80159
Vermont50,12250,12240,5539,569
Virginia526,385507,128507,12819,257
Washington432,129431,886403,45928,427243
West Virginia296,853296,853296,853
Wisconsin494,557370,147370,555-408 4124,410
Wyoming23,42122,72422,724697

Table A-25. SSI Recipiency Rates by State And Program Type for 1979 and 1997

[In percent]

 Total Recipiency RateRate for Adults 18-84Rate for Adults 65 & Over
19791997Percent Change 1979-9719791997Percent Change 1979-9719791997Percent Change 1979-97
Total1.852.4331.21.262.1772.38.986.03-32.9

Note: Recipiency rates are the ratios of the number of SSI recipients (in the respective age groups) as of the month of December to the population in the respective age group as of the the month of July; calculations by DHHS.

Source: Social Security Administration and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Alabama3.553.786.51.833.2074.921.019.28-55.8
Alaska0.771.2258.70.541.22126.414.045.45-61.2
Arizona1.111.6851.00.891.6282.44.983.47-30.3
Arkansas3.503.592.51.873.0764.417.058.12-52.4
California3.023.175.02.052.4921.716.4312.67-22.9
Colorado1.101.4531.90.771.3777.56.683.55-46.9
Connecticut0.751.4188.30.631.45130.52.702.53-6.4
Delaware1.191.5631.30.941.4150.55.432.69-50.5
District of Columbia2.283.7564.51.923.3272.98.567.48-12.6
Florida1.782.4135.41.141.9167.96.214.92-20.8
Georgia2.872.66-7.21.892.2418.717.738.84-50.2
Hawaii1.051.6456.00.691.2784.77.575.84-22.9
Idaho0.791.4178.00.641.50134.83.782.21-41.5
Illinois1.082.1296.70.952.13124.14.253.89-8.5
Indiana0.751.51101.30.611.56155.63.321.99-40.2
Iowa0.891.4360.50.621.55150.03.502.00-42.9
Kansas0.891.4057.20.631.45129.73.472.04-41.2
Kentucky2.544.2969.01.794.33141.712.548.16-34.9
Louisiana3.354.0320.32.033.5675.320.149.87-51.0
Maine1.952.2716.41.392.4475.48.583.91-54.4
Maryland1.151.6745.30.941.4655.15.404.29-20.5
Massachusetts2.242.7522.91.282.68109.110.805.88-45.5
Michigan1.262.1469.81.072.20106.05.853.18-45.6
Minnesota0.811.3465.00.551.33141.13.712.59-30.1
Mississippi4.494.9810.92.424.2475.426.0113.65-47.5
Missouri1.762.0818.31.102.1191.77.893.55-55.0
Montana0.891.5675.80.721.69135.33.792.32-38.9
Nebraska0.881.2744.50.641.31104.33.381.97-41.7
Nevada0.841.3358.00.531.16118.95.873.48-40.8
New Hampshire0.580.9563.20.441.00127.52.531.44-42.9
New Jersey1.141.7957.00.861.5074.14.694.48-4.4
New Mexico1.972.6233.11.372.3571.212.367.88-36.2
New York2.123.3055.51.592.7875.18.268.887.4
North Carolina2.402.608.41.582.1435.413.607.04-48.3
North Dakota0.991.3435.80.571.30128.85.052.74-45.7
Ohio1.112.2198.90.992.35137.64.172.60-37.6
Oklahoma2.322.22-4.11.332.0554.411.624.93-57.6
Oregon0.861.4871.90.701.52117.83.282.57-21.6
Pennsylvania1.402.2460.11.122.24100.24.963.52-29.1
Rhode Island1.592.5661.21.082.53133.86.434.79-25.5
South Carolina2.692.928.51.782.4738.916.967.75-54.3
South Dakota1.141.7956.60.721.69135.04.993.35-32.8
Tennessee2.863.2011.91.872.9859.414.777.45-49.6
Texas1.892.0910.80.951.6169.112.698.46-33.4
Utah0.550.9979.30.511.08111.53.031.98-34.7
Vermont1.772.1622.01.312.1967.08.084.64-42.6
Virginia1.501.9429.61.021.6157.78.525.37-37.0
Washington1.161.6845.20.981.7477.94.833.38-30.1
West Virginia2.133.8279.31.864.19125.17.955.21-34.5
Wisconsin1.441.7521.70.961.7380.66.542.65-59.4
Wyoming0.421.20185.90.291.29346.12.741.79-34.5

Table A-26. SSI Recipiency Rates by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1975 – 1997

[In percent]

 1975198519901992199421996219972
Total12.001.741.942.112.422.492.43

1 The number of SSI recipients used to calculate the total recipiency rate includes a certain number of recipients whose State is unknown. For 1975, 1985, 1990, and 1992,, the numbers of unknown (in thousands) were 256, 14, 0, and 71 respectively.

2 For 1975-92 the percentages are calculated as the average number of monthly SSI recipients over the total population of each State in July of that year. For 1994-1997 the number of recipients is from the month of December; calculations by DHHS.

