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Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2005

Publication Date
Aug 29, 2005

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prepare an annual report to Congress on indicators welfare dependence. The Indicators of Welfare Dependence report is prepared within the Office of Human Services Policy and delivered to Congress each spring. As mandated under the Congressional act, the report addresses the rate of welfare dependency, the degree and duration of welfare recipiency and dependence, and predictors of welfare dependence. Further, analyses of means-tested assistance in the report include benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; the Food Stamp Program, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The report also includes risk factors related to economic security, employment, and non-marital births, as well an appendix with data related to the above programs.

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Executive Summary

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence. The 2005 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the eighth annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2002, 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, a bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed the following definition, as one measure to examine in concert with other key indicators of dependence and well-being:

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

This 2005 report uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and administrative data to provide updated measures through 2002 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 2002, 3.2 percent of the total population was dependent in that they received more than half of their total family income from TANF, food stamps, and/or SSI (see Indicator 1). While marginally higher than the 3.1 percent dependency rate measured in 2001, the 2002 rate is much lower than the 5.2 percent rate measured in 1996. Overall, 4.7 million fewer Americans were dependent on welfare in 2002 compared with 1996.
  • Although data are not yet available to show a clear trend in dependency rates through 2003, available data suggest that the rate may increase slightly to 3.3 percent in 2003.
  • Trends in dependency are similar to the more well-known changes in TANF and food stamp caseloads. For example, the percentage of individuals receiving AFDC/TANF cash assistance fell from 4.6 percent to 1.9 percent between 1996 and 2003 (see Indicator 3). Food stamp recipiency rates fell from 9.5 percent in 1996 to 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001. Since then, the food stamp recipiency rate has increased to 7.3 percent in 2003. This increase in food stamp recipiency may explain the modest increase in overall dependency since 2000.
  • In an average month in 2002, more than half (60 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 58 and 39 percent, respectively (see Indicator 2). Labor force participation, particularly full-time employment, increased considerably among TANF families during the last decade.
  • Spells of TANF receipt in the early 2000s were much shorter than spells of AFDC receipt in the early 1990s. Half (50 percent) of TANF spells for individuals entering the program between 2001 and 2003 lasted 4 months or less, compared to 30 percent of AFDC spells beginning between 1992 and 1994 (See Indicator 8).
  • Longer-term welfare receipt was much less common during the 1990s compared to earlier decades. Less than 4 percent of those with some AFDC/TANF assistance between 1991 and 2000 received assistance in nine or ten years of the period, compared to 12 percent and 13 percent of AFDC recipients in the earlier two time periods (See Indicator 9).

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 well-being that are important not only as potential predictors of dependence, but also as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation. As such, the report includes data on the official poverty rate, one of the most common measures of economic well-being:

  • As the dependency rate fell after 1996, the poverty rate for all individuals fell also, from 13.7 percent in 1996 to 11.3 percent in 2000. Between 2000 and 2003, the poverty rate increased to 12.5 percent, but still remained lower than any year between 1980 and 1998 (see Economic Security Risk Factor 1, Figure ECON 1a).

Finally, the report has four appendices that provide additional data on major welfare programs, alternative measures of dependence and nonmarital births, as well as background information on several data and technical issues.

Chapter I. Introduction and Overview

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103-432) directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish an annual report on welfare dependency. This 2005 report, the eighth 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.

This 2005 report provides updated measures through 2002 for dependency measures based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement, with one preliminary estimate for 2003. Although more recent administrative data provide some information on recipiency through 2004, the survey data needed to examine overall welfare recipiency are not available past 2002 for the CPS-based measures and are even less current for measures based on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). However, measures based on the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) are now available through 2003. These newly available SIPP data allow for examination of the lengths of time people spend in poverty or receive government assistance. As in the 2004 report, measures updated annually 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 measure of welfare dependence proposed by a bipartisan Advisory Board1 and adopted for use in this annual report series. It also discusses summary measures of poverty, following the Advisory Board’s recommendation that dependence measures not be assessed in isolation from other measures of economic well-being. The introduction concludes with a discussion of data sources used for the report.

Chapter II of the report, Indicators of Dependence, presents ten 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. This section also includes a measure of long-term program receipt of up to 10 years, and a newly updated measure of events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells.

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 nonmarital births are important since a high proportion of long-term welfare recipients first became parents outside of marriage, frequently as teenagers.

Additional data and technical notes are presented in four 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; Appendix C includes additional data on nonmarital childbearing; and Appendix D provides background information on several data and technical issues. The main welfare programs included in Appendix A are:

  • The Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the cash assistance program serving the largest number of persons, 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 2003.
  • The Food Stamp Program provides monthly food stamp benefits to individuals 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 2003.
  • 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 2003 are provided in Appendix A.

1 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.

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.

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 indicators of well-being. 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 FY 2003, 28 percent of welfare recipients were working (including employment, work experience, and community service), compared to only 7 percent in 1992.2

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 declined as policy changes under welfare reform moved more recipients into employment.

As shown in Figure SUM 1, 3.2 percent of the population would be considered “dependent” on welfare in 2002 under the above definition. This is about one-quarter of the percentage (13.2 percent) that lived in a family receiving at least some TANF, food stamp or SSI benefits during the year. Although data are not yet available to show a clear trend in dependency rates through 2003, available data suggest the rate may increase slightly between 2002 and 2003.3

Figure SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1996-2002

Figure SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1996-2002

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 2003 is preliminary.
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1997-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

While dependency and recipiency rates increased slightly to 3.2 and 13.2 percent, respectively, the 2002 dependency and recipiency rates remain significantly lower than the 1996 rates of 5.2 and 16.0, respectively. The overall drop in recipiency rates is consistent with administrative data showing declining TANF caseloads from 1996 to 2002. What is not apparent from administrative records, but is shown in these national survey data, is that the dependency rate also declined sharply after 1996. While 13.74 million individuals were dependent in 1996, only 9.03 million were dependent in 2002 – representing a decline of 4.71 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 are much lower for non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, children and individuals in female-headed families in 2002 compared to 1996.

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). Moreover, the drop in dependency is even larger under this alternative definition of dependence than usually reported. For example, between 1995 and 2002, dependency declined from 3.6 percent to 1.5 percent under the alternative definition.

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, cross-sectional basis. Longitudinal measures of program receipt (both annual and monthly) show that program spells are typically short and long-term recipiency is more rare (see Chapter II). Indicator 9, for example, shows that among individuals receiving AFDC/TANF at some point over a ten-year period ending in 2000, 18 percent received some welfare during six or more years. Another 31 percent were recipients in three to five years, and more than half (51 percent) received welfare in only one or two years.


2 This 28 percent includes 21 percent in unsubsidized employment and 7 percent in work preparation activities (including subsidized jobs, on-the-job training, work experience, or community services). 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.

3 While TRIM-adjusted CPS data for 2003 are not yet available, estimates from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, as well as non-adjusted estimates from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the CPS, indicate a slight increase in the level of dependence between 2002 and 2003.

Measuring Economic Well-Being

To assess the social impacts of any change in dependence, changes in the level of poverty should be considered. This chapter focuses on the official poverty rate, the most common poverty measure; additional measures of poverty and need are also included under the Economic Risk Factors found in Chapter III.

Poverty in 2003 remains much lower than in 1996, the year of passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. The official poverty rate for 2003 was 12.5 percent, compared to 13.7 percent in 1996. This difference in the poverty rate indicates that 668 thousand fewer people are in poverty and 1.6 million fewer children are in families with incomes below poverty than in 1996. There was an increase in the overall and child poverty rates between 2000 and 2003, but the poverty rate among adults over age 64 remained essentially unchanged (see Table ECON 1 in Chapter III).

Table SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1996-2002

 1996199719981999200020012002
Recipiency Rates (Rates of Any Amount of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps or SSI)
All Persons16.014.813.513.312.512.613.2
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White9.99.78.68.48.28.28.8
Non-Hispanic Black35.630.229.629.827.026.327.7
Hispanic32.028.024.523.421.021.621.7
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-528.225.122.421.519.820.821.4
Children Ages 6-1024.221.220.019.818.018.418.8
Children Ages 11-1521.119.417.017.316.316.116.8
Women Ages 16-6416.014.713.613.612.512.513.4
Men Ages 16-6411.711.110.09.69.29.610.3
Adults Ages 65 and over10.310.29.910.010.49.69.7
Family Categories
Individuals in:
    Married-Couple Families9.68.78.37.97.27.47.5
    Female-Headed Families46.041.637.539.937.136.437.7
    Male-Headed Families25.324.319.719.321.821.221.2
Unrelated Individuals11.511.910.910.010.110.011.5
Dependency Rates (More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps or SSI)
All Persons5.24.53.83.33.03.13.2
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2.62.52.11.81.91.81.8
Non-Hispanic Black13.811.410.59.17.78.88.7
Hispanic10.99.16.65.44.54.54.9
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-511.29.37.86.26.05.96.0
Children Ages 6-109.58.46.76.15.15.45.1
Children Ages 11-158.17.45.74.54.04.44.0
Women Ages 16-645.24.63.93.53.03.33.4
Men Ages 16-642.72.52.11.91.92.02.0
Adults Ages 65 and over2.42.12.12.02.11.92.0
Family Categories
Individuals in:
    Married-Couple Families1.71.41.11.00.91.01.0
    Female-Headed Families21.118.415.013.611.411.911.7
    Male-Headed Families5.45.64.23.04.44.03.8
Unrelated Individuals4.24.24.23.43.83.84.1

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. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1997-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Figure SUM 2. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2003

Figure SUM 2. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2003

Source: Unpublished Congressional Budget Office tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2004. Additional calculations by DHHS. See ECON 4 in Chapter III for underlying table and further notes.

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 12.5 percent in 2003.

The dotted line shows what poverty would be if means-tested cash assistance (primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI) were excluded from cash income. Income in 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 13.2 percent in 2003.

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.4 Under this definition, poverty rates in 2003 would be at least two percentage points lower than the official measure, or 10.4 percent.


4 The effects of selected non-cash benefits (food and housing) are shown separately from the effect of taxes in Figure ECON 4 in Chapter III. Prior to 1993, taxes increased poverty. Since 1993, taxes and tax credits (including refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit) have had the net effect of reducing poverty rates.

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 of Income Dynamics (PSID), and administrative data for the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp, and SSI programs. Beginning with the 2001 report, 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 longitudinal design, system of monthly accounting, and detail concerning employment, income and participation in federal income-support and related programs, 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.

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 longitudinal design, system of monthly accounting, and detail concerning employment, income and participation in federal income-support and related programs, 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 year we have updated a past indicator based on the SIPP that takes advantage of many of these strengths. Indicator 10, Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells, identifies potential trigger events that are associated with welfare spell entries and exits among single mothers. While in volumes prior to 2004 we used the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) for this measure, monthly data from the SIPP (compared to annual data from the PSID) allow for greater specificity in identifying welfare spells and associations between welfare spells and a wide range of transition events. Because of the different accounting periods as well as other methodological differences in the two data sources, estimates from Indicator 10 in the current volume are not comparable to estimates found in previous reports.

For measures of receipt, dependency, and poverty at a single point in time, the report primarily uses the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the CPS, which measures income and poverty over an annual accounting period. As stated above, the CPS data are available on a timelier 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.

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 and a small increase in dependence between 2001 and 2002. Still, readers are cautioned against comparing measures for 1987-1995 from the SIPP data in the first three annual reports with the measures for 1996-2001 from the TRIM-adjusted CPS data.

Figure SUM 3. Recipiency and Dependency Rates from Two Data Sources: 1987-2003

Figure SUM 3. Recipiency and Dependency Rates from Two Data Sources: 1987-2003

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: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model, and unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

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. With annual data on program receipt since 1968, the PSID provides vital data for measuring longer-term welfare use over periods of up to 10 years. Because the PSID indicators cover time spans as long as a decade, they are updated less frequently than the CPS-based and SIPP-based measures. Reductions in the frequency and detail of data collection under the PSID have made it difficult to update the reasons for entrance and exit from welfare receipt (Indicator 11 in the 2003 report). Therefore, as discussed above, a new measure of reasons for entrance and exit from AFDC/TANF based on the SIPP is included in this report.

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 2003. 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.

For further technical information about the data presented in the report, specifically for information on race and ethnicity, unit of analysis, and annual versus monthly measures, please see Appendix D.

Chapter 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 the range and depth of dependence as defined 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.

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. For some indicators, summary data and characteristics are provided for all recipients, not just those defined as welfare-dependent. While a number of indicators focus on the percentage of recipients’ income from means-tested assistance, other indicators focus on presence of work activities at the same time as welfare receipt.

Here is a brief summary of each of the ten 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 that use a combination of means-tested assistance and earnings from the labor force.

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 whether individuals dependent on welfare in one year 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 families with no labor force participants who enter the AFDC/TANF program.

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 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 10: 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 TANF.

Indicator 1. Degree of Dependence

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2002

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2002

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Only 3.2 percent of the total population in 2002 received more than half of their total family income from TANF, food stamps and SSI. As shown in Table IND 1b, the percentage of families dependent on public assistance has dropped dramatically since 1993, with most of the decline occurring between 1996 and 2000. Since 2000, there has been a small increase in dependency, from 3.0 to 3.2 percent.
  • A little over 13 percent of the overall population received at least one dollar in means-tested assistance in 2002. However, for 59 percent of these individuals (8 percent of the total population), such assistance represented 25 percent or less of annual family income. The vast majority (87 percent) of the population received no means-tested assistance in 2002.
  • 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 than individuals in married-couple or male-headed families (11.7 percent compared to 1.0 and 3.8 percent respectively).
  • In 2002, about 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 reflected 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: 2002

 0%
>0% and
<= 25%
>25% and
<= 50%
>50% and
<= 75%
>75% and
<= 100%
Total
> 50%
All Persons86.87.82.31.02.13.2
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White91.25.61.30.51.31.8
Non-Hispanic Black72.313.65.43.05.68.7
Hispanic78.312.54.31.63.24.9
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-578.610.84.62.33.76.0
Children Ages 6-1081.210.03.72.23.05.1
Children Ages 11-1583.29.73.11.42.54.0
Women Ages 16-6486.67.82.21.02.43.4
Men Ages 16-6489.76.81.40.61.52.0
Adults Ages 65 and over90.35.72.00.71.32.0
Family Categories
Individuals in Married-Couple Families92.55.41.20.40.61.0
Individuals in Female-Headed Families62.318.27.94.57.211.7
Individuals in Male-Headed Families78.813.93.51.62.23.8
Unrelated Individuals88.56.21.20.43.64.1

Note: Means-tested assistance includes 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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1993-2002

 0%
>0% and
<= 25%
>25% and
<= 50%
>50% and
<= 75%
>75% and
<= 100%
Total
> 50%
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
199785.37.72.51.53.14.5
199886.57.32.51.32.53.8
199986.77.72.31.12.23.3
200087.57.32.21.02.03.0
200187.47.32.21.02.13.1
200286.87.82.31.02.13.2

See above for note and source.

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2002

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2002

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Those in families with income below the poverty level received almost half (48 percent) of their total family income from earnings and 29 percent of their total family income from means-tested assistance programs (TANF, SSI, and food stamps) in 2002. In contrast, those with family income over 200 percent of the poverty level received the majority (88 percent) of their income from earnings and less than one percent of their income from means-tested assistance (a percentage so small that it is not 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 29 percent, compared to 48 percent for all poor individuals in 2002.
  • 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 income 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 48 percent in 1998 and has remained fairly stable since. Over the same time period, there was a decline in the percentage of income from means-tested programs among poor families from 41 percent in 1995 to 29 percent in 2002.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2002

 < 50% Poverty<100% of Poverty<200% of Poverty200% + of Poverty
All
Individuals
All Persons
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps52.628.89.40.21.0
Earnings29.148.267.287.785.9
Other Income18.323.023.412.113.1
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps46.426.47.00.10.5
Earnings30.442.761.586.985.4
Other Income23.330.931.413.014.0
Non-Hispanic Black
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps62.637.315.80.53.4
Earnings20.339.362.088.283.3
Other Income17.123.422.111.313.3
Hispanic
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps50.724.89.00.62.5
Earnings38.362.780.492.189.3
Other Income11.012.410.67.48.1
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-5
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps59.932.811.30.31.9
Earnings25.253.778.894.992.6
Other Income14.913.59.94.85.5
Children Ages 6-10
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps59.031.210.80.21.6
Earnings26.953.676.494.391.9
Other Income14.115.112.85.56.5
Children Ages 11-15
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps55.729.19.90.21.3
Earnings26.853.776.092.991.0
Other Income17.517.214.06.97.7
Women Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps50.630.510.20.21.0
Earnings29.747.370.990.288.7
Other Income19.622.218.99.610.3
Men Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps39.824.37.70.20.7
Earnings38.853.874.691.390.2
Other Income21.421.917.78.59.1
Adults Ages 65 and over
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps31.020.26.30.41.1
Earnings13.95.58.838.234.4
Other Income55.174.384.961.564.4

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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

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

 < 50%Poverty<100% of Poverty<200% of Poverty200% + of Poverty
1995
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps65.941.314.20.3
Earnings22.540.464.885.4
Other Income11.618.321.014.3
1998
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps58.932.010.60.2
Earnings27.047.967.885.3
Other Income14.120.121.614.5
2000
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps54.330.39.80.2
Earnings30.549.568.786.7
Other Income15.220.321.513.0
2002
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps52.628.89.40.2
Earnings29.148.267.287.7
Other Income18.323.023.412.1

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

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: 2002

Figure IND 2. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants in that Month by Program: 2002

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • About one-third of TANF and food stamp recipients lived in families with at least one full-time worker in 2002, with an additional one fourth living in families with a labor force participant who was not full time. Thus, 60 percent of TANF recipients and 58 percent of food stamp recipients were in families with at least one person in the labor force. In contrast, SSI recipients were more likely to live in families with no labor force participant.
  • As shown in Table IND 2a, young children (under age six) in households receiving TANF and SSI were more likely to live with at least one full-time worker than were older children (ages 11-15) in such recipient households. There is less variation in labor force participation by age of children among households receiving food stamps.
  • The percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients living in families with at least one full-time worker increased from 19 percent in 1993 to 35 percent in 1999, as shown in Table IND 2b. Since 1999, this percentage has remained around 34 to 35 percent. Lower family employment rates are reported in the TANF administrative data, which is limited to employment of family members in the TANF assistance unit and employment reported to the welfare agency (see Table TANF 7 in Appendix A).

