Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2003

Publication Date
Feb 28, 2003

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. The 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the sixth annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2000, reflecting changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996. As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act, the report focuses on benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, now the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; the Food Stamp Program; and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

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 families depend on welfare might also be considered in assessing their degree of dependence. Although recognizing the difficulties inherent in defining and measuring dependence, the bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed the following definition, as one measure to examine in concert with other key indicators of dependence and deprivation:

  • 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 is difficult to measure because of limitations with existing data collection efforts. Most importantly, the available data do not distinguish between cash benefits associated with work activities and non-work-related cash benefits. In addition, there are time lags in the availability of the national data from the detailed surveys that may be best suited to measure dependence.

This 2003 report uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and administrative data to provide updated measures through 2000 for several dependence indicators. Other measures are based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), and other data sources. Drawing on these various data sources, this report provides a number of key indicators of welfare recipiency, dependence, and labor force attachment. Selected highlights from the report include the following:

  • In 2000, 3.0 percent of the total population was dependent in the sense of receiving more than half of total family income from TANF, food stamps, and/or SSI (see Indicator 1). This rate has fallen considerably from the 5.2 percent rate measured in 1996. Overall, 5.4 million fewer Americans were dependent on welfare in 2000 compared with 1996.
  • Although the 2001 dependency rate cannot yet be calculated, preliminary data suggest it will remain approximately 3 percent.
  • The drop in dependence parallels the more well-known drop in AFDC/TANF and food stamp caseloads. For example, the percentage of individuals receiving AFDC/TANF fell from 4.6 percent to 1.9 percent between 1996 and 2001 (see Indicator 3). Food stamp recipiency rates dropped from 9.5 percent to 5.7 percent over the same time period. Recipiency rates for TANF and food stamps fell again from 2000 to 2001.
  • In an average month in 2000, more than half (59 percent) of TANF recipients lived in families with at least one family member in the labor force. Comparable figures for food stamp and SSI recipients were 56 and 37 percent, respectively (see Indicator 2). Labor force participation, particularly full-time employment, increased considerably among AFDC/TANF families in the last several years.
  • Spells of AFDC/TANF receipt in the second half of the 1990s were shorter than spells of AFDC receipt in the early 1990s. Only 13 percent of AFDC/TANF spells for individuals entering the AFDC/TANF program between 1996 and 1998 lasted 20 months or longer compared with 34 percent of AFDC spells beginning between 1992 and 1994 (see Indicator 8).

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. The risk factors are loosely organized into three categories: economic security measures, measures related to employment and barriers to employment, and measures of nonmarital childbearing. The economic security risk factors include measures of poverty and deprivation that are important not only as predictors of dependence, but also as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation. It is important to examine whether decreases in dependency are accompanied by improvements in family economic status or by reductions in family material circumstances. The report includes data on the official poverty rate, one of the most common measures of deprivation:

  • As the dependency rate fell between 1996 and 2000, the poverty rate for all individuals fell also, from 13.7 percent in 1996 to 11.3 percent in 2000. In 2001, the poverty rate was slightly higher than in 2000 (11.7 percent), but was still lower than any year between 1980 and 1999 (see Economic Security Risk Factor 1, Figure ECON 1a).

Finally, the report has three appendices that provide additional program data on major welfare programs, as well as alternative measures of dependence and additional data on non-marital births.

"

I. Introduction and Overview

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-432) directed the Secretary of Health andHuman Services (HHS) to publish an annual report on welfare dependency. This 2003 report, the sixth annual indicators report, gives updated data on the measures of welfare recipiency, dependency, and predictors of welfare dependence developed for previous reports. It reflects changes that have taken place since enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in August 1996.

The purpose of this report is to address questions concerning the extent to which American families depend on income from welfare programs. Under the Welfare Indicators Act, HHS was directed to address the rate of welfare dependency, the degree and duration of welfare recipiency and dependence, and predictors of welfare dependence. The Act further specified that analyses of means-tested assistance should include benefits under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, now the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; the Food Stamp Program; and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program.

The first annual report was produced under the oversight of a bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators, which assisted the Secretary in defining welfare dependence, developing indicators of welfare dependence, and choosing appropriate data. Under the terms of the original authorizing legislation, the Advisory Board was terminated in October 1997, prior to the submission of the first annual report. Subsequent annual reports have provided updates for the measures developed for the first report. In recent years, the report has been shortened, in keeping with Congressional interest in a smaller set of indicators and predictors of dependency.

This 2003 report provides updated measures through 2000 for dependency measures based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), with one preliminary estimate for 2001. Although more recent administrative data provide some information on recipiency through 2002, the survey data needed to examine overall welfare recipiency are not available past 2000 for the CPS-based measures, and are even less current for measures based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. This report presents analysis of SIPP data through 1999 for the current report, an improvement over the 1995 data published in the previous three annual reports. These newly available SIPP data allow for the examination of a wider range of indicators and predictors of dependency since the enactment of welfare reform in 1996. As in the 2002 report, updated measures are presented at the front of each chapter, followed by the figures that are derived from data sources that are updated less frequently.

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 or other changes in welfare programs that would reduce welfare program participation but might not improve the material circumstances of these families. The introduction concludes with a discussion of data sources used for the report.

Chapter II of the report, Indicators of Dependence, presents eleven indicators of welfare dependence and recipiency. These indicators include dependence measures based on total income from all three programs – AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps – as well as measures of recipiency for each of the three programs considered separately. Labor force participation among families receiving welfare and benefit receipt across multiple programs are also shown. The second half of the chapter includes longitudinal data on transitions on and off welfare programs and spells of dependence and 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. These predictors are shown in three different groups:

  1. Economic security – including various measures of poverty, receipt of child support, food insecurity, and health insurance coverage – is important in predicting dependence because families with fewer economic resources are more likely to rely on welfare programs for their support.
  2. Measures of the work status and potential barriers to employment of adult family members also are critical, because families must generally receive an adequate income from employment in order to avoid dependence without severe deprivation.
  3. Finally, data on non-marital births are important since a high proportion of longterm welfare recipients first became parents outside of marriage, frequently as teenagers.

Additional data are presented in three appendices. Appendix A provides basic program data on each of the main welfare programs and their recipients; Appendix B shows how dependence is affected by the inclusion of benefits from the SSI program; and Appendix C includes additional data on non-marital childbearing. The main welfare programs included in Appendix A are:

  • The Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the largest cash assistance program, provided monthly cash benefits to families with children, until its replacement by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which is run directly by the states. Data on the AFDC and TANF programs are provided in Appendix A, with AFDC data provided from 1977 through June 1997, and TANF data from July 1997 through 2001.
  • The Food Stamp Program provides monthly food stamp benefits to all individuals, whether they are living in families or alone, provided their income and assets are below limits set in Federal law. It reaches more poor people over the course of a year than any other means-tested public assistance program. Appendix A provides historical data from 1970 to 2001.
  • The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides monthly cash payments to elderly, blind, or disabled individuals or couples whose income and assets are below levels set in Federal law. Though the majority of recipients are adults, disabled children also are eligible. Historical data from 1974 through 2001 are provided in Appendix A.

Measuring Welfare Dependence

As suggested by its title, this report focuses on welfare “dependence” as well as welfare “recipiency.” While recipiency can be defined fairly easily, based on the presence of benefits from AFDC/TANF, SSI or food stamps, dependence is a more complex concept.

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 its degree of dependence. 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 proposed 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, 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 capture fully 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, existing data sources 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 issue may be growing in importance under the increased work requirements of the TANF program. In 2001, the percentage of welfare recipients who were working (including employment, work experience, and community service) reached an alltime high of over 34 percent, compared to the 7 percent recorded in 1992.1

This proposed definition 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, dependence under this definition has declined as policy changes under welfare reform have moved more recipients into employment or work-related activities.

As shown in Figure SUM 1, 3.0 percent of the population would be considered “dependent” on welfare in 2000 under the above definition. This is about one-quarter of the percentage (12.5 percent) that lived in a family receiving at least some TANF, food stamp or SSI benefits during the year. Preliminary data from 2001 suggest that the dependency rate remained unchanged between 2000 and 2001.2

Figure SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1996-2001

Figure SUM 1

Note: Recipiency is defined as living in a family with receipt of any amount of AFDC/TANF, SSI, or food stamps during year. Dependency is defined as having more than 50 percent of annual income from AFDC/TANF, SSI and/or food stamps. Dependency rates would be lower if adjusted to exclude welfare assistance associated with working. The estimate for 2001 is preliminary.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Both dependency and recipiency rates fell between 1996 and 2000: dependence rates fell from 5.2 to 3.0 percent, while recipiency rates fell from 16.0 to 12.5 percent. The drop in recipiency rates is consistent with administrative data showing declining TANF and food stamp caseloads from 1996 to 2000. What is not apparent from administrative records, but is shown in these national survey data, is that the dependency rate also declined sharply between 1996 and 2000. While 13.74 million individuals were dependent in 1996, only 8.35 million were dependent in 2000 – representing a decline of 5.4 million people.

Recipiency and dependency rates are higher for non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites, as shown in Table SUM 1. Recipiency and dependence also are higher for young children than for adults, and for individuals in female-headed families than for those in married-couple families. However, both recipiency and dependency rates decreased for non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, children and individuals in female-headed families between 1996 and 2000.

Table SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1996-2000

 19961997199819992000
Note: Recipiency is defined as living in a family with receipt of any amount of AFDC/TANF, SSI, or food stamps during the year. Dependency is defined as having more than 50 percent of annual family income from AFDC/TANF, SSI and/or food stamps. Dependency rates would be lower if adjusted to exclude welfare assistance associated with working. Spouses are not present in the Male-Headed and Female-Headed family categories
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
Recipiency Rates (Rates of Any Amount of AFDC/TANF,Food Stamps, or SSI)
All Persons16.014.813.513.312.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White9.99.78.68.48.2
Non-Hispanic Black35.630.229.629.827.0
Hispanic32.028.024.523.421.0
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-1524.722.120.019.718.1
Women Ages 16-6416.014.713.613.612.4
Men Ages 16-6411.711.110.09.69.2
Adults Age 65 and over10.310.29.910.010.4
Family Categories
Individuals in Married Couple Families9.68.78.37.97.2
Individuals in Female-Headed Families46.041.637.539.937.1
Individuals in Male-Headed Families25.324.319.719.321.8
Unrelated Individuals11.511.910.910.010.2
Dependency Rates (More than 50 Percent ofIncome fromMeans-TestedAssistance)
All Persons5.24.53.83.33.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2.62.52.11.81.9
Non-Hispanic Black13.811.410.59.17.7
Hispanic10.99.16.65.44.5
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-159.78.46.85.65.1
Women Ages 16-645.24.63.93.53.0
Men Ages 16-642.72.52.11.91.9
Adults Age 65 and over2.42.12.12.02.1
Family Categories
Individuals in Married Couple Families1.71.41.11.00.9
Individuals in Female-Headed Families21.118.415.013.611.4
Individuals in Male-Headed Families5.45.64.23.04.4
Unrelated Individuals4.24.24.23.43.8

Measures of welfare dependency also vary based upon which programs are counted as “welfare programs.” Dependency would be much lower – 1.5 percent – if only AFDC/TANF and food stamp benefits were counted (as shown in Appendix B and as is done in some measures in this report). Whereas the inclusion or exclusion of individuals receiving only SSI benefits had a relatively small effect on dependence indicators several years ago, in 2000 two-fifths of dependent individuals are dependent on SSI income only.

Another factor affecting dependence is the time period observed. The summary measures shown in Figure and Table SUM 1 focus on recipiency and dependency rates measured on an annual basis. Long-term recipiency and dependency are more rare, as shown in the longitudinal measures in the second half of Chapter II. Indicator 9, for example, shows that among individuals receiving AFDC at some point over the ten years ending in 1996, 14 percent were dependent on AFDC and/or food stamps for six or more years (SSI income is excluded from this particular measure of dependency). This represents about 1.7 percent of the total population. Another 40 percent of recipients were dependent for one to five of the ten years, and 47 percent were not dependent in any year.

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 should be considered. This chapter focuses on the poverty rate, the most common measure of deprivation; additional measures of poverty and need are also included under the Economic Risk Factors found in Chapter III.

When compared to 1996, the year of passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, poverty has declined substantially. The official poverty rate for 2001 was 11.7 percent, compared to 13.7 percent in 1996. This change in the poverty rate indicates that 3.6 million fewer people are in poverty and 2.7 million fewer children are in families with incomes below poverty than in 1996. There was a small increase in the overall
poverty rate between 2000 and 2001, but the poverty rate for children was essentially unchanged (see Table ECON 1 in Chapter II). For African-American children, the 2001 poverty rate is the lowest level ever reported, and the rate for Hispanic children is the lowest level reported in over 20 years (data not shown). The declines in poverty and child poverty since 1996 mirror the dramatic decreases seen in the welfare caseload.

Figure SUM 2 shows poverty estimates under both the official poverty rate and two other measures that adjust income to take into account cash benefits, non-cash benefits and taxes. The three measures in the graph are based on analyzing three different concepts of income against the poverty threshold:

  • The solid line with filled squares shows the official poverty rate, based on total cash income, including earned and unearned income. The official poverty rate was 11.7 percent in 2001.
  • The dotted line shows what poverty would be if means-tested cash assistance (primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI) were excluded from cash income. This measure includes earnings and other private cash income, plus social security, workers’ compensation, and other social insurance programs, as income. Poverty under this measure would be higher than the official measure, or 12.5 percent in 2001.
  • The lowest line shows that poverty would be lower if the cash value of selected non-cash benefits (food and housing) and taxes, including refunds under the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), were counted as income.3 Under this definition, poverty rates in 2001 would be nearly two percentage points lower than the official measure, or 9.8 percent.

Figure SUM 2. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2001

Figure SUM 2

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations of March CPS data. Additional calculations by DHHS. See ECON 4 in Chapter III for underlying table and further notes.

A comparison of Figures SUM 1 and SUM 2 suggests that economic deprivation decreased at the same time as the large decline in caseloads and welfare dependence. Between 1996 and 2001, the “after non-cash benefits and taxes” measure of poverty fell by almost two percentage points, from 11.5 to 9.8 percent. Over the same time period, the dependence measure also declined, as shown in Figure SUM 1.

Data Sources

The primary data sources for this report are the Current Population Survey (CPS), the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID), and administrative data for the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp, and SSI programs. Beginning with the 2001 report on dependence, there was a shift to using CPS rather than SIPP data for several indicators and predictors of welfare recipiency and dependence. This change was necessary because CPS data are updated annually, while SIPP updates are available much less frequently.

If it were not for the lags in data availability, the SIPP would be considered the most useful national survey for measuring welfare dependency. It was used most extensively in the first three annual dependence reports. 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. It continues to be an important source of data in this report, particularly for measures related to AFDC/TANF spell duration and transitions in and out of AFDC/TANF recipiency, dependency, and poverty. This 2003 report provides the first updated analysis of SIPP data beyond 1995, allowing examination of program dynamics under the TANF program.

For measures of receipt, dependency, and poverty at a single point in time, however, the report primarily uses the Annual March Demographic Supplement to the CPS, which measures income and poverty over an annual accounting period. As stated above, the CPS data are available on a more timely basis than the SIPP, and have been widely used to measure trends since the welfare reform legislation of 1996. However, because the CPS does not collect income in the same detail as the SIPP, it has been subject to criticism for underreporting of income, particularly welfare income. To address this concern, some of the indicators in this report are based on CPS data that have been analyzed by the Transfer Income Model (TRIM3), a microsimulation model developed by the Urban Institute under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Although its primary purpose is to simulate program eligibility and the impact of policy proposals, the TRIM model has also been used to correct for underreporting of welfare receipt and benefits. Welfare caseloads in TRIM3 are based on CPS data, adjusted upward to ensure that total estimates of recipients equal the total counts from administrative data. Even with these adjustments, some measurement differences between the CPS/TRIM data and SIPP data remain.

As shown in Figure SUM 3, the overall measures of dependency and recipiency have not been greatly affected by the change in data sources. Both data sources show a decline in dependence between 1996 and 1999, from 4.7 to 2.8 percent under the SIPP data, and from 5.2 to 3.3 percent under the TRIM-adjusted CPS data. Still, readers are cautioned against comparing measures for 1987-1995 from the SIPP data in the first three annual reports with the measures for 1996-2000 from the TRIM-adjusted CPS data. In Chapter II, indicators using the CPS data have been analyzed for every year since 1993 (the first year for which TRIM-adjusted CPS data are available), providing a new time series of how the indicators are changing over time from a consistent data source.

Figure SUM 3. Recipiency and Dependency Rates from Two Data Sources: 1987-2000

Figure SUM 3

Note: Recipiency is defined as receipt of any amount of AFDC/TANF, SSI, or food stamps during year. Dependency is defined as having more than 50 percent of annual family income from AFDC/TANF, SSI and/or food stamps. Dependency rates would be lower if adjusted to exclude welfare assistance associated with working.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is another source of data used in this report. Like the SIPP it provides longitudinal data, but over a much longer time period than the three- to four-year time period of the SIPP. The PSID has collected annual income data, including transfer income, since 1968, providing vital data for indicators of long-term welfare receipt, dependence, and deprivation. The PSID measures cover time spans as long as a decade and so are updated less frequently than the CPS-based and SIPP-based measures. The PSID measures in this year's report are unchanged from last year's report, and generally cover the decade ending in 1996.

Finally, the report also draws upon administrative data for the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI programs. These data are largely reported in Appendix A. Like the CPS data, administrative data are generally available with little time lags; these data are generally available through fiscal year 2001. To the extent possible, TANF administrative data are reported in a consistent manner with data from the earlier AFDC program, as noted in the footnotes to the tables in Appendix A. The fact remains that assistance under locally designed TANF programs encompasses a diverse set of cash and non-cash benefits designed to support families in making a transition to work, and so direct comparisons between AFDC receipt and TANF receipt must be made with caution. This issue also affects reported data on TANF receipt in national data sets such as the CPS and SIPP.

Most of the data sources allow analysis of the indicators and predictors of welfare dependence across several age and racial/ethnic categories. Where the data are available, statistics are shown for three racial/ethnic groups – non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and Hispanics.4 In some instances, however, there are not sufficient data on individuals of Hispanic origin, and so the measures are shown for only two racial/ethnic categories. For the primary measure of dependency in this 2003 report, estimates are also provided for individual persons by family structure (see SUM1 and IND1). For these measures, the entire population is subdivided into the following four groups:

  • individuals in married-couple families
  • individuals in female-headed families, no spouse present
  • individuals in male-headed families, no spouse present
  • unrelated individuals.

Two technical notes concern the unit of analysis and the difference between annual and monthly measures. The individual, rather than the family or household, is the unit of analysis for most of the statistics in this report. The individual’s dependency status, however, is generally based on total family income, taking into account means-tested assistance, earnings and other sources of income for all individuals in the family.5 This chapter, for example, has reported the percentage of individuals that are dependent (in SUM 1) or poor (in SUM 2) according to annual total family income. Recipiency status is also based on total annual family income in some instances; in SUM 1, for example, recipients are individuals in families receiving assistance at some point in the year. In most other indicators, recipiency is measured as the direct receipt of a benefit by an individual in a month. The difference between an individual and a family measure of recipiency is largest in the SSI program, which provides benefits to individuals and couples, not to families.

Finally, there also are differences between monthly and annual observation of benefit receipt. For example, the measures of annual recipiency (that is, any receipt over the course of a year) shown in Figure and Table SUM 1 are higher than the more traditional measures of recipiency in an average month, as shown in several other indicators.

Notes

  1. The earnings of those in unsubsidized employment would be correctly captured as income from work in national surveys. Any welfare benefits associated with work experience, community service programs or other work activities, however, would be counted as income from welfare in most national surveys, a classification incompatible with the proposed definition.
  2. While TRIM-adjusted CPS data for 2001 are not yet available, non-adjusted estimates from the Annual March Demographic Supplement to the CPS indicate no change in the level of dependence between 2001 and 2002.
  3. The effects of selected non-cash benefits (food and housing) and taxes are shown separately in Figure ECON 4 in Chapter III. Prior to 1993, taxes increased poverty. Since 1993, taxes, including the refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit, have caused reductions in poverty.
  4. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders are included in the totals but are not shown separately.
  5. Family is generally defined as following the broad Census Bureau definition of family — all persons residing together that are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.

II. Indicators of Dependence

Following the format of the previous annual reports to Congress, Chapter II presents summary data related to 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 measuring dependence as the proportion of families with more than 50 percent of their total income in a one-year period coming from cash assistance through the AFDC (now TANF) program, food stamps and SSI benefits. Furthermore, this welfare income was not to be associated with work activities.

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 means-tested 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 indicators of dependency were selected to reflect both the range and depth of dependence. This chapter focuses on recipients of three major means-tested cash and nutritional assistance programs: cash assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, benefits under the Food Stamp Program, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for elderly and disabled recipients.

Here is a brief summary of each of the eleven indicators:

Indicator 1: Degree of Dependence. This indicator focuses most closely on those individuals who meet the Advisory Board’s proposed definition of “dependence.” In addition to examining individuals with more than 50 percent of their annual family income from AFDC/TANF cash assistance, food stamps and/or SSI benefits, it shows various levels of dependence by examining those with more than 0 percent, 25 percent, and 75 percent of their income from these sources (Indicators 1a and 1b). This indicator also shows the average percentage of income from means-tested assistance and earnings received by families with various levels of income relative to the poverty level (Indicators 1c and 1d).

Indicator 2: Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance and Labor Force Attachment. This indicator looks further at the relationship between receipt of means-tested assistance and participation in the labor force. This is an important issue because of the significant number of low-income individuals who use a combination of means-tested assistance and earnings from the labor force to get by each month.

Indicator 3: Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance. This indicator paints yet another picture of dependence by measuring recipiency rates, that is, the percentage of the population that receives AFDC/TANF, food stamps, or SSI in an average month. Program administrative data make these figures readily available over time, allowing a better sense of historical trends than is available from the more specialized indicators of dependence.

Indicator 4: Rates of Participation in Means-Tested Assistance Programs. While means-tested public assistance programs are open to all that meet their requirements, not all eligible households participate in the programs. This indicator uses administrative data and microsimulation models to reflect “take up rates” – the number of families that actually participate in the programs as a percentage of those who are legally eligible.

Indicator 5: Multiple Program Receipt. Depending on their circumstances, individuals may choose a variety of different means-tested assistance “packages.” This indicator looks at the percentage of individuals receiving AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and SSI in a month, examining how many rely on just one of these programs, and how many rely on a combination of two programs.

Indicator 6: Dependence Transitions. This indicator uses data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to look at the ability of individuals who are dependent on welfare in one year to make the transition out of dependence in the following year.

Indicator 7: Dependence Spell Duration. Like Indicator 6, this indicator is concerned with dynamics of welfare receipt and welfare dependence. It shows the proportion of individuals with short, medium, and long spells, or episodes, of AFDC or TANF receipt. The focus is on individuals in AFDC/TANF families with no labor force participants.

Indicator 8: Program Spell Duration. One critical aspect of dependence is how long individuals receive means-tested assistance. Like Indicator 7, this indicator provides information on short, medium, and long spells of welfare receipt. It differs from Indicator 7 in looking at all recipients, regardless of attachment to the labor force, and in analyzing recipients of each of the three major means-tested programs – AFDC/TANF, the Food Stamp Program, and SSI.

Indicator 9: Long-Term Dependency. This indicator uses data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) to examine dependency over three separate ten-year time periods. It measures dependency as individuals with more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and food stamps, not counting SSI.

Indicator 10: Long-Term Receipt. Many individuals who leave welfare programs cycle back on after an absence of several months. Thus it is important to look beyond individual program spells, measured in Indicator 8, to examine the cumulative amount of time individuals receive assistance over a period of several years.

Indicator 11: Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells. To gain a better understanding of welfare dynamics, it is important to go beyond measures of spell duration and examine information regarding the major events in people’s lives that are correlated with the beginnings or endings of program spells. This measure focuses on receipt of AFDC.

Indicator 1. Degree of Dependence

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2000


Figure IND 1

Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Only 3.0 percent of the total population in 2000 received more than half of their total family income from TANF, food stamps and SSI. As shown in Table IND1b, the percentage of families dependent on public assistance has dropped in half since 1993, with most of the decline occurring since 1996. As noted in Chapter I, preliminary data suggest dependency will remain near 3 percent in 2001.
  • A total of 13 percent of the overall population received at least one dollar in means-tested assistance in 2000. However, for over half of these individuals (7 percent of the total population), such assistance represented 25 percent or less of annual family income. The vast majority (88 percent) of the population received no means-tested assistance in 2000.
  • As shown in Table IND 1a, individuals living in female-headed families were much more likely to be dependent on assistance from means-tested programs compared to individuals in married-couple or male-headed families (11.4 percent compared to 0.9 and 4.4 percent respectively).
  • In 2000, fewer than one in four individuals receiving some public assistance reported that TANF, food stamps, and SSI accounted for more than half of their total family income. This number showed a decline in dependence since 1996, when nearly one in three individuals receiving public assistance were dependent on it.