Source: Social Security Administration and Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Alabama3.983.293.293.433.833.913.78
Alaska0.810.650.840.901.051.211.22
Arizona1.241.041.221.421.681.711.68
Arkansas4.093.143.233.473.833.763.59
California3.092.592.933.103.233.283.17
Colorado1.370.931.141.291.491.501.45
Connecticut0.760.830.981.101.301.411.41
Delaware1.191.211.211.271.451.581.56
District of Columbia2.232.512.673.003.483.733.75
Florida1.861.621.711.902.272.452.41
Georgia3.272.562.462.552.752.732.66
Hawaii1.081.081.251.301.531.651.64
Idaho1.060.841.031.211.391.461.41
Illinois1.221.181.551.782.212.272.12
Indiana0.830.871.091.261.491.551.51
Iowa1.000.961.181.291.441.471.43
Kansas1.050.870.991.141.391.491.40
Kentucky2.832.653.113.424.074.384.29
Louisiana3.902.873.153.494.144.194.03
Maine2.311.891.932.032.382.242.27
Maryland1.171.161.251.351.571.671.67
Massachusetts2.301.911.982.232.602.722.75
Michigan1.311.351.541.712.182.232.14
Minnesota1.000.780.921.051.301.371.34
Mississippi5.214.284.424.685.235.204.98
Missouri2.101.581.661.832.082.172.08
Montana1.120.921.251.381.551.621.56
Nebraska1.060.880.991.091.261.321.27
Nevada1.000.850.951.041.301.371.33
New Hampshire0.670.620.620.710.850.950.95
New Jersey1.111.231.361.521.781.821.79
New Mexico2.291.832.082.252.582.672.62
New York2.242.002.312.603.103.333.30
North Carolina2.712.212.242.362.582.662.60
North Dakota1.250.961.171.301.391.381.34
Ohio1.221.191.441.632.122.272.21
Oklahoma3.031.811.922.022.222.282.22
Oregon1.120.951.111.241.471.511.48
Pennsylvania1.241.391.601.772.092.242.24
Rhode Island1.721.621.741.912.292.552.56
South Carolina2.842.602.592.672.963.032.92
South Dakota1.321.191.451.621.831.881.79
Tennessee3.242.712.873.063.373.363.20
Texas2.231.571.731.872.122.152.09
Utah0.760.530.730.841.041.050.99
Vermont1.931.761.791.992.192.192.16
Virginia1.531.491.541.671.912.001.94
Washington1.461.091.271.391.641.711.68
West Virginia2.372.242.632.913.533.823.82
Wisconsin1.441.501.751.882.161.841.75
Wyoming0.670.450.760.921.161.221.20

1 States also have the option of continuing TANF benefits for immigrants who arrived before the bill’s enactment. Only Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina have indicated that they will not be continuing benefits for these aliens.

2 Alternative programs are offered in Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

3 Some of the decline in food stamp participation can be attributed to eligibility changes made in the 1996 welfare law, most notably the elimination of eligibility for most legal immigrants and for many childless adults aged 18-50. By April 1, 1997, many states began removing legal immigrants who were receiving food stamps on August 22, 1996. Most states removed at least a portion of the childless 18-50 year olds on or around March 1, 1997.

4 On February 20, 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that the individual functional assessment (or a residual functional capacity assessment) applied to adults whose condition did not meet or equal a listing of medical impairments to determine eligibility should also be applied to children whose condition did not meet or equal the medical listing of impairments. A GAO study estimated that 87,000 children were added to the SSI caseload after the individual functional assessments for children were initiated.

Appendix B. Poverty Data

Figure B-1. The Poverty Gap 1 and Reductions in the Gap from Cash and Non-Cash Transfers for All Persons, 1979 - 1996

Figure B-1. The Poverty Gap and Reductions in the Gap from Cash and Non-Cash Transfers for All Persons, 1979 - 1996

1 The poverty gap denotes the amount of funds needed to bring all those below poverty up to the poverty threshold; as measured here the gap is the difference between the poverty threshold and cash income plus all social insurance (including social security benefits). Food and housing benefits may be received either as cash or (more generally) as in-kind benefits in which case the market value of food and housing benefits is imputed. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit which is always positive whereas Federal payroll and income taxes are a negative adjustment.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.


Table B-1. The Poverty Gap 1 and Reductions in the Gap from Cash and Non-Cash Transfers for All Persons, 1979 - 1996

(In billions of constant 1996 dollars)

 197919821985198819921993199419951996

1 The poverty gap denotes the amount of funds needed to bring all those below poverty up to the poverty threshold; as measured here the gap is the difference between the poverty threshold and cash income plus all social insurance (including social security benefits). Food and housing benefits may be received either as cash or (more generally) as in-kind benefits in which case the market value of food and housing benefits is imputed. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit which is always positive whereas Federal payroll and income taxes are a negative adjustment.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.

Poverty Gap After:
Cash Income plus All Social Insurance73.394.694.392.5108.6118.1113.6106.0106.6
    Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance51.070.869.769.382.689.185.480.581.5
    Plus Food and Housing Benefits39.956.255.153.863.168.165.462.463.3
    Plus EITC and Federal Taxes40.558.257.554.963.667.563.760.160.4
Reduction in Poverty Gap Due To:
    Means-Tested Cash22.323.724.623.226.129.028.125.525.0
    Food and Housing Benefits11.114.614.615.519.421.020.018.218.3
    EITC and Federal Taxes-0.6-2.0-2.3-1.1-0.50.61.72.32.9
        Total Reductions32.836.436.837.645.050.649.945.946.2
Percent Reduction in Gap Due To:
    Means-Tested Cash30.525.126.125.124.024.624.824.023.5
    Food and Housing Benefits15.115.515.516.717.917.817.617.117.1
    EITC and Federal Taxes-0.9-2.1-2.4-1.2-0.50.51.52.22.7
        Total Reductions44.738.539.140.641.442.944.043.343.3

Figure B-2. The Poverty Gap 1 and Reductions in the Gap from Cash & Non-Cash Transfers for Persons in Families with Children Under 18 Years, 1979 - 1996

(In billions of constant 1996 dollars)

Figure B-2. The Poverty Gap and Reductions in the Gap from Cash & Non-Cash Transfers for Persons in Families with Children Under 18 Years, 1979 - 1996

1 The poverty gap denotes the amount of funds needed to bring all those below poverty up to the poverty threshold; as measured here it is the difference between the poverty threshold and cash income plus all social insurance (including social security benefits). Food and housing benefits may be received either as cash or (more generally) as in-kind benefits in which case the market value of food and housing benefits is imputed. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit which is always positive whereas Federal payroll and income taxes are a negative adjustment.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.