Table IND 2a. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants, by Program Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2002

 No One in LFAt Least One in LF, No One FT
At Least One
FT Worker

TANF

All Persons39.825.834.3
Non-Hispanic White38.927.833.4
Non-Hispanic Black42.927.629.6
Hispanic40.522.636.9
Children Ages 0-537.725.037.3
Children Ages 6-1045.123.831.1
Children Ages 11-1544.423.731.9
Women Ages 16-6439.027.733.3
Men Ages 16-6431.929.538.6
Adults Ages 65 and over60.713.725.6
FOOD STAMPSAll Persons42.124.633.4
Non-Hispanic White45.125.429.5
Non-Hispanic Black41.526.532.0
Hispanic37.619.542.9
Children Ages 0-533.425.641.0
Children Ages 6-1032.926.740.4
Children Ages 11-1534.726.439.0
Women Ages 16-6443.225.830.9
Men Ages 16-6441.126.232.7
Adults Ages 65 and over88.26.15.8
SSIAll Persons61.29.729.0
Non-Hispanic White65.58.825.7
Non-Hispanic Black65.612.122.3
Hispanic52.09.738.3
Children Ages 0-530.115.954.0
Children Ages 6-1034.819.545.7
Children Ages 11-1531.021.147.9
Women Ages 16-6468.59.422.1
Men Ages 16-6462.39.228.5
Adults Ages 65 and over65.06.828.2

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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 2b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants 1993-2002

 No One in LFAt Least One in LF, No One FT
At Least One
FT Worker
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
200138.726.035.3
200235.335.334.3

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: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Indicator 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-tested Assistance

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age: 1970-2003

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age: 1970-2003

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 2002, administrative data for recipiency measures of AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and SSI are available through 2003, 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 total population received TANF in 2003. The rate of AFDC/TANF receipt has dropped significantly since 1993, when it was at a 25-year high of over 5 percet, as shown in Table IND 3a. The 2003 rate of receipt was the lowest since the early 1960s.
  • 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 2003, AFDC/TANF receipt among children decreased by 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 1970-2003

Fiscal YearTotal RecipientsAdult RecipientsChild Recipients
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
19707,1883.51,8631.45,3255,325
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
19988,6533.12,4691.26,1848.7
19997,0682.51,8380.95,2317.3
20006,2182.21,6870.84,5316.3
20015,6742.01,5040.74,1715.7
20025,5721.91,4720.74,0995.6
20035,4511.91,4160.74,0355.5

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. Tribal TANF recipients are also excluded. Child recipients include a small number of dependents ages 18 and older who are students. The average number of adult and child recipients in 1998 and 1999 are estimated using data from the National Emergency TANF Data Files and thereafter using the National TANF Data Files.

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).

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age: 1975-2003

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age: 1975-2003

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2003, and earlier reports, and U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov).

  • The food stamp recipiency rate increased to 7.3 percent in 2003, up from a low of 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001 – the lowest rate since the Food Stamp program became available nationwide. The 2003 recipiency rate is still significantly below the peak of 10.4 percent experienced in 1993 and 1994.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, food stamp recipiency rates have been much higher over time for children than for adults. Between 1980 and 2003, the percentage of all children who received food stamps was between two and one-half to three times that for all adults ages 18 to 59.
  • Similar trends in food stamp 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 declined from 1984 through 1988, rose in the early 1990s until reaching a peak in 1994, declined sharply through 2000 and since then have risen somewhat in 2002 and 2003.

Table IND 3b. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age 1975-2003

Fiscal YearTotal RecipientsAdult Recipients Ages 60 and overAdult Recipients Ages 18-59Child Recipients Ages 0-18
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
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
199427,43310.41,9554.511,6157.714,39121.0
199526,57910.01,9204.411,1057.313,86020.0
199625,4949.51,8914.310,7697.013,18918.8
199722,8208.41,8314.19,3736.011,84716.7
199819,7457.21,6353.67,7604.910,52414.7
199918,1466.51,6963.77,0794.49,33213.0
200017,1566.11,7003.76,6124.08,74312.1
200117,2806.11,6583.66,7784.18,81912.1
200219,0586.61,6843.67,6254.59,68813.3
200321,2237.31,7863.78,5035.010,60514.5

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: Total recipient program data are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fspmain.htm. Individual age groups do not sum exactly to total participants; they are drawn from USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition, and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2003, and earlier reports. The population denominators for the percents in each category are from U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov).

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2003

 
 Total RecipientsAdult Recipients Ages 65 and overAdult Recipients Ages 18-64Child Recipients Ages 0-18
DateNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
Dec 19754,3142.02,5082,5081,6991.31070.2
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
Dec 20026,7882.31,9955.63,8782.19151.3
Dec 20036,9022.41,9905.53,9532.29591.3

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. See Appendix A, Tables SSI 2, SSI 8, and SSI 9 for more detailed data on SSI recipiency rates.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2004 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics) and U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov).

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

Source: AFDC and SSI participation rates are tabulated using the 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).
  • Only 48 percent of the families estimated as eligible for TANF cash assistance actually enrolled and received benefits in an average month in 2002. This is significantly lower than AFDC participation rates, which ranged from 77 percent to 86 percent between 1981 and 1996. See Table IND 4a for further information.
  • After rising steadily over the past several years, the SSI participation rate dropped in 2001, with very little change between 2001 and 2002. At 70 percent it still is much higher than recent TANF and Food Stamp participation rates. See Table IND 4c for details by age and disability status.
Table IND 4a. Number and Percentage of Eligible Families Participating in AFDC/TANF
Selected Years
Calendar YearEligible Families(millions)Participating Families(millions)Participation Rate(percent)
19814.783.8480.2
19834.753.6977.7
19854.673.7079.3
19874.923.7876.7
19884.783.7578.4
19894.543.8083.6
19904.934.0682.2
19925.644.8385.7
19936.145.0181.7
1994 (revised)6.135.0382.1
19955.694.8084.3
19965.624.4378.9
1997 (adjusted)5.413.7469.2
1998 (adjusted)5.473.0555.8
19995.072.6552.3
20004.442.3051.8
20014.562.1948.0
20024.582.2048.1

Note: Participation rates are estimated by an Urban Institute model (TRIM3) that 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. In contrast to editions prior to 2004, this table includes families receiving assistance under Separate State Programs. Note that families subject to full-family sanctions are counted as nonparticipating eligible families due to modeling limitations. Although the coverage rate estimates take into account the number of families who lost aid due to the time limit (and do not count such families in the denominator of the coverage rate estimate), they do not make any allowance for families staying off of TANF to conserve their time-limited assistance months. Also, the numbers of eligible and participating families 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: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, caseload tabulations and unpublished tabulations from the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Between 2001 and 2002, there was essentially no change in the number of eligible families for the TANF program.
  • After falling every year from 1994 to 2001, both caseloads and participation rates remained fairly steady between 2001 and 2002.
  • Participating families includes families receiving cash assistance only. Families who receive services and benefits other than cash assistance are not included in the participation rate.
Table IND 4b. Number and Percentage of Eligible Households Participating in the Food Stamp
Program: Selected Years
Date
Eligible
Households
(millions)
Participating
Households
(millions)
Participation Rate
(percent)
September 197616.35.332.6
February 197814.05.337.8
August 198014.07.452.5
August 198214.57.551.5
August 198414.27.351.6
August 198615.37.146.5
August 198814.97.047.1
August 199014.58.054.9
August 199115.69.259.1
August 199216.710.261.6
August 199317.010.964.0
September 1994 (revised)15.310.769.6
September 199515.010.469.2
September 199615.39.965.1
September 199714.78.457.5
September 199814.07.654.2
September 199913.77.353.0
Fiscal Year 199914.57.551.7
Fiscal Year 200014.37.250.1
Fiscal Year 200115.27.348.0
Fiscal Year 200216.68.048.3

Note: Eligible households are 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 1994 estimate and estimates for previous years show higher estimates of eligibles and lower participation rates relative to the revised estimate for 1994 and estimates for subsequent years. The two estimates for 1999 are due to reweighting of the March 2000 – 2003 CPS files to Census 2000 and revised methodologies for determining food stamp eligibility. The original estimate (September 1999) is consistent methodologically with estimates from September 1994 – September 1998, while the revised estimate (FY 1999) is consistent with the estimates for FY 2000 - FY 2002.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1999 to 2002, September 2004.

  • Between fiscal years 1999 and 2002 there was a 14 percent increase in households eligible for the Food Stamp Program (from 14.5 to 16.6 million households). Caseloads grew at a lower rate (6 percent increase) over the same period. The net effect was a decrease in the estimated participation rate, from 52 to 48 percent.
  • Over the longer run, there was a 32 percent drop in food stamp caseloads, from a peak of nearly 11 million households in 1994 to just over 7 million in 1999. This decline in caseloads occurred during a time when both the eligible population and the program participation rates were generally decreasing. These longer-term decreases are considerably larger than the increases between 1999 and 2002.
Table IND 4c. Percentage of Eligible Adult Units Participating in the SSI Program, by Type
1993-2002
 All Adult UnitsOne-Person UnitsMarried-Couple Units
AgedDisabled
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
200169.764.475.945.7
200270.461.978.347.9

Note: Participation rates are estimated using the TRIM3 microsimulation model that 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 figures for married-couple units are 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 the average month of 1998.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • After a drop in the SSI participation rate among adult units between 2000 and 2001, the rate held fairly constant at about 70 percent between 2001 and 2002.
  • The decline in the participation rates among aged one-person units continued for a second year, bringing the level down to 62 percent, a cumulative decline since 2000 of 9 percentage points.
  • The rates for both disabled one-person units and married-couple units that are either aged or disabled edged upwards in 2002 after declines in the previous year.
  • In 2002, as in past years, disabled adults in one-person units had a higher participation rate (78 percent) than both aged adults in one-person units (62 percent) and adults in married-couple units (48 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: 2002

Figure IND 5. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), among Those Receiving Assistance: 2002

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Of the almost 9 percent of the population in families receiving TANF, food stamps, or SSI benefits in an average month in 2002, about two-thirds (72 percent) received assistance from only one program. Most of these families received food stamps or SSI benefits only. However, other common patterns include food stamp and TANF receipt (16 percent) and food stamp and SSI receipt (12 percent).
  • Children are more likely than other age groups to live in families receiving TANF and/or food stamps. For example, 17 percent of children under six lived in families receiving any public assistance in an average month in 2002, 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- and late 1990s (from 13 percent in 1994 to 8 percent in 2000). It increased to 8.5 percent in 2002, largely due to an increase in families receiving food stamps only, as shown in Table IND 5b.

Table IND 5a. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2002

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
TANFFSSSITANF & FSFS & SSI
All Persons8.50.34.51.31.41.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White5.40.12.91.00.70.7
Non-Hispanic Black20.80.412.22.33.52.5
Hispanic12.70.76.11.92.71.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-516.70.89.90.64.80.6
Children Ages 6-1014.20.69.10.63.50.5
Children Ages 11-1512.00.57.20.82.80.7
Women Ages 16-648.00.24.41.11.31.1
Men Ages 16-645.20.12.71.30.40.7
Adults Ages 65 and over7.70.01.93.40.02.4

Note: Categories are mutually exclusive. SSI receipt is based on individual receipt; AFDC/TANF and food stamp receipt are based on the 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).

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 5b. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, SSI): 1993-2002

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
AFDC/ TANFFSSSI
AFDC/TANF
& FS
FS & SSI
199312.60.65.21.14.81.0
199412.80.55.31.24.61.1
199512.30.45.01.24.51.1
199612.00.35.31.24.01.1
199710.20.44.31.33.11.0
19989.00.43.91.42.40.9
19998.50.43.81.32.01.0
20008.10.23.81.41.71.0
20018.10.33.91.41.51.0
20028.50.34.51.31.41.0

See above for note and source.

Indicator 6. Dependence Transitions

Figure IND 6. Dependency Status in 2003 of Persons Who Received More than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in 2002, by Race/Ethnicity

Figure IND 6. Dependency Status in 2003 of Persons Who Received More than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in 2002, by Race/Ethnicity

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

  • Recipients of means-tested assistance were more likely to move out of dependency in the early 2000s than in the early 1990s. About three-tenths (29 percent) of recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 2002 transitioned out of this dependency status in 2003. The comparable transition rate was only 20 percent between 1993 and 1994, as shown in Table IND 6b.
  • Of the recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total income from AFDC/TANF, food stamps, and/or SSI in 2002, Hispanics were less likely to be dependent in 2003 than non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks.
  • As shown in Table IND 6a, men between the ages of 16 and 64 who received more than half of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 2002 remained dependent in 2003 in higher percentages than women.

Table IND 6a. Dependency Status in 2003 of Persons Who Received More than 50 Percent of Income from Means-Tested Assistance in 2002, by Race/Ethnicity and Age

Individuals Receiving More than 50% of Income from Assistance in 2002
Total
(thousands)
Percentage of Persons Receiving
No Aid
in 2003
Up to 50%
in 2003
Over 50%
in 2003
All Persons6,0472.726.071.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2,1614.324.871.0
Non-Hispanic Black2,2021.125.673.3
Hispanic1,1793.630.066.4
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-58603.834.162.1
Children Ages 6-107110.029.570.5
Children Ages 11-156321.025.074.0
Women Ages 16-642,2663.927.668.6
Men Ages 16-641,1113.218.678.2
Adults Ages 65 and over4460.917.182.0

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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Individual age categories do not add to total because of a small number of people not reporting age.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

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

 
Total
(thousands
Percentage of Persons Receiving
No Aid in
Second Year
Up to 50% in Second YearOver 50% in Second Year
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
2001 to 20026,4531.328.070.7
2002 to 20036,0472.726.071.3

Note: Because full calendar year data for 1995 were not available for all SIPP respondents, some transitions between 1994 and 1995 were based on twelve-month periods that did not correspond exactly to calendar years.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

Indicator 7. Dependence Spell Duration

Figure IND 7. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 7. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993 and 2001 panels.

  • In the early 2000s, 45 percent of TANF spells for individuals in families with no one in the labor force ended within four months and over two-thirds (71 percent) ended within a year. These spells are measured for individuals living in families with no labor force participants at the start of 2001 who entered TANF between 2001 and 2003.
  • Spells were much longer for families entering AFDC between 1993 and 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 15 percent of that length in the 2001 SIPP panel.
  • As shown in Table IND 7a, the percentage of TANF spells ending in four months or less were larger for non-Hispanic whites (57 percent) than for non-Hispanic blacks (47 percent) and Hispanics (47 percent).
  • Spells shown in Indicator 7 are limited to spells of recipients in families without any labor force participation at the start of each panel. Spell lengths, on average, are slightly shorter in Indicator 8, which shows spells for all recipients, including those in families with labor force participants. For example, whereas 45 percent of spells between 2001 and 2003 shown in Figure IND 7 end in four months or less, 50 percent of all TANF spells during the same time period end in four months or less, as shown in Figure IND 8.
Table IND 7a. Percentage of TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length
of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age
 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months
All Persons44.725.914.614.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White56.714.018.011.2
Non-Hispanic Black47.021.811.020.2
Hispanic46.833.69.310.3
Age Categories
Ages 0-15 Years39.425.218.816.6
Ages 16-64 Years54.422.89.513.3

Note: Spell length categories are 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. TANF spells are defined as those spells starting during the 2001 SIPP panel for individuals in families with no labor force participants at the start of the panel.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

Table IND 7b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Spells of Individuals in Families with No Labor Force Participants and Entering Programs during the 1993, 1996 and 2001 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
2001 Panel All Persons44.725.914.614.9

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

Indicator 8. Program Spell Duration

Figure IND 8. Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 8. Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

  • Between the years 2001 and 2003, short spells lasting 4 months or less accounted for about 50 percent of TANF spells, 36 percent of food stamp spells, and 28 percent of SSI spells.
  • Approximately three-fourths of all TANF spells (73 percent) and three-fifths of food stamp spells (60 percent) lasted one year or less. In contrast, only 49 percent of SSI spells ended within one year.
  • As shown in Table IND 8a, for TANF spells, a smaller percentage of long spells (lasting more than 20 months) occurred among non-Hispanic whites compared to non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics. In contrast, these groups did not differ greatly in the percentage of long spells for food stamps.
  • Spells of welfare receipt were shorter in the early 2000s than in the early 1990s, as shown in Table IND 8b. For example, only 17 percent of TANF spells for individuals entering TANF between 2001 and 2003 lasted 20 months or longer, compared with 34 percent of AFDC spells beginning between 1992 and 1994.
  • Length of TANF receipt varies across states, as shown in Appendix Table TANF 17, which shows an alternative measure of length of TANF receipt, using state administrative data.

Table IND 8a. Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months
TANFAll Recipients49.623.710.016.8
Racial/Ethnic Categories   
Non-Hispanic White51.423.713.111.9
Non-Hispanic Black50.623.56.819.1
Hispanic51.720.18.419.8
Age Categories
Ages 0-5 Years50.024.011.914.1
Ages 6-10 Years45.421.58.524.6
Ages 11-15 Years43.725.312.418.6
Ages 16-64 Years52.924.28.414.4
65 Years and OlderNANANANA
FOOD STAMPSAll Recipients35.924.48.930.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White35.925.88.030.3
Non-Hispanic Black32.223.711.732.4
Hispanic40.522.57.829.2
Age Categories
Ages 0-5 Years27.725.612.933.8
Ages 6-10 Years28.627.410.733.3
Ages 11-1531.828.19.630.6
Ages 16-6440.323.97.528.4
65 Years and Older30.012.59.648.0
SSIAll Recipients27.921.47.343.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White31.319.87.941.0
Non-Hispanic Black26.925.37.140.7
Hispanic23.718.87.350.2
Age Categories
Ages 0-10NANANANA
Ages 11-1531.218.83.946.1
Ages 16-6429.420.97.242.5
65 Years and Older22.723.28.445.7

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. TANF spells are defined as those starting during the 2001 SIPP Panel. For certain age categories, data are not available (NA) because of insufficient sample size.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

Table IND 8b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001 SIPP Panels

 
Spells <=4
Months
Spells 5-12
Months
Spells 13-20
Months
Spells >20
Months
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
2001 Panel
TANF49.623.710.016.8
Food Stamps35.924.48.930.7
SSI27.921.47.343.5

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001 Panels.