Table IND 1a. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2000

 0%>0% and <= 25%>25% and <= 50%>50% and <= 75%>75% and <= 100%Total > 50%
Note: Means-tested assistance includes AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps. Total >50% includes all persons with more than 50 percent of their total annual family income from these means-tested programs. Income includes cash income and the value of food stamps. Spouses are not present in the Female-Headed and Male-Headed family categories.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
All Persons87.57.32.21.02.03.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White91.85.11.30.71.21.9
Non-Hispanic Black73.014.25.02.35.47.7
Hispanic79.012.34.21.62.94.5
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-1782.29.33.61.92.94.9
Women Ages 16-6487.67.42.01.02.13.0
Men Ages 16-6490.86.11.30.51.31.9
Adults Age 65 and over89.66.22.10.71.42.1
Family Categories
Individuals in Married Couple Families92.85.21.00.30.60.9
Individuals in Female-Headed Families62.917.58.24.76.811.4
Individuals in Male-Headed Families78.213.53.91.43.04.4
Unrelated Individuals89.95.11.30.63.23.8

Table IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1993-2000

 0%>0% and <= 25%>25% and <= 50%>50% and <= 75%>75% and <= 100%Total > 50%
Note: Means-tested assistance includes AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps. Total >50% includes all persons with more than 50 percent of their total annual family income from these means-tested programs. Income includes cash income and the value of food stamps.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
199383.47.83.01.84.15.9
199482.88.43.11.84.05.8
199583.28.53.11.83.55.3
199684.07.83.11.93.35.2
1997 199885.3 86.57.7 7.32.5 2.51.5 1.33.1 2.54.5 3.8
199986.77.72.31.12.23.3
200087.57.32.21.02.03.0

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2000

Figure IND 1b

Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Those in families with income below the poverty level received half (50 percent) of their total family income from earnings and 30 percent of their total family income from means-tested assistance programs (AFDC/TANF, SSI, and food stamps) in 2000. In contrast, those with family income over 200 percent of the poverty level received the majority (87 percent) of their income from earnings and less than one percent of their income from means-tested assistance (a percentage so small as to not be visible in Figure IND 1b).
  • The percentage of family income received from earnings is inversely proportional to overall family income relative to the poverty line. For example, the percentage of income received from earnings for those living in deep poverty (below 50 percent of poverty) was only 31 percent, compared to 50 percent for all poor individuals in 2000.
  • On average, children were more likely than the elderly to live in families receiving a higher percentage of their income from means-tested assistance programs, as shown by Table IND 1c. The elderly received more income from other sources, such as Social Security benefits and private pensions.
  • The percentage of income received from earnings for families with incomes below the poverty level has increased over time, as shown in Table IND 1d. In 1995, poor families received 40 percent of their income from earnings; this percentage rose to 50 percent in 2000.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Age: 2000

 < 50% poverty<100% of poverty<200% of poverty200%+ of povertyAll Individuals

Note: Total income is total annual family income, including the value of food stamps. Other income is non means-tested, non-earnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest, and dividends. Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

All Persons
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps54.330.39.80.21.0
Earnings30.549.568.786.785.3
Other Income15.220.321.513.013.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps50.627.87.70.10.5
Earnings31.645.463.885.884.7
Other Income17.826.728.614.114.8
Non-Hispanic Black
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps59.639.015.20.53.2
Earnings24.640.165.488.884.5
Other Income15.920.919.410.712.3
Hispanic
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps51.925.39.20.72.7
Earnings38.464.080.292.289.3
Other Income9.710.710.67.17.9
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-5
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps61.634.511.90.21.8
Earnings26.654.679.594.192.2
Other Income11.810.98.65.76.1
Children Ages 6-10
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps60.234.511.20.11.6
Earnings26.153.379.193.291.3
Other Income13.712.39.86.77.1
Children Ages 11-15
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps Earnings59.9 26.731.2 53.610.8 76.40.2 92.21.3 90.5
Other Income13.415.312.87.68.2
Women Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps50.131.010.40.20.9
Earnings32.749.372.389.288.1
Other Income17.219.617.310.511.0
Men Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps40.425.07.90.20.6
Earnings42.855.876.190.789.9
Other Income16.819.216.09.29.5
Adults Age 65 and over
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps40.920.97.10.41.1
Earnings12.64.59.336.032.9
Other Income46.474.783.663.665.9

Table IND 1d. Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources: Selected Years

 < 50% poverty<100% of poverty<200% of poverty200%+ of poverty
Note: Total income is total annual family incomearnings income such as child support, alimony,categories are not mutually exclusive. Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRe, including the value of foo pensions, Social Security bIM3 microsimulation moded stamps. Other inenefits, interest, anl.come is non meand dividends. Poves-tested, non- rty status
1995
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps65.941.314.20.3
Earnings22.540.464.885.4
Other Income11.618.321.014.3
1999
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps53.129.89.70.2
Earnings30.249.369.185.0
Other Income16.620.821.214.7
2000
TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps54.330.39.80.2
Earnings30.549.568.786.7
Other Income15.220.321.513.0

Indicator 2. Receipt of Means-tested Assistance and Labor Force Attachment

Figure IND 2. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants in that Month, by Program: 2000

Figure IND 2

Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • In 2000, 59 percent of individuals who received TANF, 56 percent of individuals who received food stamps, and 37 percent of individuals who received SSI were in families with at least one person in the labor force, either part-time or full-time.
  • Over one-third of TANF and food stamp recipients lived in families with at least one fulltime worker in 2000, while slightly more than one-fifth had a part-time labor force participant. In contrast, SSI recipients were more likely to live in families with no labor force participant.
  • As shown in Table IND 2a, among recipients of TANF, food stamps, and SSI, the percentage of children in families with at least one full-time worker was similar across various age groups.
  • The percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients living in families with at least one full-time worker increased from 24 percent in 1996 to 35 percent in 2000, as shown in Table IND 2b.

Table IND 2a. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, by Program, Race/Ethnicity, and Age: 2000

  No one in LFAt least one in LF, No one FTAt least one FT worker
Note: Recipients are limited to those individuals or family members directly receiving benefits in a month. Full-time workers are those who usually work 35 hours or more per week. Part-time labor force participation includes part-time workers and those who are unemployed, laid off, and/or looking for work. This indicator measures, on an average monthly basis, the combination of individual benefit receipt and labor force participation by any family member in the same month.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
TANFAll Persons41.224.134.7
 Non-HispanicWhite37.226.636.2
 Non-HispanicBlack46.922.230.9
 Hispanic40.824.334.9
 Children Ages 0-542.822.035.3
 Children Ages 6-10 Children Ages 11-1542.3 43.525.6 21.132.1 35.4
 Women Ages 16-64 Men Ages 16-6441.0 32.024.7 29.334.3 38.8
 Adults Age 65 and over39.323.537.2
FOOD STAMPSAll Persons43.920.635.5
 Non-HispanicWhite45.920.333.8
 Non-HispanicBlack44.920.634.5
 Hispanic37.421.441.2
 Children Ages 0-535.921.742.4
 Children Ages 6-1035.623.041.4
 Children Ages 11-1536.321.542.2
 Women Ages 16-64 Men Ages 16-6444.1 44.521.3 21.634.6 33.9
 Adults Age 65 and over87.37.35.4
SSIAll Persons62.97.729.4
 Non-HispanicWhite68.17.224.8
 Non-HispanicBlack65.88.126.1
 Hispanic48.87.543.7
 Children Ages 0-534.912.153.0
 Children Ages 6-10 Children Ages 11-1533.7 31.416.9 18.149.4 50.6
 Women Ages 16-6470.37.322.4
 Men Ages 16-6465.06.328.7
 Adults Age 65 and over65.56.228.3

Table IND 2b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants: 1993-2000

 No one in LFAt least one in LF, No one FTAt least one FT worker
Note: Recipients are limited to those individuals or family members directly receiving benefits in a month. Full-time workers are those who usually work 35 hours or more per week. Part-time labor force participation includes those who are unemployed, laid off, and/or looking for work. This indicator measures, on an average monthly basis, the combination of individual benefit receipt and labor force participation by any family member in the same month.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
199357.024.218.8
199454.824.820.4
199550.624.325.1
199650.125.624.3
199747.628.024.4
199844.325.829.9
199940.824.135.1
200041.224.134.7

Indicator 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-tested Assistance

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age: 1970-2001

Figure IND 3a

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, (available online at http://www.census.gov).

  • Although the survey data needed to examine overall welfare receipt and dependency are not yet available past 2000, administrative data for AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and SSI provide measures of recipiency for each of these three programs through 2001, as shown in Figures IND 3a, IND 3b, and IND 3c. Additional administrative data are shown in Appendix A.
  • Just under 2 percent of the population received TANF in 2001. This is the lowest rate of AFDC/TANF receipt in the 30 years shown in Table IND 3a. The percentage of the total population receiving AFDC/TANF has dropped significantly since 1994, when it was at a 25-year high of over 5 percent.
  • AFDC/TANF recipiency rates have been much higher over time for children than for adults, with the child recipiency rates also showing more pronounced changes over time. Between 1993 and 2001, the receipt of AFDC/TANF receipt among children was cut more than half (from 14 to well under 6 percent), the most rapid decline in a generation.

Table IND 3a. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age 1970-2001

Fiscal YearTotal Recip(excludes territients ories)Adult Reci(excludes terrpients itories)Child Reci(excludes terpients ritories)
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
Notes: See Appendix A, Tables TANF 2, TANF 12, and TANF 14, for more detailed data on recipiency rates, including recipiency rates by calendar year. Recipients are expressed as the fiscal year average of monthly caseloads from administrative data, excluding recipients in the territories. Child recipients include a small number of dependents ages 18 and older who are students. The average numbers of adult and child recipients in 1998 and 1999 are estimated using data from the National Emergency TANF Data Files and thereafter using the National TANF Data Files.
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, (available online at http://www.census.gov).
19707,1883.51,8631.45,3257.6
19719,2814.52,5161.86,7659.7
197210,3454.92,8482.07,49710.8
197310,7605.12,9842.17,77611.3
197410,5915.02,9352.07,65611.3
197510,8545.03,0782.17,77611.6
197611,1715.13,2712.27,90011.9
197710,9335.03,2302.17,70311.8
197810,4854.73,1282.07,35711.4
197910,1464.53,0711.97,07511.0
198010,4224.63,2262.07,19611.3
198110,9794.83,4912.17,48811.8
198210,2334.43,3952.06,83810.9
198310,4674.53,5482.16,91911.1
198410,6774.53,6522.17,02511.2
198510,6304.53,5892.07,04111.2
198610,8104.53,6372.17,17311.4
198710,8784.53,6242.07,25411.5
198810,7344.43,5362.07,19811.4
198910,7414.43,5031.97,23811.4
199011,2634.53,6432.07,62011.9
199112,3914.94,0162.18,37512.8
199213,4235.24,3362.39,08713.7
199313,9435.44,5192.39,42413.9
199414,0335.34,5542.39,47913.8
199513,4795.14,3222.29,15713.2
199612,4774.63,9212.08,55612.2
199710,7794.03,1061.57,67310.8
19988,6593.12,5811.36,0788.5
19997,0682.51,9731.05,0967.1
20005,8562.11,5440.74,3126.0
20015,3831.91,3850.73,9985.5

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age: 1975-2001

Figure IND 3b

Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2001, and earlier reports, and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (available online at http://www.census.gov).

  • The food stamp recipiency rate, like the AFDC/TANF recipiency rate shown previously in Figure IND 3a, has fallen sharply in recent years. The percentage of all persons receiving food stamps peaked in 1994, at nearly 11 percent, but dropped to 6.1 percent in 2000 with no change in 2001, its lowest point ever since the Food Stamp program became available nationwide in 1975.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, food stamp recipiency rates have been much higher over time for children than for adults. Between 1980 and 2001, the percentage of all children who received food stamps was between two and one-half to three times that for all adults 18 to 59.
  • Similar trends in food stamps recipiency – largely reflecting changes in the rate of unemployment and programmatic changes – existed across all age groups over time, as shown in Table IND 3b. The percentages of individuals receiving food stamps within all age groups declined from 1984 through 1988, rose in the early 1990s until reaching a peak in 1994, and then declined through 2000 with no appreciable change in 2001.

Table IND 3b. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age 1975-2001

Fiscal YearTotal RecipientsAdult RecipAge 60 andients overAdult Recip Ages 18-ients 59Child RecipAges 0-1ients 8
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
Note: See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates. Recipients are expressed as the fiscal year average of monthly caseloads from administrative data, excluding recipients in the territories. From 1975 to 1983 the number of participants includes the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) that was largely replaced by the Food Stamp program in 1975. From 1975 to 1983 the number of FFAP participants averaged only 88 thousand.
Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2001, and earlier reports, and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (available online at http://www.census.gov)
197516,3207.6
197617,0337.89,12613.8
197715,6047.1
197814,4056.5
197915,9427.1
198019,2538.51,7414.97,1865.69,87615.5
198120,6549.01,8455.07,8116.09,80315.5
198221,7549.41,6414.47,8386.09,59115.3
198321,6689.31,6544.48,9606.710,91017.4
198420,7968.81,7584.58,5216.310,49216.8
198519,8478.31,7834.58,2586.19,90615.8
198619,3818.11,6314.17,8955.79,84415.7
198719,0727.91,5893.97,6845.59,77115.5
198818,6137.61,5003.77,5065.39,35114.8
198918,7787.61,5823.87,5605.39,42914.9
199020,0208.01,5113.68,0845.610,12715.8
199122,5998.91,5933.89,1906.311,95218.3
199225,3699.91,6873.910,5507.213,34920.1
199326,95210.41,8764.311,2147.514,19621.0
199427,43310.41,9524.511,5397.614,39121.0
199526,57910.01,8964.310,9627.213,86020.0
199625,4949.51,8924.310,7666.913,18918.8
199722,8208.41,8344.19,3856.011,84716.7
199819,7467.21,6373.67,7724.910,52414.7
199918,1466.51,6993.77,0904.49,33213.0
200017,1206.11,7023.76,6234.08,74312.1
200117,2976.11,6603.66,7894.18,81912.2

Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2001

Figure IND 3c

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002 (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics), and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (available online at http://www.census.gov).

  • Unlike the recipiency rates for AFDC/TANF and food stamps, which have been influenced by outside factors such as the economy and welfare reform, overall recipiency rates for SSI show less variation over time. After trending downward slightly from 1975 to the early 1980s, the proportion of the total population that receives SSI has risen from 1.7 percent in 1983 to 2.5 percent in 1996 and subsequently declined slightly to 2.3 percent. As shown in Table IND 3c, the total number of recipients has grown by 71 percent over the same period, from 3.9 million in 1983 to 6.7 million people in 2001.
  • Elderly adults (aged 65 and older) have much higher recipiency rates than any other age group. The gap has narrowed, however, as percentage of adults aged 65 and older receiving SSI has been cut nearly in half, declining from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.6 percent in 2001.
  • The proportion of children receiving SSI increased gradually between 1975 and 1990, and grew more rapidly in the early-to-mid 1990s, reaching a high of 1.4 percent in 1996. The rate has since fallen, with 1.2 percent of children receiving SSI in 2001.

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2001

DateTotal RecipientsAdult ReciAge 65 &pients overAdult Rec Ages 1ipients 8-64Child Reci Ages 0-pients 18
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
Note: December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the Census Bureau's July 1 population estimates for the current and the following year (the December population estimates for the year 2000 are extrapolations of April 1, 2000 population figures). See Appendix A, Tables SSI 2, SSI 8, and SSI 9 for more detailed data on SSI recipiency rates. In this report the categories of children under 18 and adults 18-64 differ from those in previous editions where the category of children included a small number of dependents 18 and older who were students.
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002 (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics), and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (available online at http://www.census.gov)
Dec 19754,3142.02,50810.91,6991.31070.2
Dec 19764,2361.92,39710.21,7141.31250.2
Dec 19774,2381.92,3539.71,7381.31470.2
Dec 19784,2171.92,3049.31,7471.31660.3
Dec 19794,1501.82,2468.81,7271.31770.3
Dec 19804,1421.82,2218.61,7311.21900.3
Dec 19814,0191.72,1218.01,7031.21950.3
Dec 19823,8581.72,0117.41,6551.21920.3
Dec 19833,9011.72,0037.31,7001.21980.3
Dec 19844,0291.72,0377.21,7801.22120.3
Dec 19854,1381.72,0317.11,8791.32270.4
Dec 19864,2691.82,0186.92,0101.32410.4
Dec 19874,3851.82,0156.72,1191.42510.4
Dec 19884,4641.82,0066.62,2031.52550.4
Dec 19894,5931.92,0266.52,3021.52650.4
Dec 19904,8171.92,0596.52,4501.63090.5
Dec 19915,1182.02,0806.52,6421.73970.6
Dec 19925,5662.22,1006.52,9101.95560.8
Dec 19935,9842.32,1136.43,1482.07231.1
Dec 19946,2962.42,1196.33,3352.18411.2
Dec 19956,5142.52,1156.33,4822.29171.3
Dec 19966,6302.52,1106.23,5682.29551.4
Dec 19976,4952.42,0546.03,5622.28801.3
Dec 19986,5662.42,0335.93,6462.28871.3
Dec 19996,5572.42,0195.83,6912.28471.2
Dec 20006,6022.32,0115.73,7442.18471.2
Dec 20016,6882.31,9955.63,8112.18821.2

Indicator 4. Rates of Participation in Means-tested Assistance Programs

Figure IND 4. Participation Rates in the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Programs Selected Years

Figure IND 4

Source: AFDC and SSI participation rates are tabulated using TRIM3 microsimulation model, while food stamp participation rates are from a Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. model. See Tables IND 4a, IND 4b, and IND 4c for details.

  • Whereas Indicator 3 examined participants as a percentage of the total population (recipiency rates), this indicator examines participating families or households as a percentage of the estimated eligible population (participation rates, also known as “take up” rates).
  • Slightly over half (52 percent) of the families estimated as eligible for AFDC/TANF cash assistance actually enrolled and received benefits in an average month in 2000. This rate was essentially unchanged from 1999; and it was significantly lower than earlier AFDC participation rates, which ranged from 77 percent to 86 percent between 1981 and 1996.
  • Food stamp participation rates have been very similar to AFDC/TANF participation rates in recent years. Estimated participation among eligible households has fallen from 69 percent in 1995 to 53 percent in both 1999 and 2000.
  • In contrast to the declines in AFDC/TANF and food stamp participation, the SSI participation rate rose by 14 percentage points between 1993 and 2000. In 2000, the estimated SSI participation rate was 76 percent, well above the rates for the other two programs.

Table IND 4a. Number and Percentage of Eligible Families Participating in AFDC/TANF Selected Years

Calendar YearEligible Families (in millions)Participating Families (in millions)Participation Rate (percent)
Notes: Participation rates are estimated by an Urban Institute model (TRIM3) which uses CPS data to simulate AFDC/TANF eligibility and participation for an average month, by calendar year. There have been small changes in estimating methodology over time, due to model improvements and revisions to the CPS. Most notably, since 1994, the model has been revised to more accurately estimate SSI participation among children, and in 1997 and 1998 the model was adjusted to more accurately exclude ineligible immigrants. The numbers of eligible and participating families shown above include the territories and pregnant women without children, even though these two small groups are excluded from the TRIM model. The numbers shown here implicitly assume that participation rates for the territories and for pregnant women with no other children are the same as for all other eligibles.
Source: DHHS, Administration for Children and Families caseload tabulations, and unpublished data from the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
19814.83.880.2
19834.73.777.7
19854.73.779.3
19874.93.876.7
19884.83.778.4
19894.53.883.6
19904.94.182.2
19925.64.885.7
19936.15.081.7
19946.15.082.6
1994 (revised)6.15.082.1
19955.74.884.3
19965.64.478.9
19975.53.767.5
1997 (adjusted)5.43.769.2
19985.53.155.8
19994.92.652.3
20004.32.251.8
  • In 2000, an estimated 4.3 million families were eligible for TANF cash assistance. This estimate is 1.2 million below the 1998 level and the lowest during the 20-year period for which estimates are available.

Table IND 4b. Number and Percentage of Eligible Households Participating in the Food Stamp Program: Selected Years

DateEligible Households (in millions)Participating Households (in millions)Participation Rate (percent)
Note: Eligible households estimated from a Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. model that uses CPS data to simulate the Food Stamp Program. Caseload data are from USDA, FNS program operations caseload data. There have been small changes in estimating methodology over time, due to model improvements and revisions to the CPS. Most notably, the model was revised in 1994 to produce more accurate (and lower) estimates of eligible households. The original(o) 1994 estimate and estimates for previous years show higher estimates of eligibles and lower participation rates relative to the revised(r) estimate for 1994 and estimates for subsequent years.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1976 to 2000.
September 7616.35.332.6
February 7814.05.337.8
August 8014.07.452.5
August8214.57.551.5
August8414.27.351.6
August8615.37.146.5
August8814.97.047.1
August9014.58.054.9
August9115.69.259.1
August 9216.710.261.6
August 9317.010.964.0
August 94 (o)17.011.064.6
September 94 (r)15.310.769.6
September9515.010.469.2
September9615.39.965.1
September9714.78.457.5
September9814.07.654.2
September9913.77.353.0
September0013.57.253.2
  • The proportion of eligible households who participated in the Food Stamp Program was 53 percent in 2000, essentially unchanged from 1999. Since 1996, food stamp participation rates have fallen from 65 percent to 53 percent, a drop of 12 percentage points.
  • In addition, there was a decline in the number of households eligible for the Food Stamp Program, from 15.3 million in September 1994 to just under 13.5 million in September 2000. This decline was driven by new eligibility restrictions on aliens and able-bodied adults without dependent children, growth in the economy, changes in the TANF program, and other factors.
  • The significant drop in participating households, from just under 10 million households in September 1996 to 7.2 million households in September 2000, reflects the combined effect of a decline in the eligible population and lower participation rates.

Table IND 4c. Percentage of Eligible Adult Units Participating in the SSI Program, by Type: 1993-2000

  One-Person UnitsMarried-Couple
All Adult UnitsAgedDisabledUnits
Notes: Participation rates estimated using the TRIM3 microsimulation model, which uses CPS data to simulate SSI eligibility for an average month, by calendar year. There have been small changes in estimating methodology over time, due to model improvements and revisions to the CPS. In particular, the model was revised in 1997 to more accurately exclude ineligible immigrants. Thus the increased participation rate in 1997 is partly due to a revision in estimating methodology. Also note that the figure for married-couple units is based on very small sample sizes–for example, married-couple units were only about 7.5 percent of the eligible adults units and 5.1 percent of the units receiving SSI in an average month in 1998.
Source: Unpublished data from the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
199362.057.071.037.0
199465.058.473.043.9
199569.164.974.052.2
199666.660.473.546.7
199771.162.779.449.1
199870.763.677.948.1
199974.365.883.347.8
200075.870.982.349.9
  • In contrast to the declining participation rates for the AFDC/TANF and Food Stamp programs, the participation rate for adult units in the SSI Program has been increasing, from 62 percent in 1993, to nearly 76 percent in 2000. Some of the apparent growth between 1996 and 1997, however, may be due to a revision in estimating methodology, as noted above.
  • In 2000, as in past years, disabled adults in one-person units had a higher participation rate (82 percent) than either aged adults in one-person units (71 percent) or adults in married-couple units (50 percent).

Indicator 5. Multiple Program Receipt

Figure IND 5. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, & SSI), Among Those Receiving Assistance: 2000

Figure IND 5

Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Of the 8 percent of the population in families receiving TANF, food stamps, or SSI benefits in an average month in 2000, about two-thirds (67 percent) received assistance from only one program. Most of these received food stamps or SSI benefits only. Another common pattern of benefit receipt, found in 22 percent of those with any receipt, was TANF and food stamps.
  • Children are more likely than other age groups to live in families receiving TANF and/or food stamps. For example, 15 percent of children under six lived in families receiving any public assistance in an average month in 2000, and 5 percent of children under six, lived in families receiving both TANF and food stamps, as shown in Table IND 5a.
  • The percentage of individuals receiving assistance from at least one program among AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and SSI in an average month decreased during the mid-to-late 1990s (from 12 percent in 1996 to 8 percent in 2000), as shown in Table IND 5b. The decline was most dramatic for families receiving a combination of AFDC/TANF and food stamps.

Table IND 5a. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2000

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
TANFFSSSITANF & FSFS & SSI
See below for notes and source.
All Persons8.10.23.81.41.71.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White5.30.12.41.01.00.7
Non-Hispanic Black19.10.49.92.34.12.4
Hispanic12.30.75.21.83.51.0
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-515.10.67.70.75.40.7
Children Ages 6-1013.80.77.40.44.80.4
Children Ages 11-1511.70.56.50.83.40.4
Women Ages 16-647.30.23.41.11.61.0
Men Ages 16-644.70.12.31.20.50.6
Adults Age 65 and over8.20.01.93.90.02.3

Table IND 5b. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, SSI): 1993-2000

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
AFDC/ TANFFSAFDC/TANF SSI & FSFS & SSI
Note: Categories are mutually exclusive. SSI receipt based on individual receipt; AFDC/TANF and food stamp receipt based on full recipient unit. In practice, individuals do not tend to receive both AFDC/TANF and SSI; hence, no individual receives benefits from all three programs. The percentage of individuals receiving assistance from any one program in an average month (shown here) is lower than the percentage residing in families receiving assistance over the course of a year (shown in Table SUM 1 in Chapter I and Table IND 1a in Chapter II).
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
199312.60.65.21.1 4.81.0
199412.80.55.31.2 4.61.1
199512.30.45.01.2 4.51.1
199612.00.35.31.2 4.01.1
199710.20.44.31.3 3.11.0
19989.00.43.91.4 2.40.9
19998.50.43.81.3 2.01.0
20008.10.23.81.4 1.71.0

Indicator 6. Dependence Transitions

Figure IND 6. Dependency Status in 1999 of Persons Who Received More than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in 1998, by Race/Ethnicity

Figure IND 6

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1996 panel.

  • Recipients of means-tested assistance were more likely to move out of dependency in the late 1990s than in the early 1990s. Three-tenths (30 percent) of recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 1998 transitioned out of this dependency status in 1999. The comparable transition rate was only 20 percent between 1993 and 1994.
  • Of recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and/or SSI in 1998, there was little difference among racial and ethnic categories in dependency transitions between 1998 and 1999. Past SIPP panels (data not shown) had found more movement among non-Hispanic whites than among non-Hispanic blacks.
  • As shown in Table IND 6a, a slightly larger percentage of women who received more than half of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 1998 remained “dependent” in 1999 compared to the same group of men (71 percent compared to 66 percent).

Table IND 6a. Dependency Status in 1999 of Persons Who Received More than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in 1998, by Race/Ethnicity and Age

Individuals Receiving more than 50% of Income from Assistance in 1998Total (000's)Percentage of Persons Receiving
No Aid in 1999Up to 50% in 1999Over 50% in 1999
Note: Means-tested assistance is defined as AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and SSI. While only affecting a small number of cases, general assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income. Individuals are defined as dependent if they reside in families with more than 50 percent of total annual family income from these means-tested programs. Because full calendar year data for 1997-1998 were not available for all SIPP respondents, some transitions were based on twelve-month periods that did not correspond exactly to calendar years.
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1996 panel.
All Persons8,1632.927.170.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2,6574.325.870.0
Non-Hispanic Black2,9252.027.870.1
Hispanic1,8952.026.371.7
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-51,2713.629.766.6
Children Ages 6-101,0562.127.470.6
Children Ages 11-159982.929.068.1
Women Ages 16-642,8473.725.570.8
Men Ages 16-641,3372.731.665.7
Adults Age 65 and over6540.016.483.6

Table IND 6b. Dependency Status for All Persons Who Received More than 50 percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in Previous Year

 Total (000’s)Percentageof Persons Receiving 
No Aid in Second YearUp to 50% in Second YearOver 50% in Second Year
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 and 1996 panels
Transitions from:
1993 to 199414,8101.618.679.8
1994 to 199513,9862.718.878.5
1997 to 19989,6723.128.868.1
1998 to 19998,1632.927.170.0

Indicator 7. Dependence Spell Duration

Figure IND 7. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants for Individuals Entering Programs During the 1993 and 1996 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 7

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 and 1996 panels.