Table B-2. The Poverty Gap 1 and Reductions in the Gap from Cash & Non-Cash Transfers for Persons in Families with Children Under 18 Years, 1979 - 1996

(In billions of constant 1996 dollars)

 197919821985198819921993199419951996

1 The poverty gap denotes the amount of funds needed to bring all those below poverty up to the poverty threshold; as measured here it is the difference between the poverty threshold and cash income plus all social insurance (including social security benefits). Food and housing benefits may be received either as cash or (more generally) as in-kind benefits in which case the market value of food and housing benefits is imputed. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit which is always positive whereas Federal payroll and income taxes are a negative adjustment.

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations. Additional calculations by DHHS.

Poverty Gap After:
Cash Income plus All Social Insurance43.058.356.454.864.170.065.858.558.4
    Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance27.741.639.539.146.750.046.741.742.9
    Plus Food and Housing Benefits18.729.427.426.531.033.030.727.328.5
    Plus EITC and Federal Taxes18.730.328.526.430.132.128.024.124.6
Reduction in Poverty Gap Due To:
    Means-Tested Cash15.316.716.915.617.420.119.116.815.5
    Food and Housing Benefits9.112.212.112.715.716.916.114.314.5
    EITC and Federal Taxes0.0-0.9-1.00.10.90.92.73.23.9
        Total Reductions24.428.028.028.433.938.037.934.433.9
Percent Reduction in Gap Due To:
    Means-Tested Cash35.528.629.928.627.128.729.028.826.5
    Food and Housing Benefits21.120.921.423.124.524.224.424.524.7
    EITC and Federal Taxes0.0-1.6-1.80.21.31.44.15.56.7
        Total Reductions56.648.049.651.852.954.257.558.858.0

Table B-3. Poverty Rate of Related Children Under 18 1 by State, Selected Years 1969 – 1997

[In percent]

 196919791983198619891992199419961997

1 Related children under 18 include own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other children in the household who are related to the householder by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Note: Due to limited sample size, rates for small states exhibit large sampling errors.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, for 1969 data see 1970 Census of Population, PC(S1)-105 "Supplementary Report", table 3; for 1979 data, see 1980 Census of Population, PC80-1-C1 "General Social and Economic Characteristics", table 245; subsequent years are unpublished March Current Population Survey data.

Alabama29.323.631.038.023.523.921.921.225.3
Alaska14.712.114.413.613.711.912.39.910.4
Arizona17.916.527.720.123.923.924.630.525.1
Arkansas31.323.423.927.624.623.919.322.026.7
California12.715.223.019.520.124.627.025.025.0
Colorado12.711.517.519.216.715.111.711.79.5
Connecticut7.811.413.810.61.820.120.621.99.9
Delaware12.315.612.021.214.212.211.314.016.2
Dist of Columbia23.127.032.223.026.235.837.338.038.6
Florida19.218.522.516.419.324.423.121.720.4
Georgia24.121.123.823.824.227.419.419.924.8
Hawaii10.313.020.714.717.719.011.915.920.7
Idaho12.714.324.023.015.320.616.316.620.2
Illinois11.014.921.420.720.523.618.917.815.8
Indiana9.311.924.516.422.816.616.97.810.9
Iowa10.111.522.816.613.716.514.111.011.3
Kansas12.011.419.513.716.215.019.413.510.9
Kentucky24.921.624.723.219.328.028.524.523.1
Louisiana30.023.527.531.333.835.337.531.523.1
Maine14.515.816.211.014.420.311.614.313.2
Maryland11.512.513.311.813.118.716.816.313.4
Massachusetts8.813.112.614.414.318.113.414.219.7
Michigan9.413.325.321.519.920.721.216.714.2
Minnesota9.510.214.819.017.018.613.811.615.9
Mississippi41.330.437.833.531.132.929.529.521.5
Missouri14.914.622.420.217.522.922.711.618.2
Montana13.313.817.724.222.519.513.625.618.7
Nebraska12.212.117.319.118.816.011.212.712.1
Nevada9.110.010.314.414.619.216.59.416.8
New Hampshire7.99.410.21.79.510.111.59.012.3
New Jersey9.214.117.913.912.715.513.913.513.9
New Mexico26.722.129.527.827.029.829.134.229.9
New York12.719.023.320.619.425.825.825.025.2
North Carolina23.618.319.819.115.624.320.417.916.3
North Dakota15.914.316.914.115.014.312.011.018.5
Ohio10.013.219.218.715.119.421.018.515.3
Oklahoma19.715.722.617.718.724.222.925.417.7
Oregon10.812.023.315.516.015.214.719.815.8
Pennsylvania10.913.922.314.216.616.218.915.316.6
Rhode Island11.713.823.113.98.421.714.114.321.0
South Carolina28.721.029.323.224.729.020.619.119.5
South Dakota18.920.023.221.813.919.019.213.416.8
Tennessee24.620.628.423.526.521.319.022.819.1
Texas21.718.722.724.724.026.627.724.123.0
Utah10.610.716.214.210.011.89.08.811.5
Vermont11.513.921.215.89.111.87.916.712.1
Virginia18.014.916.114.614.814.612.017.217.6
Washington9.811.513.618.511.215.315.716.014.0
West Virginia24.318.530.930.821.535.126.324.020.6
Wisconsin8.910.414.614.311.715.013.111.510.7
Wyoming11.67.714.519.714.713.511.113.315.3
United States13.816.021.819.819.021.621.219.819.2