Indicator 9. Long-term Receipt

Figure IND 9. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients, by Years of Receipt between
1991 and 2000
Figure IND 9. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients, by Years of Receipt between 1991 and 2000
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1992-2001.
  • Among all persons receiving AFDC/TANF at some point in the ten-year period ending in 2000, about half (51 percent) received assistance in only one or two of these years. Less than one third (31 percent) received AFDC/TANF in three to five years, and less than one fifth (19 percent) received AFDC/TANF during more than five of the ten years.
  • A larger percentage of child recipients experienced long-term receipt (some receipt in at least six of the ten years) and a smaller percentage experienced short-term receipt (receipt in only one or two years) in all three time periods relative to the percentages for all recipients, as shown in Table IND 9.
  • Longer-term welfare receipt was much less common during the 1990s compared to earlier decades. Less than 4 percent of those with some AFDC/TANF assistance between 1991 and 2000 received at least one assistance payment in nine or ten years of the period, compared to 12 percent and 13 percent of AFDC recipients in the earlier two time periods.
  • In the two ten-year time periods between 1971-1990, there was a large percentage difference in short-term AFDC receipt between all black and non-black recipients. In the ten-year period ending in 2000, this percentage difference was much smaller, with 49 percent of blacks and 53 percent of non-blacks receiving AFDC/TANF in only one or two years.

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

All Races:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5
1971-19801981-19901991-20001971-19801981-19901991-2000
Years Received
AFDC/TANF
1-2 Years44.044.850.936.336.137.9
3-5 Years30.126.530.928.124.133.9
6-8 Years12.516.414.517.920.523.3
9-10 Years13.312.23.817.719.44.9
Black:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5
1971-19801981-19901991-20001971-19801981-19901991-2000
Years Received
AFDC/TANF
1-2 Years30.835.848.624.226.937.7
3-5 Years31.928.424.228.425.728.2
6-8 Years18.617.5NA24.718.7NA
9-10 Years18.718.4NA22.828.7NA
Non-Black:
 All RecipientsChild Recipients 0-5
1971-19801981-19901991-20001971-19801981-19901991-2000
Years Received
AFDC/TANF
1-2 Years51.051.352.645.043.038.2
3-5 Years29.225.236.027.822.938.7
6-8 Years9.415.7NA13.121.8NA
9-10 Years10.57.9NA14.112.3NA

Note: The base for the percentages consists of individuals receiving at least $1 of AFDC/TANF in any year in the ten-year period. Child recipients are defined by age in the first year of the 10-year period. This indicator measures years of recipiency over the specified ten-year time periods and does not take into account years of recipiency that may have occurred before or after each ten-year period.

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians, and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the estimates for non-black persons but are not shown separately. Data are not available (NA) separately by race for longer periods of cumulative receipt (6 or more years) in the most recent 10-year period.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1992-2001.

Indicator 10. Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells

Figure IND 10a. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Entries during 2001 SIPP Panel

Figure IND 10a. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Entries during 2001 SIPP Panel

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

  • A decrease in earnings was the most common event associated with welfare entries. For spells beginning between 2001 and 2003, half (50 percent) were accompanied by a decrease in the recipient’s own monthly earnings of $50 or more, and an additional 20 percent were accompanied by decreases in the earnings of other household members.
  • Changes in household composition were also associated with the onset of welfare spells. The addition of a new child was associated with one-fifth (20 percent), divorce or separation was associated with 4 percent, and a decrease in the number of household adults (not through divorce or separation) was associated with 15 percent of welfare spell starts during the 2001 to 2003 period.
  • The onset of a work limitation was associated with about one in ten welfare spell starts. This percentage has gone up over time from 7 percent for spells starting between 1993 and 1995 to 12 percent for spells starting between 2001 and 2003 (see Table IND 10a).

Table IND 10a. Percentage of Single Mother AFDC/TANF Spell Entries Associated with Specific Events: Selected Periods

 
Spell Began
1993-1995
Spell Began
1996-1999
Spell Began
2001-2003
Recipients’ Earnings Decreased57.152.650.3
Other Household Earnings Decreased24.021.019.8
Lost SSI Benefits (own)1.45.14.5
Lost Other Government Benefits (own)8.15.16.1
New Child in Family22.017.120.2
Divorced/Separated from Spouse8.76.74.2
Decrease in Number of Adults (not divorce)19.217.615.3
Onset of Work Limitation7.210.911.6
Moved across State Lines1.71.42.1
None of above in Recent Past8.814.116.9

Note: Welfare entries are defined as moving from non-receipt to receipt between two successive SIPP interviews (conducted 4 months apart); an event was associated with a welfare transition if the event was observed within two interviews (i.e., 8 months) of the interview marking the welfare entry. In general, events are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, and transition events may sum to more than 100 percent. Two exceptions are that “other household earnings decreased” was limited to cases when there were decreases in household earnings without a decrease in recipient earnings, and “decrease in number of adults (not divorce)” was limited to cases where the adult leaving the household was not married to the head of the household. AFDC/TANF includes General Assistance and other welfare payments. A decrease in earnings must be a decrease of at least $50 per month. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, Veteran's payments, and Worker’s Compensation. A work limitation is defined as a condition that limits the kind or amount of work. The category "None of above in Recent Past" represents the percentage of all spell beginnings during the period that were not associated with any of the events measured.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

  • Spells of welfare receipt and associated trigger events are measured using monthly data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). In the 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence volume (and earlier volumes), events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells were measured using annual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the estimates shown above are not comparable to estimates reported in previous volumes.
  • Note that events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event. For example, if a single mother separated from an adult with earnings and subsequently entered welfare, her welfare entry would be coded as associated with both a decrease in adults in the household and a decrease in household earnings. In other words, events are generally not defined to be mutually exclusive. (However, see two exceptions in note above.)
Figure IND 10b. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Exits during 2001 SIPP Panel
II-36 Figure IND 10b. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Exits during 2001 SIPP Panel
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.
  • Welfare exits were most often associated with increases in recipient earnings. Close to one-half (46 percent) of spells ending between 2001 and 2003 were associated with either an increase in the recipient’s own earnings (34 percent) or an increase in household earnings without an increase in recipients’ own earnings (12 percent).
  • The percentage of all spell exits associated with an increase in recipient earnings has decreased over time (see Table IND 10b). Some of this decline may reflect the fact that a larger share of the caseload is combining welfare and work, and so some recipients with welfare exits in more recent years may have experienced increases in earnings before the 5- to 8-month time period used to observe “associated” events in Table 10b.
  • Smaller shares of welfare exits were associated with household composition changes (changes in marital status, presence of children and number of adults) compared with welfare entries (see Figure IND 10a).
  • Nearly Two-fifths (37 percent) of welfare spells ending between 2001 and 2003 were not associated with any of the events listed above within the period observed. The percentage has risen over time (see Table IND 10b).

Table IND 10b. Percentage of Single Mother AFDC/TANF Spell Exits Associated with Specific Events: Selected Periods

 
Spell Ended
1993-1995
Spell Ended
1996-1999
Spell Ended
2001-2003
Increase in Own Earnings54.844.634.1
Increase in Other Household Earnings10.311.912.1
Became SSI Recipient1.65.95.2
Became Recipient of Other Government Benefits2.22.63.0
Last Child Left or Turned 195.62.41.5
Married5.42.12.2
Increase in Number of Adults (not marriage)17.612.412.8
Ended Work Limitation3.010.99.0
Moved across State Lines2.41.42.8
None of above in Recent Past24.031.137.4

Note: Welfare exits are defined as moving from receipt to non-receipt between two successive SIPP interviews (conducted 4 months apart); an event was associated with a welfare transition if the event was observed within two interviews (i.e., 8 months) of the interview marking the welfare exit. In general, events are neither mutually exclusive nor exhaustive, and transition events may sum to more than 100 percent. Two exceptions are that “increase in other household earnings” was limited to cases when there were increases in household earnings without an increase in recipient earnings, and “increase in number of adults (not marriage)” was limited to cases where the adult joining the household was not marrying the head of the household. AFDC/TANF includes General Assistance and other welfare payments. An increase in earnings must be an increase of at least $50 per month. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, Veteran's payments, and Worker’s Compensation. A work limitation is defined as a condition that limits the kind or amount of work. The category "None of above in Recent Past" represents the percentage of all spell endings during the period that were not associated with any of the events measured.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

  • Spells of welfare receipt and associated trigger events are measured using monthly data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). In the 2003 Indicators of Welfare Dependence volume (and earlier volumes), events associated with the beginning and ending of program spells were measured using annual data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Thus, the estimates shown above are not comparable to estimates reported in previous volumes.
  • Note that events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event. For example, if a single mother got a job, left welfare, and reported she no longer had a disability limiting her work status, her welfare exit would be coded as being associated with both an increase in earnings and an ending of a work limitation. In other words, events are generally not defined to be mutually exclusive. (However, see two exceptions in note above.)

Chapter 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. However, welfare research has not established clear and definitive causes of welfare receipt and dependence. Instead, it has identified a number of risk factors associated with welfare use. For the purposes of this report, the terms “predictors” and “risk factors” are used somewhat interchangeably.

Following the recommendation of the Advisory Board, this chapter includes a wide range of possible predictors and risk factors. As research advances, 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.

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 nonmarital childbearing.

Economic Security Risk Factors (ECON). The first group includes eight measures associated with economic security. This group encompasses five 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).

This chapter also includes data on child support collections (ECON 6), which can play an important role in reducing dependence on government assistance and thus serve as a predictor of dependence. Household food insecurity (ECON 7) 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 8) 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 eight factors related to employment and barriers to employment. These measures include data on overall labor force attachment and 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 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 being 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 strain a family’s economic resources. The labor force participation of women with children (WORK 8) is also a predictor of dependence.

Nonmarital 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 nonmarital births (BIRTH 1), nonmarital teen births (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 becoming dependent as adults, 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: 1959-2003

Figure ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2003

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2003,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-226 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

  • The official poverty rate was 12.5 percent in 2003, an increase over the rate of 12.1 percent in 2002. Even so, the percentage of persons living in poverty in 2003 was below the poverty rates experienced in most of the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Children under 18 had a poverty rate of 17.6 percent in 2003, up from 16.7 percent in 2002. As in past years, the child poverty rate is considerably higher than the overall poverty rate.
  • The poverty rate for the elderly (persons ages 65 and over) was 10.2 percent in 2003, down slightly from the 2002 rate. This was a far lower poverty rate than the rate for children under 18 (17.6 percent) and similar to adults ages 18-64.
  • Poverty rates by race are affected by a change in the questionnaire that allows individuals to report one or more races. The poverty rate for individuals reporting black race alone was 24.4 percent, as shown in Table ECON 1; the rate for those reporting black alone or in combination with other races was 24.3 percent (data not shown). Under either measurement, the gap between black and white poverty rates was close to 14 percentage points, slightly higher than the historic low of 13 percentage points in 2000 and 2001; but significantly lower than the early 1990s, when it exceeded 21 percentage points.

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

Calendar YearRelated ChildrenAll PersonsWhiteBlackHispanic Origin
Ages 0-5Ages 6-17TotalUnder 1818 to 6465 & over
1959NANA22.427.317.035.218.155.1NA
1963NANA19.523.1NANA15.3NANA
1966NANA14.717.610.528.511.341.8NA
196915.313.112.114.08.725.39.532.2NA
197315.713.611.114.48.316.38.431.421.9
197617.715.111.816.09.015.09.131.124.7
197917.915.111.716.48.915.29.031.021.8
198020.316.813.018.310.115.710.232.525.7
198122.018.414.020.011.115.311.134.226.5
198223.320.415.021.912.014.612.035.629.9
198324.620.415.222.312.413.812.135.728.0
198423.419.714.421.511.712.411.533.828.4
198522.618.814.020.711.312.611.431.329.0
198621.618.813.620.510.812.411.031.127.3
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
199918.015.511.917.110.19.79.823.622.7
200017.814.711.316.29.69.99.522.521.5
200118.214.611.716.310.110.19.922.721.4
200218.515.312.116.710.610.410.224.121.8
200319.815.912.517.610.810.210.524.422.5

Note: 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.

In this table, race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. For example, the poverty rate of 10.5 percent shown for Whites in 2003 is for “White Alone including Hispanic.” Though not shown, the rate for “White Alone or in Combination with other races” was 10.6 percent and for “White Alone, Non-Hispanic” the rate was 8.2 percent. American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders also are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately, due to small sample size.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2003,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-226 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Deep Poverty Rates

Figure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level
1975-2003
Figure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level 1975-2003
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2003,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-226 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) was 5.3 percent in 2003, compared to an overall poverty rate of 12.5 percent. Only about 4 percent of the population was “near-poor” (had incomes at or above 100 percent but below 125 percent of the federal poverty level).
  • 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 rates for 100 percent of poverty and 125 percent of poverty 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 nearly 43 percent in 2003.
  • The total number of poor people in 2003 was 35.9 million, as shown in Table ECON 2. While higher than the previous year, this number was 3.4 million lower than the peak of 39.3 million in 1993.

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

Year

Total

Population

(thousands)

Below 50 PercentBelow 75 PercentBelow 100 PercentBelow 125 Percent

Number 

(thousands)

Percent

Number

(thousands)

Percent

Number

(thousands)

Percent

Number

(thousands)

Percent
1959176,600NANANANA39,50022.454,90031.1
1961181,300NANANANA39,60021.954,30030.0
1963187,300NANANANA36,40019.550,80027.1
1965191,400NANANANA33,20017.346,20024.1
1967195,700NANANANA27,80014.239,20020.0
1969199,5009,6004.816,4008.224,10012.134,70017.4
1971204,600NANANANA25,60012.536,50017.8
1973208,500NANANANA23,00011.132,80015.8
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
1999276,20012,9004.721,8007.932,80011.945,00016.3
2000278,90012,6004.520,5007.431,10011.343,60015.6
2001281,50013,4004.822,0007.832,90011.745,30016.1
2002285,30014,1004.923,1008.134,60012.147,10016.5
2003287,70015,3005.324,5008.535,90012.548,70016.9
 
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: 2003,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-226, 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.
 
 

Economic Security Risk Factor 3. Experimental Poverty Measures

Figure ECON 3. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Age: 2002

Figure ECON 3. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Age: 2002

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Poverty in the United States: 2002,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-222, available online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p60-222.pdf, and unpublished CPS data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

  • 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 alternative 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 3a.
Table ECON 3a. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty
Measures, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2002
 OfficialAlt1 MSI-NGAAlt2 MIT-NGAAlt3 CMB-NGAAlt1 MSI-GAAlt2 MIT-GAAlt3 CMB-GA
All Persons12.112.413.013.012.312.812.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White8.08.99.29.48.48.58.8
Non-Hispanic Black24.121.222.222.320.621.121.3
Hispanic21.821.0922.722.223.325.424.8
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-1716.713.815.314.713.915.214.6
Adults Ages 18-6410.610.811.611.310.811.511.3
Adults Ages 65 and over10.416.714.417.616.013.416.9

Note: 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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Poverty in the United States: 2002,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-222, available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/p60-222.pdf, and unpublished CPS data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Table ECON 3b. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures 1999-2002

 1999200020012002
Official Measure11.911.311.712.1
No Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds
Medical costs alternative 1 (MSI-NGA)12.212.112.412.4
Medical costs alternative 2 (MIT-NGA)12.812.712.813.0
Medical costs alternative 3 (CMB-NGA)12.912.813.013.0
Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds
Medical costs alternative 1 (MSI-GA)12.112.012.312.3
Medical costs alternative 2 (MIT-GA)12.712.512.712.8
Medical costs alternative 3 (CMB-GA)12.812.612.912.9

See above for note and source.

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: 1979-2003

Figure ECON 4. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2004, by the Congressional Budget Office.

  • The official poverty rate – the definition of which includes means-tested cash assistance (primarily TANF and SSI) in addition to pre-tax cash income and social insurance – was 12.5 percent in 2003, as shown in the bold line with empty boxes in Figure ECON 4. Without cash welfare, the 2003 poverty rate would be 13.2 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 11.2 percent in 2003.
  • 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 10.4 percent in 2003. Federal taxes and tax credits 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 2003 by 2.8 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

 198319861989199219951998200020022003
Cash Income Plus All Social Insurance16.014.513.815.614.913.512.012.813.2

Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance

15.213.612.814.513.812.711.312.112.5

Plus Food and Housing Benefits

13.712.211.212.912.011.310.110.911.2

Plus EITC and Federal Taxes

14.713.111.813.011.510.49.510.010.4
Reduction in Poverty Rate1.31.42.02.63.43.12.52.82.8

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: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1984-2004, by the Congressional Budget Office.

Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993 and 2001 panels.

  • About half of all poverty spells that began during the 2001 SIPP panel ended within four months, and 77 percent ended within one year. Only 15 percent of all such spells were longer than 20 months.
  • Spells of poverty that began between 1993 and 1995 were similar to those between 2001 and 2003; 47 percent ended within four months and 16 percent were longer than 20 months.
  • Poverty spells among adults ages 65 and older were more likely to last longer than 20 months (21 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 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age

 
Spells <=4
Months
Spells 5-12
Months
Spells 13-20
Months
Spells >20
Months
All Persons49.227.77.715.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White52.327.17.113.5
Non-Hispanic Black42.127.49.421.1
Hispanic45.729.77.816.8
Age Categories
Ages 0-5 Years48.029.68.314.2
Ages 6-10 Years48.028.57.715.8
Ages 11-15 Years50.327.88.513.4
Women Ages 16-2449.428.67.614.4
Men Ages 16-64 Years52.028.37.612.1
Adults Ages 65 Years and over47.723.77.421.2

Note: Spell length categories are 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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 2001 panel.