  • Over two-fifths (41 percent) of AFDC/TANF spells for individuals in families with no one in the labor force ended within four months and over two-thirds (68 percent) ended within a year. These spells are measured for individuals entering AFDC/TANF in 1996 to 1998, during early implementation of the TANF program.
  • Spells were much longer for families entering AFDC in 1993 to 1995, as shown in Figure IND 7 and Table IND 7b. Half (50 percent) of AFDC/TANF spells for individuals in families where no one participated in the labor force lasted more than 20 months in the 1993 SIPP panel, compared with only 19 percent of that length in the 1996 SIPP panel.
  • As shown in Table IND 7a, the percentage of AFDC/TANF spells ending in four months or less was similar across racial/ethnic categories, ranging from 38 percent among non-Hispanic whites to 44 percent among non-Hispanic blacks.
  • Spells shown in Figure IND 7 are limited to spells of recipients in families without any labor force participation. Spell lengths are slightly shorter in Figure IND 8, which shows spells for all recipients, including those in families with labor force participants. For example, whereas 81 percent of spells shown in Figure IND 7 end in 20 months or less, 87 percent of all AFDC/TANF spells last 20 months or less, as shown in Figure IND 8.

Table IND 7a. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants for Individuals Entering Programs During the 1996 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity, and Age

 Spells <=4
months
Spells 5-12
months
Spells 13-20
months
Spells >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 1996 SIPP panel for individuals in families with no labor force participants. For certain racial/ethnic and age categories, data are not available (N/A) due to insufficient sample size.
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1996 panel.
All Persons40.527.513.318.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White38.435.8N/AN/A
Non-Hispanic Black44.122.411.521.9
Hispanic39.623.2N/AN/A
Age Categories
Ages 0-15 Years38.925.012.923.2
Ages 16-64 Years42.231.4N/AN/A

Table Ind 7b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants for Individuals Entering Programs During the 1993 and 1996 SIPP Panels

 Spells <=4 monthsSpells 5-12 monthsSpells 13-20 monthsSpells >20 months
1993 Panel All Persons27.216.26.949.7
1996 Panel All Persons40.527.513.318.7
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 and1996 panels.

 

Indicator 8. Program Spell Duration

Figure IND 8. Percentage of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp, and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs During the 1996 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 8

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 and 1996 Panels.

  • Between the years 1996 and 1998, short spells lasting 4 months or less accounted for about 47 percent of AFDC/TANF spells, 43 percent of food stamp spells, and 34 percent of SSI spells.
  • Approximately three-fourths of all AFDC/TANF and food stamp spells lasted one year or less (76 percent and 71 percent, respectively). In contrast, only 53 percent of SSI spells ended within one year.
  • As shown in Table IND 8a, for TANF/AFDC spells, a smaller percentage of long spells (lasting more than 20 months) occurred among non-Hispanic whites compared to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics.
  • Spells of welfare receipt were shorter in the second half of the 1990s than in the early 1990s, as shown in Table IND 8b. For example, only 13 percent of AFDC/TANF spells for individuals entering AFDC/TANF in 1996 to 1998 lasted 20 months or longer, compared with 34 percent of AFDC spells beginning between 1992 and 1994.
  • Short spells are less common among recipients in families without labor force participants, as shown previously in Figure and Table IND 7.

Table IND 8a. Percentage of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs During the 1996 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity, and Age

  Spells <=4 monthsSpells 5-12 monthsSpells 13-20 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/TANF spells are defined as those starting during the 1996 SIPP Panel. For certain age and racial/ethnic categories, data are not available (N/A) because of insufficient sample size.
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1996 Panel.
AFDC/TANFAll Recipients46.629.211.512.7
 Racial/Ethnic Categories
 Non-Hispanic White47.433.010.78.9
 Non-Hispanic Black45.228.313.612.9
 Hispanic46.325.410.517.9
 Age Categories
 Ages 0-5 Years41.833.210.814.2
 Ages 6 to 10 Years49.424.69.017.0
 Ages 11 to 15 Years42.525.6N/AN/A
 Ages 16 to 64 Years48.630.712.08.7
 65 Years and OlderN/AN/AN/AN/A
FOOD STAMPSAll Recipients43.127.79.319.8
 Racial/Ethnic Categories
 Non-Hispanic White46.527.59.416.7
 Non-Hispanic Black38.628.59.123.9
 Hispanic41.728.58.121.8
 Age Categories
 Ages 0 to 5 years36.531.48.623.5
 Ages 6 to 10 years40.627.39.122.9
 Ages 11-1540.430.310.019.3
 Ages 16-6446.226.79.617.6
 65 Years and Older31.726.86.934.7
SSIAll Recipients34.119.29.137.6
 Racial/Ethnic Categories
 Non-Hispanic White36.818.77.836.7
 Non-Hispanic Black34.819.79.536.0
 Hispanic27.122.49.840.7
 Age Categories
 Ages 0-10N/AN/AN/AN/A
 Ages 11-1530.9N/AN/AN/A
 Ages 16-6437.120.18.634.2
 65 Years and Older22.116.711.949.3

Table IND 8b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs During the 1992, 1993, and 1996 SIPP Panels

 Spells <=4 monthsSpells 5-12 monthsSpells 13-20 monthsSpells >20 months
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP; 1992, 1993, and 1996 Panels.
1992 Panel
AFDC30.424.710.534.4
Food Stamps33.424.910.231.5
SSI25.78.94.860.6
1993 Panel
AFDC30.725.412.531.4
Food Stamps33.126.810.130.0
SSI24.07.94.763.4
1996 Panel
AFDC/TANF46.629.211.512.7
Food Stamps43.127.79.319.8
SSI34.119.29.137.6

Indicator 9. Long-term Dependency

Figure IND 9. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps Between 1987 and 1996, by Years of Dependency


Figure IND 9

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1988-1997.

  • Almost half (47 percent) of all persons who received AFDC at some point in the ten-year period ending in 1996 were not dependent on welfare in any of these years. Specifically, they did not receive more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and/or food stamps in any of the ten years (SSI receipt is excluded from this measure of dependency). This was also true for recipients in the two earlier ten-year time periods, as shown in Table IND 9.
  • About 14 percent of recipients in the most recent ten-year period were dependent (received more than 50 percent of annual income from AFDC and food stamps) for more than five years between 1987 and 1996. The 14 percent of recipients who were dependent for six or more years represent 1.7 percent of the total population.
  • As shown in Table IND 9, young children (ages 0-5 in 1987) are more likely to experience long-term dependency than other individuals. About one-fourth (26 percent) of such children receiving AFDC at least once between 1987 and 1996 were dependent on AFDC and food stamp income for six or more years. Another 45 percent were dependent for one to five years, and only 28 percent were not dependent in any year.

Table IND 9. Percentage of AFDC Recipients with More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC and Food Stamps Across Three Ten-Year Time Periods, by Years of Dependency, Race, and Age

Between 1967 and 1976:
Note: The base for the percentages consists of individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC in any year in the ten-year period. Footnotes in previous reports erroneously defined the base for these percentages as individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC in the first year of the ten-year period. The current table is based on the same methodology used to compute estimates for earlier reports. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the 10-year period. This measures years of dependency over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of dependency that may have occurred before or after the ten-year period.
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID 1968-93 final release files and 1994-1997 unreleased preliminary data as of January, 2002.
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5 in1967
Years Dependent:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
0 Years47.933.056.237.125.044.3
1-2 Years23.225.621.926.623.628.4
3-5 Years17.522.314.822.227.019.3
6-8 Years8.012.35.79.415.55.8
9-10 Years3.36.81.44.78.92.2
Between 1977 and 1986:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5 in1977
Years Dependent:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
0 Years49.538.856.232.018.940
1-2 Years23.724.023.526.625.127.6
3-5 Years12.415.410.514.119.410.9
6-8 Years9.012.07.115.015.015.0
9-10 Years5.59.92.812.221.76.5
Between 1987 and 1996:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5 in1987
Years Dependent:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
0 Years46.535.554.528.218.837.9
1-2 Years23.622.724.222.421.123.8
3-5 Years16.217.914.923.021.824.2
6-8 Years8.014.13.515.323.07.3
9-10 Years5.89.82.911.015.36.8

Indicator 10. Long-term Receipt

Figure IND 10. Percentage of AFDC Recipients, by Years of Receipt Between 1987 and 1996

 src=

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1988-1997.

  • IND 10, which analyzes recipiency over a ten-year period using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), is only periodically updated. This figure is unchanged from last year’s report and is included to assist those without previous reports.
  • Among all persons receiving AFDC at some point in the ten-year period ending in 1996, about half (51 percent) received assistance for only one or two of these years. About one quarter (27 percent) received AFDC for three to five years, and close to one quarter (22 percent) received AFDC for more than five years.
  • A larger percentage of child recipients experienced long-term receipt and a smaller percentage experienced short-term receipt in all three time periods relative to the percentages for all recipients, as shown in Table IND 10.
  • The percentage of AFDC recipients with long-term assistance (at least six years) is somewhat lower in the most recent ten-year time period—22 percent—than in the earlier two time periods (28 and 26 percent).
  • Whereas nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of recipients received at least some AFDC for six or more years between 1987 and 1996 (as shown in Figure IND 10), only 14 percent of recipients received more than 50 percent of their income from AFDC and food stamps for six or more years over the same time period (as previously shown in Figure IND 9).

Table IND 10: Percentage of AFDC Recipients Across Three Ten-Year Time Periods by Years of Receipt, Race, and Age

Between 1967 and 1976:
Note: As in Table IND 9, the base for the percentages consists of individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC in any year in the ten-year period. Footnotes in previous reports erroneously defined the base for these percentages as individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC in the first year of the ten-year period. The current table is based on the same methodology used to compute estimates for earlier reports. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the 10-year period. This measures years of recipiency over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of recipiency that may have occurred before or after the ten-year period.
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID 1968-93 final release files and 1994-1997 unreleased preliminary data as of January, 2002.
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5 in1967
Years received AFDC:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
1-2 Years46.832.254.939.624.648.6
3-5 Years27.132.424.130.738.526.0
6-8 Years17.922.315.418.319.917.3
9-10 Years8.213.25.511.417.08.0
Between 1977 and 1986:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5 in1977
Years received AFDC:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
1-2 Years46.132.154.935.517.046.7
3-5 Years26.029.324.023.131.518.0
6-8 Years17.422.913.919.722.717.8
9-10 Years10.515.77.321.728.817.4
Between 1987 and 1996:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5 in1987
Years received AFDC:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
1-2 Years51.039.259.734.618.851.1
3-5 Years26.627.625.929.633.525.6
6-8 Years13.518.210.020.625.215.9
9-10 Years8.815.04.315.122.57.4

Indicator 11. Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells

Table IND 11a. Percentage of First AFDC Spell Beginnings Associated with Specific Events: Selected Periods

 Spell Began1973-1979Spell Began 1980-1985Spell Began 1986-1991
First birth to an unmarried, non-cohabiting mother First birth to a married and/or cohabiting mother27.9 13.320.9 17.422.2 11.3
Second (or higher order) birth19.918.215.2
Divorce/separation19.728.117.3
Mother's work hours decreased by >500 hours per year26.318.826.2
Other adults' work hours decreased by >500 hours, but no change in family structure34.827.921.6
Other adults' work hours decreased by >500 hours, and a change in family structure4.77.911.4
Householder acquired work limitation18.115.623.5
Other transfer income dropped by >$1,000 (in 1996$)4.56.54.1
Changed state of residence4.510.65.4
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, 1974–1992.
  • Between 1986 and 1991, the most common events associated with the beginnings of a first AFDC spell were work-related: a decrease in mother’s work hours (26 percent), a decrease in work hours of another adult (22 percent), and acquisition of a work limitation (24 percent).
  • The percentage of first AFDC episode 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).
  • 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 of spells beginning between 1986 and 1991.

Table IND 11b. Percentage of First AFDC Spell Endings Associated with Specific Events: Selected Periods

 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, 1974-1992.
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 smaller for spells ending between 1973 and 1979 (15 percent).
  • In the period between 1973 and 1979, 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 to 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).

III. Predictors and Risk Factors Associated with Welfare Receipt

The Welfare Indicators Act challenges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to identify and set forth not only indicators of welfare dependence and welfare duration but also predictors and causes of welfare receipt. Prior to the Act, welfare research had 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.

Whereas the Advisory Board established under the Welfare Indicators Act 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 continue to be implemented, their value will not be fully 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: economic security risk factors, employment-related risk factors, and risk factors associated with non-marital childbearing.

Economic Security Risk Factors (ECON). The first group includes nine measures associated with economic security. This group encompasses six measures of poverty, as well as measures of child support receipt, food insecurity, and lack of health insurance. The tables and figures illustrating measures of economic security are labeled with the prefix ECON throughout this chapter.

Poverty measures are important predictors of dependence, because families with fewer economic resources are more likely to be dependent on means-tested assistance. In addition, poverty and other measures of deprivation, such as food insecurity, are important to assess in conjunction with the measures of dependence outlined in Chapter II.

Reductions in caseloads and dependence can reduce poverty, to the extent that such reductions are associated with greater work activity and higher economic resources for former welfare families. However, reductions in welfare caseloads can increase poverty and other deprivation measures, to the extent that former welfare families are left with fewer economic resources.

Several aspects of poverty are examined in this chapter. Those that can be updated annually using the Current Population Survey include: overall poverty rates (ECON 1); the percentage of individuals in deep poverty (ECON 2), and poverty rates using alternative definitions of income (ECON 3 and 4). The chapter also includes data on the length of poverty episodes or spells (ECON 5); and the cumulative time spent in poverty over a decade (ECON 6).

This chapter also includes data on child support collections (ECON 7), which can play an important role in reducing dependence on government assistance and thus serve as a predictor of dependence. Household food insecurity (ECON 8) is an important measure of deprivation that, although correlated with general income poverty, provides an alternative measure of tracking the incidence of material hardship and need, and how it may change over time. Finally, health insurance (ECON 9) is tied to the income level of the family, and may be a precursor to future health problems among adults and children.

Employment and Work-Related Risk Factors (WORK). The second grouping, labeled with the WORK prefix, includes seven factors related to employment and barriers to employment. These measures include data on overall labor force attachment and the employment and earnings for low-skilled workers, as well as data on barriers to work. The latter category includes incidence of adult and child disabilities, adult substance abuse, and levels of educational attainment and school drop-out rates.

Employment and earnings provide many families with an escape from dependence. It is important, therefore, to look both at overall labor force attachment (WORK 1), and at employment and earnings levels for those with low education levels (WORK 2 and WORK 3).

The economic condition of the low-skill labor market is a key predictor of the ability of young adult men and women to support families without receiving means-tested assistance. The next two measures in this group (WORK 4 and WORK 5) focus on educational attainment. Individuals with less 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.

Measures of barriers to employment provide indicators of potential work limitations, which may be predictors of greater dependence. Substance abuse (WORK 6) and disabling conditions among children and adults (WORK 7) all have the potential of limiting the ability of the adults in the household to work. In addition, debilitating health conditions and high medical expenditures can place a strain on a family’s economic resources.

Non-Marital Birth Risk Factors (BIRTH). The final group of risk factors addresses out-of-wedlock childbearing. The tables and figures in this subsection are labeled with the BIRTH prefix. This category includes long-term time trends in births to unmarried women (BIRTH 1), births to unmarried teens (BIRTH 2 and BIRTH 3), and children living in families with never-married parents (BIRTH 4). Children living in families with never-married mothers are at high risk of dependence, and it is therefore important to track changes in the size of this vulnerable population.

As noted above, the predictors/risk factors included in this chapter do not represent an exhaustive list of measures. They are merely a sampling of available data that address in some way the question of how a family is faring on the scale of deprivation and well-being. Such questions are a necessary part of the dependence discussion as researchers assess the effects of welfare reform.

Economic Security Risk Factor 1. Poverty Rates

Figure ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2001

Figure ECON 1

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-219 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

  • Poverty has declined substantially since enactment of welfare reform in 1996. Fewer than twelve percent (11.7) of all persons lived in poverty in 2001, compared to 13.7 percent in 1996. From 2000 to 2001, there was a small increase in the overall poverty rate.
  • Children also experienced a considerable decline in poverty from 20.5 percent in 1996 to 16.3 percent in 2001. Children continue, however, to have higher poverty rates than the overall population. For example, in 2001, the poverty rate for related children ages 0 to 5 was just over 18 percent, compared to less than 12 percent for the overall population.
  • The gap between black and white poverty rates was at an historic low of less than 13 percentage points in 2001; the gap has narrowed by well over a third since the early 1990s, when it exceeded 21 percentage points. The poverty rate among Hispanics declined to 21 percent in 2001, the lowest level recorded, as shown in Table ECON 1.
  • The poverty rate for the elderly (persons ages 65 and over) reached historic lows of less than 10 percent in 1999 and 2000 before edging up to 10.1 percent in 2001. This was a lower poverty rate than the rate for children (16 percent) and equal to that of adults ages 18-64.

Table ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Race and Age: Selected Years

CalendarRelatedChildrenAll PersonsWhiteBlackHispanic
Origin
YearAges 0-5Ages 6-17TotalUnder 1818 to 6465 & over
Notes: Race figures include Hispanic persons in this chart. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. All persons under 18 include related children (own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other children in the household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption), unrelated individuals under 18 (persons who are not living with any relatives), and householders or spouses under age 18.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-219 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.
1959N/AN/A22.427.317.035.218.155.1N/A
1963N/AN/A19.523.1N/AN/A15.3N/AN/A
1966N/AN/A14.717.610.528.511.341.8N/A
196915.313.112.114.08.725.39.532.2N/A
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
198722.318.313.420.310.612.510.432.428.0
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
199622.718.313.720.511.410.811.228.429.4
199721.618.013.319.910.910.511.026.527.1
199820.617.112.718.910.510.510.526.125.6
199918.015.511.816.910.09.79.823.622.8
200017.814.711.316.29.69.99.522.521.5
200118.214.611.716.310.110.19.922.721.4

Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Deep Poverty Rates

Figure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population Below 50 and 100 Percent of Poverty Level: 1975-2001

Percentage of Total Population Below 50 and 100 Percent of Poverty Level: 1975-2001

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-219 and unpublished tables available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

  • The percentage of the population in “deep poverty” (with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level) decreased from 5.4 percent in 1996 to 4.8 percent in 2001. From 2000 to 2001 there was a small increase in the “deep poverty” rate.
  • In general, the percentage of the population with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty threshold has followed a pattern that reflects the trend in the overall poverty rate, as shown in Figure ECON 2. The percentage of people below 50 percent of poverty rose in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but then, after falling slightly, rose to a second peak in 1993. The overall poverty rate followed a somewhat similar pattern with more pronounced peaks and valleys.
  • Over the past two decades, there has been an overall increase in the proportion of the poverty population in deep poverty. From a low of 28 percent of the poverty population in 1976, this population rose to 41 percent in 2001.
  • The total number of poor people in 2001 was 32.9 million people, as shown in Table ECON 2. While higher than the previous year, this number was 3.6 million lower than 1996, and 6.7 million fewer than forty years prior.

Table ECON 2. Number and Percentage of Total Population Below 50, 75, 100, and 125 Percent of Poverty Level: Selected Years

YearTotal
Population (thousands)
Below 50percentBelow 75percentBelow 100 percentBelow 125 percent
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
Note: The number of persons below 50 percent and 75 percent of poverty for 1969 are estimated based on the distribution of persons below 50 percent and 75 percent for 1969 taken from the 1970 decennial census.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-219, unpublished tables available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html, and 1970 Census of Population, Volume 1, Social and Economic Characteristics, Table 259.
1959176,600N/AN/AN/AN/A39,50022.454,90031.1
1961181,300N/AN/AN/AN/A39,60021.954,30030.0
1963187,300N/AN/AN/AN/A36,40019.550,80027.1
1965191,400N/AN/AN/AN/A33,20017.346,20024.1
1967195,700N/AN/AN/AN/A27,80014.239,20020.0
1969199,5009,6004.816,4008.224,10012.134,70017.4
1971204,600N/AN/AN/AN/A25,60012.536,50017.8
1973208,500N/AN/AN/AN/A23,00011.132,80015.8
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
1998271,10013,9005.123,0008.534,50012.746,00017.0
1999273,50012,7004.621,6007.932,30011.844,30016.2
2000278,90012,6004.520,5007.431,10011.343,50015.8
2001281,50013,4004.822,0007.832,90011.745,30016.1

Economic Security Risk Factor 3. Experimental Poverty Measures

Figure ECON 3. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures, by Age: 2001

Percentage of Person in Povety Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures, by Age: 2001

Note: Alternative poverty measures used in this figure are defined in the note to Table ECON 3b.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-219, available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

  • Three experimental measures of poverty (developed by the Census Bureau in response to the recommendation of a 1995 panel of the National Academy of Sciences) yield poverty rates that are similar to the official poverty measure overall, but differ by age and other characteristics.
  • Experimental measures generally show lower poverty rates among children than the official measure, partly because they take into account non-cash benefits that many children receive. Conversely, experimental measures show higher rates of poverty among the elderly than the official measure, in part due to the inclusion of certain out-of-pocket health costs in these measures.
  • All three measures shown in Figure Econ 3 take into account geographic adjustments (GA) in housing costs; the measures can also be calculated with no geographic adjustment (NGA), as shown in Tables ECON 3a and 3b. See note to Table ECON 3b.

Table ECON 3a. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2001

 OfficialAlt1 MSI-NGAAlt2 MIT-NGAAlt3 CMB-NGAAlt1 MSI-GAAlt2 MIT-GAAlt3 CMB-GA
See notes and source below.
All Persons11.712.412.813.012.312.712.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White7.88.99.19.48.48.58.8
Black22.721.322.122.220.821.721.8
Hispanic Origin21.421.923.423.124.426.325.9
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-1716.314.515.715.314.615.815.4
Adults Ages 18-6410.110.711.411.310.811.511.3
Adults Age 65 and over10.116.113.717.115.512.716.2

Table ECON 3b. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures: 1999-2001

 199920002001
Note: Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. These experimental poverty measures implement changes recommended by a 1995 NAS panel, including: counting non-cash income as benefits; subtracting from income certain work-related, health, and child care expenses; and adjusting poverty thresholds for family size and geographic differences in housing costs. The three alternative measures are similar, except that each account for out-of-pocket medical expenses differently. For the first alternative (“MOOP subtracted from income” or MSI), medical out-of-pocket expenses (MOOP) are subtracted from income. The second alternative, (“MOOP in the threshold” or MIT) increases the poverty thresholds to take MOOP expenses into account. The third measure, CMB for combined methods, combines attributes of the previous two measures. Each of the three measures is calculated with and without accounting for geographic adjustments (GA and NGA). These experimental measures are different from those reported in last year’s report because the Census Bureau changed its methodology based on research conducted to refine the NAS panel’s experimental methods.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Poverty in the United States: 2001, Current Population Reports, Series P60-219, available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p60-219.pdfsuexxpov.html.
Official Measure11.911.311.7
No Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds
Medical costs alternative 1 (MSI-NGA)12.212.112.4
Medical costs alternative 2 (MIT-NGA)12.812.712.8
Medical costs alternative 3 (CMB-NGA)12.912.813.0
Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds
Medical costs alternative 1 (MSI-GA)12.112.012.3
Medical costs alternative 2 (MIT-GA)12.712.512.7
Medical costs alternative 3 (CMB-GA)12.812.612.9

Economic Security Risk Factor 4. Poverty Rates with Various Means-tested Benefits Included

Figure ECON 4. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2001

Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2001

Source: Congressional Budget Office tabulations of March CPS data. Additional calculations by DHHS.

  • The official definition of poverty – which includes means-tested cash assistance (primarily TANF and SSI) in addition to pre-tax cash income and social insurance – was 11.7 percent in 2001, as shown in the bold line with empty boxes in Figure ECON 4. Without cash welfare, the 2000 poverty rate would be 12.5 percent, as shown by the top line in the figure above.
  • Adding other, non-cash, public assistance benefits to this definition has the effect of lowering the percentage of people who have incomes below the official poverty rate. Adding in the value of food and housing benefits reduces the poverty rate to 10.5 percent in 2001.
  • When income is defined as including benefits from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and federal taxes, the percentage of the total population in poverty decreases to 9.8 percent in 2001. Taxes have had a net effect of reducing poverty rates since the significant increases in the size of the EITC in 1993 and 1995.
  • The combined effect of means-tested cash assistance, food and housing benefits, EITC and taxes was to reduce the poverty rate in 2001 by 2.7 percentage points, as shown in Table ECON 4. Net reductions in poverty rates were somewhat lower during the recession of the early 1980s, and somewhat higher in the mid-1990s, largely due to expansions in the EITC.

Table ECON 4. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: Selected Years

 197919831986198919921995199820002001
Note: The four measures of income are as follows: 1) “Cash Income plus All Social Insurance” is earnings and other private cash income, plus social security, workers’ compensation, and other social insurance programs. It does not include means-tested cash transfers; (2) “Plus Means-Tested Assistance” shows the official poverty rate, which takes into account means-tested assistance, primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI; (3) “Plus Food and Housing Benefits” shows how poverty would be lower if the cash value of food and housing benefits were counted as income; and (4) “Plus EITC and Federal Taxes” is the most comprehensive poverty rate shown. EITC refers to the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, which is always a positive adjustment to income 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 of March CPS data. Additional calculations by DHHS.
Cash Income Plus All Social Insurance12.816.014.513.815.614.913.512.012.5
Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance11.615.213.612.814.513.812.711.311.7
Plus Food and Housing Benefits9.713.712.211.212.912.011.310.110.5
Plus EITC and Federal Taxes10.014.713.111.813.011.510.49.59.8
Reduction in Poverty Rate2.81.31.42.02.63.43.12.52.7

Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 and 1996 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 and 1996 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 and 1996 panels.