Table B-4. Poverty Rate of All Persons By State, Selected Years 1969 – 1997

[In percent]

 196919791983198619891992199419961997
Alabama25.418.922.923.818.917.316.414.015.7
Alaska12.610.712.411.410.510.210.28.28.8
Arizona15.313.216.514.314.115.815.920.517.2
Arkansas27.819.021.621.318.317.515.317.219.7
California11.111.414.912.712.916.417.916.916.6
Colorado12.310.112.513.512.110.89.010.68.2
Connecticut7.28.08.76.02.99.810.811.78.6
Delaware10.911.98.512.410.07.88.38.69.6
Dist of Columbia17.018.621.312.818.020.321.224.121.8
Florida16.413.514.811.412.515.614.914.214.3
Georgia20.716.618.814.615.017.714.014.814.5
Hawaii9.39.913.410.711.311.28.712.113.9
Idaho13.212.617.318.512.415.212.011.914.7
Illinois10.211.014.413.312.715.612.412.111.2
Indiana9.79.716.112.713.711.813.77.58.8
Iowa11.610.116.712.910.311.510.79.69.6
Kansas12.710.113.511.110.811.114.911.29.7
Kentucky22.917.618.017.716.119.718.517.015.9
Louisiana26.318.621.622.023.324.525.720.516.3
Maine13.613.012.410.210.413.59.411.210.1
Maryland10.19.88.69.29.011.810.710.38.4
Massachusetts8.69.67.79.28.810.39.710.112.2
Michigan9.410.416.813.913.213.614.111.210.3
Minnesota10.79.512.312.511.213.011.79.89.6
Mississippi35.423.926.926.622.024.619.920.616.7
Missouri14.712.216.714.412.615.715.69.511.8
Montana13.612.315.116.515.613.811.517.015.6
Nebraska13.110.715.313.612.810.68.810.29.8
Nevada9.18.79.88.110.814.711.18.111
New Hampshire9.18.58.13.77.78.77.76.49.1
New Jersey8.19.510.98.98.210.39.29.29.3
New Mexico22.817.624.221.319.521.621.125.521.2
New York11.113.415.813.212.615.717.016.716.5
North Carolina20.314.815.914.312.215.814.212.211.4
North Dakota15.712.615.113.512.212.110.411.013.6
Ohio10.010.313.612.810.612.514.112.711
Oklahoma18.813.416.914.714.718.616.716.613.7
Oregon11.510.716.412.311.211.411.811.811.6
Pennsylvania10.610.515.510.110.411.912.511.611.2
Rhode Island11.010.314.89.16.712.410.311.012.7
South Carolina23.916.620.917.317.019.013.813.013.1
South Dakota18.716.918.117.013.215.114.511.816.5
Tennessee21.816.520.118.318.417.014.615.914.3
Texas18.814.715.717.317.118.319.116.616.7
Utah11.410.313.912.68.29.48.07.78.9
Vermont12.112.115.611.08.010.57.612.69.3
Virginia15.511.811.49.710.99.510.712.312.7
Washington10.29.810.812.99.611.211.711.99.2
West Virginia22.215.022.322.415.722.318.618.516.4
Wisconsin9.88.710.610.78.410.99.08.88.2
Wyoming11.77.912.714.610.910.39.311.913.5
United States13.712.415.213.612.814.814.513.713.3

Note: Due to limited sample size, rates for small states exhibit large sampling errors.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, for 1969 data, see 1970 Census of Population, PC(1)-C1 "General Social and Economic Characteristics", table 182; for 1979 data, see 1980 Census of Population, PC80-1-C1 "General Social and Economic Characteristics", table 245; 1983 and later years, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and earlier years, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Table B-5. Number and Percent of Persons in Poverty by Family Relationship for All Races, 1959 - 1997

All RacesPersons in FamiliesRelated Children1 Under 18 in FamiliesRelated Children under 18 In Married-couple FamiliesRelated Children under 18 in Families with Female Householder
no husband present
ThousandsPercentThousandsPercentThousandsPercentThousandsPercent

1 Related children under 18 include own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other children in the household who are related to the householder by blood, marriage, or adoption.

2 Estimated by subtracting an estimate of the number of children living in families headed by male householders with no wife present from the total number of children living in all male-headed households.

3 Prior to 1979 unrelated subfamiles were included in all families. Beginning in 1979 unrelated subfamilies are excluded from
all families.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and earlier years, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