Table ECON 5b Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993 1996 and 2001 SIPP Panels, by Length of Spell and Panel

 
Spells <=4
Months
Spells 5-12
Months
Spells 13-20
Months
Spells >20
Months
1993 Panel All Persons47.328.18.915.7
1996 Panel All Persons51.329.08.311.4
2001 Panel All Persons49.227.77.715.5

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.

Economic Security Risk Factor 6. Child SUPPORT

Figure ECON 6. Child Support Collections Received by Families, by Receipt of IV-D Services and Other Assistance (Billions of 2001 Dollars): 1993-2001

Figure ECON 6. Child Support Collections Received by Families, by Receipt of IV-D Services and Other Assistance (Billions of 2001 Dollars): 1993-2001

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2002.

  • In 2001 families reported receiving $22.9 billion in child support payments from the non-resident parent. This amount represents current year support received for a twelve-month period and does not include amounts paid for prior periods (arrearages) or amounts retained by the federal and state government to recoup welfare costs. Total child support collections have increased by 26 percent since 1993, after adjusting for inflation.
  • The amount of payments received by families who also received AFDC/TANF cash assistance at some point in the year has declined, from $2.2 billion in 1993 (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to $1.0 billion in 2001. This partly reflects the decline in the AFDC/TANF caseloads. In addition, some states no longer “pass-through” any payments to families receiving TANF. Prior to the enactment of PRWORA in 1996, states were required to pass-through the first $50 of any child support collected.
  • Child support payments to families who did not receive TANF, but received another form of public assistance (SSI, food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance) increased significantly between 1993 and 2001, from $2.3 to $4.0 billion (in 2001 dollars). This group of families includes former TANF recipients, as well as families at risk of turning to cash assistance. The increased collections for this group more than offset the decline in payments to TANF families.
  • The total amount reported received by families through the child support enforcement system (title IV-D of the Social Security Act) was $12.8 billion, or 56 percent of all child support payments received by families, as shown in Table ECON 6.
Table ECON 6. Child Support Collections Received by Families, by Receipt of IV-D Services and
Other Assistance: 1993-2001
 
Collections
(billions)
Total
(percent)
2001Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:Current $Constant 01$ 
TANF1.01.04
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing4.04.018
Child Support Services Only7.87.834
Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services12.812.856
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services10.110.144
    
1999Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
TANF1.31.46
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing3.13.316
Child Support Services Only6.26.631
Subtotal IV-D Families10.611.353
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services9.410.047
Total Families20.121.3100
1997Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
AFDC/TANF1.51.77
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing3.33.716
Child Support Services Only5.66.227
Subtotal IV-D Families10.511.651
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services10.111.149
Total Families20.622.7100
1995Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
AFDC1.51.88
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing2.32.712
Child Support Services Only7.18.237
Subtotal IV-D Families10.912.755
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services8.910.445
Total Families19.923.1100
1993Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
AFDC1.82.212
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing1.92.313
Child Support Services Only4.85.933
Subtotal IV-D Families8.610.552
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services7.99.748
Total Families16.520.2100

Note: AFDC/TANF families are families who have reported receiving cash assistance for any month during the 12-month period. Therefore, not all the child support reported received was necessarily received while the family received cash assistance. Data limitations do not allow a month-by-month breakdown.

Families receiving SSI, food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance are limited to families not receiving AFDC/TANF.

Families receiving services through the IV-D system are estimated according to the methodology described in technical appendices to the ASPE-published report Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001 (available online at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/CSE-Char04/index.htm) and previous reports.
 
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2002.

Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Food Insecurity

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2003

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2003

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2003.

  • A large majority (89 percent) of American households was food secure in 2003 – 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 2003 was estimated to be 3.5 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2003, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and hunger at times during the year as a result of financial constraints. Food insecurity would be lower if measured over a monthly basis.
  • An additional 7.7 percent of households experienced food insecurity, but were without hunger, during the twelve months ending in December 2003. 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 (12.6 percent) than the 3.5 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 7a. Only 1.2 percent of families with incomes at or above 185 percent of the poverty level showed evidence of food insecurity with hunger.

Table ECON 7a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2003

 Food SecureFood Insecure Total
Food Insecure
without Hunger
Food Insecure
with Hunger
All Households88.811.27.73.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White92.27.85.12.7
Non-Hispanic Black77.922.115.36.8
Hispanic77.722.316.95.4
Households, by Age
Households with Children under 682.517.513.93.6
Households with Children under 1883.316.712.83.8
Households with Elderly94.06.04.31.7
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio
Under 1.0064.935.122.512.6
Under 1.3067.532.521.211.3
Under 1.8571.428.618.89.7
1.85 and over95.14.93.71.2

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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2003. Data are from the Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement.

Table ECON 7b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1998-2003

 Food SecureFood Insecure Total
Food Insecure
without Hunger
Food Insecure
with Hunger
199888.211.88.13.7
199989.910.17.13.0
200089.510.57.33.1
200189.310.77.43.3
200288.911.17.63.5
200388.811.27.73.5

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2003.

Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Lack of Health Insurance

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2003

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004.

  • Poor persons were twice as likely as all persons to be without health insurance in 2003 (31 percent compared to 16 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 2003, among both the general population and those with incomes below the poverty line.
  • While non-Hispanic black individuals in general were less likely to have insurance than non-Hispanic white individuals, poor non-Hispanic black individuals were about as likely to have insurance as poor non-Hispanic white individuals.
  • Among all persons, education levels were inversely related to health insurance coverage. However, among poor persons, educational attainment made little difference as to whether individuals had health insurance.
  • As shown in Table ECON 8, about half of poor people ages 25 to 34 are without health insurance. Among the general population, individuals ages 18 to 24 are the most likely to be without health insurance.

Table ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income and Selected Characteristics: 2003

 All PersonsPoor Persons
All Persons15.630.7
Men16.833.3
Women14.428.7
Non-Hispanic White11.126.9
Non-Hispanic Black19.426.8
Hispanic32.739.7
No High School Diploma29.638.2
High School Graduate, No College19.538.6
College Graduate8.734.2
Ages 17 and under11.419.2
    Ages 5 and under10.314.6
    Ages 6-1111.019.2
    Ages 12-1712.724.8
Ages 18-2430.245.7
Ages 25-3426.450.4
Ages 35-4418.145.9
Ages 45-5414.538.8
Ages 55-6413.026.8
Under 65 years17.633.8
Ages 65 and over0.82.8

Note: "Poor persons" are defined as those with total family incomes at or below the poverty rate. Health insurance rates for the education categories include only adults age 18 and over.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately. Some of the race categories presented for ECON 8 have been changed slightly from prior year reports to provide more internal consistency throughout this report; in prior reports, the race categories for “Black” and “White” included people of Hispanic origin.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004.

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: 2003
Figure WORK 1. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants by Race/Ethnicity: 2003
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004.
  • In 2003, 71 percent of the total population lived in families with at least one person working on a full-time, full-year basis (FT/FY), as shown in Table WORK 1a. The percent of full-time, full-year workers was slightly lower than in 2002, although still higher than during most of the 1990s, as shown in Table WORK 1b.
  • Overall, 14 percent of the population lived in families with no labor force participants and 15 percent lived in families with part-time and/or part-year labor force participants in 2003.
  • 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 2003 (9 percent compared to 15 and 17 percent, respectively).
  • Working-age women in 2003 were more likely than working-age men to live in families with no one in the labor force (8 percent compared to 6 percent), as shown in Table Work 1a. Men were more likely than women to live in families with at least one full-time, full-year worker (81 percent compared to 77 percent).

Table WORK 1a. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2003

 
No One in LF
During Year
At Least One in LF
No One FT/FY
At Least One
FT/FY Worker
All Persons13.815.071.2
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White14.613.971.5
Non-Hispanic Black16.719.563.9
Hispanic8.916.175.1
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-56.817.875.4
Children Ages 6-106.115.178.8
Children Ages 11-156.614.579.0
Women Ages 16-647.815.576.7
Men Ages 16-645.813.680.6
Adults Ages 65 and over65.515.419.1

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. These figures may differ slightly from those reported in previous reports due to a slight improvement in methodology.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1991-2004.

Table WORK 1b. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants: 1990-2003

 
No One in LF
During Year
At Least One in LF
No One FT/FY
At Least One
FT/FY Worker
199013.717.668.7
199114.318.167.6
199214.418.167.6
199314.117.968.0
199414.117.168.8
199513.916.569.7
199613.616.170.3
199713.415.770.9
199813.314.614.6
199912.614.473.1
200012.813.873.3
200113.314.472.4
200213.414.672.0
200313.815.071.2

See above for note and source.

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 at Any Time during Year: 1968-2003

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed at Any Time during Year: 1968-2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1969-2004.

  • Employment rates for women with a high school education or less generally increased during the 1980s and 1990s, although this trend has shown some modest reversal since 2000. Employment levels have been higher among low-skilled non-Hispanic white and black women (67 and 65 percent, respectively, in 2003) than among low-skilled Hispanic women (57 percent).
  • In contrast, employment levels for men with a high school education or less have decreased over the past three decades. The decline has been steepest among non-Hispanic black men, whose employment level in 2003 (66 percent) was considerably lower than those of non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men (81 and 85 percent respectively).
  • As shown in Figure and Table WORK 2, employment levels for non-Hispanic black men with a high school education or less were 1 percentage point higher than those of similarly educated non-Hispanic black women in 2003. In contrast, there was a 14 percentage point difference in employment levels of non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less, and a 28 percentage point difference between similarly educated Hispanic men and women.

Table WORK 2. Percentage of All Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed: 1968-2003

 WomenMen
 Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanicNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic
196855.865.8NA92.889.9NA
196956.164.9NA92.189.2NA
197155.259.4NA90.986.1NA
197255.655.6NA91.184.3NA
197558.357.249.788.278.886.2
197761.457.652.288.378.178.1
197962.958.955.088.578.789.4
198064.157.653.788.075.286.8
198164.057.553.087.474.587.6
198262.756.651.185.671.185.3
198363.555.351.784.870.285.2
198465.058.954.086.571.983.9
198566.059.452.986.174.683.9
198666.861.054.086.474.386.5
198767.359.954.086.773.985.6
198868.061.454.686.374.087.8
198968.861.155.887.775.386.6
199068.560.755.087.775.685.4
199168.361.054.686.473.985.0
199267.857.853.385.771.583.7
199368.660.052.284.671.283.5
199469.060.953.385.069.183.2
199569.660.153.985.970.183.3
199670.264.155.485.970.384.0
199769.966.656.985.372.085.0
199870.467.157.185.371.885.5
199971.468.458.884.572.086.4
200070.667.761.084.772.786.4
200169.864.864.883.469.985.5
200269.564.457.582.567.385.1
200366.965.256.981.165.784.6

Note: All data include both full and partial year employment for the given calendar year.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are not shown separately. Hispanic origin was not available until 1975.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1969-2004.

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

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2003 Dollars): Selected Years

Figure WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2003 Dollars): Selected Years

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1981-2004.

  • Average weekly wages of low-skilled women have been consistently lower than those of low-skilled men. For example, the average weekly wages of non-Hispanic black women without a high school education who worked full-time, full-year were 77 percent of those of men of the same race, education, and work status in 2003 ($464 compared to $605).
  • Non-Hispanic white women have had the highest average weekly wages among low-skilled women working full-time, full-year reaching $561 in 2003. This level is a 20 percent increase over their mean weekly wages in 1980. Over the same time period, non-Hispanic black women and Hispanic women’s weekly wages increased at slower rates (8 percent and 5 percent, respectively).
  • For men, the gap between mean weekly wages of non-Hispanic white and black full-time workers with low education levels has narrowed somewhat over time. Since 1980, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled non-Hispanic black men working full-time has increased by 5 percent, while the mean wage for their white counterparts has declined slightly (by 1 percent). In 2003, the mean weekly wage for low-skilled non-Hispanic black men was $605, or 79 percent of the $766 weekly wage for low-skilled non-Hispanic white men.
  • Over the past two decades, both Hispanic women and men’s wages have lagged behind non-Hispanic whites and blacks among low-skilled full-time workers. In 2003, Hispanic women’s wages were 25 percent lower than non-Hispanic white women and 9 percent lower than non-Hispanic black women. Hispanic men trailed non-Hispanic white men by 33 percent and non-Hispanic black men by 16 percent.

Table WORK 3. Mean Weekly Wages of Women and Men Working Full-Time, Full-Year with No More than a High School Education, by Race (2003 Dollars): Selected Years

 WomenMen
 Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanicNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic
1980469428401775577585
1981459415406764569575
1982466423407750555554
1983471427407750540567
1984475442413765538570
1985488443406758562559
1986494444429776564544
1987500461413771573540
1988499443412765599543
1989494465420747557524
1990493452395714551508
1991487440395701549489
1992494442409707538500
1993489426396690529484
1994496440398700541480
1995498438384720546480
1996501462397738568476
1997508433406749569513
1998528440409732574509
1999506441401751613507
2000523445391770607516
2001532469410764587521
2002541482413762592543
2003561464464766605605

Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and 35 hours per week.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1981-2004.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 4. Educational Attainment

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational
Attainment: 1960-2003
Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2003
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Educational Attainment in the United States, 2003,” Current Population Reports, P20-550, and earlier reports.
  • There has been a marked decline over the past 40 years in the percentage of the population that has not received a high school education. This percentage fell from 59 percent in 1960 to 15 percent in 2003.
  • 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 32 percent in 2003, 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 25 percent in 2003.
  • The percentage of the population completing four or more years of college has more than tripled from 1960 to 2003, rising steadily from 8 percent to 27 percent.

Table WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational Attainment Selected Years

 
Not a High
School Graduate
Finished High School,
No College
One to Three
Years of College
Four or More
Years of College
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
199917332524
200016332525
200116332626
200216322526
200315322527
 
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 were previously from the category “High School, 4 Years” and are now from the category “High School Graduate.” Data shown as One to Three Years of College were previously from the category “College 1 to 3 Years” and are now the sum of the categories: “Some College” and two separate “Associate Degree” categories. Data shown as Four or More Years of College were previously from the category “College 4 Years or More,” and are 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: 2003,” Current Population Reports, P20-550, and earlier reports.
 

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

 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

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 2001 and earlier years (based on Current Population Survey data from the October supplement).

  • Dropout rates for teens in grades 10 to 12 (all races) generally declined during the 1980s, from a high of 6.7 percent in the late 1970s to a low of 4.0 percent in the early 1990s. The rate then began rising in the early 1990s, reaching as high as 5.7 percent in 1995. Since then, it has fallen and remained relatively stable, at or below 5.0 percent since 1996.
  • Dropout rates among Hispanic and non-Hispanic black teens have fluctuated considerably over this period. Still, dropout rates are generally highest for Hispanic teens and lowest for non-Hispanic white teens. In 2001, the dropout rate was 8.8 percent for Hispanic teens, compared to 6.3 percent for non-Hispanic black teens and 4.1 percent for non-Hispanic 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
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
20015.04.16.38.8

Note: 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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity 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.

Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Dropout Rates in the United States: 2001 and earlier years (based on Current Population Survey data from the October supplement).

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: 2003

Figure WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 2003

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2003.

  • In 2003, 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. For example, more than one in six (17 percent) of adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month during 2003, compared with 8 percent of adults 26 to 34 and 3 percent of adults 35 and older.
  • 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.
  • Among all adult age categories, the use of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol abuse did not increase or decrease more than 1 percentage point between 2002 and 2003, as shown in Table WORK 6.
Table WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol
by Age: 1999 - 2003
 19992000200120022003
Cocaine
Ages 18-251.71.41.92.02.2
Ages 26-341.20.81.11.21.5
Ages 35 and over0.40.30.50.60.6
Marijuana
Ages 18-2514.213.616.017.317.0
Ages 26-345.45.96.87.78.4
Ages 35 and over2.22.32.43.13.0
Binge Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2537.937.838.740.941.6
Ages 26-3429.330.330.133.132.9
Ages 35 and over16.016.416.218.618.1
Heavy Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2513.312.813.614.915.1
Ages 26-347.57.67.89.09.4
Ages 35 and over4.24.14.25.25.1

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

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1999-2003.

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

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting a Disability by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2003

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting a Disability by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2003.

  • In 2003, non-elderly adults were more likely than children to have an activity limitation, 11.2 percent compared to 7.3 percent.
  • While non-elderly 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 2003 (6.1 percent compared to 4.6 percent), as shown in Table WORK 7.
  • Among both non-elderly adults and children, rates of activity limitation were somewhat similar for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks in 2003, 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: 2003

 
Activity
Limitation
Work
Disability
Long-Term
Care Needs
Disability
Program
Recipient
All Persons
Adults Ages 18-6411.28.52.04.6
Children Ages 0-177.3NANA6.1
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Adults Ages 18-64)
Non-Hispanic White11.78.92.14.4
Non-Hispanic Black14.110.93.07.8
Hispanic7.75.51.53.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Children Ages 0-17)
Non-Hispanic White7.8NANA6.6
Non-Hispanic Black8.3NANA6.9
Hispanic5.8NANA4.8

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.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2003.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 8. Labor Force Participation of Women with Children Under 18

Figure WORK 8. Labor Force Participation of Women with Children under 18: 1975-2003

Figure WORK 8. Labor Force Participation of Women with Children under 18: 1975-2003

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1976-2004.

  • Since 1996, the labor force participation rate of never-married women has increased dramatically from 61 percent to 73 percent. Beginning in 1998 the participation rate for never-married mothers exceeded the rate for married mothers. The employment to population ratio indicates a similarly steep rise in the number of never-married employed mothers from 49 percent in 1996 to 63 percent in 2003, as shown in Table WORK 8.
  • Historically, mothers who are divorced, separated or widowed have always had the highest rates of labor force participation. The gap between them and married mothers, however, had narrowed considerably by 1994, before widening again over the next decade. In 2001, the labor force participation rate of divorced, separated or widowed mothers reached a peak of 83 percent.
  • The labor force participation rate of married women with children under 18 followed an upward trend until 1997 when it peaked at 71 percent. Since then it has edged downward slowly to 69 percent in 2003.
 