  • Half (51 percent) of all poverty spells that began during the 1996 SIPP panel ended within four months and 70 percent ended within one year. Only 11 percent of all such spells were longer than 20 months.
  • Spells of poverty that began between 1993 and 1995 were slightly longer; 47 percent ended within four months and 16 percent were longer than 20 months.
  • Poverty spells among adults age 65 and older were more likely to last longer than 20 months (17 percent) than spells among other age groups, as shown in Table ECON 5a.

Table ECON 5a. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1996 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity, and Age

 Spells <=4 monthsSpells 5-12 monthsSpells 13-20 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, 1996 panel.
All Persons51.329.08.311.4
Racial/Ethnic Categories51.329.08.311.4
Non-Hispanic White54.628.17.69.7
Non-Hispanic Black45.527.710.116.7
Hispanic46.832.98.611.7
Age Categories
Ages 0 to 5 Years46.829.610.812.9
Ages 6 to 10 Years47.129.79.214.0
Ages 11 to 15 Years49.530.97.911.7
Women Ages 16-64 years50.729.38.511.5
Men Ages 16-64 Years55.728.97.08.4
Adults Age 65 Years and Older51.123.87.717.4

Table ECON 5b Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 and 1996 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell and Year

 Spells <=4 monthsSpells 5-12 monthsSpells 13-20 monthsSpells >20 months
Source: Unpublished data from the SIPP, 1993 and 1996 panels.
1993 Panel All Persons47.328.18.915.7
1996 Panel All Persons51.329.08.311.4

Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Long-term Poverty

Figure ECON 6. Percentage of Children Ages 0 to 5 in 1987 Living in Poverty between 1987 and 1996, by Years in Poverty and Race

Figure ECON 6. Percentage of Children Ages 0 to 5 in 1987 Living in Poverty between 1987 and 1996, by Years in Poverty and Race

Source: Unpublished data from the PSID, 1987-1996.

  • ECON 6, which analyzes poverty over a ten-year period using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), is only periodically updated. This figure is unchanged from last year’s report and is included to assist those without previous reports.
  • Among children who were ages 0 to 5 in 1987, two-thirds (66 percent) never lived in poverty for any year over the next ten years. Nearly one-quarter (23 percent) lived in poverty for one to five years and 10 percent were poor for six to ten years.
  • For all three time periods, the percentages of all individuals who were poor for only one to two years were much larger than the percentages of all individuals who experienced longer-term poverty. For example, while 15 percent of all individuals were poor for only one to two years between 1987 and 1996, only 5 percent were poor for six to ten years during the same time period.
  • Long-term poverty of six or more years decreased for blacks more than for non-blacks across the three ten-year time periods. As shown in Table ECON 6, the percentage of persons experiencing long-term poverty decreased from 27 percent in the earliest period to 22 percent in the most recent period for blacks, but remained essentially unchanged for non-blacks. The percentage of black children experiencing long-term poverty was steady across the periods, while the percentage for non-black children increased slightly, from 3 to 5 percent.

Table ECON 6: Percentage of Individuals Living in Poverty across Three Ten-Year Time Periods, by Years in Poverty, Race, and Age

Between 1967 and 1976:
Note: The base for the percentages consists of individuals in the PSID family units for all the ten-year period. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the ten-year period. This table measures years of poverty over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of poverty that may have occurred before or after the ten-year time period.
Source: Unpublished data from the PSID 1968-93 final release files and 1994-1997 unreleased preliminary data as of January, 2002.
 All PersonsChildren 0-5 in 1967
Cumulative Years in Poverty:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
0 Years 1-2 Years75.3 13.137.3 18.980.2 12.370.0 14.426.7 19.876.5 13.6
3-5 Years6.216.65.09.120.57.4
6-8 Years3.515.81.93.515.81.8
9-10 Years1.911.50.72.917.90.7
Between 1977 and 1986:
 All PersonsChildren 0-5 in 1977
Cumulative Years in Poverty:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
0 Years77.946.382.273.736.780.0
1-2 Years11.615.711.011.916.711.0
3-5 Years5.314.54.15.612.54.4
6-8 Years3.414.01.95.116.53.2
9-10 Years1.99.50.83.717.61.3
Between 1987 and 1996:
 All PersonsChildren 0-5 in 1987
Cumulative Years in Poverty:AllBlackNon-BlackAllBlackNon-Black
0 Years74.744.779.366.430.775.1
1-2 Years14.618.714.015.817.215.5
3-5 Years5.514.34.17.618.84.8
6-8 Years3.110.32.05.612.54.0
9-10 Years2.212.00.74.620.90.7

Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Child SUPPORT

Figure ECON 7. Total, Non-AFDC/TANF, and AFDC/TANF Title IV-D Child Support Collections: 1978-2001

Figure ECON 7. Total, Non-AFDC/TANF, and AFDC/TANF Title IV-D Child Support Collections: 1978-2001

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Child Support Collections: 2002 TANF Report to Congress (and earlier years), Washington, DC.

  • Collections paid through the Child Support Enforcement system (Title IV-D of the Social Security Act) totaled $19 billion in 2001, over $1 billion more than in 2000. During the 1990s, child support collections grew rapidly, at an average rate of almost $1.1 billion a year.
  • Non-TANF collections as a percentage of overall collections by the IV-D program have rapidly increased in recent years. (Non-TANF collections include collections paid to former TANF families as well as to families with no contact with the welfare system.) Non-TANF collections increased by $1.1 billion between 2000 and 2001, while TANF collections remained essentially unchanged. Note that this stability occurred despite a 6.5 percent drop in the number of TANF recipient families over the same time period.
  • The amount of TANF collections paid to AFDC/TANF families is difficult to track in recent years because of changes in data reporting forms. Available data suggest these payments declined in fiscal years 1997-2000, with an increase shown in fiscal year 2001, as shown in Table ECON 7. A number of states have opted to pass through some or all of collections to the custodial TANF family, even though the 1996 welfare reform repealed the former requirement for a $50 “pass-through to families.”
  • More than 87 percent of TANF collections (collections on behalf of TANF recipients and for past due support assigned to the state by former TANF recipients) was retained in 2001 to reimburse the state and federal governments for the cost of welfare benefits.

Table ECON 7. Total, Non-AFDC/TANF, and AFDC/TANF Title IV-D Child Support Collections: 1978-2001

Fiscal YearTotalTotal Collections (in millions)
AFDC/TANF Collections
TotalPayments to AFDC/TANF FamiliesFederal & State Share of CollectionsNon-AFDC/TANF CollectionsTotal IV-D Administrative Expenditures
Current DollarsConstant '00 Dollars
Note: Not all states report current child support collections in all years. Constant dollar adjustments to the 2000 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year average price index. Data for fiscal years 1999 and thereafter relating to the Federal and State share of TANF collections include assistance reimbursement for former TANF families. These data may not be exactly comparable to that of previous years due to changes in data reporting categories.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement, Child Support Collections: 2002 TANF Report to Congress (and earlier years), Washington, DC.
1978$1,047$2,788$472$13$459$575$312
19791,3333,25959712584736383
19801,4783,24060310593874466
19811,6293,25267112659958526
19821,7713,30178615771985612
19832,0243,623880158651,144691
19842,3784,0781,000179831,378723
19852,6944,4551,0901899011,604814
19863,2495,2341,2252759552,019941
19873,9176,1441,3492781,0702,5691,066
19884,6056,9511,4862891,1883,1281,171
19895,2417,5361,5933071,2863,6481,363
19906,0108,2331,7503341,4164,2601,606
19916,8868,9791,9843811,6034,9021,804
19927,96410,0802,2594351,8245,7051,995
19938,90710,9432,4164461,9716,4912,241
19949,85011,7892,5504572,0937,3002,556
199510,82712,6082,6894742,2158,1383,012
199612,02013,6192,8554802,3759,1653,049
199713,36414,7442,8431572,68510,5213,428
199814,34815,5762,6501522,49811,6983,585
199915,90116,9392,4821132,36813,4214,039
200017,85418,4292,5931652,42815,2614,526
200118,95818,9582,5923322,25916,3664,835

Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Food Insecurity

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2001

Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2001

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2001.

  • A large majority (89 percent) of American households was food secure in 2001 – that is, showed little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • The prevalence of food insecurity with hunger in 2001 was estimated to be 3.3 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2001, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and hunger as a result of financial constraints. Food insecurity would be lower measured over a monthly basis.
  • An additional 7 percent of households experienced food insecurity, but were without hunger, during the twelve months ending in December 2001. Although these households showed signs of food insecurity in their concerns and in adjustments to household food management, little or no reduction in food intake was reported.
  • Poor households have a higher rate of food insecurity with hunger (12.9 percent) than the 3.3 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 8a. Only 1.3 percent of families with incomes at or above 185 percent of the poverty level showed evidence of food insecurity with hunger.
  • Changes in survey administration must be taken into account when assessing time trends. In general, there was a downward trend in food insecurity with hunger from 1995-1999, followed by a slight increase between 1999-2001. Higher food insecurity in even years may reflect seasonal differences in data collection between odd and even years.

Table ECON 8a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2001

 Food SecureFood Insecure TotalFood Insecure Without HungerFood Insecure With Hunger
See below for notes and source.
All Households89.310.77.43.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White92.47.65.12.5
Non-Hispanic Black78.721.315.16.2
Hispanic78.221.816.45.4
Other Non-Hispanic89.710.37.62.8
Households, by Age
Households with Children Under 682.617.413.73.8
Households with Children Under 1883.916.112.43.8
Households with Elderly94.55.54.01.5
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio
Under 1.0063.536.523.612.9
Under 1.3067.732.321.310.9
Under 1.8572.127.918.98.9
1.85 and over95.14.93.61.3

Table ECON 8b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1995-2001

 Food SecureFood Insecure TotalFood InsecureWithout HungerFood Insecure With Hunger
Note: 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, adjustments to household food management, and reduced variety and desirability of diet, but report little or no reduction in food intake. Households classified as food insecure with hunger report recurring reductions in food intake or hunger by one or more persons in the household. Because of changes in survey administration, food insecurity statistics in Table ECON 8b are shown in two separate series. The “new series” provides the best estimates of food security for 1998-2001; in the “old series” (1995-1999), data for 1998 and 1999 were adjusted to be comparable to 1995-1997.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2001.
Old Series
199589.710.36.43.9
199689.610.46.34.1
199791.38.75.63.1
199889.810.26.63.6
199991.38.75.92.8
New Series
199888.211.88.13.7
199989.910.17.13.0
200089.510.57.33.1
200189.310.77.43.3

Economic Security Risk Factor 9. Lack of Health Insurance

Figure ECON 9. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2001

 src=

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey, March 2002.

  • Poor persons were more than twice as likely as all persons to be without health insurance in 2001 (30 percent compared to 14 percent). While the ratio varied across categories, persons with family income at or below the poverty line were more likely to be without health insurance regardless of race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, or age.
  • Hispanics were the ethnic group least likely to have health insurance in 2001, among both the general population and those with incomes below the poverty line. While white individuals in general were more likely to have insurance than black individuals, poor black individuals were more likely to have insurance than poor white individuals.
  • Among all persons, the amount of education was inversely related to health insurance coverage, as shown in Table ECON 9. However, among poor persons, educational attainment made little difference as to whether individuals had health insurance.
  • As shown in Table ECON 9, individuals ages 18 to 34 are the most likely to be without health insurance, among both the general population and the poor population. Nearly half of all 18 to 34 year-olds with incomes below the poverty line had no health insurance in 2001.

Table ECON 9. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income and Selected Characteristics: 2001

 All PersonsPoor Persons
All Persons14.630.7
Male15.833.9
Female13.528.2
White13.631.7
Black19.026.2
Hispanic33.243.7
No H.S. Diploma27.637.2
H.S. Graduate, no college17.435.9
College Graduate7.331.3
Age 18 and under11.721.3
Ages 18-2428.145.5
Ages 25-3423.449.5
Ages 35-4416.144.6
Ages 45-6413.131.9
Age 65 and over0.82.7
Note: "Poor persons" are defined as those with total family incomes at or below the poverty rate. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Racial categories include Hispanics.
Source: Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Health Insurance Coverage: 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-220 (March 2002 Current Population Survey). Online: Available at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/hlthin01.html.

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

Figure WORK 1. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, by Race/Ethnicity: 2001

 src=

Source: Unpublished tabulations of March CPS data.

  • In 2001, 72 percent of the total population lived in families with at least one person working on a full-time, full-year basis, as shown in Table WORK 1a. Full-time full-year work was slightly lower than in 2000, although generally still higher than during the 1990s, as shown in Table WORK 1b.
  • Overall, 14 percent of the population lived in families with no labor force participants and 14 percent lived in families with part-time and/or part-year labor force participants in 2001.
  • Persons of Hispanic origin were less likely than non-Hispanic whites or non-Hispanic blacks to live in families with no one in the labor force in 2001 (9 percent compared to 15 and 16 percent, respectively).
  • Working-age women in 2001 were more likely than working-age men to live in families with no one in the labor force (8 percent compared to 6 percent). Men were more likely than women to live in families with at least one full-time, full-year worker (80 percent compared to 76 percent).

Table WORK 1a. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2001

 No one in LF During YearAt least one in LF No one FT/FYAt least one FT/FY worker
See below for notes and source.
All Persons13.914.371.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White14.813.471.8
Non-Hispanic Black16.017.866.2
Hispanic9.315.575.3
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-55.015.979.1
Children Ages 6-105.614.679.8
Children Ages 11-155.713.181.2
Women Ages 16-648.315.376.4
Men Ages 16-646.413.380.3
Adults Age 65 and over65.813.820.4

Table WORK 1b. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants: 1990-2001

 No one in LF During YearAt least one in LF No one FT/FYAt least one FT/FY LF participant
Note: Full-time, full-year workers are defined as those who usually worked for 35 or more hours per week, for at least 50 weeks in a given year. Part-time and part-year labor force participation includes part-time workers and individuals who are unemployed, laid off, and/or looking for work for part or all of the year. This indicator represents annual measures of labor force participation, and thus cannot be compared to monthly measures of labor force participation in Indicator 2.
Source: Unpublished tabulations of March CPS data.
199013.718.168.3
199114.318.767.0
199214.318.667.1
199314.218.667.3
199414.017.768.3
199513.817.069.2
199613.616.769.7
199713.516.370.2
199813.315.371.4
199913.114.672.3
200013.113.973.0
200113.914.371.7

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

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1969-2001

 src=

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

  • Employment rates for women with a high school education or less dropped in 2001, following several years of rising employment, particularly among black and Hispanic women. Low-skilled white women continued to have the highest employment level (67 percent in 2001) among the three racial/ethnic groups.
  • Employment levels for white and Hispanic men with no more than a high school education have hovered close to 85 percent for close to two decades. In contrast, employment levels for low-skilled black men have varied over the same period. Between 1968 and 1983, employment rates for black men with no more than high school education fell by 20 percentage points. Since 1992, these rates have remained fairly stable at around 71 percent.
  • As shown in Figure and Table WORK 2, employment levels for black men with a high school education or less were 6 percentage points higher than those of similarly educated black women in 2001. In contrast, there was a 17 percentage point difference in employment levels of white men and white women with a high school education or less, and a 26 percentage point difference between similarly educated Hispanic men and Hispanic women.

Table WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed at Any Time: 1969-2001

Note: All data include both full and partial year employment for the given calendar year. Race categories include those of Hispanic origin for all years. Hispanic origin was not available until 1975.
Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

 MenWomen
Note: All data include both full and partial year employment for the given calendar year. Race categories include
those of Hispanic origin for all years. Hispanic origin was not available until 1975.
Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.
 WhiteBlackHispanicWhiteBlackHispanic
196892.889.9N/A55.865.8N/A
196992.189.2N/A56.164.9N/A
197190.986.1N/A55.259.4N/A
197291.184.3N/A55.658.1N/A
197588.278.886.258.357.249.7
197788.378.689.859.857.451.4
197988.678.589.462.358.755.0
198088.075.387.462.357.453.0
198187.374.487.962.357.752.1
198285.471.385.460.756.250.6
198384.869.984.661.455.350.8
198486.171.683.962.958.453.1
198585.774.584.163.759.452.4
198686.374.286.764.460.353.0
198786.673.985.665.859.954.0
198886.574.187.866.461.354.6
198986.674.086.267.260.955.8
199087.475.685.466.860.455.0
199186.273.985.066.560.754.6
199285.571.483.765.957.853.3
199384.471.183.566.159.952.2
199484.769.383.266.660.753.3
199585.570.283.367.059.753.9
199685.670.084.067.763.655.4
199785.371.885.067.766.156.9
199885.471.985.567.966.857.1
199985.072.286.468.968.358.8
200085.172.986.568.667.461.0
200183.970.685.567.464.659.2

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 3. 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, by Race (2001 Dollars): Selected Years

 src=

Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.

  • Mean weekly wages for full-time work by men with no more than a high school diploma have decreased in real terms for much of the past quarter century, with some recovery in the late 1990s. In 2001, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled men working full-time was $660. This level is 4 percent above the 1995 weekly wages of $635 (in 2001 dollars), but 12 percent below the 1970 level of $747 (in 2001 dollars).
  • The gap between mean weekly wages for white and black men with low education levels has narrowed significantly over time, but expanded slightly in 2000 and 2001. In 1970, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled black men working full-time was $544 (in 2001 dollars), or 70 percent of the $773 average for white men. However, full-time working black men with no more than a high school education received 83 percent of the mean weekly wages of white men in 2001 ($560 compared to $677).

Table WORK 3: Mean Weekly Wages of Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High-School Education, by Race (2001 Dollars): Selected Years

 197019751980198519901995199619971998199920002001
Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and 35 hours per week. White and black include those of Hispanic origin for all years.
Source: ASPE tabulations of March CPS data.
All Men$747$746$712$688$643$635$646$658$646$658$669$660
White Men$773$765$732$709$661$653$664$676$662$673$686$677
Black Men$544$587$553$539$531$524$544$545$552$589$581$560

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 4. Educational Attainment

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Age 25 and Over, by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2001

 src=

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Educational Attainment in the United States: March 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series PPL-157, February 2002, and earlier reports.

  • There has been a marked decline over the past 40 years in the percentage of the population who has not earned a high school diploma. This percentage fell from 59 percent in 1960 to 16 percent in 2001.
  • The percentage of the population receiving a high school education only (with no subsequent college) was 25 percent in 1960 and rose to 39 percent in 1988. Since then this figure has fallen to 33 percent, although some of this decline is a result of a change in the survey methodology in 1992 (see note to Table WORK 4).
  • Between 1960 and 1990, the percentage of the population with some college (one to three years) doubled, from 9 percent to 18 percent. The apparent jump in 1992 is a result of a change in the survey methodology (see note to Table WORK 4), but the trend continued upward, reaching nearly 26 percent in 2001.
  • The percentage of the population completing four or more years of college more than tripled from 1960 to 2001, rising steadily from 8 percent to 26 percent.

Table WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Age 25 and Over, by Level of Educational Attainment: Selected Years

 Not a High School GraduateFinished High School, No CollegeOne to Three Years of CollegeFour or More Years of College
Note: Completing the GED is not considered completing high school for this table. Beginning with data for 1992, a new survey question results in different categories than for prior years. Data shown as Finished High School, No College was previously from the category “High School, 4 years” and is now from the category “High School Graduate.” Data shown as One to Three Years of College was previously from the category “College 1 to 3 years” and is now the sum of the categories: “Some College” and two separate “Associate Degree” categories. Data shown as Four or More Years of College was previously from the category “College 4 years or more,” and is now the sum of the categories: “Bachelor's Degree,” “Master's Degree,” “Doctorate Degree,” and “Professional Degree.”
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Educational Attainment in the United States: March 2001,” Current Population Reports, Series PPL-157, February 2002, and earlier reports.
1940761455
1950672076
1960592598
1965513199
197045341011
197537361214
198031371517
198130381517
198229381518
198328381619
198427381619
198526381619
198625381719
198724391720
198824391720
198923381721
199022381821
199122391821
199221362221
199320352322
199419342422
199518342523
199618342524
199718342424
199817342524
199917332525
200016332526
200116332626

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 5. High-school Dropout Rates

Figure WORK 5. 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, by Race/Ethnicity: Selected Years

 src=

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 2000 and earlier years (based on Current Population Survey data from the October supplement).

  • With the exception of a small upward movement in 1988, the dropout rates for teens in grades 10 to 12 declined steadily from 1979 to 1991. From a low of 4.0 percent, the rate began rising to a peak of 5.7 percent in 1995. Following this upturn, the overall rate again declined to 4.6 percent in 1997; since then it has fluctuated, moving up to 5.0 percent in 1999 and then back down again to 4.8 percent in 2000.
  • Dropout rates among Hispanic and black teens have fluctuated considerably over time. Still, dropout rates are generally highest for Hispanic teens and lowest for white teens. In 2000, the dropout rate was 7.4 percent for Hispanic teens, compared to 6.1 percent for black teens and 4.1 percent for white teens.

Table WORK 5. 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, by Race/Ethnicity: Selected Years

 TotalNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic Origin
Note: Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders are included in the total but are not shown separately. Beginning in 1987, the Bureau of the Census instituted new editing procedures for cases with missing data on school enrollment. Beginning in 1992, the data reflect new wording of the educational attainment item in the CPS.
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 2000 and earlier years (based on Current Population Survey data from the October supplement).
19726.15.39.511.2
19736.35.59.910.0
19746.75.811.69.9
19755.85.08.710.9
19765.95.67.47.3
19776.56.18.67.8
19786.75.810.212.3
19796.76.09.99.8
19806.15.28.211.7
19815.94.89.710.7
19825.54.77.89.2
19835.24.47.010.1
19845.14.45.711.1
19855.24.37.89.8
19864.73.75.411.9
19874.13.56.45.4
19884.84.25.910.4
19894.53.57.87.8
19904.03.35.07.9
19914.03.26.07.3
19924.43.75.08.2
19934.53.95.86.7
19945.34.26.610.0
19955.74.56.412.3
19965.04.16.79.0
19974.63.65.09.5
19984.83.95.29.4
19995.04.06.57.8
20004.84.16.17.4

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 6. Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Figure WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 2001

 src=

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

  • In 2001, young adults (ages 18 to 25) were more likely than older adults to report alcohol abuse, marijuana use, or cocaine use in the past month. More than one in seven (16 percent) of adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month during 2001, compared with 7 percent of adults 26 to 34 and 2 percent of adults 35 and older. Young adults were also significantly more likely to abuse alcohol than older adults.
  • The percentage of persons reporting binge alcohol use was significantly larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors across all age groups, as shown in Table WORK 6.

Table WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 1999, 2000, and 2001

 199920002001
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. Due to a change in NHSDA methodology in 1999, the 1999-2001 estimates cannot be compared to estimates from 1998 and earlier years for trend purposes.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.
Cocaine
Ages 18-251.71.41.9
Ages 26-341.20.81.1
Age 35 and Over0.40.30.5
Marijuana
Ages 18-2514.213.616.0
Ages 26-345.45.96.8
Age 35 and Over2.22.32.4
Binge Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2537.937.838.7
Ages 26-3429.330.330.1
Age 35 and Over16.016.416.2
Heavy Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2513.312.813.6
Ages 26-347.57.67.8
Age 35 and Over4.24.14.2

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 7. Adult and Child Disability

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting a Disability, by Age and Race/Ethnicity: 2001

 src=

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey

  • In 2001, adults were more likely than children to have an activity limitation, 10.9 percent compared to 7.2 percent.
  • While adults were more likely than children to report an activity limitation, a higher percentage of children than adults were actually recipients of disability program benefits in 2001 (5.9 percent compared to 4.1 percent), as shown in Table WORK 7.
  • Among both non-elderly adults and children, rates of activity limitation were very similar for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks in 2001, but lower for Hispanics, as shown in Table WORK 7.

Table WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting a Disability, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2001

 Activity LimitationWork DisabilityLong-Term Care NeedsDisability Program Recipient
Note: Respondents were defined as having an activity limitation if they answered positively to any of the questions regarding: (1) work disability (see definition below); (2) long-term care needs (see definition below); (3) difficulty walking; (4) difficulty remembering; (5) for children under 5, limitations in the amount of play activities they can participate in because of physical, mental, or emotional problems; (6) for children 3 and over, receipt of Special Educational or Early Intervention Services; and, (7) any other limitations due to physical, mental, or emotional problems. Work disability is defined as limitations in or the inability to work as a result of a physical, mental or emotional health condition. Individuals are identified as having long-term care needs if they need the help of others in handling either personal care needs (eating, bathing, dressing, getting around the home) or routine needs (household chores, shopping, getting around for business or other purposes). 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: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey
All Persons
Adults Ages 18-6410.98.32.04.1
Children Ages 0-177.2N/AN/A5.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Adults Ages 18-64)
Non-Hispanic White11.38.51.94.0
Non-Hispanic Black13.810.83.16.7
Hispanic7.75.61.33.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Children Ages 0-17)
Non-Hispanic White7.5N/AN/A6.2
Non-Hispanic Black8.7N/AN/A7.1
Hispanic5.1N/AN/A4.2

Non-marital Birth Risk Factor 1. Births to Unmarried Women

Figure BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women, by Age Group: 1940-2001

 src=

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48(16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51(2), December
2002.

  • The percentage of children born outside of marriage to women of all ages has increased over the past six decades, from 3.8 percent in 1940 to 33.5 percent in 2001. 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 among teen women and women ages 20-24. Close to four-fifths (79 percent) of all births to teens and half (50 percent) of women ages 20-24 took place outside of marriage in 2001.
  • Since 1994, the percentage of unmarried births to all women has almost leveled off. The percentage of unmarried births to teen mothers has slowed since 1994, although it is still rising (from 76 percent in 1994 to 79 percent in 2001). The steepest growth since 1994 is among the 20 to 24 year old age group, where the percentage of births to unmarried women has increased from 45 to 50 percent.
  • Recently, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births has leveled off among black teens and all black women. Among white teens and all white women, the trend continues upward (see Table C-1 in Appendix C for non-marital birth data by age and race).