195934,56220.817,20826.912,852222.324,14572.2
196034,92520.717,28826.513,004222.124,09568.4
196134,50920.316,57725.212,290220.924,04465.1
196233,62319.416,63024.711,849219.724,50670.2
196331,49817.915,69122.810,930217.724,55466.6
196430,91217.415,73622.711,127218.024,42262.3
196528,35815.814,38820.79,644215.624,56264.2
196623,80913.112,14617.47,717212.424,26258.2
196722,77112.511,42716.37,050211.324,24654.3
196820,69511.310,73915.36,210210.024,40955.2
196919,17510.49,50113.85,14628.524,24754.4
197020,33010.910,23514.95,40729.024,68953.0
197120,40510.810,34415.15,35329.124,85053.1
197219,57710.310,08214.94,86928.525,09453.1
197318,2999.79,45314.24,17227.425,17152.1
197418,8179.99,96715.14,41828.125,36151.5
197520,78910.910,88216.85,1419.75,59752.7
197619,63210.310,08115.84,3338.35,58352.0
197719,50510.210,02816.04,1738.35,65850.3
197819,06210.09,72215.73,8657.85,68750.6
1979319,96410.29,99316.04,1768.35,63548.6
198022,60111.511,11417.94,98210.15,86650.8
198124,85012.512,06819.55,52211.46,30552.3
198227,34913.613,13921.36,13912.66,69656.1
198327,93313.913,42721.86,34513.26,74755.4
198426,45813.112,92921.05,75712.26,77254.0
1985 ..........25,72912.612,48320.15,39311.36,71653.6
198624,75412.012,25719.84,94210.46,94354.4
198724,72512.012,27519.74,83510.27,01953.7
198824,04811.611,93519.04,5529.56,95552.9
198924,06611.512,00119.04,7389.96,80851.1
199025,23212.012,71519.94,90710.27,36353.4
199127,14312.813,65821.15,06610.68,06555.4
199228,96113.314,52121.65,54711.28,36854.6
199329,92713.614,96122.05,84511.78,50353.7
199428,98513.114,61021.25,43910.88,42752.9
199527,50112.313,99920.24,97110.08,36450.3
199627,37612.213,76419.85,03510.17,99049.3
199726,21711.613,42219.24,7599.57,92849.0

Table B-6. Composition of Poverty Population for Selected Demographic Groups, Selected Years

Demographic groupYear 1
195919661975198519901992199419961997

1 Demographic data are for March of the following year.

2 Includes unrelated or single individuals.

3 Hispanic origin may be of any race; therefore numbers add to more than 100 percent.

4 Family includes related children under 18.

Source: 1998 Green Book, Table H-5. Based on data from March Current Population Survey.

Aged13.917.912.810.510.910.39.69.49.5
Children43.642.642.138.839.539.739.638.839.7
Nonaged adults42.539.545.150.749.749.950.851.850.8
Individuals in Female-headed families226.336.047.449.553.452.652.853.552.7
Individuals in All other families273.764.052.650.546.647.447.246.547.3
Blacks25.131.129.227.029.328.526.826.525.6
Whites72.167.768.769.166.566.466.767.568.6
Other races2.81.22.13.94.25.16.56.05.8
Hispanic origin3NANA11.615.817.920.022.123.823.4
Individuals in Families with children4NANANANA68.068.468.066.7NA
Male presentNANANANA30.731.431.230.1NA
Female headNANANANA37.237.036.936.5NA
Individuals in all Other familiesNANANANA32.031.632.033.3NA

Figure B-3. Number of Persons Living in Poverty, Unemployed and Receiving Food Stamps 1 and AFDC, 1959 - 1997

(In millions)

Figure B-3. Number of Persons Living in Poverty, Unemployed and Receiving Food Stamps and AFDC, 1959 - 1997

1 Included in the total of persons receiving foods stamps are those persons served by the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) which was the predecessor nutrition assistance program to the Food Stamps Program. In 1962 FFAP had 6.4 million participants but by 1967 the number had dropped to 3 million and by 1974, its last year of significant operation it had 1.4 million participants. The Food Stamp program began in the early 1960s on an experimental basis and served less than 1 million participants until 1967 when it reached 1.4 million participants. By 1974 it served 12.9 million participants.

Notes: To be comparable to the poverty and unemployment data, persons receiving food stamps and AFDC benefits in the territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) are excluded. Data for food stamp participants are for fiscal years; all of the other data series are for calendar years. The reason that the number of AFDC recipients declined slightly during the 1982 recession, rather than increasing as would be expected, was because of new restrictive eligibility provisions enacted as part of OBRA 1981— effective July 1, 1981 families with incomes greater than 150 percent of a State's standard of need were no longer eligible for AFDC income assistance; this was raised to 185 percent in 1984.

Source: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, National Data Bank of the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment and Earnings, monthly, and U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 1997," Current Population Reports, Series P60-201 and earlier years.


Table B-7. Annual AFDC Benefit Levels by State For a Mother and Two Children with No Earnings, Selected Years 1972 – 1996

StateAFDC Benefit Levels (in 1996 dollars)Percent Change in Benefits
19721980198519891993199419961972-891989-931993-96
Average$8,542$6,535$5,792$5,602$4,930$4,834$4,569-34.4-12.0-7.3
Weighted Average8,7236,8136,1345,9805,1385,0054,718-31.4-14.1-8.2

Note: Dollars adjusted for inflation using fiscal year average values of the CPI-U-X1 price index. Each state's weight in every year is the state's population of persons under 18 years of age in 1990 (for continuity over time Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories are not included).

Source: DHHS and Ways and Means Committee staff based upon state AFDC benefit data collected by the Congressional Research Service.