Labor Force Participation Rate
(percent of population)
Employment/Population Ratio
 Married, Spouse PresentDivorced, Separated or WidowedNever-MarriedMarried, Spouse PresentDivorced, Separated or WidowedNever-Married
197544.962.842.240.554.932.1
197646.164.346.242.456.936.3
197748.266.443.444.658.729.6
197850.268.151.147.061.238.9
197951.967.854.448.661.442.6
198054.169.952.050.963.439.9
198155.770.552.352.163.038.3
198256.371.150.451.662.336.2
198357.270.149.852.458.534.5
198458.872.750.754.963.436.3
198560.872.951.656.864.039.3
198661.374.152.957.666.337.8
198763.874.054.160.466.540.2
198865.072.851.661.966.940.0
198965.672.054.763.166.043.1
199066.374.255.363.567.945.1
199166.872.753.663.266.144.0
199267.873.252.563.965.343.4
199367.572.154.464.265.944.0
199469.073.156.965.665.945.8
199570.275.357.567.169.147.9
199670.077.060.567.672.149.3
199771.179.168.168.672.056.6
199870.679.772.568.074.374.3
199970.180.473.468.075.464.8
200070.682.773.968.578.565.8
200170.483.173.568.078.764.6
200269.682.175.366.775.665.8
200369.282.073.166.374.763.2

Notes: The Labor Force Participation Rate includes all women who are employed, laid off or unemployed but looking for work. The Employment/Population Ratio includes only those women who are employed. The population of mothers with children under age 18 includes those 16 years of age and older.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1976-2004.

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 1. Nonmarital Births

Figure BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Age Group: 1940-2003

Figure BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Age Group: 1940-2003

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Preliminary Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 53 (9), November 2004.

  • The percentage of children born outside of marriage to women of all ages has increased over the past six decades, from 4 percent in 1940 to 35 percent in 2003. 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. A little more than four-fifths (82 percent) of all births to teens and over half (53 percent) of all births to women ages 20-24 took place outside of marriage in 2003.
  • After reaching a peak of 33 percent in 1994, the percentage of births that are nonmarital has remained fairly steady. The growth in the percentage of nonmarital teen births also has slowed since 1994, although it is still rising (from 76 percent in 1994 to 82 percent in 2003). The steepest growth since 1994 is among the 20 to 24 year old age group, where the percentage of births that are nonmarital has increased from 45 to 53 percent.
  • Recently, the percentage of births that are nonmarital 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 nonmarital birth data by age and race).

Table BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Age Group: Selected Years

YearUnder 1515-17 Years18-19 YearsAll Teens20-24 YearsAll Women
194064.5NANA14.03.73.8
194570.0NANA18.24.74.3
195063.722.69.413.93.84.0
195566.323.210.314.94.44.5
196067.924.010.715.44.85.3
196578.532.815.315.36.87.7
197080.843.022.430.58.910.7
197587.051.429.839.312.314.3
198088.761.539.848.319.418.4
198189.263.341.449.920.418.9
198289.265.043.051.421.419.4
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
198893.677.158.565.932.932.9
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
200297.088.575.880.251.634.0
2003 preliminary97.189.777.381.653.234.6

Note: Trends in nonmarital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring nonmarital 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: Preliminary Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 53 (9), November 2004 and unpublished NCHS data. Additional computations by ASPE staff of percentages for all teens (this age category not reported by NCHS).

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 2. Nonmarital Teen Births

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race and Ethnicity 1940-2002

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race and Ethnicity 1940-2002

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 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003.

  • In contrast to the earlier Figure BIRTH 1, which showed nonmarital teen births 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 four years, from 9.7 to 8.5 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 nonmarital teen births has also dropped among white women over the past four years, declining to 7.2 percent in 2002. 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 nonmarital teen births fell to 16.7 percent in 2002, 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 nonmarital 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 that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race and
Ethnicity: Selected Years
YearAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanic
19401.70.8NANA
19451.80.8NANA
19501.60.6NANA
19551.70.7NANA
19602.00.9NANA
19653.31.6NANA
19705.12.618.8NA
19757.13.724.2NA
19807.34.422.2NA
19817.14.521.5NA
19827.14.521.2NA
19837.24.621.2NA
19847.14.620.7NA
19857.24.820.3NA
19867.55.120.1NA
19877.75.320.0NA
19888.05.620.3NA
19898.35.920.6NA
19908.46.120.49.8
19918.76.420.420.4
19928.76.520.210.3
19938.96.820.210.6
19949.77.521.112.1
19959.67.621.111.7
19969.67.720.911.5
19979.77.820.511.9
19989.77.919.912.1
19999.57.819.111.9
20009.17.618.311.6
20018.77.317.511.0
20028.57.216.710.8

Note: Trends in nonmarital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring nonmarital 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. Teens are defined as people ages 15 to 19.

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

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 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003.

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 3. Nonmarital Teen Birth Rates Within Age Groups

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, by Race: 1960-2002Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, by Race: 1960-2002
Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2002Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2002

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003.

  • The birth rate per 1,000 unmarried teens fell again in 2002 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 ages 18 and 19, for example, fell from 139 per thousand in 1994 to 104 per thousand in 2002. 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 (from 4 to 24 percent among 15 to 17 year-olds and from 11 to 56 percent among 18 and 19 year-olds).
  • The birth rate among unmarried black teens in both age groups was lower in 2002 than it has been in over four decades. While birth rates among unmarried black teens remain high compared to rates for unmarried white teens, the gap beetween black and white teens narrowed considerably during the 1990s.

Table BIRTH 3. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teen Women within Age Groups, by Race: 1950-2002

 Ages 15 to 17Ages 18 and 19
YearAll RacesWhiteBlackAll RacesWhiteBlack
19509.93.4NA18.38.5NA
195511.13.9NA23.610.3NA
196011.14.4NA24.311.4NA
196111.74.6NA24.612.1NA
196210.74.1NA23.811.7NA
196310.94.5NA25.813.0NA
196411.64.9NA26.513.6NA
196512.55.0NA25.813.9NA
196613.15.4NA25.614.1NA
196713.85.6NA27.615.3NA
196814.76.2NA29.616.6NA
196915.26.672.030.816.6128.4
197017.17.577.932.917.6136.4
197117.57.480.731.715.8135.2
197218.58.082.830.915.1128.2
197318.78.481.230.414.9120.5
197418.88.878.631.215.3122.2
197519.39.676.832.516.5123.8
197619.09.773.532.116.9117.9
197719.810.573.034.618.7121.7
197819.110.368.835.119.3119.6
197919.910.871.037.221.0123.3
198020.612.068.839.024.1118.2
198120.912.665.939.024.6114.2
198221.513.166.339.625.3112.7
198322.013.666.840.726.4111.9
198421.913.766.542.527.9113.6
198522.414.566.845.931.2117.9
198622.814.967.048.033.5121.1
198724.516.269.948.934.5123.0
198826.417.673.551.536.8130.5
198928.719.378.956.040.2140.9
199029.620.478.860.744.9143.7
199130.821.779.965.449.4147.6
199230.221.577.366.751.1146.2
199330.321.976.066.151.9139.7
199431.723.974.069.155.7139.2
199530.123.367.566.554.6128.7
199628.522.362.864.953.4126.8
199727.722.059.263.952.8124.5
199826.521.555.263.753.0121.0
199925.020.750.162.452.8115.3
200023.919.748.362.253.1115.0
200122.018.143.860.652.1110.2
200220.817.539.958.651.0104.1

Note: Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Trends in nonmarital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring nonmarital 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. Rates for 1990-1999 have been revised on the basis of intercensal population estimates benchmarked to the 2000 decennial census and differ from earlier editions of this report.

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003. Birthrates for 1950 to 1965 computed by ASPE staff from NCHS birth data and Census population estimates.

 
 
 

Nonmarital 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/Ethnicity: 1982-2004

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2004

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 2003 and 2004.

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 just over 10 percent in 2004.
  • 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 almost 6 percent in 2004.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads more than doubled over the past twenty 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.

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

 Number of Children (thousands)Percentage
YearAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanicAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanic
196022149173NA0.40.42.2NA
1970527110442NA0.80.25.2NA
19751,166296864NA1.80.59.9NA
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
20037,0083,0283,4541,49710.05.633.311.9
20047,2033,0973,5381,56710.35.734.012.0

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, which is based on decennial census data. 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.)

Race categories include those of Hispanic ethnicity. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately. Nonwhite data are shown for Black in 1960.

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 2003 and 2004.

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.

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)

The Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program — originally named the Aid to Dependent Children program — 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 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 that 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 also must 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. Since then, the program has been operated under a series of short-term extensions.

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. The House of Representatives passed bills incorporating the key elements of the President’s plan in both the 107th Congress (H.R. 4737) and the 108th Congress (H.R. 4), with work progressing on a similar bill (H.R. 240) in the 109th Congress. Senate versions of TANF reauthorization have been reported out of committee (S. 667 in the 109th Congress). Final enactment of TANF reauthorization is expected in 2005.

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. Table TANF 4 in this Appendix which tracks overall expenditure trends includes 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. It is also 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.

One source of discontinuity was removed in the 2004 edition of the Indicators report. 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 (SSPs), funded out of MOE dollars rather than federal TANF funds. This allows the states additional flexibility with regard to the time limits and work requirements. The official TANF caseload figures do not include these families. Starting with the 2004 edition, we have added recipients in SSPs into the caseload totals (the split between TANF and SSP caseloads is shown in Table TANF 3, nationally, and in Table TANF 15, by state) but Tribal TANF families are not included in any of the caseload counts. Expenditures for Separate State Programs are shown in Table TANF 5.

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 through 6). These are followed by information on characteristics of AFDC/TANF families (Table TANF 7)2 and a series of tables presenting state-by-state data on trends in the AFDC/TANF program (Tables TANF 8 through 17). These data complement the data on trends in AFDC/TANF recipiency and participation rates shown in Tables IND 3a and IND 4a in Chapter II.

AFDC/TANF Caseload Trends (Tables TANF 1 through TANF 3 and Figure TANF 1). Welfare caseloads have stabilized over the past few years after declining dramatically during the 1990s. In fiscal year 2003, the average monthly number of TANF recipients was 5.5 million persons, down 2.4 percent from FY 2002. Moreover, this was 56 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 nearly 63 percent to 5.3 million in March 2004.3 Over three-fourths of the reduction in the caseload since March 1994 has occurred following the implementation of TANF (data not shown). These are the largest welfare caseload declines in the history of U.S. welfare programs.

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 the 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 was attributable to welfare reform (O’Neill and Hill, 2001). The relative stability of the caseload during the recent recession further supports the argument that the economy was only one of several factors driving caseloads down.

AFDC/TANF Expenditures (Tables TANF 4 through TANF 6 and Figure TANF 2). Tables TANF 4 and 5 show trends in expenditures on AFDC and TANF. Table TANF 4 tracks both programs, breaking out the costs of benefits and administrative expenses. It also shows the division between federal and state spending. 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, by 2003 the average monthly benefit per recipient had declined to 61 percent of what it was at its peak in the late 1970s.

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 families with no adult in the assistance unit and in employment among adult recipients.

One of the most dramatic trends is the increase in the proportion of adult recipients who are working. In FY 2003, 23 percent of TANF adult recipients were employed, up from 11 percent in FY 1996 and 7 percent in FY 1993, as shown in Table TANF 7. Adding in those in work experience and community service positions, the percentage working was 28 percent in FY 2003 (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. (For example, see Table WORK 2 in Chapter III for trends in employment rates for women with no more than a high school education.)

Another dramatic change in the caseload is the increasing fraction of cases without an adult recipient. Such cases occur when the adults are ineligible (because they are a caretaker relative, SSI parent, immigrant parent, or sanctioned parent). Families with no adults in the assistance unit have climbed from 14.8 percent of the caseload in FY 1992 to 40.9 percent in FY 2003. Not counting cases with a sanctioned parent, 38.0 percent of the caseload was child-only in 2003. This dramatic growth has been due to an increase in the number of child-only cases during the early 1990s, followed by a decline in the number of adult-present cases. Even though child-only cases are generally not subject to the work requirements or time limits under TANF, the number of cases without an adult in the assistance unit has fallen by about 150,000 since 1996 — between 1996 and 1998 the child-only caseload decreased by 250,000 but subsequently increased by 100,000.

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 (Tables TANF 8 through TANF 17). 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 March 2004 ranges from 95 percent (Wyoming) to 28 percent (Indiana). Five 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).

Table TANF 15 shows TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) families and recipients, by state. Tables TANF 16 and 17 use a data source available beginning in 2003, the High Performance Bonus data, which links TANF administrative records with quarterly earnings records, and allows examination of patterns of TANF receipt and employment. For example, Table TANF 16 shows the range across states in employment rates among TANF recipients (where employment is measured by presence of quarterly earnings in the same calendar quarter as one or more months of TANF recipient or in the immediately subsequent quarter). Table 17 complements the data on program spell duration provided in Table IND 8 in Chapter II, by examining state-by-state variation in the percentage of TANF recipients that receive benefits over the course of one year (four quarters) after a selected calendar quarter.

Figure TANF 1. AFDC/TANF Families Receiving Income Assistance

Figure TANF 1. AFDC/TANF Families Receiving Income Assistance

Note: “Basic Families” are single-parent families and “UP Families” are those two-parent cases whose eligibility was due to unemployment and who received 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 in the period from September 1996 to 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. Beginning in 2000, “Total Families” includes TANF and SSP families. Last data point plotted is March 2004.

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 2003 Dollars

Figure TANF 2. Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Benefit per Recipient in Constant 2003 Dollars

Note: See Table TANF 6 for underlying data. Comparison of trends in the average monthly AFDC/TANF benefit per recipient in current and constant 2003 dollars with the weighted average maximum benefit in current and constant 2003 dollars since 1988 indicates that the primary cause of the decline in the average monthly benefit has been due to the erosion in the real value of the maximum benefit due to inflation as the current value of maximum benefits was not increased in most states during most of the 1990s.

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 Seventh TANF Annual Report to Congress, 2005.

 
Fiscal YearAverage Monthly Number (thousands)Child RecipientsChildren as a Percent of Total RecipientsAverage 1 Number of Children per Family
Total Families 1AFDC UP 2Two-Parent FamiliesTANF Two-Parent FamiliesTotal Recipients
1962...........92448NA3,5932,77877.33.0
1963...........95054NA3,8342,89675.53.0
1964...........98460NA4,0593,04375.03.1
1965...........1,03769NA4,3233,24275.03.1
1966...........1,07462NA4,4723,36975.33.1
1967...........1,14158NA4,7183,56075.53.1
1968...........1,31067NA5,3494,01375.03.1
1969...........1,53966NA6,1464,59174.73.0
1970...........1,90678NA7,4155,48474.02.9
1971...........2,531143NA9,5576,96372.92.8
1972...........2,918134NA10,6327,69872.42.6
1973...........3,123120NA11,0387,96772.22.6
1974...........3,17093NA10,8457,82572.22.5
1975...........3,357100NA11,0677,95271.92.4
1976...........3,575135NA11,3868,05470.72.3
1977...........3,593149NA11,1307,84670.52.2
1978...........3,539128NA10,6727,49270.22.1
1979...........3,496114NA10,3187,19769.82.1
1980...........3,642141NA10,5977,32069.12.0
1981...........3,871209NA11,1607,61568.22.0
1982...........3,569232NA10,4316,97566.92.0
1983...........3,651272NA10,6597,05166.11.9
1984...........3,725287NA10,8667,15365.81.9
1985...........3,692261NA10,8137,16566.31.9
1986...........3,748254NA10,9977,30066.41.9
1987...........3,784236NA11,0657,38166.72.0
1988...........3,748210NA10,9207,32567.12.0
1989...........3,771193NA10,9347,37067.42.0
1990...........3,974204NA11,4607,75567.72.0
1991...........4,374268NA12,5928,51367.61.9
1992...........4,768322NA13,6259,22667.71.9
1993...........4,981359NA14,1439,56067.61.9
1994...........5,046363NA14,2269,61167.61.9
1995...........4,871335NA13,6609,28067.91.9
1996...........4,543301NA12,6458,67268.61.9
1997 2.........3,937256NA10,9357,781 371.2 32.0 3
1998...........3,200NA1628,7906,27371.42.0
1999...........2,674NA1257,1885,31974.02.0
2000...........2,356NA1326,3244,59872.72.0
2001...........2,200NA1195,7614,22573.31.9
2002...........2,194NA1185,6544,14973.01.9
2003...........2,181NA1165,5174,07373.81.9
 

Note: Beginning in 2000, all caseload numbers include SSP families.

1 Includes unemployed parent families and child-only cases.

2 The AFDC Unemployed Parent program was replaced when the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed AFDC and set up the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program which was implemented during the period from September 1996 to July 1, 1997.