Table BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women, by Age Group: 1940-2001

YearUnder 1515-17 Years18-19 YearsAll Teens20-24 YearsAll Women
Note: Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51 (2), December 2002.
194064.5N/AN/A14.03.43.8
194164.1N/AN/A14.23.43.8
194264.5N/AN/A13.23.03.4
194364.2N/AN/A13.43.03.3
194464.5N/AN/A15.73.73.8
194570.0N/AN/A18.24.74.3
194666.4N/AN/A15.74.03.8
194765.1N/AN/A13.03.43.6
194861.420.88.512.73.43.7
194961.821.18.612.93.43.7
195063.722.69.413.93.74.0
195162.921.89.113.53.63.9
195263.622.89.214.03.73.9
195364.022.39.614.13.94.1
195464.423.210.114.74.24.4
195566.323.210.314.94.34.5
195666.123.010.014.64.44.6
195766.123.19.814.54.44.7
195866.223.310.314.94.55.0
195967.924.210.615.44.85.2
196067.824.010.715.44.85.3
196169.725.311.316.25.15.6
196269.526.711.316.45.45.9
196371.128.212.518.05.76.3
196474.229.913.519.76.16.8
196578.532.815.321.66.87.7
196676.335.316.122.67.18.4
196780.337.718.025.07.89.0
196881.040.420.127.68.39.7
196979.341.321.128.78.610.0
197080.843.022.430.58.910.7
197182.144.523.231.89.211.3
197281.945.924.733.810.212.4
197384.846.725.635.010.813.0
197484.648.327.036.411.113.2
197587.051.429.839.312.314.2
197686.454.131.641.213.314.8
197788.256.634.443.814.715.5
197887.357.536.244.916.416.3
197988.860.038.146.917.717.1
198088.761.539.848.319.318.4
198189.263.341.449.920.418.9
198289.265.043.051.421.319.4
198390.467.545.754.122.920.3
198491.169.248.156.324.521.0
198591.870.950.758.726.322.0
198692.573.353.661.528.723.4
198792.976.255.864.030.824.5
198893.677.158.565.932.925.7
198992.477.760.467.235.127.1
199091.677.761.367.636.928.0
199191.378.763.269.339.429.5
199291.379.264.670.540.730.1
199391.379.966.171.842.231.0
199494.584.170.075.944.932.6
199593.583.769.875.644.732.2
199693.884.470.876.345.632.4
199795.786.772.578.246.632.4
199896.687.573.678.947.732.8
199996.587.774.079.048.533.0
200096.587.774.379.149.533.2
200196.387.874.679.250.433.5

Non-marital Birth Risk Factor 2. Births to Unmarried Teens

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19, by Race: 1940-2001

 src=

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51 (2), December 2002.

  • In contrast to the earlier Figure BIRTH 1, which showed births to unmarried teens as a percentage of all teen births, Figure BIRTH 2 shows births to unmarried teens as a percentage of births to all women. This percentage fell in the last three years, from 9.7 to 8.7 percent, reversing a long upward trend since 1940. This rate may be affected by several factors: the age distribution of women, 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 has also dropped among white women over the past four years, declining to 7.3 percent in 2001. This drop is in contrast to the long upward trend, from less than 1 percent in 1960 to nearly 8 percent in 1998.
  • Among black women, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens fell to 17.5 percent in 2001, the lowest percentage since 1969. This rate has varied greatly since 1940, rising sharply to a peak of 24 percent in 1975, and showing a gradual decline in most years since then. The sharp increase in the late 1960s and early 1970s reflects a 30 percent rise in non-marital teen births among black women concurrent with a 6 percent decline in total black births from 1969 to 1975.

Table BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19, by Race: 1940-2001

YearAll RacesWhiteBlack
Note: Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child. White and black include those of Hispanic origin for all years. 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.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51 (2), December 2002.
19401.70.8N/A
19411.70.7N/A
19421.50.7N/A
19431.50.6N/A
19441.60.8N/A
19451.80.8N/A
19461.50.7N/A
19471.40.7N/A
19481.50.7N/A
19491.50.6N/A
19501.60.6N/A
19511.50.6N/A
19521.50.6N/A
19531.60.6N/A
19541.70.7N/A
19551.70.7N/A
19561.70.7N/A
19571.80.7N/A
19581.90.8N/A
19592.00.9N/A
19602.00.9N/A
19612.21.0N/A
19622.31.1N/A
19632.51.2N/A
19642.81.3N/A
19653.31.6N/A
19663.81.9N/A
19674.12.1N/A
19684.52.3N/A
19694.72.417.5
19705.12.618.8
19715.52.620.3
19726.23.022.6
19736.53.223.4
19746.73.323.9
19757.13.724.2
19767.13.823.8
19777.24.023.4
19787.24.022.7
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
19877.75.320.0
19888.05.620.3
19898.35.920.6
19908.46.120.4
19918.76.420.4
19928.76.520.2
19938.96.820.2
19949.77.521.1
19959.67.621.1
19969.67.720.9
19979.77.820.5
19989.77.919.9
19999.57.819.1
20009.17.618.3
20018.77.317.5

Non-marital Birth Risk Factor 3. Unmarried Teen Birth Rates Within Age Groups

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, by Race: 1960-2001
 src=

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2001

 src=

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51 (2), December 2002.

  • The birth rate per 1,000 unmarried teens fell between 1994 and 2001 for both black and white teens and for both younger (15 to 17 years) and older age groups (18 and 19 years). The rate for black teens 18 and 19, for example, fell from 142 per 1,000 to 109 per 1,000. Declines were larger among black teens than among white teens.
  • Prior to 1994, birth rates among unmarried white teens in both age groups rose steadily for nearly three decades (4 to 24 percent among 15 to 17 year-olds and 11 to 56 percent among 18 and 19 year-olds).
  • Among unmarried black teens in both age groups, birth rates varied greatly over the period, reaching peaks in both the early 1970s and early 1990s. Rates for both age groups were lower in 2001 than in 1969. While birth rates among unmarried black teens remain high compared to rates for unmarried white teens, the gap been black and white teens narrowed considerably during the 1990s.

Table BIRTH 3. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teen Women within Age Groups, by Race: 1960-2001

 Ages 15-17Ages 18 and 19
YearAll RacesWhiteBlackAll RacesWhiteBlack
Note: Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother. Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child. White and black include those of Hispanic origin for all years. 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.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51 (2), December 2002.
196011.14.4N/A24.311.4N/A
196111.74.6N/A24.612.1N/A
196210.74.1N/A23.811.7N/A
196310.94.5N/A25.813.0N/A
196411.64.9N/A26.513.6N/A
196512.55.0N/A25.813.9N/A
196613.15.4N/A25.614.1N/A
196713.85.6N/A27.615.3N/A
196814.76.2N/A29.616.6N/A
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
199728.222.460.665.253.6127.2
199827.021.856.564.253.5123.5
199925.521.051.563.353.3117.9
200024.420.049.962.953.2116.9
200122.518.545.560.151.3109.4

Non-marital Birth Risk Factor 4. Never-married Family Status

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head, by Race: 1982-2002

 src=

Source of CPS data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Marital Status and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-212, 287, 365, 380, 399, 418, 423, 433, 445, 450, 461, 468, 478, 484, 491, 496, 506, 514, 537 various years, and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2001 and 2002.
Source of 1960 data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1960 Census of Population, PC(2)-4B, “Persons by Family Characteristics,” tables 1 and 19.

  • The percentage of children living in families with never-married female heads increased from under 5 percent in 1982 to nearly 10 percent in 2002.
  • The percentage of white children living in families headed by never-married women has continued to rise over the past twenty years, from less than 2 percent in 1982 to 5.6 percent in 2002.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads more than doubled over the past sixteen years, going from less than 6 percent in 1982 to 12 percent in 1996. Since then it has fluctuated up and down by about one-half a percentage point.
  • 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. However, at 33 percent in 2002, it is two percentage points below its peak in 1999.

Table BIRTH 4. Number and Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head, by Race: Selected Years

 Numberof Children(in thousands)Percentage
YearAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanicAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanic
Note: Data are for all children under 18 who are not family heads (excludes householders, subfamily reference persons, and their spouses). Also excludes inmates of institutions; children who are living with neither of their parents are excluded from the denominator. Based on Current Population Survey (CPS) except 1960, 1970, and 1980, which are based on decennial census data. Nonwhite data are shown for Black in 1960. In 1982, improved data collection and processing procedures helped to identify parent-child subfamilies. (See Current Population Reports, P-20, 399, Marital Status and Living Arrangements: March 1984.)
Source of CPS data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Marital Status and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-212, 287, 365, 380, 399, 418, 423, 433, 445, 450, 461, 468, 478, 484, 491, 496, 506, 514, 537, various years, and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2001 and 2002.
Source of 1960 data: U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1960 Census of Population, PC(2)-4B, “Persons by Family Characteristics,” tables 1 and 19.
1960221491730.40.12.2
19705271104420.80.25.2
19751,1662968641.80.59.9
19801,7455011,1932102.91.014.54.0
19822,7687931,9472914.61.622.75.7
19843,1319592,1093575.21.923.96.5
19863,6061,1742,3754515.92.326.67.2
19873,9851,3852,5245876.52.828.29.2
19884,3021,4822,7366007.03.030.49.2
19894,2901,4832,6955926.92.929.68.7
19904,3651,5272,7386057.03.029.68.7
19915,0401,7253,1766448.03.433.39.0
19925,4102,0163,1927578.43.933.110.3
19935,5112,0153,3178488.53.933.611.3
19946,0002,4123,3211,0839.04.532.912.0
19955,8622,3173,2551,0178.74.332.310.8
19966,3652,5633,5671,1619.44.834.412.0
19976,5982,7883,5751,2429.75.134.312.4
19986,7002,8503,6441,2549.85.235.112.2
19996,7362,8263,6431,2979.85.235.312.2
20006,5912,8813,4131,2569.55.332.911.4
20016,6363,0143,3821,3409.65.532.411.9
20026,8723,0483,5731,4009.95.633.411.5

Appendix A. Program Data

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 specifies that the annual welfare indicators reports shall include analyses of families and individuals receiving assistance under three means-tested benefit programs: the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program authorized 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 1977, as amended, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program under title XVI of the Social Security Act. This chapter includes information on these three programs, derived primarily from administrative data reported by state and federal agencies instead of the national survey data presented in previous chapters. National caseloads and expenditure trend information on each of the three programs is included, as well as state-by-state trend tables and information on the characteristics of program participants.

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 had been deprived of parental support or care because their father or mother was 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 that 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.

During the 1990s, the federal government increasingly used its authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to waive portions of the federal requirements under AFDC. This allowed states to test such changes as expanded earned income disregards, increased work requirements and stronger sanctions for failure to comply with them, time limits on benefits, and expanded access to transitional benefits such as child care and medical assistance. As a condition of receiving waivers, states were required to conduct rigorous evaluations of the impacts of these changes on the welfare receipt, employment, and earnings of participants.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) replaced AFDC, AFDC administration, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program with a cash welfare block grant called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Key elements of TANF include a lifetime limit of five years (60 months) on the amount of time a family with an adult can receive assistance funded with federal funds, increasing work participation rate requirements which states must meet, and broad state flexibility on program design. Spending through the TANF block grant is capped and funded at $16.5 billion per year, slightly above fiscal year 1995 federal expenditures for the four component programs. States must also meet a “maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement” by spending on needy families at least 75 percent of the amount of state funds used in FY 1994 on these programs (80 percent if they fail work participation rate requirements).

TANF gives states wide latitude in spending both Federal TANF funds and state MOE funds. Subject to a few restrictions, TANF funds may be used in any way that supports one of the four statutory purposes of TANF: to provide assistance to needy families so that children can be cared for at home; to end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; to prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies; and to encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

Recent Legislative Action

Legislative authority for the TANF block grant program expired September 2002. In February 2002, President Bush proposed a plan, Working Toward Independence, to strengthen welfare reform, in order to help families remaining on welfare and other low-income families move toward self-sufficiency. In May 2002, the House of Representatives passed HR 4737, the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2002, which incorporated all of the key elements of the President’s plan. The Senate did not take up welfare reform legislation in the 107th Congress, so the program was temporarily extended. In February 2003, the House of Representatives passed HR 4, the Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act of 2003, an updated version of HR 4737, which would implement all of the key elements of the President’s plan. Senate action is expected in 2003.

Data Issues Relating to the AFDC-TANF Transition

States had the option of beginning their TANF programs as soon as PRWORA was enacted in August 1996, and a few states began TANF programs as early as September 1996. All states were required to implement TANF by July 1, 1997. Because states implemented TANF at different times, the FY 1997 data reflect a combination of the AFDC and TANF programs. In some states, limited data are available for FY 1997 because states were given a transition period of six months after they implemented TANF before they were required to report data on the characteristics and work activities of TANF participants.

Because of the greatly expanded range of activities allowed under TANF, a substantial portion of TANF funds are being spent on activities other than cash payments to families. When tracking overall expenditure trends, the tables in this Appendix (e.g., Table TANF 3) include only those TANF funds spent on “cash and work-based assistance” and “administrative costs,” not on work activities, supportive services, or other allowable uses of funds. Spending on these other activities is detailed in Table TANF 5. Note that TANF administrative costs include funds spent administering all activities, not just cash and work-based assistance. (Administrative costs under AFDC had included a small amount of funds for administering AFDC child care programs; such programs, and the costs of administering them, were transferred to the Child Care and Development Fund as part of PRWORA).

There also is potential for discontinuity between the AFDC and the TANF caseload figures. For example, under TANF there is no longer a separate “Unemployed Parent” (UP) program, as there was under AFDC. While a separate work participation rate is calculated for two-parent families, this population is not identical to the UP caseload under AFDC. Another program change is that under TANF some states provide cash and other forms of assistance to specific categories of families (e.g., two-parent families) under Separate State Programs; the TANF caseload figures do not include these families. Finally, it is possible that a limited number of families will be considered recipients of TANF assistance, even if they do not receive a monthly cash benefit. At present, the vast majority of families receiving “assistance”1 are, in fact, receiving cash payments; however, this may change over time.


1 States are allowed to use TANF funds on a variety of services, including employment and training services, domestic violence services, child care, transportation, and other support services. Families receiving such services, however, generally should not be counted as recipients of TANF “assistance.” Under the final regulations for TANF, “assistance” primarily includes payments directed at ongoing basic needs. It includes payments when individuals are participating in community service and work experience (or other work activities) as a condition of receiving payments (e.g., workfare). In addition to cash assistance, the definition also includes certain child care and transportation benefits (provided the families are not employed). It excludes, however, such things as: non-recurrent, short-term benefits; services without a cash value, such as education and training, case management, job search, and counseling; and benefits such as child care and transportation when provided to employed families.

AFDC/TANF Program Data

The following tables and figures present data on caseloads, expenditures, and recipient characteristics of the AFDC and TANF programs. Trends in national caseloads and expenditures are shown in Figure TANF 1 and the first set of tables (Tables TANF 1-6). These are followed by information on characteristics of AFDC/TANF families (Table TANF 7) and a series of tables presenting state-by-state data on trends in the AFDC/TANF program (Tables TANF 8-13). These data complement the data on trends in AFDC recipiency and participation rates shown in Tables IND 4a and IND 5a in Chapter II.

AFDC/TANF Caseload Trends

AFDC/TANF Caseload Trends (Figure TANF 1, Tables TANF 1-2). Welfare caseloads have declined dramatically during the past several years. In fiscal year 2001, the average monthly number of TANF recipients was 5.4 million persons, 57 percent lower than the average monthly AFDC caseload in fiscal year 1996 and the smallest number of people on welfare since 1968. From the peak of 14.4 million in March 1994, the number of AFDC/TANF recipients dropped by 65 percent to 5.0 million in September 2002. Over three-fourths of the reduction in the caseload since March 1994 has occurred following the implementation of TANF. These are the largest welfare caseload declines in the history of U.S. welfare programs.

As shown in Figure TANF 1, AFDC caseloads generally tended to increase in times of economic recession and decline in times of economic growth. The recent decline, however, has far outstripped that experienced in any previous period.

Several studies have attempted to explain the unprecedented decline in caseloads and, specifically, to disentangle the effects of PRWORA and welfare reform from the simultaneous growth in the U.S. economy. Separating these effects is difficult, however, because PRWORA was enacted at a time when the economy was expanding dramatically, offering a uniquely conducive environment within which to move many recipients off the welfare rolls and into the labor market. Other policy changes, most notably expansions in the Earned Income Tax credit,
add further complexity.

In general, studies have found that both economic conditions and welfare reform policies have played important roles in the recent caseload decline. A review of a dozen studies concluded that roughly 15 to 30 percent of the caseload decline prior to 1996 was attributed by most studies to welfare policies under waivers to the AFDC rules with approximately 30 to 45 percent of the decline explained by economic conditions (Schoeni and Blank, 2000). A study by the Council of Economic Advisers (1999) of the post-PRWORA period finds that just over one-third of caseload decline can be explained by welfare reform policy, while 8 to 10 percent is due to the economy. A more recent study estimates that over half the decline in caseloads after enactment of PRWORA were attributable to welfare reform (O’Neill and Hill, 2001).

AFDC/TANF Expenditures

AFDC/TANF Expenditures (Tables TANF 3-6 and Figure TANF 2). Tables TANF 3, 4 and 5 show trends in expenditures on AFDC and TANF. Table TANF 3 tracks both programs, breaking out the costs of benefits and administrative expenses. It also shows the division between federal and state spending. Table TANF 4 breaks out the benefits paid under the single parent or “basic” program and the Unemployed Parent (UP) program, and also nets out the value of child support collected on behalf of recipient children, but retained by the state to reimburse welfare expenditures. This table presents data through 1996 only, because the TANF data reporting requirements do not require that caseload data be separated into “basic” and “UP” components. Table TANF 5 shows the variety of activities funded under the TANF program.

Figure TANF 2 and Table TANF 6 show that inflation has had a significant effect in eroding the value of the average monthly AFDC/TANF benefit. In real dollars, the average monthly benefit per recipient in 2001 was 62 percent of what it was at its peak in the late 1970s.

AFDC/TANF Recipient Characteristics

AFDC/TANF Recipient Characteristics (Table TANF 7). With the dramatic declines in the welfare rolls since the implementation of TANF, there has been a great deal of speculation regarding how the composition of the caseload has changed. Two striking trends are the increases in the proportion of child-only cases and in employment among adult recipients.

One of the most dramatic trends is the recent jump in the proportion of adult recipients who are working. In FY 2001, 27 percent of TANF adult recipients were employed, up from 11 percent in FY 1996 and 7 percent in FY 1992, as shown in Table TANF 7. Adding in those in work experience and community service positions, the percentage working was at an all-time high of 33 percent in FY 2001 (data not shown). Similar upward trends are shown in data on income from earnings. These trends likely reflect positive effects of welfare-to-work programs, the strong economy, and the fact that, with larger earnings disregards, families with earnings do not exit welfare as rapidly. In addition, the increased employment of welfare recipients is consistent with broader trends in labor force participation among mothers with young children. Among single mothers with children under six and family income below 200 percent of the Federal poverty level, for example, the employment rate increased from 35 percent in 1992 to 59 percent in 2000 (data not shown). In addition, employment rates for white and black women ages 18 to 65 with no more than a high school education were at all-time highs in 1999, and for Hispanic women in 2000. There was some leveling off among all three groups in 2001 (as shown in WORK 2 in Chapter III).

Another dramatic change in the caseload is the increasing fraction of cases without an adult recipient (i.e., child-only cases). Such cases occur when the adults are ineligible (because they are a caretaker relative, SSI parent, immigrant parent, or sanctioned parent). Child-only cases have climbed from 11.6 percent of the caseload in FY 1990 to 37.1 percent in FY 2001. This dramatic growth has been due to both the overall decline in the number of adult-present cases as well as an increase in the number of child-only cases. Child-only cases are generally not subject to the work requirements or time limits under TANF.

In other areas, the administrative data show fewer changes in composition than might have been expected. There has been widespread anecdotal evidence that the most job ready recipients B those with the fewest barriers to employment B have already exited the welfare caseload and have stopped coming onto the welfare rolls, leaving a more disadvantaged population remaining. However, as the expectations for welfare recipients have increased, and fewer recipients are totally exempted from work requirements, others have speculated that the most disadvantaged recipients may also have been sanctioned off the rolls or terminated for failure to comply with administrative requirements. In fact, analyses of program data have not found much evidence of an increase or decline in readily observed barriers to employment in the current caseload.

The question of whether the caseload has become more disadvantaged cannot be answered simply through administrative data provided by the states, which do not contain detailed information on such barriers to employment as lack of basic skills, alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, and disabilities. A few recent studies have found very high levels of these barriers among the TANF population. These studies also have found that the effects of these barriers are interactive; while any one barrier to employment can often be overcome, the more barriers a recipient faces, the less likely she is to find a job and maintain consistent employment over a period of time.
 

AFDC/TANF State-by-State Trends

AFDC/TANF State-by-State Trends (Tables TANF 8-14). There is a great deal of state-to-state variation in the trends discussed above. For example, as shown in Table TANF 10, while every state has experienced a caseload decline since 1993, the percentage change between the state’s caseload peak and September 2002 ranges from 94 percent (Wyoming) to 29 percent (Nevada). Six states have experienced caseload declines of 75 percent or more. Table TANF 10 also shows that states reached their peak caseloads as early as May 1990 (Louisiana) and as late as June 1997 (Hawaii).

Figure TANF 1. AFDC/TANF Families Receiving Income Assistance

 src=

Note: “Basic families” are single-parent families and “UP families” are two-parent cases receiving benefits under AFDC Unemployed Parent programs that operated in certain states before FY 1991 and in all states after October 1, 1990. The AFDC Basic and UP programs were replaced by TANF as of July 1, 1997 under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. Shaded areas indicate NBER designated periods of recession from peak to trough. The decrease in number of families receiving assistance during the 1981-82 recession stems from changes in eligibility requirements and other policy changes mandated by OBRA 1981. Last data point plotted is September 2002.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation.

Figure TANF 2. Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Benefit per Recipient in Constant Dollars

 src=

Note: See Table TANF 6 for underlying data.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Quarterly Public Assistance Statistics, 1992 & 1993 plus unpublished data and Fifth TANF Annual Report to Congress, 2003.

Table TANF 1. Trends in AFDC/TANF Caseloads, 1962 – 2001

 Average Monthly Number(In thousands)Children asAverage 1
Fiscal YearTotal Families 1Total RecipientsUnemployed Parent FamiliesUnemployed Parent RecipientsTotal Childrena Percent of Total RecipientsNumber of Children per Family
1 Includes unemployed parent families and child-only cases.
2 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.
3 Based on data from the old AFDC reporting system which was available only for the first 9 months of the fiscal year.
4 Estimated based on the ratio of Unemployed Parent recipients to Unemployed Parent families in 1997.
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...........9243,593482242,77877.33.0
1963...........9503,834542912,89675.53.0
1964...........9844,059603433,04375.03.1
1965...........1,0374,323694003,24275.03.1
1966...........1,0744,472623613,36975.33.1
1967...........1,1414,718583403,56075.53.1
1968...........1,3105,349673774,01375.03.1
1969...........1,5396,146663604,59174.73.0
1970...........1,9067,415784205,48474.02.9
1971...........2,5319,5571437266,96372.92.8
1972...........2,91810,6321346397,69872.42.6
1973...........3,12311,0381205577,96772.22.6
1974...........3,17010,845934347,82572.22.5
1975...........3,34211,0671004517,92871.62.4
1976...........3,54911,3691355938,07271.02.3
1977...........3,57511,1081496597,81870.42.2
1978...........3,52810,6631285677,47570.12.1
1979...........3,49310,3111145047,19469.82.1
1980...........3,64210,5981416127,32269.12.0
1981...........3,87111,1602088817,61468.22.0
1982...........3,56910,4312329766,97566.92.0
1983...........3,65110,6592721,1447,05166.11.9
1984...........3,72510,8662871,2227,15365.81.9
1985...........3,69210,8132611,1317,16566.31.9
1986...........3,74810,9972541,1027,30066.41.9
1987...........3,78411,0652361,0357,38166.72.0
1988...........3,74810,9202109297,32567.12.0
1989...........3,77110,9341938567,37067.42.0
1990...........3,97411,4602048997,75567.72.0
1991...........4,37412,5922681,1488,51367.61.9
1992...........4,76813,6253221,3489,22667.71.9
1993...........4,98114,1433591,4899,56067.61.9
1994...........5,04614,2263631,5109,61167.61.9
1995...........4,87913,6593351,3849,28067.91.9
1996...........4,54312,6452931,2418,67168.61.9
1997 2........3,93710,935275 31,158 37,781 371.2 32.0 3
1998...........3,2008,790179754 46,27371.42.0
1999...........2,6747,188NANA5,31974.02.0
2000...........2,2655,943NANA4,38573.81.9
2001...........2,1175,420NANA4,05574.81.9

Table TANF 2. Number of AFDC/TANF Recipients, and Recipients as a Percentage of Various Population Groups, 1970 – 2001

Calendar Year 1Total Recipients in the States & DC (in thousands)Child Recipients in the States & DC (in thousands)Recipients as a Percent of Total Population 2Recipients as a Percent of Poverty Population 3Recipients as a Percentof Pretransfer Poverty Population 4Child Recipients as a Percent of Total Child Population 2Child Recipients as a Percent of Children in Poverty 3
1 Total recipients are calculated here as the monthly average for the calendar year in order to compare with the calendar year counts of the poverty populations used to compute the recipiency rates. See Table IND 3a for fiscal year recipiency rates.
2 Population numbers used as denominators are resident population. See Current Population Reports, Series P25-1106.
3 For poverty population data see Current Population Reports, Series P60-210 and Resident Population Estimates of the United States by Age and Sex, April 1, 1990 to July 1, 2000, Internet release date January 2, 2001.
4 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.
5 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: 2001," Current Population Reports, Series P60-219 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
198410,6437,0174.531.643.611.252.3
198510,6727,0734.532.345.011.354.4
198610,8507,2064.533.546.611.556.0
198710,8417,2404.533.646.711.555.9
198810,7287,2014.433.847.711.457.8
198910,7987,2864.434.347.611.557.9
199011,4977,7814.634.247.112.157.9
199112,7288,6015.035.649.113.260.0
199213,5719,1895.335.750.813.860.1
199314,0079,4605.435.748.514.060.2
199413,9709,4485.336.750.013.861.8
199513,2419,0135.036.450.113.061.5
199612,1568,3554.533.346.411.957.8
199710,2247,340 53.728.740.710.452.0
19988,2155,7813.023.834.78.142.9
19996,7094,8362.420.830.96.739.9
20005,7004,1812.018.227.95.836.1
20015,2733,9171.916.025.15.433.4