Alabama$3,847$2,701$2,065$1,797$2,134$2,079$1,968-53.318.7-7.8
Arizona5,8424,6244,0784,4624,5154,3994,164-23.61.2-7.8
Arkansas4,4533,6853,3613,1072,6542,5862,448-30.2-14.6-7.8
California11,36310,82510,27410,5708,1197,6947,152-7.0-23.2-11.9
Colorado8,0866,6376,0565,4344,6324,5134,272-32.8-14.8-7.8
Connecticut12,3969,2929,9599,8848,8488,6207,632-20.3-10.5-13.7
Delaware8,7276,0885,0235,0724,3984,2854,056-41.9-13.3-7.8
District of Columbia9,1556,5455,7246,2295,3225,3244,980-32.0-14.6-6.4
Florida5,1304,4624,2014,3713,9433,8413,636-14.8-9.8-7.8
Georgia4,0973,7533,9034,1583,6433,5493,3601.5-12.4-7.8
Idaho10,6867,3935,3214,8284,1254,0183,804-54.8-14.6-7.8
Illinois9,2976,5915,9695,2094,7754,7794,524-44.0-8.3-5.3
Indiana7,1245,8364,4814,3863,7473,6513,456-38.4-14.6-7.8
Iowa10,4728,2396,3016,2445,5435,4005,112-40.4-11.2-7.8
Kansas11,7917,8966,8446,6405,5825,4385,148-43.7-15.9-7.8
Kentucky6,5904,3033,4483,4722,9672,8773,144-47.3-14.66.0
Louisiana4,5603,9593,3252,8942,4722,4082,280-36.5-14.6-7.8
Maine7,8726,4086,4726,6715,8945,2995,016-15.3-11.6-14.9
Maryland7,1246,1795,7586,0314,7624,7284,476-15.3-21.0-6.0
Massachusetts11,6838,1937,5618,2097,0137,3406,780-29.7-14.6-3.3
Michigan (Wayne)12,0049,7276,8967,0825,9725,8185,508-41.0-15.7-7.8
Minnesota11,7559,5439,2428,1026,9226,7446,384-31.1-14.6-7.8
Mississippi1,7102,1971,6801,8281,5611,5211,4406.9-14.6-7.8
Missouri4,8095,6764,7964,3413,7993,7013,504-9.7-12.5-7.8
Montana7,8725,9286,1965,4685,2185,2735,256-30.5-4.60.7
Nebraska8,9777,0956,1275,5444,7364,6144,368-38.2-14.6-7.8
Nevada7,4095,9964,9895,0264,5284,4114,176-32.2-9.9-7.8
New Hampshire10,9717,9186,8097,7066,7146,9726,600-29.8-12.9-1.7
New Jersey11,0438,2397,0726,4585,5175,3755,088-41.5-14.6-7.8
New Mexico6,0205,0354,5164,0214,6454,8304,668-33.215.50.5
New York14,0359,0178,2978,2097,5087,3146,924-41.5-8.5-7.8
North Carolina6,5194,3944,3064,0513,5393,4483,264-37.9-12.6-7.8
North Dakota10,7587,6446,4945,8795,3225,4635,172-45.4-9.5-2.8
Ohio7,2666,0195,0764,8894,4374,3234,092-32.7-9.2-7.8
Oklahoma8,2646,4544,9364,9504,2164,1073,684-40.1-14.8-12.6
Oregon12,6108,8806,7576,5795,9855,8315,520-47.8-9.0-7.8
Pennsylvania11,2917,2786,3716,1225,4785,3375,052-45.8-10.5-7.8
Rhode Island11,1857,7817,1598,2707,2097,0236,648-26.1-12.8-7.8
South Carolina3,4192,9533,2733,1372,6022,5352,400-8.2-17.1-7.8
South Dakota10,4377,3475,7585,7425,4265,4515,160-45.0-5.5-4.9
Tennessee4,0972,7922,6792,8022,4072,3452,220-31.6-14.1-7.8
Texas4,1322,6552,9232,7972,3942,3832,256-32.3-14.4-5.8
Utah9,7968,2396,5815,8945,3875,2485,112-39.8-8.6-5.1
Vermont11,86211,26010,2059,9158,5758,2407,596-16.4-13.5-11.4
Virginia9,5465,9046,1965,3914,6064,4874,248-43.5-14.6-7.8
Washington11,68310,4828,3327,4937,1046,9216,552-35.9-5.2-7.8
West Viginia7,3384,7144,3593,7923,2403,2073,036-48.3-14.6-6.3
Wisconsin12,71610,1629,3297,8746,7276,5546,204-38.1-14.6-7.8
Wyoming8,7275,2646,3015,4834,6844,5634,320-37.2-14.6-7.8

Table B-8. Annual AFDC and Food Stamp Benefit Levels by State For a Mother and Two Children with No Earnings, Selected Years 1972 – 1996

StateAFDC & Food Stamp Benefit Levels (in 1996 dollars)Percent Change in Benefits
19721980198519891993199419961972-891989-931993-96
Average$10,769$9,136$8,563$8,411$8,139$8,020$7,876-21.9-3.2-3.2
Weighted Average10,9219,3318,8118,6828,2868,1367,977-20.5-4.6-3.7

Note: Dollars adjusted for inflation using fiscal year average values of the CPI-U-X1 price index. Each state's weight in every year is the state's population of persons under 18 years of age in 1990 (for continuity over time Alaska, Hawaii, and the territories are not included).

Source: DHHS and Ways and Means Committee staff based upon state AFDC benefit data collected by the Congressional Research Service.