3 Based on data from the old AFDC reporting system that were available only for the first 9 months of the fiscal year.

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

Table TANF 2. Number of AFDC/TANF Recipients, and Recipients as a Percentage of Various Population Groups: 1970–2003

Calendar
Year 1
Total Recipients in the States & DC(thousands)Child Recipients in the States & DC(thousands)Recipients as a Percent of Total Population 2Recipients as a Percent of Poverty Population 3Recipients as a Percent of Pretransfer Poverty Population 4Child Recipients as a Percent of Total Child Population 2Child Recipients as a Percent of Children in Poverty 3
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
199513,2429,0135.036.450.113.061.5
199612,1568,3554.533.346.411.957.8
199710,2247,077 53.728.740.710.050.1
19988,2155,7813.023.834.78.142.9
19996,7094,8362.420.530.96.739.4
20006,0434,3992.119.129.76.138.0
20015,6334,1322.017.126.85.735.3
20025,5294,0501.916.025.45.633.4
20035,4324,0041.915.1NA5.531.1
 

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. From 2000 onward, total recipients includes SSP recipients as well as TANF recipients. 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 P60-226 (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

4 The pretransfer poverty population used as the 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 Estimated based on the ratio of children recipients to total recipients 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, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States: 2003," Current Population Reports, Series P60-226, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Table TANF 3. TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2000–2003
(thousands)
 
 TANFSSPTotal
Fiscal YearFamilies
20002,265912,356
20012,117822,200
20022,0651282,194
20032,0321492,181
 All Recipients
20005,9433806,324
20015,4233385,761
20025,1495055,654
20034,9655515,517
 Child Recipients
20004,3702284,598
20014,0232024,225
20023,8413084,149
20033,7303444,073

Note: Some states provide cash and other forms of assistance to specific categories of families (e.g., two-parent families) under Separate State Programs (SSPs) which are funded out of Maintenance of Effort (MOE) dollars rather than federal TANF funds. See Table TANF 15 for SSPs by state.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, (available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/)

Table TANF 4. Total AFDC/TANF Expenditures on Cash Benefits and Administration: 1970–2003
(millions)
Fiscal Year
Federal Funds
(current dollars)
 
State Funds
(current dollars)
 
Total
(current dollars)
 
Total
(constant 2003 dollars 1)
Benefits
Administra-
tive
 Benefits
Administra-
tive
 Benefits
Administra-
tive
 Benefits
Administra-
tive
1970$2,187$572 2 $1,895$309 $4,082$881 2 $18,500$3,993
19713,008271 2,469254 5,477525 23,7642,278
19723,612240 3 2,942241 6,554481 27,4612,015
19733,865313 3,138296 7,003610 28,1812,455
19744,071379 3,300362 7,371740 27,3202,743
19754,625552 3,787529 8,4121,082 28,4183,655
19765,258541 4,418527 9,6761,069 30,5993,381
19775,626595 4,762583 10,3881,177 30,5793,465
19785,724631 4,898617 10,6211,248 29,3323,447
19795,825683 4,954668 10,7791,350 27,3743,428
19806,448750 5,508729 11,9561,479 27,2963,377
19816,928835 5,917814 12,8451,648 26,6663,421
19826,922878 5,934878 12,8571,756 24,9383,406
19837,332915 6,275915 13,6071,830 25,2433,395
19847,707876 6,664822 14,3711,698 25,5723,021
19857,817890 6,763889 14,5801,779 25,0433,056
19868,239993 6,996967 15,2351,960 25,5223,283
19878,9141,081 7,4091,052 16,3232,133 26,5903,475
19889,1251,194 2 7,5381,159 16,6632,353 26,0773,682
19899,4331,211 7,8071,206 17,2402,417 25,7483,610
199010,1491,358 8,3901,303 18,5392,661 26,3753,786
199111,1651,373 9,1911,300 20,3562,673 27,5683,620
199212,2581,459 9,9931,378 22,2502,837 29,2463,729
199312,2701,518 10,0161,438 22,2862,956 28,4363,772
199412,5121,680 10,2851,621 22,7973,301 28,3374,103
199512,0191,770 10,0141,751 22,0323,521 26,6454,259

Note: Benefits do not include emergency assistance payments and have not been reduced by child support collections. Foster care payments are included from 1971 to 1980. State funds for benefits include benefits under Separate State Programs. Beginning in fiscal year 1984, the cost of certifying AFDC households for food stamps is shown in the Food Stamp Program’s appropriation under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Administrative and systems costs include: Work Program, ADP, FAMIS, Fraud Control, Child Care administration (through 1996), SAVE and other State and local administrative expenditures.

1 Constant dollar adjustments to 2003 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year price index.

2 Includes expenditures for services.

3 These year-to-year changes likely reflect the fact that States now report corrections from prior years in the current year.

4 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Under PRWORA, spending categories are not entirely equivalent to those under AFDC: for example administrative expenses under TANF do not include IV-A child care administration (which accounted for 4 percent of 1996 administrative expense).

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

Table TANF 5. Federal and State TANF Program and Other Related Spending Fiscal Years 1997–2003
(millions)
 Cash & Work-Based AssistanceWork ActivitiesChild CareTrans- portationAdminis- trationSystemsTransitional ServicesOther 1 ExpendituresTotal Expenditures
Federal TANF Grants
1997$7,708$467$14$872$109$0$862$10,032
19987,16876325293822461,13610,487
19996,4751,2256041,070337171,59511,323
20005,4441,6061,5534961,3282422,71513,384
20014,7721,9831,5835221,3752234,32514,782
20024,5542,1211,5723391,3392944,36814,588
20035,5201,9371,6984341,3072854,77216,254
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
20023,9945821,860221877661,5549,154
20033,5975961,99373766601,4418,526
State Maintenance of Effort Expenditures in Separate State Programs
199769121110018210
199821631376128391
1999434262572200126865
2000305117317190431856
20015032834203814991,125
200286024722441-.56521,673
200380166-2233633-.38481,560
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
20029,4082,7273,5045842,2583596,57425,414
200310,2192,5993,4685432,1063457,06026,340

1 Other includes accounts for: Assistance under Prior Law, Individual Development Accounts, Refundable EITC, Other Refundable Tax Credits, Non-Recurring Short-Term Benefits, Non-Assistance under Prior Law, Pregnancy Prevention, 2-Parent Formation, and Miscellaneous.

Note: Administration and Systems, shown separately here in Table TANF 5, can be combined to show total administrative costs, as in Table TANF 4. Negative numbers are possible since under TANF States now report corrections from prior years in the current year.

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

Table TANF 6. Trends in AFDC/TANF Average Monthly Payments: 1962–2003

 

Fiscal YearMonthly 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)
Current
Dollars
2003
Dollars
Current
Dollars
2003
Dollars
Current
Dollars
2003
Dollars
1962$31$1753.9$121$680NANA
1963311734.0126696NANA
1964321744.1131718NANA
1965341814.2140755NANA
1966351844.2146768NANA
1967361864.1150768NANA
1968401964.1162800NANA
1969432064.0173821$186 2$887
1970462083.9178808194 2881
1971482073.8180782201 2872
1972512153.6187784205 2860
1973532133.5187752213 2856
1974572103.4194718229 2848
1975632133.3209705243821
1976712243.2226713257812
1977782293.1241709271798
1978832293.0250691284785
1979872213.0257653301764
1980942152.9274625320731
1981961992.9277574326676
19821031992.9300582331641
19831061972.9311576336624
19841101962.9322572352626
19851121932.9329565369634
19861151932.9339568383642
19871232002.9359586393641
19881271992.9370580403631
19891311962.9381569413617
19901351922.9389553420597
19911351822.9388525424575
19921361792.9389511419550
19931311682.8373476414529
19941341662.8376468416516
19951341632.8376455418506
19961351582.8374441419493
1997 31301492.8362415418479
19981301472.7358404429484
19991331472.7357395450498
20001331432.6349374446478
20011371422.6351365448465
20021461492.5364372452463
20031401402.5354354449449

Note: AFDC benefit amounts have not been reduced by child support collections. Constant dollar adjustments to 2003 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal-year price index. See the note to Figure TANF 2 for explanation of the decline in real benefits.

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 for Needy Families (TANF) program. Beginning in 1997, average monthly benefits are calculated from case-level data rather than by dividing aggregate expenditures on cash assistance by aggregate caseloads, as in the past. This change was necessary due to uncertainty about the extent to which states may be reporting non-cash basic assistance as well as cash assistance in the expenditure data formerly used to calculate average cash benefits.

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.

Table TANF 7. Characteristics of AFDC/TANF Families: Selected Years 1969–2003

 
May
1969
May
1975
March
1979
Fiscal Year 1
1983198819921996200020022003
Avg. Family Size (persons)4.03.23.03.03.02.92.82.62.52.5
Number of Child Recipients
One26.637.942.343.442.542.543.944.247.047.9
Two23.026.028.129.830.230.229.928.428.027.8
Three17.716.115.615.215.815.515.015.314.213.8
Four or More32.520.013.910.19.910.19.210.18.98.6
UnknownNANANA1.51.70.71.32.01.91.9
Families with No Adult in Asst. Unit10.112.514.68.39.614.821.534.539.040.9
Child-Only Families 232.736.638.0
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 Housing12.814.6NA10.09.69.28.817.719.219.1
Participating in Food Stamp or
Donated Food Program
52.975.175.183.084.687.389.379.980.180.9
Presence of Income3
With Earnings NA14.612.85.78.47.411.123.621.819.5
No Non-AFDC/TANF Income 56.071.180.686.879.678.976.071.672.874.4
Adult Employment Status (percent of adults)
Employed 14.05.56.86.611.326.425.322.9
Unemployed 49.247.249.0
Not in Labor Force 24.327.528.1
Adult Women's Employment Status (percent of adult female recipients)4
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)
Single65.366.667.3
Married12.411.510.7
Separated13.113.012.8
Widowed0.70.70.5
Divorced8.58.28.7
Basis for Child's Eligibility (percent of children)
Incapacitated11.7 57.75.33.43.74.14.3
Unemployed4.6 53.74.18.76.58.28.3
Death5.5 53.72.21.81.81.61.6
Divorce or Separation43.3 548.344.738.534.630.024.3
Absent, No Marriage Tie27.9 531.037.844.351.953.158.6
Absent, Other Reason3.5 54.05.91.41.62.02.4
Unknown1.70.90.6

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 In this table, child-only families are those families with no adult in the assistance unit excluding those where there is no adult in the assistance unit as a result of the parent being sanctioned for non-compliance.

3 Percentages on presence of income are measured as a percentage of families through 1997 and for adult recipients in 1998 and subsequent years.

4 For years prior to 1983, data are for mothers only.

5 Calculated on the basis of total number of families.

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: 2003 TANF Annual Report to Congress and earlier years.

Table TANF 8. AFDC/TANF Benefits, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1978–2003
(millions)
 1978198419861988199019941998200020022003
United States$10,621$14,371$15,236$16,663$18,543$22,798$14,614$11,180$9,408$10,219
Alabama$78$74$68$62$62$92$44$36$33$46
Alaska173746546011377555550
Arizona306779103138266145107130175
Arkansas51394853575726342622
California1,8133,2073,5744,0914,9556,0884,1283,6432,6083,119
Colorado7410710712513715880485351
Connecticut168226223218295397305166128133
Delaware28282524294024201920
Dist. of Columbia917577768412697726768
Florida145251261318418806357234256251
Georgia103149223266321428313180109169
Guam3543512NANANANA
Hawaii83837377991631531418591
Idaho2121191920306356
Illinois699845886815839914771269146115
Indiana11815314816717022810487146139
Iowa107159170155152169104797681
Kansas7387919710512341435055
Kentucky122135104143179198147104101102
Louisiana97145162182188168103586767
Maine5169848010110880736666
Maryland16622925025029631419219622732
Massachusetts476406471558630730442336279339
Michigan7801,2141,2481,2311,2111,132589386326390
Minnesota164287322338355379276193184193
Mississippi33587485868260183736
Missouri152196209215228287180139148130
 15273741404930213131
Nebraska38566256596241415259
Nevada8101620274839284848
New Hampshire21162021326239322939
New Jersey489485509459451531372222194222
New Mexico32495156611441041138278
New York1,6891,9162,0992,1402,2592,9132,1491,5541,4651,605
North Carolina138149138206247353211140139133
North Dakota14162022242622121018
Ohio4417258048058771,016546368336304
Oklahoma748510011913216572784558
Oregon148101120128145197141346982
Pennsylvania726724389747798935523573338324
Puerto Rico253833677274NANANANA
Rhode Island59717982991361171058983
South Carolina5275103919611552913549
South Dakota18171521222514101111
Tennessee7783100125168215108146132138
Texas122229281344416544315248203323
Utah41525561647750404144
Vermont21404040486547393834
Virgin Islands222234NANANANA
Virginia136165179169177253123186101129
Washington175294375401438610450312295269
West Virginia537510910711012652497168
Wisconsin2605194445064404251457126109
Wyoming6131619192179215

Note: Benefits refers to total cash benefits paid, (see Table TANF 4) but does not include emergency assistance payments. NA denotes data not available. See footnote 3 of Table TANF 4 for an explanation of the recent changes in benefit expenditures.

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.

Table TANF 9. Comparison of Federal Funding for AFDC and Related Programs
and 2003 Family Assistance Grants Awarded under PRWORA
(millions)
StateFY 1996 Grants for AFDC, EA & JOBS 1FY 2003 Family Assistance Grants & Supplemental 2FY 2003 Bonus Awards 3FY 2003 Total Awards
Increase of FY 2003 over
FY 1996 Level
Percent Increase from FY 1996 Level
United States$15,067$16,685$511$17,196$2,12914
Alabama$79.0$104.40.5$104.9$25.933
Alaska60.760.36.366.66.010
Arizona200.6226.11.2227.326.713
Arkansas54.363.05.768.614.326
California3,545.63,687.721.03,708.7163.15
Colorado138.9149.619.8169.430.522
Connecticut221.1266.811.7278.557.526
Delaware30.232.31.233.53.311
Dist. of Columbia77.192.624.6117.240.152
Florida504.7622.738.1660.8156.131
Georgia301.2368.04.4372.471.224
Hawaii98.498.90.999.81.41
Idaho31.333.92.136.04.715
Illinois593.8585.10.0585.1-8.8-1
Indiana121.4206.819.4226.2104.986
Iowa129.3131.57.2138.79.47
Kansas86.9101.910.2112.125.229
Kentucky171.6181.314.5195.824.114
Louisiana122.4181.03.8184.862.451
Maine73.278.14.382.49.213
Maryland207.6229.121.4250.542.921
Massachusetts372.0459.42.2461.689.524
Michigan581.5775.422.0797.3215.837
Minnesota239.3267.213.4280.641.217
Mississippi68.695.80.896.628.041
Missouri207.9217.121.7238.830.915
Montana39.243.74.448.08.923
Nebraska56.257.75.863.67.413
Nevada41.247.72.049.78.521
New Hampshire36.038.52.741.25.214
New Jersey353.4404.04.3408.354.916
New Mexico129.9117.25.4122.5-7.4-6
New York2,332.72,442.923.12,466.0133.36
North Carolina311.9338.33.5341.829.910
North Dakota24.526.41.327.73.213
Ohio564.5728.021.4749.4184.933
Oklahoma125.1147.66.5154.129.023
Oregon146.4166.86.0172.926.418
Pennsylvania780.1719.531.7751.2-29.0-4
Rhode Island82.995.02.997.915.018
South Carolina99.4100.01.6101.52.12
South Dakota19.721.31.622.93.116
Tennessee178.9213.111.2224.345.325
Texas437.1539.027.6566.5129.430
Utah68.084.36.090.322.333
Vermont42.447.41.348.66.315
Virginia134.6158.315.8174.139.529
Washington393.2388.712.6401.38.12
West Virginia95.1110.22.8113.017.919
Wisconsin241.6315.111.5326.585.035
Wyoming14.418.520.238.724.3169

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 2003 Family Assistance Grants and Supplemental is net of the Tribal Grants amounts.

3 The FY 2003 Bonus Awards include Out of Wedlock Bonus and High Performance Bonus.

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

Table TANF 10. Peak AFDC/TANF Caseload, by State: October 1989 to March 2004
(thousands)
State
Peak Caseload Oct ‘89 to
Mar ’04
Date Peak Occurred
Oct ’89 to Mar ’04
Sept ’96AFDC Caseload
Mar ’04 TANF
& SSP Caseload
Percent Decline 1 Sept ’96 to Mar ’04Percent Decline Peak to Mar ’04
United States5,098Mar-944,3462,1575058
Alabama52.3Mar-9340.719.25363
Alaska13.4Apr-9412.35.25761
Arizona72.8Dec-9361.850.01931
Arkansas27.1Mar-9222.110.15463
California933.1Mar-95870.3503.84246
Colorado43.7Dec-9333.614.85666
Connecticut61.9Mar-9557.125.15660
Delaware11.8Apr-9410.55.74652
Dist. of Columbia27.5Apr-9425.117.53036
Florida259.9Nov-92200.357.57178
Georgia142.8Nov-93120.954.25562
Hawaii23.4Jun-9721.912.24448
Idaho9.5Mar-958.42.07779
Illinois243.1Aug-94217.836.28385
Indiana76.1Sep-9349.754.5-1028
Iowa40.7Apr-9431.123.02643
Kansas30.8Aug-9323.416.72846
Kentucky84.0Mar-9370.435.84957
Louisiana94.7May-9066.518.17381
Maine24.4Aug-9319.711.14454
Maryland81.8May-9568.928.35965
Massachusetts115.7Aug-9384.349.14258
Michigan233.6Apr-91167.580.35266
Minnesota66.2Jun-9257.239.53140
Mississippi61.8Nov-9145.218.65970
Missouri93.7Mar-9479.141.54856
Montana12.3Mar-949.85.44556
Nebraska17.2Mar-9314.411.42134
Nevada16.3Mar-9513.29.62841
New Hampshire11.8Apr-948.96.32946
New Jersey132.6Nov-92100.846.45465
New Mexico34.9Nov-9433.017.64749
New York463.7Dec-94412.7200.15257
North Carolina134.1Mar-94107.537.36572
North Dakota6.6Apr-934.73.13554
Ohio269.8Mar-92201.984.95869
Oklahoma51.3Mar-9335.313.96173
Oregon43.8Apr-9328.518.43658
Pennsylvania212.5Sep-94180.187.15259
Puerto Rico61.7Jan-9249.517.66471
Rhode Island22.9Apr-9420.514.52937
South Carolina54.6Jan-9342.917.36068
South Dakota7.4Apr-935.72.75263
Tennessee112.6Nov-9396.273.62435
Texas287.5Dec-93238.8107.45563
Utah18.7Mar-9314.09.23451
Vermont10.3Apr-928.75.33948
Virgin Islands1.4Dec-951.30.65961
Virginia76.0Apr-9460.535.34254
Washington104.8Feb-9596.859.03944
West Virginia41.9Apr-9337.616.65660
Wisconsin82.9Jan-9249.923.15472
Wyoming7.1Aug-924.30.49295

1Negative values denote percent increase.

Note: these data do not include Tribal TANF families (about 8,000 in number). This makes little difference nationally, but in States like Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona, their exclusion under TANF overstates the real decline from AFDC years.