Table TANF 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) Single Parent 1(2) Unemployed Parent(3) Child Support Collections 2(4) Net Benefits 3 (1) + (2) minus (3)(5) Net Benefits ( 1996 dollars) 4
 Cash & Work-Based AssistanceWork ActivitiesChild CareTrans- portationAdminis- trationSystemsTransitional ServicesOther ExpendituresTotal Expenditures
Note: Administration and Systems, shown separately here in Table TANF 5, can be combined to show total administrative costs, as in Table TANF 3.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Financial Services.
 Federal TANF Grants
19977,70846714872109086210,032
19987,16876325293822461,13610,487
19996,4751,2256041,070337171,59511,323
20005,4441,6061,5534961,3282422,71513,384
20014,7721,9831,5835221,3752234,32514,782
 State Maintenance of Effort Expenditures in the TANF Program
19975,95531175270410199268,758
19986,879520890883138111,30110,623
19996,5415031,135743118231,33410,397
20005,4328841,893150921921,17010,541
20014,8876851,730113920831,1959,613
 State Maintenance of EffortExpendituresin SeparateState Programs
199769121110018210
199821631376128391
1999434262572200126865
2000305117317190431856
20015032834203814991,125
 Total Expenditures
199713,7317908771,57721191,80519,000
199814,2641,2861,2801,828362172,46521,502
199913,4491,7541,9951,835456403,05522,585
200011,1802,5013,5196632,2673354,31624,781
200110,1632,6963,3476552,3333066,01925,520

Table TANF 6. Trends in AFDC/TANF Average Monthly Payments, 1962 – 2001

 Monthly Benefit per RecipientAverage Number of
Persons per Family
Monthly Benefit per Family (not reduced by Child Support)Weighted Average 1 Maximum Benefit (per 3-person Family)
Fiscal YearCurrent Dollars2001 DollarsCurrent Dollars2001 DollarsCurrent Dollars2001 Dollars
1 The maximum benefit for a 3-person family in each state is weighted by that state’s share of total AFDC families.
2 Estimated based on the weighted average benefit for a 4-person family.
3 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: AFDC benefit amounts have not been reduced by child support collections. Constant dollar adjustments to 2001 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$1683.9$121$634NANA
1963311664.0126650NANA
1964321674.1131670NANA
1965341744.2140705NANA
1966351784.2146716NANA
1967361794.1150716NANA
1968401884.1162746NANA
1969431984.0173766$186 2$854
1970462003.9178753194 2848
1971482003.8180730201 2840
1972512073.6187732205 2828
1973532053.5187701213 2824
1974572023.4194670229 2816
1975632063.3209658243791
1976712163.2226665257782
1977782203.1241662271768
1978832213.0249644284756
1979872132.9257609301735
1980942072.9274583320703
1981961922.9277536326651
19821031922.9300543331617
19831061902.9311537336600
19841101892.9321534352602
19851121862.9329527369610
19861151862.9339529383618
19871231932.9359546393617
19881271922.9370541404609
19891311892.9381531412593
19901351852.9389516421577
19911351762.9388490425554
19921361722.9389477419530
19931311612.8373444414509
19941341602.8376437420497
19951341572.8376425418487
19961351522.8374410422478
1997 31301442.8362405420464
19981301422.7358406432469
19991331422.7357439452481
20001331382.6349428453468
20011371372.6351351456456

Table TANF 7. Characteristics of AFDC/TANF Families, Selected Years 1969 – 2001

 May
1969
May
1975
March
1979
Fiscal year1
 1983198819921996199820002001
Note: Figures are percentages of families/cases unless noted otherwise.
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 prior to 1983, data are for mothers only.
4 Presence of income is measured as a percentage of adult recipients, not families, in 1998 and subsequent years.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of TANF Recipients: 2002 TANF Annual Report to Congress and earlier years.
Avg. Family Size (persons)4.03.23.03.03.02.92.82.82.62.6
Number of Child Recipients
One26.637.942.343.442.542.543.942.444.244.8
Two23.026.028.129.830.230.229.929.628.428.5
Three17.716.115.615.215.815.515.015.715.314.8
Four or More32.520.013.910.19.910.19.210.610.19.9
UnknownNANANA1.51.70.71.31.82.02.0
Child-Only Families10.112.514.68.39.614.821.523.434.537.1
Families with Non-Recipients33.134.8NA36.936.838.949.9
Median Months on AFDC/TANF
Since Most Recent Opening23.031.029.026.026.322.523.6
Presence of Assistance
Living in Public Housing12.814.6NA10.09.69.28.8NA17.720.0
Participating in Food Stamp
Or Donated Food Program52.975.175.183.084.687.389.383.579.980.9
Presence of Income
With EarningsNA14.612.85.78.47.411.120.6 423.6 424.3 4
No Non-AFDC/TANF Income56.071.180.686.879.678.976.073.0 471.6 477.2 4
Adult Employment Status (percent of adults)
Employed –6.611.322.826.426.7
Unemployed45.049.247.5
Not in Labor Force28.324.325.8
Unknown4.0
Adult Women's employment status (percent ofadult female recipients):3
Full-time job8.210.48.71.52.22.24.7
Part-time job6.35.75.43.44.24.25.4
Marital Status (percent of adults)
Single52.565.366.9
Married16.412.411.7
Separated11.713.112.5
Widowed0.70.70.8
Divorced8.88.58.2
Unknown9.9
Basis for Child's Eligibility (percent children):
Incapacitated11.7 27.75.33.43.74.14.3
Unemployed4.6 23.74.18.76.58.28.3
Death5.5 23.72.21.81.81.61.6
Divorce or Separation43.3 2 248.344.738.534.630.024.3
Absent, No Marriage Tie27.931.037.844.351.953.158.6
Absent, Other Reason3.5 24.05.91.41.62.02.4
Unknown1.70.90.6

Table TANF 8. AFDC/TANF Benefits by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1978 – 2001

 1978198219841986198819901994199619982001
Note: Benefits refers to total cash benefits paid (see Table TANF 3) but does not include emergency assistance payments. NA denotes data not available.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Program Support, Office of Management Services, data from the ACF-196 TANF Report and ACF-231 AFDC Line by Line Report.
Alabama$78$72$74$68$62$62$92$75$44$32
Alaska1732374654601131077751
Arizona3049677910313826622814591
Arkansas51343948535757522625
California1,8132,7343,2073,5744,0914,9556,0885,9084,1283,301
Colorado74871071071251371581298055
Connecticut168210226223218295397323305151
Delaware28282825242940352421
Dist. of Columbia9186757776841261219767
Florida145207251261318418806680357251
Georgia103172149223266321428385313172
Guam3454351214NANA
Hawaii838883737799163173153126
Idaho212021191920303065
Illinois699802845886815839914833771191
Indiana118139153148167170228153104120
Iowa10712715917015515216913110478
Kansas7381879197105123984156
Kentucky122123135104143179198191147113
Louisiana9712714516218218816813010366
Maine5159698480101108998068
Maryland166213229250250296314285192224
Massachusetts476468406471558630730560442143
Michigan7801,0641,2141,2481,2311,2111,132779589329
Minnesota164235287322338355379333276184
Mississippi33555874858682686031
Missouri152175196209215228287254180148
Montana15192737414049453026
Nebraska38495662565962544139
Nevada8121016202748483925
New Hampshire21251620213262503927
New Jersey489513485509459451531462372199
New Mexico324549515661144153104111
New York1,6891,6411,9162,0992,1402,2592,9132,9292,1491,620
North Carolina138143149138206247353300211128
North Dakota14141620222426212213
Ohio4416067258048058771,016763546336
Oklahoma7474851001191321651227253
Oregon14810010112012814519715514173
Pennsylvania726740724389747798935822523305
Puerto Rico2565383367727463NANA
Rhode Island59707179829913612511788
South Carolina52767510391961151015233
South Dakota18171715212225221410
Tennessee777483100125168215190108123
Texas122118229281344416544496315242
Utah41475255616477645039
Vermont21384040404865564735
Virgin Islands23222344NANA
Virginia136166165179169177253199123103
Washington175240294375401438610585450288
West Virginia5356751091071101261015264
Wisconsin26040651944450644042529114581
Wyoming6913161919211774
United States$10,621$12,857$14,371$15,236$16,663$18,543$22,798$20,411$14,614 $10,163

Table TANF 9. Comparison of Federal Funding for AFDC and Related Programs and 2001 Family Assistance Grants Awarded Under PRWORA [in Millions]

StateFY 1996 Grants for AFDC, EA & JOBS 1FY 2001 State Family Assistance Grant 2Increase from FY 1996 LevelPercent Increase from FY 1996 Level
1 Includes Administration and FAMIS but excludes IV-A child care. AFDC benefits include the Federal share of child support collections to be comparable to the Family Assistance Grant. The 1996 figures have been revised since earlier versions of this report, to reflect upward revisions in states' reports of expenditures on the JOBS program.
2 The FY 2001 awards include State Family Assistance Grants, Supplemental Grants for Population Increases, Out of Wedlock Bonus and High Performance Bonus.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Financial Services.
Alabama$79.0$134.1$55.170
Alaska60.760.3-0.4-1
Arizona200.6233.032.416
Arkansas54.365.811.521
California3,545.63,764.6219.16
Colorado138.9149.610.78
Connecticut221.1269.448.322
Delaware30.232.92.79
Dist of Columbia77.1119.442.255
Florida504.7643.6138.928
Georgia301.2368.066.822
Hawaii98.4103.95.56
Idaho31.335.54.213
Illinois593.8601.87.91
Indiana121.4208.887.472
Iowa129.3131.52.22
Kansas86.9101.915.017
Kentucky171.6181.39.66
Louisiana122.4181.058.648
Maine73.278.14.97
Maryland207.6229.121.510
Massachusetts372.0352.5-19.6-5
Michigan581.5800.4218.938
Minnesota239.3269.830.413
Mississippi68.698.229.643
Missouri207.9223.015.17
Montana39.246.47.218
Nebraska56.257.91.73
Nevada41.249.98.721
New Hampshire36.038.52.57
New Jersey353.4411.758.316
New Mexico129.9132.52.52
New York2,332.72,442.9110.25
North Carolina311.9346.634.711
North Dakota24.527.73.213
Ohio564.5728.0163.529
Oklahoma125.1151.726.521
Oregon146.4166.820.414
Pennsylvania780.1719.5-60.6-8
Rhode Island82.995.012.215
South Carolina99.4100.00.51
South Dakota19.721.31.58
Tennessee178.9222.743.724
Texas437.1563.3126.229
Utah68.085.817.826
Vermont42.447.45.012
Virginia134.6166.231.623
Washington393.2402.29.02
West Virginia95.1112.117.018
Wisconsin241.6332.891.238
Wyoming14.420.15.740
United States$15,067$16,926$1,85912

Table TANF 10. AFDC/TANF Caseload by State, October 1989 to September 2002 Peak [In thousands]

StatePeak Caseload Oct ‘89 to Sept ’02Date Peak Occurred Oct ’89 to Sept ’02Sept ’96 CaseloadSept ’02 CaseloadPercent Decline 1 Sept ’96 to Sept ’02Percent Decline Peak to Sept ’02
1 Negative values denote percent increase.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Division of Data Collection and Analysis.
Alabama52.3Mar-9340.717.95666
Alaska13.4Apr-9412.35.65558
Arizona72.8Dec-9361.843.92940
Arkansas27.1Mar-9222.111.74757
California933.1Mar-95870.3454.24851
Colorado43.7Dec-9333.612.46372
Connecticut61.9Mar-9557.122.66063
Delaware11.8Apr-9410.55.64753
Dist. of Columbia27.5Apr-9425.116.43540
Florida259.9Nov-92200.358.37178
Georgia142.8Nov-93120.954.95562
Guam3.1Apr-022.33.1-360
Hawaii23.4Jun-9721.910.35356
Idaho9.5Mar-958.41.48385
Illinois243.1Aug-94217.842.58083
Indiana76.1Sep-9349.752.1-532
Iowa40.7Apr-9431.119.93651
Kansas30.8Aug-9323.414.73752
Kentucky84.0Mar-9370.434.75159
Louisiana94.7May-9066.523.16576
Maine24.4Aug-9319.79.35362
Maryland81.8May-9568.925.96268
Massachusetts115.7Aug-9384.348.44358
Michigan233.6Apr-91167.569.45970
Minnesota66.2Jun-9257.236.93544
Mississippi61.8Nov-9145.219.35769
Missouri93.7Mar-9479.143.74553
Montana12.3Mar-949.85.84153
Nebraska17.2Mar-9314.410.62638
Nevada16.3Mar-9513.211.61229
New Hampshire11.8Apr-948.96.13148
New Jersey132.6Nov-92100.840.56069
New Mexico34.9Nov-9433.016.65052
New York463.7Dec-94412.7151.56367
North Carolina134.1Mar-94107.541.26269
North Dakota6.6Apr-934.73.32950
Ohio269.8Mar-92201.983.55969
Oklahoma51.3Mar-9335.315.35770
Oregon43.8Apr-9328.518.03759
Pennsylvania212.5Sep-94180.178.85663
Puerto Rico61.7Jan-9249.518.66270
Rhode Island22.9Apr-9420.513.73340
South Carolina54.6Jan-9342.920.45263
South Dakota7.4Apr-935.72.85162
Tennessee112.6Nov-9396.265.63242
Texas287.5Dec-93238.8131.74554
Utah18.7Mar-9314.08.04357
Vermont10.3Apr-928.75.04251
Virgin Islands1.4Dec-951.30.56567
Virginia76.0Apr-9460.530.45060
Washington104.8Feb-9596.852.04650
West Virginia41.9Apr-9337.615.35964
Wisconsin82.9Jan-9249.919.46177
Wyoming7.1Aug-924.30.49094
United States5,098Mar-944,3462,0255360

Table TANF 11. Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Recipients by State, Selected Fiscal Years [In thousands]

 19651970197519801985198919942001PercentChange
1989-941994-01
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 2002 TANF Report to Congress.
Alabama78123160180151129132442-67
Alaska5812151619381796-55
Arizona40517151721052018391-59
Arkansas30451018564706928-0-60
California5281,1481,3551,3871,6191,7632,6391,18550-55
Colorado4266967779971192722-77
Connecticut59831251391221061666056-64
Delaware122031322419271243-55
Dist. of Columbia2040103855848744355-42
Florida106204265256271327669125105-81
Georgia7119835422123926639312148-69
Guam1235647106743
Hawaii142547605143624145-33
Idaho10161921171723238-90
Illinois26236877667273563271218313-74
Indiana487316215716514721611647-47
Iowa446485104123981105413-51
Kansas365367686774873317-62
Kentucky811291591671601562088234-61
Louisiana10420223521323027724866-10-74
Maine193680605751642627-59
Maryland801312162121951762226826-69
Massachusetts9420834735023524230710027-67
Michigan1622536416856916406661934-71
Minnesota517612413515216418711314-40
Mississippi8311518617315517915936-11-78
Missouri10714026019919720326312130-54
Montana71322192228351426-60
Nebraska163038354441452410-47
Nevada51214121420381989-49
New Hampshire49262214133013139-56
New Jersey10428644045936729833511313-66
New Mexico3051615351591025574-46
New York5171,0521,1931,1001,1129791,25561328-51
North Carolina1111241701981662003339366-72
North Dakota811141312151688-53
Ohio1832665345136736296851999-71
Oklahoma73959789821031313527-73
Oregon31759910274871143731-68
Pennsylvania30342662662956152362021619-65
Puerto Rico20222323216817318518375-2-59
Rhode Island243852524442634250-34
South Carolina30521351531201071404530-68
South Dakota1116252016191961-67
Tennessee7612920116215519530015553-48
Texas9121439430836354078834946-56
Utah223334373844501914-62
Vermont51221232220281541-47
Virgin Islands1243434311-32
Virginia46871741661541461956534-67
Washington7110914315417821929214133-51
West Virginia116936977106109114395-66
Wisconsin457916021328824522640-8-82
Wyoming4577101416119-94
United States4,3237,41511,06710,59710,81310,93514,2265,42330-62

Table TANF 12. AFDC/TANF Recipiency Rates for Total Population by State: Selected Fiscal Years [In percent]

 19651970197519801985198919942001Percent Change
1989-941994-01
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 TANF 11.
Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available on line at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).
Alabama2.23.64.34.63.83.23.11.0-3-69
Alaska1.82.63.13.73.03.56.32.778-58
Arizona2.62.93.11.92.32.94.81.666-68
Arkansas1.52.34.73.72.83.02.81.0-5-64
California2.95.76.35.86.16.08.43.440-59
Colorado2.23.03.72.62.53.03.30.610-81
Connecticut2.12.74.14.53.83.25.11.757-66
Delaware2.43.65.45.43.92.93.91.533-60
Dist. of Columbia2.55.314.613.39.27.713.17.571-43
Florida1.83.03.12.62.42.64.80.885-84
Georgia1.64.37.04.04.04.15.61.435-74
Hawaii1.93.25.46.24.93.95.33.435-36
Idaho1.42.22.32.21.71.72.00.221-92
Illinois2.53.36.95.96.45.56.01.59-76
Indiana1.01.43.02.93.02.73.81.941-50
Iowa1.62.33.03.64.33.53.91.811-53
Kansas1.62.42.92.92.83.03.41.213-64
Kentucky2.54.04.64.64.34.25.42.028-63
Louisiana2.95.66.15.05.26.55.81.5-11-75
Maine1.93.67.55.44.94.25.22.025-61
Maryland2.23.35.25.04.43.74.41.319-72
Massachusetts1.83.76.06.14.04.05.11.627-69
Michigan2.02.97.07.47.66.96.91.90-72
Minnesota1.42.03.23.33.63.84.12.39-45
Mississippi3.65.27.86.96.06.96.01.2-14-79
Missouri2.43.05.44.03.94.05.02.225-57
Montana1.01.92.92.42.73.54.11.518-62
Nebraska1.12.02.52.22.82.62.81.47-50
Nevada1.22.42.31.51.41.82.60.948-65
New Hampshire0.71.23.12.41.41.22.71.1133-60
New Jersey1.54.06.06.24.93.94.21.310-69
New Mexico3.05.05.34.13.53.96.23.059-51
New York2.95.86.76.36.25.46.93.227-53
North Carolina2.22.43.13.42.63.14.71.154-76
North Dakota1.21.72.12.01.82.42.61.29-52
Ohio1.82.55.04.86.35.86.21.86-72
Oklahoma3.03.73.52.92.53.34.01.024-75
Oregon1.63.64.33.92.83.13.71.118-71
Pennsylvania2.63.65.35.34.84.45.11.817-66
Rhode Island2.74.05.55.54.54.26.33.951-38
South Carolina1.22.04.64.93.63.13.81.123-71
South Dakota1.62.43.62.92.32.72.60.8-3-68
Tennessee2.03.34.73.53.34.05.82.744-54
Texas0.91.93.12.12.23.24.31.634-62
Utah2.23.12.82.52.32.62.60.81-67
Vermont1.42.64.44.44.23.54.82.436-50
Virginia1.01.93.43.12.72.43.00.925-70
Washington2.43.24.03.74.04.65.52.418-57
West Virginia6.45.33.74.05.56.06.32.24-66
Wisconsin1.11.83.54.56.15.04.40.7-12-83
Wyoming1.11.51.81.42.03.03.40.215-94
United States2.13.55.04.64.54.45.41.924-65

Table TANF 13. Average Number of AFDC/TANF Child Recipients By State, Selected Fiscal Years [In thousands]

 19651970197519801985198919942001Percent Change
1989-941994-01
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, 2002 TANF Report to Congress.
Alabama62961191291059296474-51
Alaska469101013241290-52
Arizona3139543850741365985-57
Arkansas2334756245504920-0-59
California3918169389321,0701,1861,80495552-47
Colorado335068535366802022-75
Connecticut4362929782711114256-63
Delaware91523221613191041-48
Dist. of Columbia163175594338513233-36
Florida8516020018419123546310397-78
Georgia541502611611661872749447-66
Guam1124435NA63NA
Hawaii101833403328412545-39
Idaho7111414111116236-88
Illinois20228356247349343248614212-71
Indiana36551191111111001458045-45
Iowa324659697763723713-48
Kansas284150494550592417-60
Kentucky58931131181071051375931-57
Louisiana7915717715616319518050-8-72
Maine142656403632401725-58
Maryland611001571451261171515128-66
Massachusetts711532422281521541976828-65
Michigan1191904544604414144391426-68
Minnesota39588991951051247918-37
Mississippi669314412811212911628-10-76
Missouri821061931351291341768931-50
Montana6101613151823928-59
Nebraska122328252928311710-44
Nevada49108914271489-49
New Hampshire37181598199130-52
New Jersey792093163182472052288411-63
New Mexico233945353441663864-42
New York38075984575972964881343426-47
North Carolina83941251411131362237163-68
North Dakota681098101166-49
Ohio13619837234842441145514911-67
Oklahoma557174655771902627-71
Oregon235267654958762730-65
Pennsylvania21730742943236934841715620-62
Puerto Rico16116617011811612612454-2-56
Rhode Island182737362828412950-29
South Carolina244010010984771023133-70
South Dakota812181511131453-63
Tennessee589914911510513320311453-44
Texas6816229222525637854925845-53
Utah162323242428331417-59
Vermont481414141217939-46
Virgin Islands123233329-25
Virginia35661251161031001344834-64
Washington5076959711314118710032-46
West Virginia80654758646772277-63
Wisconsin346011614218116115335-5-77
Wyoming34557911122-93
United States3,2425,4837,9287,3207,1657,3709,6114,05530-51

Table TANF 14.AFDC/TANF Recipiency Rates for Children by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1965 – 2001 [In percent]

 19651970197519801985198919942001Percent Change
1989-941994-01
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 TANF 13.
Sources: U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available on line at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).
Alabama4.67.79.911.19.78.68.94.24-53
Alaska3.15.06.28.05.97.312.86.076-53
Arizona4.86.07.24.85.97.612.14.360-65
Arkansas3.15.210.99.37.17.97.73.0-3-61
California6.012.314.514.615.615.620.810.333-51
Colorado4.46.48.46.56.17.68.31.910-78
Connecticut4.46.19.811.810.89.514.24.949-65
Delaware4.77.512.313.410.28.110.54.930-53
Dist. of Columbia6.013.841.140.933.930.744.528.245-37
Florida4.37.68.47.87.68.414.12.868-80
Georgia3.29.115.59.810.110.814.64.335-70
Hawaii3.66.511.714.511.610.113.68.435-38
Idaho2.74.24.84.73.63.74.60.522-89
Illinois5.37.516.014.616.114.515.74.38-72
Indiana2.03.06.96.97.56.99.85.143-48
Iowa3.24.76.68.410.28.89.95.012-49
Kansas3.55.47.37.56.97.68.53.312-61
Kentucky4.98.310.210.910.510.914.16.029-58
Louisiana5.511.313.211.812.215.514.64.1-6-72
Maine3.97.716.412.511.710.413.15.626-57
Maryland4.67.311.912.411.410.212.03.718-69
Massachusetts3.88.114.215.311.211.413.94.522-67
Michigan3.75.815.016.717.716.917.45.53-69
Minnesota2.94.27.07.78.59.210.16.110-40
Mississippi7.011.117.315.714.017.115.33.6-10-77
Missouri5.26.913.29.99.810.212.96.226-52
Montana2.04.06.65.76.17.99.74.122-58
Nebraska2.34.45.85.56.86.57.03.98-45
Nevada2.55.25.43.83.95.07.12.740-62
New Hampshire1.42.66.95.83.73.16.63.0118-55
New Jersey3.48.814.116.013.511.311.74.03-66
New Mexico5.29.510.98.57.89.013.57.550-44
New York6.313.015.916.216.715.118.09.219-49
North Carolina4.45.37.28.57.18.512.63.649-72
North Dakota2.33.64.94.74.35.76.33.412-46
Ohio3.65.310.911.214.714.616.05.19-68
Oklahoma6.48.58.77.66.38.310.42.924-72
Oregon3.37.49.69.06.98.29.73.118-68
Pennsylvania5.58.012.313.812.912.414.45.316-63
Rhode Island5.99.113.314.712.612.117.511.844-33
South Carolina2.34.210.411.69.18.310.83.130-72
South Dakota3.15.08.27.15.76.76.62.5-1-62
Tennessee4.27.511.38.98.610.915.78.144-48
Texas1.74.17.15.25.47.910.44.432-58
Utah3.75.45.04.44.04.54.91.99-61
Vermont2.75.49.39.99.98.811.76.333-46
Virginia2.24.17.97.97.16.78.42.826-67
Washington4.76.58.58.59.711.513.36.616-50
West Virginia12.211.28.410.412.614.816.86.613-61
Wisconsin2.23.87.810.514.212.611.42.5-9-78
Wyoming2.13.24.13.44.16.68.10.624-92
United States4.47.611.611.311.211.414.05.522-61

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. 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. Asresult, 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 lowcost diet. Participating households are expected to be able to devote 30 percent of their counted monthly cash income (after adjusting for various deductions) 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 program. 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 and local food stamp agency administration.

In addition to the regular Food Stamp Program, the Food Stamp Act authorizes alternative programs in Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. The largest of these, the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico, had an average of 1.1 million participants in 2001, funded under a federal block grant of $1.3 billion. Unless noted otherwise, the food stamp caseload and expenditure data in this Appendix include costs for the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico. Prior to 1982, the regular Food Stamp Program operated in Puerto Rico, under modified eligibility and benefit rules.

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 together. 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 TANF, 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, its assets, 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 as a “trigger” for eligibility and others take into account the general availability of food stamps in deciding what level of benefits to provide.

Recent Legislative and Regulatory Changes

Title IV and subtitle A of title VIII of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) contain major and extensive revisions to the Food Stamp Program, including strong work requirements on able-bodied adults without dependent children, restricted eligibility of legal immigrants, and a reduction in maximum benefits. These three provisions, and subsequent amendments, are discussed below; their impact on program participation and expenditures begins to appear in food stamp administrative data for 1997, with the fuller impact shown in data for 1998 and beyond.

First, a new work requirement was added for able-bodied adult food stamp recipients without dependents (ABAWDs). Unless exempt, ABAWDs between the ages of 18 and 59 are not eligible for benefits for more than 3 months in every 36-month period unless they are (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. Under the original legislation, the Department of Agriculture 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 provision was further moderated under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-33), which allowed states to exempt up to 15 percent of the ABAWD caseload (beyond those subject to waivers) and which increased funds for the food stamp employment and training program for the creation of job slots for able-bodied adults subject to time limits.