Alabama$7,481$6,452$5,706$5,391$5,933$5,818$5,724-27.910.1-3.5
Arizona8,8777,8077,3477,5917,8467,7077,596-14.53.4-3.2
Arkansas7,9057,1526,8446,6426,4546,3256,204-16.0-2.8-3.9
California12,74212,13211,68411,86610,35710,0149,684-6.9-12.7-6.5
Colorado10,4489,2118,7318,2747,9247,7837,668-20.8-4.2-3.2
Connecticut13,46511,06311,46311,38610,87810,66110,020-15.4-4.5-7.9
Delaware10,8978,8288,0088,0177,7557,6187,512-26.4-3.3-3.1
District of Columbia11,1969,1488,4988,8278,4068,3548,160-21.2-4.8-2.9
Florida8,3797,6957,4337,5277,4437,3147,224-10.2-1.1-2.9
Georgia7,6557,2007,2247,3777,2357,1117,032-3.6-1.9-2.8
Idaho12,2699,7388,2177,8477,5737,4417,344-36.0-3.5-3.0
Illinois11,2969,1798,6698,1958,0938,0377,908-27.4-1.2-2.3
Indiana9,7758,6537,6287,5377,3007,1757,092-22.9-3.2-2.8
Iowa12,11810,3298,9038,8388,5628,4048,256-27.1-3.1-3.6
Kansas13,04210,0899,2829,4038,7968,6458,472-27.9-6.5-3.7
Kentucky9,4017,5836,9056,8986,7536,6176,876-26.6-2.11.8
Louisiana7,9797,3446,8196,4886,2726,1486,036-18.7-3.3-3.8
Maine10,2989,0529,0229,1368,8098,3288,184-11.3-3.6-7.1
Maryland9,7758,8938,8328,9588,1848,1007,968-8.4-8.6-2.6
Massachusetts12,96610,2979,78510,2139,5909,7619,420-21.2-6.1-1.8
Michigan (Wayne)13,19111,3669,3199,4248,8618,6968,664-28.6-6.0-2.2
Minnesota13,01611,23810,96110,1399,5259,3429,144-22.1-6.1-4.0
Mississippi5,6085,9515,3215,4225,3615,2615,196-3.3-1.1-3.1
Missouri8,1548,5417,8487,5057,3397,2137,128-8.0-2.2-2.9
Montana10,2988,7178,8298,2948,3288,3168,352-19.50.40.3
Nebraska11,0719,5318,7808,3487,9897,8597,740-24.6-4.3-3.1
Nevada9,9748,7657,9837,9857,8467,7077,596-19.9-1.7-3.2
New Hampshire12,46810,1059,2589,8619,3829,5079,300-20.9-4.9-0.9
New Jersey12,51710,3299,4419,1018,6408,4808,328-27.3-5.1-3.6
New Mexico9,0028,0947,6537,2817,9378,0117,944-19.19.00.1
New York15,05110,87210,57710,45510,1369,9519,720-30.5-3.1-4.1
North Carolina9,3517,6477,5057,3037,1577,0356,960-21.9-2.0-2.7
North Dakota12,3189,9139,0378,5828,4068,4558,292-30.3-2.1-1.4
Ohio9,8758,7808,0457,8897,8467,6567,536-20.1-0.5-4.0
Oklahoma10,5729,0837,9467,9327,6257,5047,260-25.0-3.9-4.8
Oregon13,62610,7769,8419,6129,3299,1528,964-29.5-2.9-3.9
Pennsylvania12,6929,6588,9528,7538,5108,3668,208-31.0-2.8-3.5
Rhode Island12,61710,0099,59210,3349,79810,0279,792-18.1-5.2-0.1
South Carolina7,1816,6426,7836,6636,4026,2756,156-7.2-3.9-3.8
South Dakota12,0949,7068,5238,4868,4848,4428,292-29.8-0.0-2.3
Tennessee7,6556,5306,3196,3976,2076,0855,976-16.4-3.0-3.7
Texas7,6806,4076,5386,3926,1946,1236,012-16.8-3.1-2.9
Utah11,64510,3299,0988,5938,4458,3038,256-26.2-1.7-2.2
Vermont13,09112,43611,63511,40710,68310,3949,996-12.9-6.4-6.4
Virginia11,4708,7018,8298,2417,8987,7707,656-28.2-4.2-3.1
Washington12,96611,89310,4929,9229,9939,7999,576-23.50.7-4.2
West Viginia9,9257,8717,5427,1226,9486,8706,792-28.2-2.4-2.2
Wisconsin13,73411,66911,0229,9799,3959,2169,024-27.3-5.9-3.9
Wyoming10,8978,2548,9038,3057,9637,8217,704-23.8-4.1-3.3

Table B-9. Civilian Unemployment Rate, Selected Years 1979 – 1997

(Percent of Civilian Labor Force)