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

Table TANF 11. Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Recipients, by State: Selected Fiscal Years
(thousands)
 19651970198019901994199620002003PercentChange
1990-961996-03
United States4,3237,41510,59711,46014,22612,6456,3245,51710-56
Alabama781231801301321054646-19-57
Alaska5815203836221579-58
Arizona4051511242011728711338-34
Arkansas3045857169582925-19-56
California5281,1481,3871,9022,6392,6261,5741,30338-50
Colorado426677102119992935-4-64
Connecticut5983139120166162735635-65
Delaware122032212723131310-43
Dist. of Columbia204085497470474344-38
Florida10620425637066956115812852-77
Georgia7119822129339335312913620-61
Guam12547810119137
Hawaii142560446267754152-38
Idaho1016211723232338-86
Illinois262368672636712655256993-85
Indiana4873157154216148103155-45
Iowa446410498110895454-9-39
Kansas3653687787683240-11-42
Kentucky811291671752081758977-0-56
Louisiana1042022132822482367558-16-75
Maine1936605664563232-0-42
Maryland80131212186222204777110-65
Massachusetts94208350263307237102109-10-54
Michigan162253685655666527207201-20-62
Minnesota51761351711871711161170-32
Mississippi831151731791591293446-28-65
Missouri10714019921126323213112110-48
Montana7131929353113178-45
Nebraska1630354345402831-7-21
Nevada51212233838162866-25
New Hampshire4922163024141548-39
New Jersey104286459309335288138110-7-62
New Mexico30515357102101724477-56
New York5171,0521,1009811,2551,18472450121-58
North Carolina1111241982233332781008424-70
North Dakota8111316161389-14-35
Ohio183266513632685546245188-14-66
Oklahoma7395891121311053637-6-65
Oregon317510289114873943-2-51
Pennsylvania3034266295216205442502104-61
Puerto Rico2022231681901831559254-18-65
Rhode Island243852466358504127-30
South Carolina305215311114011941517-58
South Dakota11162019191676-14-61
Tennessee7612916221130026014718623-29
Texas9121430861178868434236312-47
Utah2233374550402322-11-46
Vermont51223222825161415-46
Virgin Islands1233453155-71
Virginia468716615119516275757-54
Washington7110915422829227416814920-46
West Virginia1169377111114953241-14-57
Wisconsin45792132372261704050-28-70
Wyoming45714161311-9-94

Note: Recipients in 2000 and beyond include both TANF and SSP recipients but do not include Tribal TANF recipients.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, 2003 TANF Report to Congress.

Table TANF 12. AFDC/TANF Recipiency Rates for Total Population, by State: Selected Fiscal Years
(percent)
 
 19651970198019901994199620002003PercentChange
1990-961996-03
United States2.13.54.64.55.34.62.21.93-60
Alabama2.23.64.63.23.12.41.01.0-24-58
Alaska1.82.63.73.76.35.93.62.363-61
Arizona2.62.91.93.44.73.71.72.011-46
Arkansas1.52.33.73.02.82.31.10.9-25-59
California2.95.75.86.38.48.24.63.729-55
Colorado2.23.02.63.13.22.50.70.8-19-69
Connecticut2.12.74.53.65.04.82.11.633-67
Delaware2.43.65.43.23.83.21.71.6-0-48
Dist. of Columbia2.55.313.38.112.612.38.27.752-37
Florida1.83.02.62.84.73.81.00.833-80
Georgia1.64.34.04.55.54.71.61.64-67
Hawaii1.93.26.23.95.25.56.13.340-41
Idaho1.42.22.21.62.01.90.20.216-88
Illinois2.53.35.95.66.05.42.10.8-2-86
Indiana1.01.42.92.83.72.51.72.5-9-0
Iowa1.62.33.63.53.93.11.91.8-12-40
Kansas1.62.42.93.13.42.61.21.5-16-44
Kentucky2.54.04.64.75.44.52.21.9-6-58
Louisiana2.95.65.06.75.75.41.71.3-20-76
Maine1.93.65.44.55.24.52.52.5-2-45
Maryland2.23.35.03.94.44.01.51.33-68
Massachusetts1.83.76.14.45.03.81.61.7-12-56
Michigan2.02.97.47.06.95.42.12.0-23-63
Minnesota1.42.03.33.94.13.62.32.3-7-36
Mississippi3.65.26.96.95.94.71.21.6-32-66
Missouri2.43.04.04.14.94.32.32.14-50
Montana1.01.92.43.64.03.51.41.9-3-46
Nebraska1.12.02.22.72.82.41.61.8-12-24
Nevada1.22.41.51.92.52.30.81.322-44
New Hampshire0.71.22.41.52.72.11.11.240-44
New Jersey1.54.06.24.04.23.51.61.3-11-64
New Mexico3.05.04.13.86.15.84.02.453-59
New York2.95.86.35.46.86.43.82.617-59
North Carolina2.22.43.43.44.63.71.21.010-73
North Dakota1.21.72.02.42.62.11.21.4-15-34
Ohio1.82.54.85.86.14.92.21.6-17-66
Oklahoma3.03.72.93.64.03.11.01.0-12-67
Oregon1.63.63.93.13.72.71.11.2-14-55
Pennsylvania2.63.65.34.45.14.42.01.72-62
Rhode Island2.74.05.54.66.25.74.73.825-34
South Carolina1.22.04.93.23.83.11.01.2-1-61
South Dakota1.62.42.92.72.62.20.90.8-19-63
Tennessee2.03.33.54.35.74.82.63.211-34
Texas0.91.92.13.64.23.51.61.6-1-54
Utah2.23.12.52.62.52.01.00.9-25-52
Vermont1.42.64.43.94.84.32.72.210-48
Virginia1.01.93.12.43.02.41.11.0-1-58
Washington2.43.23.74.75.44.92.82.46-51
West Virginia6.45.34.06.26.35.21.82.2-16-57
Wisconsin1.11.84.54.84.43.30.80.9-33-72
Wyoming1.11.51.43.13.42.60.20.1-16-94

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/).

Table TANF 13. Average Number of AFDC/TANF Child Recipients, by State: Selected Fiscal Years
(thousands)
 
 19651970198019901994199620002003PercentChange
1990-961996-03
United States3,2425,4837,3207,7559,6118,6724,5984,07312-53
Alabama62961299396793736-14-55
Alaska4610132423151076-56
Arizona31393887136118668336-30
Arkansas2334625149422219-18-55
California3918169321,2941,8041,8051,1631,01039-44
Colorado3350536980682226-2-62
Connecticut43629781111108503933-64
Delaware915221419169109-37
Dist. of Columbia163159345148343240-33
Florida8516018426446339512410149-74
Georgia5415016120627425110110422-58
Guam1143560087-100
Hawaii101840294144502751-39
Idaho711141116162241-84
Illinois202283473436486456193815-82
Indiana365511110514510474114-110
Iowa3246696472593635-7-41
Kansas2841495259482328-8-42
Kentucky589311811713712064573-53
Louisiana791571561991801625946-19-71
Maine14264035403522210-42
Maryland61100145124151140565213-63
Massachusetts711532281681971537377-9-50
Michigan119190460427439354153148-17-58
Minnesota39589111012411681805-31
Mississippi6693128129116962734-25-65
Missouri82106135139176162948516-48
Montana6101319232191110-44
Nebraska1223252931282022-5-21
Nevada498162727122171-24
New Hampshire3715111916101048-36
New Jersey7920931821322819510281-8-59
New Mexico233935376665513175-52
New York38075975965881377149135317-54
North Carolina8394141152223191766526-66
North Dakota6891011956-12-33
Ohio136198348414455382180139-8-64
Oklahoma5571657790742828-4-62
Oregon23526560766029320-47
Pennsylvania2173074323454173681841547-58
Puerto Rico1611661181301241056437-19-65
Rhode Island182736304139342829-28
South Carolina24401098010289323712-59
South Dakota8121513141255-11-57
Tennessee589911514420318110713226-27
Texas6816222542854948425227513-43
Utah1623243133271616-11-42
Vermont481414171610915-44
Virgin Islands1222342152-71
Virginia3566116104134114555310-53
Washington50769714818717711510320-42
West Virginia8065586872622228-10-55
Wisconsin34601421581531233440-22-67
Wyoming345911911-4-93

Note: From FY 2000 onward, TANF child recipients include TANF and SSP child recipients but not Tribal TANF recipients.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, 2003 TANF Report to Congress.

Table TANF 14. AFDC/TANF Recipiency Rates for Children, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1965–2003
(percent)
 
 19651970198019901994199620002003PercentChange
1990-961996-03
United States4.47.611.311.914.012.46.35.54-55
Alabama4.67.711.18.88.97.33.33.2-17-56
Alaska3.15.08.07.412.812.47.95.367-57
Arizona4.86.04.88.612.19.74.75.512-44
Arkansas3.15.29.38.27.76.43.22.8-23-56
California6.012.314.616.220.820.312.510.725-47
Colorado4.46.46.57.88.36.81.92.2-13-67
Connecticut4.46.111.810.814.213.75.94.627-66
Delaware4.77.513.48.710.58.94.95.02-44
Dist. of Columbia6.013.840.930.744.544.131.429.944-32
Flori a4.37.67.88.814.111.63.32.631-78
Georgia3.29.19.811.814.612.84.64.59-64
Hawaii3.66.514.510.513.614.517.29.039-38
Idaho2.74.24.73.64.64.60.50.727-85
Illinois5.37.514.614.815.714.46.02.5-3-83
Indiana2.03.06.97.39.87.04.77.1-52
Iowa3.24.78.48.89.98.25.05.0-8-38
Kansas3.55.47.57.98.57.03.24.0-12-43
Kentucky4.98.310.912.414.112.46.75.7-0-54
Louisiana5.511.311.816.514.613.34.93.9-20-70
Maine3.97.712.511.513.111.87.57.23-39
Maryland4.67.312.410.612.011.14.13.75-66
Massachusetts3.88.115.312.413.910.64.95.2-15-51
Michigan3.75.816.717.417.413.95.95.8-20-58
Minnesota2.94.27.79.410.19.36.46.4-0-31
Mississippi7.011.115.717.615.312.73.54.4-28-65
Missouri5.26.99.910.612.911.66.66.110-48
Montana2.04.05.78.49.78.93.85.36-41
Nebraska2.34.45.56.87.06.14.44.9-10-19
Nevada2.55.23.85.07.16.52.23.629-45
New Hampshire1.42.65.83.96.65.43.13.340-39
New Jersey3.48.816.011.711.79.94.93.8-16-61
New Mexico5.29.58.58.313.513.110.16.259-53
New York6.313.016.215.418.017.010.67.811-54
North Carolina4.45.38.59.312.610.43.83.112-70
North Dakota2.33.64.76.06.35.43.64.1-10-24
Ohio3.65.311.214.916.013.46.34.9-10-63
Oklahoma6.48.57.69.110.48.53.13.2-7-62
Oregon3.37.49.08.19.77.43.43.7-8-50
Pennsylvania5.58.013.812.314.412.86.35.44-58
Rhode Island5.99.114.713.417.516.513.811.523-30
South Carolina2.34.211.68.710.89.43.23.68-62
South Dakota3.15.07.16.76.65.92.72.6-12-55
Tennessee4.27.58.911.815.713.77.79.516-31
Texas1.74.15.28.710.48.84.24.41-50
Utah3.75.44.44.94.94.02.32.1-19-47
Vermont2.75.49.99.511.710.87.26.313-41
Virginia2.24.17.96.88.47.03.13.03-58
Washington4.76.58.511.313.312.47.66.99-44
West Virginia12.211.210.415.716.814.65.57.1-7-52
Wisconsin2.23.810.512.111.49.12.53.0-25-67
Wyoming2.13.23.47.08.16.80.80.5-2-92

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/).

Table TANF 15. TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2003
(thousands)
 FamiliesAll RecipientsChild Recipients
TANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotal
U.S. Total2,0321492,1814,9655515,5173,7303444,073
Alabama18.80.319.144.71.045.735.20.535.8
Alaska5.35.315.215.210.110.1
Arizona47.847.8113.0113.082.882.8
Arkansas11.211.225.425.418.918.9
California449.745.7495.41,111.6191.11,302.7891.3119.11,010.5
Colorado13.513.535.435.425.825.8
Connecticut21.03.524.545.011.056.032.16.638.7
Delaware5.60.15.712.70.613.39.70.310.0
District of Columbia16.60.417.042.31.043.431.80.732.5
Florida58.11.960.0120.07.7127.796.93.9100.8
Georgia55.90.756.6133.82.7136.5103.11.4104.5
Guam3.13.110.810.80.0
Hawaii9.83.913.625.715.240.918.08.826.8
Idaho1.71.73.13.12.52.5
Illinois37.90.538.498.00.998.980.30.380.6
Indiana52.73.356.0140.314.6154.9105.88.2114.0
Iowa20.02.122.152.22.154.334.90.034.9
Kansas15.315.339.739.727.627.6
Kentucky34.934.977.077.057.057.0
Louisiana22.822.857.857.846.346.3
Maine9.81.511.327.15.232.317.43.120.5
Maryland26.12.829.061.88.970.746.05.651.6
Massachusetts49.40.149.5109.10.3109.476.60.276.7
Michigan75.175.1200.6200.6147.8147.8
Minnesota36.55.141.694.622.5117.267.912.480.3
Mississippi19.819.845.745.733.633.6
Missouri40.86.146.9101.918.7120.673.012.285.2
Montana6.26.217.317.311.411.4
Nebraska10.91.112.026.94.531.419.42.421.8
Nevada10.60.811.425.32.928.219.21.620.8
New Hampshire6.10.26.214.20.714.89.70.410.1
New Jersey42.41.644.1102.67.1109.777.23.881.0
New Mexico16.616.644.144.131.231.2
New York148.847.3196.1338.7162.4501.1243.4109.2352.6
North Carolina40.440.484.284.265.465.4
North Dakota3.43.48.78.76.16.1
Ohio84.384.3187.6187.6139.2139.2
Oklahoma15.015.036.836.828.128.1
Oregon18.718.742.742.731.531.5
Pennsylvania80.980.9210.4210.4153.8153.8
Puerto Rico18.918.953.553.537.237.2
Rhode Island13.31.514.935.55.340.824.83.228.0
South Carolina20.720.750.650.636.736.7
South Dakota2.82.86.36.35.25.2
Tennessee68.71.369.9180.94.6185.6129.72.8132.5
Texas133.26.6139.8334.428.3362.7259.415.3274.7
Utah8.50.08.621.80.222.015.60.115.7
Vermont4.90.45.312.71.013.78.10.68.7
Virgin Islands0.50.51.51.51.11.1
Virginia25.27.032.258.216.674.841.711.653.2
Washington54.73.057.7135.912.9148.894.98.2103.1
West Virginia15.815.840.740.727.627.6
Wisconsin20.50.420.849.01.450.439.20.940.1
Wyoming0.40.00.40.70.00.70.60.00.6

Note: Some states provide cash and other forms of assistance to specific categories of families (e.g., two-parent families) under Separate State Programs (SSPs) funded out of Maintenance of Effort (MOE) dollars rather than federal TANF funds.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, (available online at http://www.acf.dhhs.gov/).

Table TANF 16. Recipients with Earnings in Current and Following Quarters: Fiscal Year 2002

StateAdult TANF Recipients (thousands)Percentage with EarningsPercentage without Earnings
TotalWith Earnings inFollowing QuarterTotalWith Earnings inFollowing Quarter
All Reporting States1,38739766118
Alabama10.938736221
Alaska6.845805520
Arizona30.135706519
Arkansas9.042765825
California273.439826113
Colorado10.337716322
Connecticut18.041785919
Delaware3.644745622
Dist. of Columbia12.135736515
Florida37.138766223
Georgia35.034726616
Hawaii10.739866113
Idaho0.743785729
Illinois32.039816117
Indiana45.648805221
Iowa21.747775323
Kansas13.547755324
Kentucky24.437726320
Louisiana15.432656824
Maine9.943805718
Maryland19.834726619
Massachusetts38.326657414
Michigan64.936706418
Minnesota31.742725821
Mississippi12.632696819
Missouri40.248785224
Montana7.140746022
Nebraska9.149765123
Nevada8.643775722
New Hampshire5.538756218
New Jersey31.031726917
New Mexico17.641755923
New YorkNANANANANA
North Carolina27.339736123
North Dakota3.046775420
Ohio63.039756121
Oklahoma11.144715623
Oregon13.325717515
Pennsylvania67.634716618
Rhode Island13.337776315
South Carolina18.443795720
South Dakota1.630737020
Tennessee52.645775520
Texas94.540776020
Utah7.038726221
Vermont5.842765819
Virginia21.845775523
Washington52.339746119
West Virginia16.636756417
Wisconsin10.933726719
Wyoming0.243715728

Note: “TANF adult recipients" is unduplicated roster of adults who received TANF benefits at any time during a quarter, averaged over four quarters in fiscal year. Data are not available for New York, which did not participate in the High Performance Bonus. Note also that TANF receipt and the presence of earnings may occur at different months within the quarter.

Source: Unpublished ACF calculations of High Performance Bonus data.

Table TANF 17. Patterns of TANF Receipt: Fiscal Year 2002

StateAdult TANF Recipients in Qtr(t) (thousands)Percentage of Adult TANF Recipients Also Receiving Benefits in Following Quarters
Qtr(t+1)Qtr(t+2)Qtr(t+3)Qtr(t+4)
All Reporting States1,38778625246
Alabama10.974544439
Alaska6.877605043
Arizona30.176595147
Arkansas9.071503729
California273.483706256
Colorado10.373544337
Connecticut18.079624940
Delaware3.677594943
Dist. of Columbia12.186756762
Florida37.157383025
Georgia35.078604942
Hawaii10.780665649
Idaho0.747211411
Illinois32.078604738
Indiana45.682675544
Iowa21.775574842
Kansas13.573554742
Kentucky24.477594841
Louisiana15.472524133
Maine9.979645651
Maryland19.878625145
Massachusetts38.379665852
Michigan64.975595046
Minnesota31.782685953
Mississippi12.676595043
Missouri40.279645345
Montana7.176615449
Nebraska9.174605348
Nevada8.676543929
New Hampshire5.577605144
New Jersey31.079645550
New Mexico17.669504236
New YorkNANANANANA
North Carolina27.369483730
North Dakota3.076615348
Ohio63.072524236
Oklahoma11.172524235
Oregon13.376605043
Pennsylvania67.679645651
Rhode Island13.386766862
South Carolina18.473524133
South Dakota1.667473934
Tennessee52.685746763
Texas94.578604841
Utah7.072524235
Vermont5.878635448
Virginia21.879625239
Washington52.374574944
West Virginia16.674564741
Wisconsin10.977594944
Wyoming0.248211410

Note: “Adult TANF Recipients in Qtr(t)" is unduplicated roster of adults who received TANF benefits at any time during a quarter, averaged over four quarters in fiscal year. Data are not available for New York, which did not participate in the High Performance Bonus. This table examines length of receipt for all recipients receiving TANF in the selected quarter, in contrast to Table IND 8 in Chapter II, which looked at new entrants to AFDC/TANF. Another difference is that in this table, a recipient is counted as a recipient each quarter in which there is at least one month of receipt, even if the recipient has a gap of non-receipt for several months.