Separately, title IV of PRWORA made significant changes in the eligibility of noncitizens for food stamp benefits. As first enacted, most qualified aliens, including legal immigrants (illegal aliens were already ineligible) were barred from receiving food stamps until citizenship. Subsequently, the Agriculture Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-185) restored food stamp eligibility to certain groups of qualified aliens who were legally residing in the United States before passage of PRWORA on August 22, 1996 and were over 65 years of age on that date or are currently under age 18 or disabled.

Finally, the 1996 legislation restrained growth in future program expenditures by making changes in the benefit structure for eligible participants, including a reduction in the maximum food stamp allotment. Other provisions of the 1996 act disqualified from eligibility those convicted of drug-related felonies and gave 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.

Recent regulatory and legislative changes have been made to increase access to food stamps among working poor families. Regulatory changes announced in July 1999 and expanded in November 2000 allow states to reduce reporting requirements and make it easier for working families to report income changes on a semiannual basis. Under the November 2000 regulations, states also have the option of providing a three-month transitional food stamp benefit to most families leaving TANF. In addition, the Agriculture Appropriations Bill for 2001 (P.L. 106-387) provides states with the option of liberalizing the treatment of vehicle assets to align with the states’ TANF rules on vehicle eligibility. These changes were intended to address concerns that some of the decline in food stamp caseloads may be leaving poor families without nutritional assistance as they make the transition from welfare dependence to full self-sufficiency.

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 - also known as the Farm Bill - reauthorized the Food Stamp Program through fiscal year 2007. This law brought a number of significant changes to the program, including some which supercede earlier changes made through PRWORA and subsequent FSP legislation and regulations. Specifically, the Farm Bill restores food stamp eligibility to legal immigrants who have lived in the country five years and to legal immigrants receiving disability benefits, regardless of entry date. Children of legal immigrants are also eligible for food stamps regardless of entry date. Effective in fiscal year 2004, the requirement that income and resources of an immigrant’s sponsor be counted in determining the eligibility and benefit amounts for immigrant children is eliminated. Each provision is effective at different times, but all restorations will be effective by April 1, 2003.

The Farm Bill also increased the asset limit from $2,000 to $3,000 for households with a disabled member, making it consistent with the limit for households with elderly, and replaces the fixed standard deduction with a deduction that varies according to household size and is indexed to cost-of-living increases, in recognition of the higher expenses larger households incur. For households in the 48 contiguous states and DC, Alaska, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands, the deduction is set at 8.31 percent of the applicable net income limit based on household size. (Households in Guam will receive a slightly higher deduction.) No household will receive an amount less than the previous fixed standard deduction or more than the standard deduction for a household of six.

Other Farm Bill changes include the authorization of $5 million per year for education and outreach grants to help inform the low-income public of their eligibility for food stamps, and increased flexibility for states in spending Employment and Training program funds to promote work. States also are now allowed to extend from three months to up to five months the period of time households may receive transitional food stamp benefits when they lose TANF cash assistance. Benefits are equal to the amount the household received prior to termination of TANF with adjustments in income for the loss of TANF. This change helps individuals moving off cash assistance to make the transition from welfare to work.

The Farm bill also implements a number of administrative reforms and program simplifications, including:

  • changing the quality control system so that only those states with persistently high error rates will face liabilities;
  • awarding bonuses to states that improve the quality and accuracy of their service;
  • allowing states to exclude certain types of income and resources not counted under TANF or Medicaid, such as educational assistance, when determining food stamp eligibility;
  • allowing states to deem child support payments as income exclusions rather than deductions as an incentive for parents to pay child support;
  • allowing states to simplify the standard utility allowance (SUA) if the state elects to use the SUA rather than actual utility costs for all households, thus reducing administrative burden, costs and errors;
  • permitting states to use a standard deduction from income of $143 per month for homeless households with some shelter expenses;
  • allowing states to extend simplified reporting procedures to all households, not just households with earnings;
  • eliminating the requirement that the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) system be cost-neutral to the federal government to help support the EBT conversion process;
  • allowing USDA to use alternative methods for issuing food stamp benefits during times of disaster when use of EBT is impractical;
  • requiring food stamp applications be made available through the Internet; and combining Puerto Rico and American Samoa’s block grants into one grant and indexing both with inflation.

Food Stamp Program Data

The following six tables and accompanying figure provide information about the Food Stamp Program, including information about the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico:

  • Tables FSP 1-2 and Figure FSP 1 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the Food Stamp Program, as discussed below;
  • Table FSP 3 presents some demographic characteristics of the food stamp caseload; and
  • Tables FSP 4-6 present some state-by-state trend data on the Food Stamp Program through fiscal year 2001.

Food Stamp Caseload Trends

Food Stamp Caseload Trends (Tables FSP 1-2). Average monthly food stamp participation in 2001 (including participants in Puerto Rico’s block grant) was 18.4 million persons. This represents a slight increase over the 2000 record-low average. Average monthly participation fell from its peak of 28.9 million in an average month in 1994 to an average of 18.2 million persons in 2000. Both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population, food stamp recipiency in 2000 was lower than at any point in the previous twenty years. See also Table IND 3b and Table IND 4b in Chapter II for further data on the recent decline in food stamp recipiency and participation rates.

Considerable research has demonstrated that the Food Stamp Program is responsive to economic changes, with participation increasing in times of economic downturns and decreasing in times of economic growth (see Figure FSP 1). Economic conditions alone did not explain the caseload growth in the late 1980s and early 1990s, however. A congressionally mandated study in 1990 concluded that a variety of factors contributed to this caseload growth, including expansions in Medicaid eligibility and changes in immigration laws, particularly the legalization of undocumented aliens, as well as a rise in unemployment (McConnell, 1991). Longer spells of participation also contributed to the caseload increase, according to an analysis of longitudinal data from the Survey on Income and Program Participation (Gleason, 1998).

Economic conditions were a significant factor in explaining the drop in food stamp caseload since 1994, according to an Economic Research Service review of recent research (ERS, 2000). Several econometric models suggest that economic variables explain between 25 and 44 percent of the decline in caseload. The full effect of the economy may be even higher, to the extent that some of the unexplained variation in the models reflects local economic conditions not captured in state-level economic variables.

Policy changes, most notably the enactment of the Personal Responsibility Act of 1996, have also contributed to the recent decline in food stamp caseload. The most direct impact was the elimination of eligibility for most legal immigrants and for many childless adults aged 18-50. Participation for these two groups fell sharply between 1994 and 1998 (Genser, 1999). In addition, changes in TANF policy may have affected food stamp participation, although these effects are less certain. Many studies of families leaving TANF cash assistance have found that many of these families leave the Food Stamp Program as well, despite appearing eligible for food stamp benefits. Econometric studies of the effects of specific changes in TANF policy, however, have found that only a small share of the decline in state food stamp caseloads was associated with waivers to AFDC policies. Increased stigma about welfare use and unintentional diversion from the Food Stamp Program may be additional factors affecting food stamp participation.

Food Stamp Household Characteristics.

As shown in Table FSP 3, the proportion of food stamp households with earnings has increased, from about 20 percent for most of the 1980s and early 1990s, to 27 percent in 2001. At the same time, the proportion of households with income from AFDC/TANF has declined, from 42 percent in 1984 to 23 percent in 2001, following the dramatic decline in AFDC/TANF caseloads. Over half of all food stamp households have children, although the proportion has declined somewhat from over 60 percent in most of the 1980s and early 1990s to 54 percent in 2001. The vast majority (89 percent) of households have incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps

 src=

Note: Shaded areas are periods of recession as defined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, National Data Bank.

Table FSP 1. Trends in Food Stamp Caseloads, Selected Years 1962 – 2001

 Food Stamp Participants 1Participants as a Percent of:Child Participants As a Percent of:
Fiscal YearIncluding 2 Territories (in thousands)Excluding Territories (in thousands)Children Excld. Terr. (in thousands)Total Population 3All Poor Persons 3Pre-transfer Poverty Population 4Total Child Population 3Children in Poverty 3
19626,5546,554NA3.517.0NANANA
19655,1675,167NA2.715.6NANANA
19708,3178,317NA4.132.7NANANA
197113,01013,010NA6.350.9NANANA
197214,11114,111NA6.757.7NANANA
197314,60714,607NA6.963.6NANANA
197414,28814,288NA6.761.1NANANA
1975 517,15216,320NA7.663.1NANANA
197618,62817,0339,1267.868.2NA13.888.8
197717,16115,604NA7.163.1NANANA
197816,07714,405NA6.558.8NANANA
1979 617,75815,942NA7.161.157.1NANA
198021,17319,2539,8768.565.860.715.585.6
198122,51820,6559,8039.064.660.815.578.4
198222,22420,3929,5918.859.356.315.370.3
198323,30021,66810,9109.361.458.517.478.4
198422,37920,79610,4928.861.758.516.878.2
198521,38019,8479,9068.360.056.615.775.3
198620,90419,3819,8448.159.956.215.776.5
198720,58319,0729,7717.959.255.615.576.1
198820,09518,6139,3517.658.655.214.875.1
198920,26618,7789,4297.659.655.614.974.9
199021,52920,02010,1278.059.655.715.875.4
199124,11522,59911,9528.963.359.318.383.3
199226,88625,37013,3499.966.764.020.187.3
199328,42226,95214,19610.468.663.821.090.3
199428,87827,43314,39110.472.166.821.094.1
199527,98926,57913,86010.073.067.620.094.5
199626,87525,49413,1899.569.864.618.891.2
199724,14822,82011,8478.464.159.916.783.9
199820,96919,74510,5247.257.353.814.778.1
199919,32218,1469,3326.556.352.513.077.2
200018,24017,1208,7436.155.051.712.175.5
200118,38317,2978,8196.152.649.312.075.2
1 Total participants includes all participating States, the District of Columbia, and the territories (including Puerto Rico). The number of child participants includes only the participating States and D.C. (the territories are not included). From 1962 to 1983 the number of participants includes the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) that was largely replaced by the Food Stamp program in 1975. The FFAP participants (as of December) for the seven years shown during the period from 1962 to 1974 were respectively: 6,411; 4,742; 3,977; 3,642; 3,002; 2,441; and 1,406 (all in thousands). From 1975 to 1983 the number of FFAP participants averaged only 88 thousand.
2 Participation figures in column 1 from 1982 on include enrollment in Puerto Rico’s Nutrition Assistance Program (averaging 1.2 to 1.5 million persons a month under the nutrition assistance grant and higher figures in earlier years under Food Stamps) as shown in Table FSP 5.
3 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 P60-210.
4 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.
5 The first fiscal year in which food stamps were available nationwide.
6 The fiscal year in which the food stamp purchase requirement was eliminated, on a phased in basis.
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: 2001," Current Population Reports, Series P60-219 and earlier years.

Table FSP 2. Trends in Food Stamp Expenditures, Selected Years 1975 – 2001

 Total Federal Cost (Benefits + Administration)Benefits 2
(Federal) [In millions]
Administration 1Total Program
Cost [In millions]
Average Monthly Benefit per Person
Fiscal YearCurrent Dollars [In millions]2001 Dollars 3 [In millions]Federal [In millions]State & Local [In millions]Current Dollars2001 Dollars 3
1 Amounts include the Federal share of state administrative and employment and training costs (including administrative costs of Puerto Rico's block grant) and certain direct Federal administrative costs. They do not generally include approximately $60 million in food-stamp related federal administrative costs budgeted under a separate appropriation account (although estimates prior to 1989 do 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 Benefit costs include the Food Stamp Program and Puerto Rico's nutritional assistance program and are based on unpublished data from the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, National Data Bank (see Table FSP 4).
3 Constant dollar adjustments to 2001 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year average price index.
4 The fiscal year in which the food stamp purchase requirement was eliminated, on a phased in basis.
5 Beginning 1984 USDA took over from DHHS the administrative cost of certifying public assistance households for food stamps.
Note: Total federal cost includes food stamps in Puerto Rico (1975-1981) and funding for Puerto Rico's nutrition assistance grant (1982-present). Average benefit figures, however, do not reflect the lower benefits in Puerto Rico under either the food stamp program from 1975 to 1981 or its nutrition assistance program since July 1982.
Source: USDA, Food and Nutrition Service unpublished data from the National Data Bank; and the 2000 Green Book.
1975$5,037$16,383$4,798$238$180$5,217$21.50$73.20
19765,64117,1765,2763652755,93423.5070.30
19775,46315,4845,0614023005,77524.0068.00
19785,54614,7485,1124343255,88325.7068.30
197946,96517,0326,4505153887,38829.9073.10
19809,22420,2768,7215033759,63334.2075.20
198111,30822,60310,63067850411,90639.4078.80
198211,11720,76310,40870955711,69739.0072.80
198312,70822,70011,93077861213,34343.0076.80
198412,44621,32411,475971 580513,25142.7073.20
198512,57320,79411,5301,04387113,44445.0074.40
198612,51020,17911,3971,11393513,44545.5073.40
198712,51219,62611,3171,19599613,50845.8072.00
198813,28120,01211,9911,2901,08014,36149.8075.00
198913,90419,99312,5721,3321,10115,00551.8074.50
199016,50322,60615,0811,4221,17417,67758.9080.70
199119,79025,80618,2741,5161,24721,03763.9083.30
199223,53529,78621,8791,6561,37524,91068.6086.80
199324,73330,38623,0171,7161,57226,30568.0083.50
199425,58730,62223,7981,7891,64327,23069.0082.60
199525,77630.02023,8591,9171,74827,52471.3083.00
199625,52728,92323,5431,9841,84227,36973.2082.90
199722,75025,09920,6922,0581,90424,65471.3078.70
199820,22421,95518,0552,1691,98822,21271.1077.20
199919,04520,28816,9452,1001,87422,91972.2076.90
200018,40218,99416,2112,2001,96020,36272.8075.10
200119,19319,19316,7932,4002,14021,33374.8074.80

Table FSP 3. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, 1980 - 2001 [In percent]

 Year 1
 1980198419881990199219941996199820002001
1 Data were gathered in August in the years 1980-84 and during the summer in the years from 1986 to 1994. Reports from 1995 to the present are based on fiscal year averages.
2 Public assistance income includes AFDC, SSI, and general assistance.
3 Elderly members and heads of household include those of age 60 or older.
* Less than 0.5 percent.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2001 and earlier years.
With Gross Monthly Income:
Below the Federal Poverty Levels.87939292929091908989
Between the Poverty Levels and 130 Percent of the Poverty Levels1068889891010
Above 130 Percent of Poverty.21***11111
With Earnings.19192019212123262727
With Public Assistance Income 265717273666967656361
With AFDC/TANF Income.NA424243403837312623
With SSI Income18182019192324283232
With Children60616161626160585454
And Female Heads of HouseholdNA4750515151504744NA
With No Spouse Present .NANA39374443434138NA
With Elderly Members 323221918151616182120
With Elderly Female Heads of Household 3NA161411911NANANANA
Average Household Size2.82.82.82.72.62.62.52.42.32.3

Table FSP 4. Value of Food Stamps Issued by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1975 – 2001 [Millions of dollars]

 19751980198519901995199820002001
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, unpublished data from the Food Stamp National Data Bank.
Alabama$108$246$318$328$441$357$344$365
Alaska727252550504646
Arizona4597121239414253240280
Arkansas78122126155212206206223
California3745306399682,4732,0201,6391,583
Colorado487194156217157127131
Connecticut38596272169161138136
Delaware821222547343132
Dist. of Columbia3241404392857770
Florida2364213686091,307845773771
Georgia144264290382700538489515
Guam315181524343637
Hawaii26609381177178166150
Idaho1229364059474647
Illinois2593947138351,056844777810
Indiana64154242226382263268317
Iowa2954107109142109100107
Kansas13386496144838392
Kentucky138211332334413345337350
Louisiana149243365549629467448483
Maine366062631121008186
Maryland79140171203365282199191
Massachusetts104171173207315222182173
Michigan132263541663806588457504
Minnesota4362105165240181165172
Mississippi115199264352383254226254
Missouri85142212312488345358395
Montana1118314157525154
Nebraska1225445977686163
Nevada1115224191635765
New Hampshire1422152044302828
New Jersey136226260289506384304292
New Mexico498188117196144140136
New York2337269381,0862,0651,5051,3611,365
North Carolina139234237282495421403425
North Dakota59162532252527
Ohio2683826978611,017613520573
Oklahoma4073134186315231208236
Oregon5880142168254198198240
Pennsylvania1903735476611,006764656639
Puerto Rico3668287868941,0951,1661,2171,246
Rhode Island1931354282575959
South Carolina126181194240297264249269
South Dakota818263540373739
Tennessee126282280372554437415454
Texas3195147011,4292,2461,4251,2151,270
Utah1322407190756867
Vermont1018202246343231
Virgin Islands919231828222118
Virginia70158189247450307263263
Washington7190140229417308241261
West Virginia5787159192253224185178
Wisconsin3368148180220130129152
Wyoming36152128211919
United States$4,798$8,721$11,530$15,081$23,859$18,055$16,202$16,793

Table FSP 5. Average Number of Food Stamp Recipients by State, Selected Fiscal Years [In thousands]

         Percent Change
Fiscal Year197519801985198919941997200020011989-941994-01
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, unpublished data from the National Data Bank.
Alabama36558358843654546939641125-25
Alaska152922264645383876-17
Arizona14319620626451236425929194-43
Arkansas26730125322728326624725624-9
California1,4551,4931,6151,7763,1552,8151,8321,66878-47
Colorado15016317021126821715615427-43
Connecticut15517014511422321016515796-29
Delaware265240305954323299-46
Dist. of Columbia12210372589190817355-19
Florida6479126306681,4741,192882887121-40
Georgia49862756748583069855957471-31
Guam6222013151822232149
Hawaii75102997811512711810847-5
Idaho396159618270586034-27
Illinois9269031,1109901,1891,02077982520-31
Indiana39235340628551834830034782-33
Iowa11514120316819616112312616-35
Kansas589011912819214911712450-35
Kentucky47246856044752244440341317-21
Louisiana5105696447257565755005184-31
Maine1261391148413612410210461-23
Maryland26132428724939035421920857-47
Massachusetts36545333731444234023221940-50
Michigan6198139858741,03183960364118-38
Minnesota16717122824531826019619830-38
Mississippi3764964954935113992762984-42
Missouri30033536240459347842345447-23
Montana384358567167596228-13
Nebraska4966949211197828120-27
Nevada3232324197826169134-28
New Hampshire4450282262463636182-42
New Jersey49060546435354549134531854-42
New Mexico15718515715124420516916362-33
New York1,2911,7591,8341,4632,1541,9141,4391,35447-37
North Carolina46658247439063058648849461-22
North Dakota192533394538323817-17
Ohio8548651,1331,0681,24587461064117-49
Oklahoma17120926326137632225327144-28
Oregon20119722821328625923428434-1
Pennsylvania8489801,0329161,2081,00977774832-38
Puerto Rico8101,8641,4811,4601,4101,2901,0821,070-3-24
Rhode Island868769579485747165-24
South Carolina41042637327238534929531642-18
South Dakota33434850534743456-16
Tennessee39762451850073558649652247-29
Texas1,1331,1671,2631,6342,7262,0341,3331,36167-50
Utah4654759512898828034-38
Vermont444644346553413990-40
Virgin Islands163432162020161323-34
Virginia25738436033354747633633265-39
Washington25324828132146844929530946-34
West Virginia24220927825932128722722124-31
Wisconsin14821536329133023219321613-35
Wyoming101427273429222325-34
United States17,19221,08221,38020,26628,87824,14818,24018,38342-36

Table FSP 6.Food Stamp Recipiency Rates by State, Selected Fiscal Years [In percent]

         Percent Change
 197519801985198919941997200020011989-941994-01
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 FSP 5.
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/).
Alabama9.914.914.810.812.910.98.99.219-29
Alaska4.07.14.14.87.67.46.06.060-22
Arizona6.37.16.57.312.38.05.05.569-56
Arkansas12.413.110.99.711.510.59.29.519-17
California6.86.36.16.110.18.75.44.866-52
Colorado5.85.65.36.57.35.63.63.514-53
Connecticut5.05.54.53.56.86.44.84.697-33
Delaware4.58.76.54.58.47.34.14.085-52
Dist. of Columbia17.216.111.49.416.117.114.112.871-20
Florida7.69.35.55.310.68.15.55.4100-49
Georgia9.811.49.57.611.89.36.86.856-42
Hawaii8.410.69.57.19.810.79.78.837-10
Idaho4.66.45.96.17.25.84.54.517-37
Illinois8.27.99.78.710.18.56.36.616-35
Indiana7.36.47.45.29.05.94.95.775-37
Iowa4.04.87.26.16.95.64.24.314-38
Kansas2.53.84.95.27.55.74.34.644-38
Kentucky13.612.815.212.113.711.410.010.113-26
Louisiana13.113.514.617.017.613.211.211.63-34
Maine11.812.39.86.911.09.98.08.159-26
Maryland6.37.76.55.37.87.04.13.949-51
Massachusetts6.37.95.75.27.35.63.63.440-53
Michigan6.88.810.89.410.88.66.16.414-40
Minnesota4.24.25.55.77.05.64.04.023-43
Mississippi15.719.619.119.119.214.69.710.40-46
Missouri6.26.87.27.911.28.87.68.142-28
Montana5.15.57.17.08.37.66.66.820-18
Nebraska3.24.25.95.96.85.94.84.717-31
Nevada5.24.03.43.66.64.93.03.383-50
New Hampshire5.35.42.82.05.43.92.92.8174-48
New Jersey6.78.26.14.66.96.14.13.751-46
New Mexico13.514.110.910.014.811.99.38.947-40
New York7.210.010.38.111.910.57.67.146-40
North Carolina8.49.97.65.98.97.96.06.050-33
North Dakota2.93.94.96.07.15.95.05.919-16
Ohio7.98.010.69.911.27.85.45.614-50
Oklahoma6.26.98.08.311.69.77.37.840-33
Oregon8.67.58.57.69.38.06.88.221-12
Pennsylvania7.18.38.87.710.08.46.36.130-39
Rhode Island9.29.17.25.79.48.67.16.766-29
South Carolina14.113.611.37.910.59.27.37.834-26
South Dakota4.86.26.97.27.46.45.75.92-20
Tennessee9.313.611.010.314.210.98.79.138-36
Texas9.08.17.89.714.910.56.46.453-57
Utah3.73.74.65.66.64.83.73.519-47
Vermont9.18.98.26.111.29.06.76.383-43
Virginia5.17.26.35.48.47.14.74.654-45
Washington7.06.06.46.88.88.05.05.130-41
West Virginia13.110.714.614.317.715.812.612.323-30
Wisconsin3.24.67.66.06.54.53.64.08-38
Wyoming2.73.05.46.07.26.04.54.620-36
United States7.68.48.37.610.58.56.16.139-43

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 and meet the applicable SSI disability or blindness, income and resource requirements. Individuals and married couples are eligible for SSI if their countable incomes fall below the Federal maximum monthly SSI benefit levels, which were $552 for an individual and $829 for a married couple in fiscal year 2003. SSI eligibility is restricted to qualified persons who have countable resources/assets of not more than $2,000, or $3,000 for a couple. Since its inception, SSI has been viewed as the “program of last resort.” The Social Security Administration, which administers the SSI program, helps recipients get any other public assistance for which they are eligible. After evaluating all other income, SSI pays what is necessary to bring an individual to the statutorily prescribed income “floor.” As of December 2001, 36 percent of all SSI recipients also received Social Security retirement or survivor benefits, which are the single greatest source of income for SSI recipients.

Prior to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), no individual could receive both SSI payments and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits. If eligible for both, the individual had 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. In contrast, the PRWORA does not prohibit an individual from receiving both TANF benefits and SSI, since states have the authority to set TANF eligibility standards and benefit levels.

With the exception of California, which converted food stamp benefits to cash payments that are 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 but rather are categorically eligible. If SSI beneficiaries live in households in which 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.

Legislative Changes

Several legislative changes made in the 104th Congress are likely to affect 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 limiting benefits to severely disabled children. First, the act replaced the former “comparable severity” test with a new definition of disability specifically for children, based on a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” Second, it discontinued use of the Individualized Functional Assessment (IFA) which the Social Security Administration had implemented in 1991 following the Supreme Court's decision in Sullivan v Zebley, 493 U.S. 521 (1990).1 Third, it eliminated references to “maladaptive behaviors” in certain sections of the Listing 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). Beneficiaries who were receiving benefits due to an IFA or under the Listings because of limitations resulting from maladaptive behaviors received notice no later than January 1, 1997, that their benefits might end when their case was redetermined. Additional provisions of the PRWORA with impact on enrollment are the requirement that eligibility be redetermined when beneficiaries reach age 18, using the adult disability standard; that "continuing disability reviews" be done for children; and that children who were eligible due to low birth weight have their eligibility redetermined at age one.

Title IV of PRWORA also made significant changes in the eligibility of noncitizens for SSI benefits. 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. Those immigrants who entered the U.S. after August 22, 1996, may be eligible to receive SSI after having been “lawfully admitted for permanent residence.”

Several provisions aimed at reducing SSI fraud and improving recovery of overpayments were enacted in 1999, as part of the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (P. L. 106-169). Other legislation enacted in 1999 provides additional work incentives for disabled beneficiaries of SSI.


1 In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the IFA (or a residual functional capacity assessment) that 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.

SSI Program Data

The following tables and figures provide SSI program data:

  • Tables SSI 1 through SSI 5 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the SSI program;
  • Table SSI 6 presents demographic characteristics of the SSI caseload; and
  • Tables SSI 7 and SSI 8 present state-by-state trend data on the SSI program through fiscal year 2001.

From 1990 to 1995, the program increased from 4.8 million beneficiaries to 6.5 million beneficiaries, an average growth rate of over 6 percent per year. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of beneficiaries fluctuated between 6.5 and 6.6 million persons. In December 2001, there were 6.7 million beneficiaries. Table SSI 1 presents information on the total number of persons receiving SSI payments in December of each year from 1974 through 2001, and also presents recipients by eligibility category (aged, blind and disabled) and by type of recipient (child, adult age 18-64, and adult age 65 or older). See also Table IND 4c in Chapter II for further data on trends in recipiency and participation rates.