 1979198219851989199219931994199519961997
United States5.89.77.25.37.56.96.15.65.44.9
Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Geographic Profile of Employment and Unemployment, annual, (data for 1997 available online at http://stats.bls.gov:80/lauhome.htm).
Alabama7.114.48.97.07.47.66.06.35.15.1
Alaska9.29.99.76.79.27.77.87.37.87.9
Arizona5.19.96.55.27.66.36.45.15.54.6
Arkansas6.29.88.77.27.36.25.34.95.45.3
California6.29.97.25.19.39.48.67.87.26.3
Colorado4.87.75.95.86.05.34.24.24.23.3
Connecticut5.16.94.93.77.66.35.65.55.75.1
Delaware8.08.55.33.55.35.34.94.35.24.0
Dist. of Columbia7.510.68.45.08.68.68.28.98.57.9
Florida6.08.26.05.68.37.06.65.55.14.8
Georgia5.17.86.55.57.05.85.24.94.64.5
Hawaii6.36.75.62.64.64.36.15.96.46.4
Idaho5.79.87.95.16.56.25.65.45.25.3
Illinois5.511.39.06.07.67.55.75.25.34.7
Indiana6.411.97.94.76.65.44.94.74.13.5
Iowa4.18.58.04.34.74.03.73.53.83.3
Kansas3.46.35.04.04.35.05.34.44.53.8
Kentucky5.610.69.56.26.96.25.45.45.65.4
Louisiana6.710.311.57.98.27.58.06.96.76.1
Maine7.28.65.44.17.27.97.45.75.15.4
Maryland5.98.44.63.76.76.25.15.14.95.1
Massachusetts5.57.93.94.08.66.96.05.44.34.0
Michigan7.815.59.97.18.97.15.95.34.94.2
Minnesota4.27.86.04.35.25.14.03.74.03.3
Mississippi5.811.010.37.88.26.46.66.16.15.7
Missouri4.59.26.45.55.76.54.94.84.64.2
Montana5.18.67.75.96.96.15.15.95.35.4
Nebraska3.26.15.53.13.02.72.92.62.92.6
Nevada5.110.18.05.06.77.36.25.45.44.1
New Hampshire3.17.43.93.57.56.64.64.04.23.1
New Jersey6.99.05.74.18.57.56.86.46.25.1
New Mexico6.69.28.86.77.07.76.36.38.16.2
New York7.18.66.55.18.67.86.96.36.26.4
North Carolina4.89.05.43.56.04.94.44.34.33.6
North Dakota3.75.95.94.35.14.43.93.33.12.5
Ohio5.912.58.95.57.36.55.54.84.94.6
Oklahoma3.45.77.15.65.76.15.84.74.14.1
Oregon6.811.58.85.77.67.35.44.85.95.8
Pennsylvania6.910.98.04.57.67.16.25.95.35.2
Rhode Island6.610.24.94.19.07.87.17.05.15.3
South Carolina5.010.86.84.76.37.66.35.16.04.5
South Dakota3.55.55.14.23.23.63.32.93.23.1
Tennessee5.811.88.05.16.45.74.85.25.25.4
Texas4.26.97.06.77.77.26.46.05.65.4
Utah4.37.85.94.65.03.93.73.63.53.1
Vermont5.16.94.83.76.75.54.74.24.64.0
Virginia4.77.75.63.96.45.14.94.54.44.0
Washington6.812.18.16.27.67.66.46.46.54.8
West Virginia6.713.913.08.611.410.98.97.97.56.9
Wisconsin4.510.77.24.45.24.74.73.73.53.7
Wyoming2.85.87.16.35.75.55.34.85.05.1

Appendix C. Additional Nonmarital Birth Data

Table C-1. Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women Within Age Groups by Race

 WhiteBlack
Under Age 15Age 15 - 17Age 18 - 19All TeensAll WomenUnder Age 15Age 15 - 17Age 18 – 19All TeensAll Women

Notes: Births to unmarried women in the United States for 1940 - 1979 are estimated from data for registration areas in which marital status of the mother was reported; see sources below. Beginning in 1980, births to unmarried women in the United States are based on data from states reporting marital status directly and data from nonreporting states for which marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate; see sources below. Data for 1996 are preliminary.

Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Births to Unmarried Mothers: United States, 1980 - 1992," Vital and Health Statistics, Series 21, No. 53, 1995 and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics, "Report of Final Natality Statistics, 1996," Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 46, No. 11, June 30, 1998.

194044.4NANA7.21.9NANANANANA
194144.9NANA71.9NANANANANA
194240.5NANA6.41.7NANANANANA
194345.2NANA6.51.6NANANANANA
194441.3NANA8.42NANANANANA
194550.7NANA102.4NANANANANA
194652.4NANA8.42.1NANANANANA
194745.1NANA6.61.8NANANANANA
194839.910.34.66.31.8NANANANANA
194940.4104.56.11.7NANANANANA
195041.910.24.86.41.7NANANANANA
195134.99.74.45.91.6NANANANANA
195240.49.64.461.6NANANANANA
195343.19.64.56.11.7NANANANANA
195436.810.24.96.51.8NANANANANA
195542.110.24.96.61.9NANANANANA
195642.610.24.86.51.9NANANANANA
195741.510.44.76.52NANANANANA
195845.310.84.96.82.1NANANANANA
195946.711.45.27.22.2NANANANANA
196047.511.75.47.42.3NANANANANA
196149.912.467.92.5NANANANANA
196248.313.46.18.22.8NANANANANA
196350.315.179.43.1NANANANANA
196452.3167.610.43.4NANANANANA
196557.317.39.111.74NANANANANA
196652.519.59.912.64.4NANANANANA
196761.62111.214.24.9NANANANANA
19686123.412.716.15.3NANANANANA
1969572412.916.65.591.772.148.36034.9
197057.925.213.517.55.793.57652.16437.6
197160.525.213.217.45.69579.65668.140.5
19725926.413.718.5696.4815970.743.9
197365.227.614.319.66.496.482.660.472.145.7
197465.329.41520.86.597.484.863.874.747.1
1975713317.223.57.398.487.467.677.848.8
197669.335.718.825.47.799.189.770.980.550.3
197772.838.92127.88.298.890.674.682.651.7
197873.140.122.529.18.797.290.976.583.553.2
19797542.424.330.89.499.492.978.985.754.7
198075.445.427.133.611.298.693.179.986.256.1
198176.54828.735.511.898.993.981.387.256.9
198277.750.130.337.212.398.494.282.487.957.7
198379.953.132.739.812.998.595.184.489.459.2
198480.855.435.142.213.698.695.385.49060.3
198582.45838.245.314.798.895.686.290.661.2
198683.661.341.748.815.99995.786.991.162.4
198784.664.644.451.816.999.196.187.691.763.4
198886.566.247.354.11898.996.488.592.364.7
198984.767.249.555.719.298.496.18992.359.2
199083.667.950.856.820.498.595.689.492.259.8
199175.569.753.25921.898.195.789.892.560.3
199276.270.654.960.622.697.695.690.492.868.1
199383.271.757.262.723.698.195.790.893.168.7
199490.477.561.96825.499.197.893.495.570.4
199588.877.462.16825.399.197.793.295.369.9
199690.178.863.369.225.799.197.993.695.669.8
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