The composition of the SSI caseload has been shifting over time, as shown in Table SSI 1. The number of beneficiaries eligible because of age has been declining steadily, from a high of 2.3 million persons in December 1975 to less than 1.3 million persons in December 2001. At the same time, there has been strong growth in blind and disabled beneficiaries, from 1.7 million in December 1974 to 5.4 million in December 2001. Moreover, the number of disabled children has increased dramatically, particularly during the 1990s, when the number of disabled children receiving SSI increased from 340,000 in December 1990 to 955,000 in December 1996. The number of disabled children fell in the next three years, stabilized at 847,000 in 1999 and 2000, and rose to 882,000 in 2001.

Several factors have contributed to the growth of the Supplemental Security Income program. Expansions in disability eligibility (particularly for mentally impaired adults and for children), increased outreach, overall growth in immigration, and transfers from state programs were among the key factors identified in a 1995 study by the General Accounting Office (GAO). GAO concluded that three groups – adults with mental impairments, children, and non-citizens – accounted for nearly 90 percent of the SSI program’s growth in the early 1990s. The growth in disabled children beneficiaries is generally believed to be due to outreach activities, the Supreme Court decision in the Zebley case, expansion of the medical impairment category, and reduction in reviews of continuing eligibility.1


1 The GAO study estimated that 87,000 children were added to the SSI caseload after the IFA for children was initiated.

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients by Age, 1974 – 2001

 src=

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

Table SSI 1. Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments 1974 – 2001 [In thousands]

DateTotalEligibility CategoryType of Recipient
AgedBlind and DisabledChildrenAdults
Age 18-6465 or Older
TotalBlindDisabled
1 Includes students 18-21 in 1974 only.
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002, (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics).
Dec 19743,9962,2861,710751,63671 11,5032,422
Dec 19754,3142,3072,007741,9331071,6992,508
Dec 19764,2362,1482,088762,0121251,7142,397
Dec 19774,2382,0512,187772,1091471,7382,353
Dec 19784,2171,9682,249772,1721661,7472,304
Dec 19794,1501,8722,278772,2011771,7272,246
Dec 19804,1421,8082,334782,2561901,7312,221
Dec 19814,0191,6782,341792,2621951,7032,121
Dec 19823,8581,5492,309772,2311921,6552,011
Dec 19833,9011,5152,386792,3071981,7002,003
Dec 19844,0291,5302,499812,4192121,7802,037
Dec 19854,1381,5042,634822,5512271,8792,031
Dec 19864,2691,4732,796832,7132412,0102,018
Dec 19874,3851,4552,930832,8462512,1192,015
Dec 19884,4641,4333,030832,9482552,2032,006
Dec 19894,5931,4393,154833,0712652,3022,026
Dec 19904,8171,4543,363843,2793092,4502,059
Dec 19915,1181,4653,654853,5693972,6422,080
Dec 19925,5661,4714,095854,0105562,9102,100
Dec 19935,9841,4754,509854,4247233,1482,113
Dec 19946,2961,4664,830854,7458413,3352,119
Dec 19956,5141,4465,068844,9849173,4822,115
Dec 19966,6141,4135,201825,1199553,5682,090
Dec 19976,4951,3625,133815,0528803,5622,054
Dec 19986,5661,3325,234805,1548873,6462,033
Dec 19996,5571,3085,249795,1698473,6912,019
Dec 20006,6021,2895,312795,2348473,7442,011
Dec 20016,6881,2645,424785,3468823,8111,995

Table SSI 2. SSI Recipiency Rates, 1974 – 2001 [In percent]

DateAll Recipientsas a Percent of Total Population 1Adults 18-64 as a Percent of 18-64 Population 1Child Recipients as a Percent of All Children 1Elderly Recipients (Persons 65 & Older) as a Percent of
All Persons 65 & Older 1All Elderly Poor 2Pretransfer Elderly Poor 3
Dec 19741.91.20.110.878.5NA
Dec 19752.01.30.210.975.6NA
Dec 19761.91.30.210.272.4NA
Dec 19771.91.30.29.774.1NA
Dec 19781.91.30.39.371.5NA
Dec 19791.81.30.38.861.366.8
Dec 19801.81.20.38.657.564.7
Dec 19811.71.20.38.055.063.3
Dec 19821.71.20.37.453.662.3
Dec 19831.71.20.37.355.261.9
Dec 19841.71.20.37.261.266.3
Dec 19851.71.30.47.158.764.5
Dec 19861.81.30.46.957.963.4
Dec 19871.81.40.46.756.564.7
Dec 19881.81.50.46.657.664.3
Dec 19891.91.50.46.560.364.6
Dec 19901.91.60.56.556.363.3
Dec 19912.01.70.66.555.061.1
Dec 19922.21.90.86.453.559.8
Dec 19932.32.01.16.456.363.3
Dec 19942.42.11.26.357.965.6
Dec 19952.42.21.36.263.771.4
Dec 19962.42.21.46.161.069.3
Dec 19972.42.21.26.060.869.1
Dec 19982.42.21.25.960.069.1
Dec 19992.32.21.25.863.772.4
Dec 20002.32.11.25.760.566.9
Dec 20012.32.11.25.658.467.6
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 and Resident Population Estimates of the United States by Age and Sex, April 1, 1990 to July 1, 2000, Internet release date January 2, 2001 and the 2000 Decennial Census (Available online at http://www.census.gov).
2 For the number of persons (65 years of age and older living in poverty) used as the denominator, see Current Population Reports, Series P60-214.
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 SSI 1. Rates computed by DHHS.
Source: 1994 Green Book and U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2001," Current Population Reports, Series P60-219, and earlier years, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Table SSI 3. Total, Federal, and State SSI Benefits and Administration, 1974 – 2000 1 [In millions of dollars]

Calendar YearTotal BenefitsFederal PaymentsState SupplementationAdministrative Costs (fiscal year)
2001 1 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
1 Data adjusted for inflation by ASPE using the CPI-U-X1 for calendar years
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002, (Data available online at http://wwwssagov/statistics).
1974$17,900$5,246$3,833$1,413$1,264$149$285
197518,5245,8784,3141,5651,403162399
197618,0866,0664,5121,5541,388166500
197717,6716,3064,7031,6031,431172526
197817,1916,5524,8811,6711,491180539
197916,9327,0755,2791,7971,590207610
198017,0887,9415,8662,0741,848226668
198116,8908,5936,5182,0761,839237718
198216,6378,9816,9072,0741,798276779
198316,7229,4047,4231,9821,711270830
198417,67910,3728,2812,0911,792299864
198518,20511,0608,7772,2831,973311953
198619,52112,0819,4982,5832,2433401,022
198720,19012,95110,0292,9222,563359976
198820,63913,78610,7343,0522,671381975
198921,39514,98011,6063,3742,9554191,051
199022,49116,59912,8943,7053,2394661,075
199124,08718,52414,7653,7593,2315291,257
199228,06422,23318,2473,9863,4355501,538
199330,09724,55720,7223,8353,2705661,467
199430,92325,87722,1753,7013,1165851,775
199532,10527,62823,9193,7083,1185901,973
199632,49928,79225,2653,5272,9885391,949
199732,05729,05225,4573,5952,9136822,055
199832,83030,21626,4053,8123,0038082,304
199932,87230,92326,8054,1543,3018532,493
200032,46331,56427,2904,2743,3818932,401
200133,06133,06128,7064,3553,4608952,498

Table SSI 4. Average Monthly SSI Benefit Payments, 1974 – 2001

Calendar YearTotal 1Federal PaymentsState Supplementation
2001 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
1 Total is a weighted average of the Federal plus State average benefit, the Federal-only average benefit, and State-only average benefit.
Note: The numerators for these averages are given in Table SSI 3 and the denominators are given in Table SSI 5. Averages were computed by DHHS. Data adjusted for inflation using a fiscal-year average CPI-U-X1 index.
Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002.
1974$480$135$108$64$71$35
197536611292666945
197635911899687150
1977347123104697253
1978340128108727456
1979343140119777967
1980347158133899176
1981352176151929479
1982358191166969793
1983353198172919289
1984362211187939393
19853632191939999102
1986374232202107108101
1987380242208117118110
1988381253219118118118
1989384267230126126127
1990388283244132131136
1991387297260125122143
1992415328292124121147
1993415337306112107150
199440533831010599152
1995408350322110103164
1996407359333108103145
19974073693429910286
1998411379350103104102
1999414388356111113105
2000406393360113114109
2001407407373113114108

Table SSI 5. Number of Persons Receiving SSI Payments by Type of Payment, 1974 – 2001 (in thousands)

DateTotalFederalState Supplementation
TotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002.
Jan 1974......3,2492,9561,8391,480358
Dec 1975......4,3603,8931,9871,684303
Dec 1980......4,1943,6821,9341,685249
Dec 1984......4,0943,6991,8751,607268
Dec 1985......4,2003,7991,9161,661255
Dec 1986......4,3473,9222,0031,723279
Dec 1987......4,4584,0192,0791,807272
Dec 1988......4,5414,0892,1551,885270
Dec 1989......4,6734,2062,2241,950275
Dec 1990......4,8884,4122,3442,058286
Dec 1991......5,2004,7302,5122,204308
Dec 1992......5,6475,2022,6842,372313
Dec 1993......6,0655,6362,8502,536314
Dec 1994......6,3775,9652,9502,628322
Dec 1995......6,5766,1942,8172,518300
Dec 1996......6,6776,3262,7322,421310
Dec 1997......6,5656,2123,0292,372657
Dec 1998......6,6496,2893,0722,412661
Dec 1999......6,6416,2753,1162,441675
Dec 2000......6,6856,3203,1642,481683
Dec 2001......6,7766,4103,2092,520689

Table SSI 6. Characteristics of SSI Recipients, by Age, Sex, Earnings/Income, and Citizenship: Selected Years, 1980-2001

 19801985199019921994199720002001
Note: Data are for December of the year.
1 For 1980-1992 male-female classification reflects all blind and disabled, both children and adults; thereafter, it is based on adults only.
2 In this table, students 18-21 are classified as children prior to 1998.
Source: Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002 and prior years.
 Total
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
under 185.55.56.410.013.413.512.813.1
18-6440.945.450.952.353.054.856.756.9
65 or older53.649.142.737.733.731.630.530.0
Sex
Male34.435.237.239.041.341.341.541.7
Female65.564.862.861.058.758.758.558.3
Selected Sources of Income
Earnings3.23.84.74.44.24.54.44.3
Social Security51.049.445.942.139.137.136.135.7
No other income34.834.536.438.743.646.554.454.8
NoncitizensNA5.19.010.811.710.010.510.4
Eligibility Category
Aged43.636.430.226.423.321.019.518.9
Blind1.92.01.71.51.41.21.21.2
Disabled54.561.768.172.075.477.879.379.9
 Aged
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
65-6914.014.919.420.720.517.615.615.3
70-7951.545.641.342.544.348.450.049.6
80 or older34.539.539.236.835.134.034.535.0
Sex
Male27.325.525.125.626.827.829.029.4
Female72.674.574.974.473.272.271.070.6
NoncitizensNA9.719.425.430.027.028.528.8
 Blind and Disabled
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
18-6480.277.780.082.083.483.683.884.0
65 or older19.822.320.018.016.616.416.216.2
Sex 1
Male39.840.842.443.941.841.144.544.6
Female60.259.257.656.158.258.955.555.4
NoncitizensNA2.44.65.66.25.56.16.1
 Children
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Under 511.7NANA16.015.815.815.516.1
5-920.9NANA26.928.530.228.527.4
10-1428.8NANA30.632.734.636.236.5
15-1721.7NANA15.717.319.419.819.9
18-21 216.814.39.310.85.7
Sex
MaleNANANA62.063.062.963.863.9
FemaleNANANA38.037.037.136.236.1

Table SSI 7. Total SSI Payments, Federal SSI Payments and State Supplementary Payments Calendar Year 2001 (in Thousands)

StateTotalTotal FederalFederal SSIState Supplementation
Federally AdministeredState Administered
Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002.
Total$33,060,819$32,165,895$28,705,503$3,460,353$894,963
Alabama698,747698,244698,244503
Alaska92,85840,43440,43452,424
Arizona382,623382,249382,249374
Arkansas341,104341,104341,1031
California6,684,6376,684,6374,275,7102,408,927
Colorado315,315236,648236,64878,667
Connecticut311,512227,245227,24584,267
Delaware53,11053,11052,0871,023
District of Columbia97,54297,54294,1453,397
Florida1,752,1751,724,2131,724,204927,962
Georgia826,310826,310826,3064
Hawaii106,664106,66494,41612,248
Idaho89,85780,91780,9178,940
Illinois1,237,2151,207,5601,207,56029,655
Indiana402,965399,185399,1853,780
Iowa183,925167,326164,5852,74116,599
Kansas157,989157,989157,989
Kentucky796,683778,881778,88117,802
Louisiana741,775741,293741,293482
Maine131,686122,659122,6599,027
Maryland427,859419,779419,77188,080
Massachusetts833,337833,337667,633165,704
Michigan1,099,6941,021,227994,83626,39178,467
Minnesota369,230288,792288,79280,438
Mississippi529,598529,598529,5944
Missouri521,055495,343495,34325,712
Montana60,97760,97760,151826
Nebraska96,31990,01290,0126,307
Nevada120,453120,453115,3855,068
New Hampshire63,76452,16752,16711,597
New Jersey700,334700,334620,88079,454
New Mexico205,492205,259205,259233
New York3,319,8613,319,8612,765,299554,562
North Carolina905,119769,394769,394135,725
North Dakota33,03431,10431,1041,930
Ohio1,161,7541,161,7541,161,7477
Oklahoma353,139315,739315,73937,400
Oregon266,179245,903245,90320,276
Pennsylvania1,464,3831,464,3831,327,518136,865
Rhode Island141,034141,034116,47324,561
South Carolina458,854445,746445,74613,108
South Dakota53,19851,00751,00162,191
Tennessee688,916688,916688,9142
Texas1,682,8941,682,8941,682,894
Utah92,73292,73292,67755
Vermont53,76053,76044,5749,186
Virginia575,741555,064555,06420,677
Washington521,751521,401492,01129,390350
West Virginia335,311335,311335,311
Wisconsin491,921370,606370,606121,315
Wyoming25,22124,54624,546675
Other: N. Mariana Islands3,2523,2523,252

Table SSI 8.SSI Recipiency Rates by State And Program Type for 1979 and 2001 [In percent]

 Total Recipiency RateRate for Adults 18-64Rate for Adults 65 & Over
19792001Percent Change 1979-0119792001Percent Change 1979-0119792001Percent Change 1979-01
Note: Recipiency rates for 2001 are the ratios of the number of SSI recipients (in the respective age groups) as of the month of December to the estimated population in the respective age group as of the month of July; calculations by DHHS. The 1979 rates are based on the average number of recipients during the year.
Source: Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002, and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).
Alabama3.63.611.83.48621.07.3-65
Alaska0.81.4820.51.517814.06.1-57
Arizona1.11.6440.91.5695.03.2-36
Arkansas3.53.2-91.92.95517.16.1-64
California3.03.262.12.52216.413.1-20
Colorado1.11.290.81.2566.73.2-52
Connecticut0.81.4870.61.51382.72.6-4
Delaware1.21.5260.91.4495.42.3-58
District of Columbia2.33.5541.93.0568.66.8-21
Florida1.82.4351.11.9676.24.6-26
Georgia2.92.4-161.92.11117.77.1-60
Hawaii1.11.7620.71.51177.65.4-29
Idaho0.81.4770.61.61503.82.1-44
Illinois1.12.0851.02.01114.33.8-11
Indiana0.81.51000.61.51463.31.7-49
Iowa0.91.4570.61.61583.51.7-51
Kansas0.91.4570.61.51383.51.9-45
Kentucky2.54.3691.84.515112.57.2-43
Louisiana3.43.7102.03.57220.18.1-60
Maine2.02.3181.42.6878.63.2-63
Maryland1.21.7480.91.5605.44.1-24
Massachusetts2.22.6161.32.59510.85.7-47
Michigan1.32.1671.12.31155.93.0-49
Minnesota0.81.3600.61.31363.72.6-30
Mississippi4.54.502.44.16926.010.9-58
Missouri1.82.0141.12.1917.93.0-62
Montana0.91.6800.71.81503.82.1-45
Nebraska0.91.2360.61.41193.41.8-47
Nevada0.81.3550.51.11085.93.3-44
New Hampshire0.60.9550.41.11502.51.2-53
New Jersey1.11.7490.91.5744.74.5-4
New Mexico2.02.6321.42.47512.47.2-42
New York2.13.3561.62.8768.39.09
North Carolina2.42.3-41.62.02713.65.7-58
North Dakota1.01.3310.61.31285.12.4-52
Ohio1.12.1891.02.31324.22.4-42
Oklahoma2.32.1-91.32.15811.63.9-66
Oregon0.91.6860.71.61293.32.7-18
Pennsylvania1.42.4711.12.51235.03.4-31
Rhode Island1.62.7701.12.71506.44.9-24
South Carolina2.72.6-31.82.43517.06.0-65
South Dakota1.11.7490.71.71365.03.0-40
Tennessee2.92.8-21.92.85014.85.8-61
Texas1.92.061.01.66812.77.6-40
Utah0.60.9640.51.0963.01.9-37
Vermont1.82.0131.32.2688.13.7-54
Virginia1.51.8201.01.6578.54.8-44
Washington1.21.7471.01.8844.83.6-25
West Virginia2.14.1921.94.61478.04.7-41
Wisconsin1.41.6111.01.6676.52.3-65
Wyoming0.41.21860.31.33482.71.6-42
Total1.92.3241.32.2759.05.6-38

Table SSI 9. SSI Recipiency Rates by State, Selected Fiscal Years 1975 – 2001 [In percent]

 197519801985199019921994 21996 22001 2
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, and 1992, the numbers of unknown (in thousands) were 256, 14, 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 1994-2001 the number of recipients is from the month of December; calculations by DHHS.
Source: Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2002, and Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).
Alabama4.03.43.33.33.43.83.93.6
Alaska0.80.80.70.80.91.11.21.4
Arizona1.21.11.01.21.41.71.71.6
Arkansas4.13.43.13.23.53.83.83.2
California3.13.02.62.93.13.23.33.2
Colorado1.41.00.91.11.31.51.51.2
Connecticut0.80.80.81.01.11.31.41.4
Delaware1.21.21.21.21.31.51.61.5
District of Columbia2.22.42.52.73.03.53.73.5
Florida1.91.81.61.71.92.32.42.4
Georgia3.32.82.62.52.62.82.72.4
Hawaii1.11.11.11.31.31.51.61.7
Idaho1.10.80.81.01.21.41.51.4
Illinois1.21.11.21.61.82.22.32.0
Indiana0.80.80.91.11.31.51.61.5
Iowa1.00.91.01.21.31.41.51.4
Kansas1.10.90.91.01.11.41.51.4
Kentucky2.82.62.73.13.44.14.44.3
Louisiana3.93.22.93.23.54.14.23.7
Maine2.31.91.91.92.02.42.22.3
Maryland1.21.11.21.31.41.61.71.7
Massachusetts2.32.21.92.02.22.62.72.6
Michigan1.31.21.41.51.72.22.22.1
Minnesota1.00.80.80.91.11.31.41.3
Mississippi5.24.44.34.44.75.25.24.5
Missouri2.11.71.61.71.82.12.22.0
Montana1.10.90.91.31.41.61.61.6
Nebraska1.10.90.91.01.11.31.31.2
Nevada1.00.80.91.01.01.31.41.3
New Hampshire0.70.60.60.60.70.80.90.9
New Jersey1.11.21.21.41.51.81.81.7
New Mexico2.31.91.82.12.32.62.72.6
New York2.22.12.02.32.63.13.33.3
North Carolina2.72.42.22.22.42.62.72.3
North Dakota1.31.01.01.21.31.41.41.3
Ohio1.21.11.21.41.62.12.32.1
Oklahoma3.02.21.81.92.02.22.32.1
Oregon1.10.81.01.11.21.51.51.6
Pennsylvania1.21.41.41.61.82.12.22.4
Rhode Island1.71.61.61.71.92.32.62.7
South Carolina2.82.72.62.62.73.03.02.6
South Dakota1.31.21.21.51.61.81.91.7
Tennessee3.22.82.72.93.13.43.42.8
Texas2.21.81.61.71.92.12.22.0
Utah0.80.50.50.70.81.01.10.9
Vermont1.91.71.81.82.02.22.22.0
Virginia1.51.51.51.51.71.92.01.8
Washington1.51.11.11.31.41.61.71.7
West Virginia2.42.12.22.62.93.53.84.1
Wisconsin1.41.41.51.81.92.21.81.6
Wyoming0.70.40.50.80.91.21.21.2
Total 12.01.81.71.92.12.42.52.3

Appendix B. Alternative Definition of Dependence Based on Income from TANF and Food Stamps

As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-432), this annual report on Indicators of Welfare Dependence focuses on dependence on three programs: the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, now Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); the Food Stamp Program; and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The summary measure of dependence proposed by the Advisory Board includes income from all three programs in its definition:

A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC, food stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities.

This appendix examines an alternative definition of dependence that considers TANF and food stamps alone, excluding SSI. One indicator in this report, Indicator 9, measuring long-term dependence, is based on this alternative definition.

As shown in Table B-1, the rate of dependency would have been only 1.5 percent in 2000 if based on income from TANF and food stamps, as opposed to 3.0 percent when counting income from all three programs (TANF, food stamps, and SSI). In other words, half of individuals who are dependent under the standard definition also are dependent under the alternative definition that considers TANF and food stamps alone.1 There is significant variation across the age groups, however. The elderly depend more on SSI than on TANF and food stamps; whereas 2.1 percent of elderly persons are dependent when counting the three major types of means-tested assistance, very few, 0.2 percent, are dependent when the definition is limited to TANF and food stamps. In contrast, children are primarily dependent on TANF and food stamps.


1 In the early- to mid-1990s, 70 to 75 percent of individuals who were dependent under the standard definition were also dependent under the alternative definition.

Table B-1. Percentage of the Total Population with More than 50 Percent of Income from Various Means-Tested Assistance Programs, by Race and Age: 2000

 TANF, SSI, & Food StampsTANF & Food StampsSSI Only
Note: Income is measures as total family income. Hispanic may be of any race.
Source: March CPS data, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
All Persons3.01.51.2
Non-Hispanic White1.90.80.8
Non-Hispanic Black7.73.82.9
Hispanic4.52.71.2
Age Categories Children Ages 0-56.03.91.2
Children Ages 6-105.13.31.0
Children Ages 11-154.02.50.6
Women Ages 16-643.01.41.2
Men Ages 16-641.90.71.0
Adults Age 65 and Over2.10.21.7

Appendix C. Additional Nonmarital Birth Data

Table C-1. Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women Within Age Groups by Race: 1940-2001

 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 non-reporting states for which marital status was inferred from other information on the birth certificate; see sources below.
Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2001,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 51 (2), December 2002.
194044.4NANA7.21.9NANANANANA
194144.9NANA7.01.9NANANANANA
194240.5NANA6.41.7NANANANANA
194345.2NANA6.51.6NANANANANA
194441.3NANA8.42.0NANANANANA
194550.7NANA10.02.4NANANANANA
194652.4NANA8.42.1NANANANANA
194745.1NANA6.61.8NANANANANA
194839.910.34.66.31.8NANANANANA
194940.410.04.56.11.7NANANANANA
195041.910.24.86.41.7NANANANANA
195134.99.74.45.91.6NANANANANA
195240.49.64.46.01.6NANANANANA
195343.19.64.56.11.7NANANANANA
195436.810.24.96.51.8NANANANANA
195542.110.24.96.61.9NANANANANA
195642.610.24.86.51.9NANANANANA
195741.510.44.76.52.0NANANANANA
195845.310.84.96.82.1NANANANANA
195946.711.45.27.22.2NANANANANA
196047.511.75.47.42.3NANANANANA
196149.912.46.07.92.5NANANANANA
196248.313.46.18.22.8NANANANANA
196350.315.17.09.43.1NANANANANA
196452.316.07.610.43.4NANANANANA
196557.317.39.111.74.0NANANANANA
196652.519.59.912.64.4NANANANANA
196761.621.011.214.24.9NANANANANA
196861.023.412.716.15.3NANANANANA
196957.024.012.916.65.591.772.148.360.034.9
197057.925.213.517.55.793.576.052.164.037.6
197160.525.213.217.45.695.079.656.068.140.5
197259.026.413.718.56.096.481.059.070.743.9
197365.227.614.319.66.496.482.660.472.145.7
197465.329.415.020.86.597.484.863.874.747.1
197571.033.017.223.57.398.487.4 67.6 77.8 48.8
197669.335.718.825.47.799.189.7 70.9 80.5 50.3
197772.838.921.027.88.298.890.6 74.6 82.6 51.7
197873.140.122.529.18.797.290.9 76.5 83.5 53.2
197975.042.424.330.89.499.492.9 78.9 85.7 54.7
198075.445.427.133.611.298.693.1 79.9 86.2 56.1
198176.548.028.735.511.898.993.9 81.3 87.2 56.9
198277.750.130.337.212.398.494.2 82.4 87.9 57.7
198379.953.132.739.812.998.595.1 84.4 89.4 59.2
198480.855.435.142.213.698.695.3 85.4 90.0 60.3
198582.458.038.245.314.798.895.6 86.2 90.6 61.2
198683.661.341.748.815.999.095.7 86.9 91.1 62.4
198784.664.644.451.816.999.196.1 87.6 91.7 63.4
198886.566.247.354.118.098.996.4 88.5 92.3 64.7
198984.767.249.555.719.298.496.1 89.0 92.3 59.2
199083.667.950.856.820.498.595.6 89.4 92.2 59.8
199175.569.753.259.021.898.195.7 89.8 92.5 60.3
199276.270.654.960.622.697.695.6 90.4 92.8 68.1
199383.271.757.262.723.698.195.7 90.8 93.1 68.7
199490.477.561.968.025.499.197.8 93.4 95.5 70.4
199588.877.462.168.025.399.197.7 93.2 95.3 69.9
199690.178.863.369.225.799.197.9 93.6 95.6 69.8
199792.281.665.371.425.899.498.3 93.8 95.8 69.2
199894.082.766.572.426.399.698.3 93.9 95.7 69.1
199993.983.267.372.926.799.598.3 93.7 95.6 68.8
200094.083.467.873.127.199.498.2 94.0 95.7 68.5
200194.083.468.573.427.799.698.5 94.0 95.8 68.4
Files
Populations
Children