Source: Unpublished ACF calculations of High Performance Bonus data.


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 careand transportation benefits (provided the families are not employed). It excludes, however, such things as: nonrecurrent,short-term benefits; services without a cash value, such as education and training, case management, jobsearch, and counseling; and benefits such as child care and transportation when provided to employed families.

2 Family characteristics in Table TANF 7 may differ from those reported in Chapter II because the administrative data focus on the assistance unit, whereas the survey-based data in Chapter II often use a broader family unitdefinition. For example, grandparents, adult siblings, aunts, uncles, and other adult relatives living in the same household as the recipient children may be excluded from the assistance unit and thus the administrative data, yet be included in survey data on the family in which the TANF recipient resides.

3 Note that these figures include recipients in SSPs, who are usually omitted from TANF caseload statistics.

Food Stamp Program

The Food Stamp Program (FSP), 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, FSP has few categorical requirements for eligibility, such as the presence of children, elderly, or disabled individuals in a household. As a result, the program offers assistance to a large and diverse population of needy persons, many of whom are not eligible for other forms of assistance.

The Food Stamp Program was designed primarily to supplement the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households so they can buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet. Participating households are expected to be able to devote 30 percent of their counted monthly cash income (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, was funded under a federal block grant of over $1.3 billion in 2002. Unless noted otherwise, the food stamp caseload and expenditure data in this Appendix exclude costs for the Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) in Puerto Rico. (Prior editions of this Appendix included NAP, but caseload and expenditure data in this Appendix are now limited to the Food Stamp Program, to be consistent with FSP data published by the USDA.)

The Food Stamp Program is available to nearly all financially needy households. To be eligible for food stamps, a household must meet eligibility criteria for gross and net income, asset holdings, work requirements, and citizenship or immigration status. The FSP benefit unit is the household. Generally, individuals living together constitute a household if they customarily purchase and prepare meals together. The income, expenses and assets of the household members are combined to determine program eligibility and benefit allotment.

Monthly income is the most important determinant of household eligibility. Except for households composed entirely of TANF, SSI, General Assistance, elderly or disabled recipients, gross income cannot exceed 130 percent of poverty. After certain amounts are deducted for living expenses, working expenses, dependent care expenses, excess shelter expenses, child support payment, and - for elderly/disabled households - medical expenses, net income cannot exceed 100 percent of poverty. Households also must not have more than $2,000 in assets comprised of cash, savings, stocks and bonds, and certain vehicles (households with an elderly or disabled member can have up to $3,000 in countable assets).

All nonexempt adult applicants for food stamps must register for work. To maintain eligibility, they must accept a suitable job, if offered one, and fulfill any work, job search, or training requirements established by the FSP office. Nondisabled adults living in households without children can receive benefits for three months only, unless they work or participate in work-related activities. Participation is restricted for certain groups, including students, strikers, and people who are institutionalized. Legal immigrants who are disabled, under age 18, are refugees or asylees, or have at least five years of legal US residency are eligible; all other noncitizens are not.

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) made major changes 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 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 was 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 were 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. Regulations that went into effect in 2001 expanded categorical eligibility to those receiving noncash TANF benefits, excluded vehicles with little equity from the assets test, and eliminated the equity test for most vehicles. 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 that 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 at least five years and to legal immigrants receiving disability benefits, regardless of entry date. Children of legal immigrants also are 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 was eliminated. Each provision became effective at a different time, but all restorations were in effect by October 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 replaced 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 receives 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 implemented 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:

  • Tables FSP 1 and FSP 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 through FSP 6 present some state-by-state trend data on the FSP through fiscal year 2003.

Food Stamp Caseload Trends (Table FSP 1). Average monthly food stamp participation was 21.3 million persons in fiscal year 2003, excluding the participants in Puerto Rico’s block grant. This represents a significant increase over the fiscal year 2000 record-low average of 17.2 million participants. It is, however, well below the peak of 27.5 million recipients in fiscal year 1994. 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 trends in food stamp caseload, specifically, 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. Studies suggest that a variety of factors contributed to this caseload growth, including a weak economy and higher rates of unemployment, expansions in Medicaid eligibility, the legalization of 3 million undocumented immigrants, and longer participation spells (McConnell, 1991; Gleason, 1998).

The decline in participation from 1994 to 2000 was caused by several factors, according to studies of this period. Part of the decline is associated with the strong economy in the second half of the 1990s. However, participation fell more sharply than expected during this period of sustained economic growth. Some of the decline reflected restrictions on the eligibility of noncitizens and time limits for unemployed nondisabled childless adults. The three groups where participation fell most rapidly included noncitizens and their US-born children, unemployed nondisabled childless adults, and persons receiving cash welfare benefits. As people left the welfare rolls, many also stopped participating in food stamps, even while remaining eligible (Genser, 1999; Wilde et al., 2000; Gleason et al., 2001; Kornfeld, 2002).

The increase in FSP participation from 2000 to 2003 occurred during a period when unemployment increased from four percent to six percent, states took advantage of opportunities to expand categorical eligibility to those receiving noncash TANF benefits and services and to liberalize the treatment of vehicles, and the Food and Nutrition Service was encouraging states to conduct outreach efforts.

Food Stamp Expenditures. Total program costs, shown in Table FSP 2, were considerably higher in 2003 than 2002, reflecting the increase in participation during that period as well as an increase in average benefits. Total federal program costs were $23.9 billion in 2003; the comparable 2002 cost was $21.1 billion (after adjusting for inflation). Average monthly benefits per person, also shown in Table FSP 2, were $83.90 per person in fiscal year 2003, up from $81.60 in 2002. This constitutes a 3 percent increase in average monthly benefits over the last year adjusted to 2003 dollars.

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 28 percent in 2003. At the same time, the proportion of households with income from AFDC/TANF has declined, from 43 percent in 1990 to 17 percent in 2003, 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 55 percent in 2003. The vast majority (88 percent in 2003) of households have incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2003

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2003

Note: Shaded areas are periods of recession as determined 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 1962–2003

Fiscal
Year
Food Stamp ParticipantsParticipants as a Percent of:
Child Participants
as a Percent of:
Including Territories 1 (thousands)Excluding Territories (thousands)Children Excld. Terr. (thousands)Total Population 2All Poor Persons 2Pretransfer Poverty Population 3Total Child Population 2Children in Poverty 2
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 417,15216,320NA7.663.1NANANA
197618,62817,0339,1267.868.2NA13.888.8
197717,16115,604NA7.163.1NANANA
197816,07714,405NA6.558.8NANANA
1979 517,75815,942NA7.161.157.1NANA
198021,17319,2539,8768.565.860.715.585.6
198122,51820,6559,8039.064.660.815.578.4
198221,80820,3929,5918.859.356.315.370.3
198321,72720,09510,9108.661.458.517.478.4
198420,85420,79610,4928.861.758.516.878.2
198519,89919,8479,9068.360.056.615.775.3
198619,42919,3819,8448.159.956.215.776.5
198719,11319,0729,7717.959.255.615.576.1
198818,64518,6139,3517.658.655.214.875.1
198918,80618,7789,4297.659.655.614.974.9
199020,04920,02010,1278.059.655.715.875.4
199122,62522,59911,9528.963.359.318.383.3
199225,40625,37013,3499.966.764.020.187.3
199326,98226,95214,19610.468.663.821.090.3
199427,46827,43314,39110.472.166.821.094.1
199526,61926,57913,86010.073.067.620.094.5
199625,54325,49513,1899.569.864.618.891.2
199722,85822,82011,8478.464.159.916.783.9
199819,79119,74810,5247.257.353.814.778.1
199918,18318,1469,3326.556.352.513.076.0
200017,19417,1568,7436.155.151.812.175.5
200117,31617,2808,8196.152.549.212.175.2
200219,09519,0589,6886.655.152.113.379.8
200321,26021,22310,6057.359.0NA14.582.4

1 Total participants includes all participating states, the District of Columbia, and the territories (including Puerto Rico from 1975 to 1982–a separate Nutrition Assistance Grant for Puerto Rico was begun in July 1982). From 1962 to 1983 the number of participants includes the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) that was largely replaced by the FSP 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 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.

3 The pre-transfer 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 relevant poverty threshold. See Appendix J, Table 20, 1992 Green Book; data for subsequent years are unpublished Congressional Budget Office tabulations.

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

5 The fiscal year in which the food stamp purchase requirement was eliminated, on a phased-in basis.
Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, National Data Bank, the 1996 Green Book, and U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States: 2003," Current Population Reports, Series P60-226.
 
Table FSP 2. Trends in Food Stamp Expenditures: Selected Years 1975–2003
Fiscal Year
Total Federal Cost
(Benefits + Administration)
Benefits
(Federal)
(millions)
Administration1
Total Program Cost
(millions)
Average Monthly Benefit per Person
Current Dollars (millions)2003 Dollars(millions]
Federal
(millions)
State & Local
(millions)
Current Dollars2003 Dollars2
1975$4,619$15,603$4,386$233$175$4,794$21.30$72.00
19765,68517,9805,3263592705,95523.9075.60
19775,46116,0765,0673942955,75624.8073.00
19785,52015,2445,1393812855,80526.6073.50
197936,94017,6246,4804603887,32830.5077.50
19809,20621,0198,7214863759,58134.5078.80
198111,22523,30310,63059550411,72939.5082.00
198210,83721,01910,20862855711,39439.2074.90
198311,84721,97811,15269561212,45943.0079.80
1984411,57920,60310,696883580512,38442.7076.00
198511,70320,10210,74496087112,57445.0077.30
198611,63819,49710,6051,03393512,57345.5076.20
198711,60418,90310,5001,10499612,60045.8074.60
198812,31719,27511,1491,1681,08013,39749.8077.90
198912,93219,31411,7011,2321,10114,03351.8077.40
199015,49022,03814,1861,3051,17416,66459.0083.90
199118,77125,42117,3391,4321,24720,01863.9086.50
199222,46229,52520,9061,5571,37523,83768.6090.20
199323,65330,18022,0061,6471,57225,22568.0086.80
199424,49330,44522,7491,7441,64326,13669.0085.80
199524,62029,77422,7641,8561,74826,36871.3086.20
199624,33128,63122,4401,8911,84226,17373.2086.10
199721,48524,61819,5491,9371,90423,38971.3081.70
199818,88821,29616,8911,9981,98820,87671.1080.20
199917,71019,59415,7691,9411,87419,58472.3080.00
200017,05418,28214,9832,0702,08619,14072.6077.80
200117,79018,47615,5472,2422,23320,02374.8077.70
200220,64421,12818,2562,3882,39723,04179.7081.60
200323,87223,87221,4042,4682,48026,35283.9083.90

1 Amounts include the federal share of state administrative and Employment and Training costs 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.

2 Constant dollar adjustments to 2002 level were made using a CPI-U-X1 fiscal year average price index.

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

4 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 (1975-1982). This table differs from versions published in earlier years in that it does not include the costs of the Family Food Assistance Program in the period from 1975 to 1983. The cost of benefits does include food stamps in Puerto Rico from 1975 to 1982 but (for consistency with the reporting of the Food and Nutrition Service) the total expenditures for benefits does not include the funding for the Puerto Rico nutrition assistance grant from the last quarter of FY 1982 when it replaced Puerto Rico’s food stamp program to the present. (Puerto Rico’s nutrition assistance grant was $778 million in 1983 and rose to over $1.3 billion in 2002.)

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service unpublished data from the National Data Bank; and the 2004 Green Book.

Table FSP 3. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: 1980–2003
(percents)
 Year 1
1980198419881990199419961998200020022003
With Gross Monthly Income:
Below the Federal Poverty Levels.…...87939292909190898888
Between the Poverty Levels and 130 Percent of the Poverty Levels.........…..10688989101110
Above 130 Percent of Poverty........…..21**111112
With Earnings................................…….19192019212326272828
With Public Assistance Income 2.....…..65717273696765635652
With AFDC/TANF Income...........…...NA424243383731262117
With SSI Income...........................…...18182019232428322928
With Children...................................…..60616161616058545455
And Female Heads of Household..…...NA475051515047444444
With No Spouse Present .......……NANA3937434341383737
With Elderly Members 3..........……......23221918161618211918
Average Household Size...............….....2.82.82.82.72.62.52.42.32.32.3

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/TANF, 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 2003 and earlier years.

Table FSP 4. Value of Food Stamps Issued, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1975–2003
(millions)
 19751980198519901995200020022003
United States$4,386$8,721$10,744$14,186$22,764$14,983$18,256$21,412
Alabama$103$246$318$328$441$344$417$466
Alaska627252550465966
Arizona419712239414240386498
Arkansas78122126155212206265304
California3615306399682,4731,6391,7061,813
Colorado447194156217127165203
Connecticut36596272169138146165
Delaware621222547313948
Dist. of Columbia3141404392777690
Florida2074213686091,307771878988
Georgia129264290382700489621782
Guam215181524365253
Hawaii23609381177166152156
Idaho1129364059466277
Illinois2383947138351,0567779231,053
Indiana58154242226382268408484
Iowa2854107109142100129149
Kansas1238649614483113140
Kentucky135211332334413337410486
Louisiana148243365549629448587685
Maine316062631128197124
Maryland76140171203365199215257
Massachusetts75171173207315182209254
Michigan124263541663806457645783
Minnesota4062105165240165201227
Mississippi110199264352383226298335
Missouri82142212312488358477568
Montana1118314157515869
Nebraska1125445977617489
Nevada10152241915796113
New Hampshire1122152044283540
New Jersey125226260289506304314339
New Mexico488188117196140154184
New York2097269381,0862,0651,3611,4791,677
North Carolina122234237282495403536645
North Dakota59162532253137
Ohio2533826978611,017520726879
Oklahoma3873134186315208288362
Oregon5680142168254198319381
Pennsylvania1753735476611,006656700785
Rhode Island1831354282596469
South Carolina121181194240297249352443
South Dakota818263540374551
Tennessee115282280372554415552722
Texas3145147011,4292,2461,2151,5221,881
Utah12224071906880102
Vermont918202246323438
Virgin Islands619231828263305366
Virginia63158189247450211718
Washington7090140229417241318394
West Virginia5687159192253185198216
Wisconsin2968148180220129197233
Wyoming36152128192224

Note: The totals for 1975 and 1980 include amounts for Puerto Rico of $366 and $828 million respectively.

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

Table FSP 5. Average Number of Food Stamp Recipients, by State: Selected Fiscal Years
(thousands)
 19751980198519901996200020022003Percent Change
90-9696-03
United States17,19221,08219,89920,06725,54217,19419,09521,26027-17
Alabama36558358845450939644447212-7
Alaska15292225463846518410
Arizona143196206317427259379466359
Arkansas2673012532352742472843101713
California1,4551,4931,6151,9553,1431,8301,7101,70861-46
Colorado15016317022124415617820810-15
Connecticut15517014513322316516918167-19
Delaware265240335832404674-20
Dist. of Columbia12210372629381748249-12
Florida6479126307811,3718829851,04175-24
Georgia49862756753679355964675048-5
Guam6222012182224245036
Hawaii75102997713011810510069-23
Idaho3961595980587082362
Illinois9269031,1101,0131,1058178869549-14
Indiana3923534063113903004114702521
Iowa1151412031701771231411544-13
Kansas589011914217211714016121-6
Kentucky47246856045848640345050364
Louisiana510569644727670500588655-8-2
Maine12613911494131102111133391
Maryland26132428725537521922825247-33
Massachusetts3654533373473742322432928-22
Michigan6198139859179356037508382-10
Minnesota16717122826329519621723512-20
Mississippi376496495499457276325356-8-22
Missouri300335362431554423515592287
Montana3843585771596371251
Nebraska496694951028288997-2
Nevada323232509761971119415
New Hampshire445028315336414573-15
New Jersey49060546438254034532033942-37
New Mexico15718515715723516917019549-17
New York1,2911,7591,8341,5482,0991,4391,3491,43636-32
North Carolina466582474419631488574649513
North Dakota19253339403237402-0
Ohio8548651,1331,0891,045610735855-4-18
Oklahoma171209263267354253317380337
Oregon2011972282162882343593983339
Pennsylvania8489801,0329521,12477776782318-27
Rhode Island868769649174727442-18
South Carolina4104263732993582953794512026
South Dakota3343485049434851-35
Tennessee3976245185276384965987282114
Texas1,1331,1671,2631,8802,3721,3331,5541,87226-21
Utah46547599110829010611-4
Vermont444644385641404147-27
Virgin Islands1634321831336352394751185
Virginia25738436034653816121355-98
Washington25324828134047829535040441-16
West Virginia24220927826230022723624714-18
Wisconsin148215363286283193262297-15
Wyoming101427283322242517-23

Note: The totals for 1975 and 1980 include recipients in Puerto Rico of 810 thousand and 1.86 million respectively.

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

Table FSP 6. Food Stamp Recipiency Rates, by State: Selected Fiscal Years
(percent)
 
 19751980198519901996200020022003Percent Change
90-9696-03
United States7.68.58.38.09.56.16.67.318-23
Alabama9.914.914.811.211.88.99.910.55-11
Alaska4.07.14.14.57.66.07.27.8673
Arizona6.37.16.58.69.35.07.08.48-10
Arkansas12.413.110.910.010.69.210.511.477
California6.86.36.16.59.85.44.94.850-51
Colorado5.85.65.36.76.23.64.04.6-7-26
Connecticut5.05.54.54.06.74.84.95.265-22
Delaware4.58.76.55.07.84.14.95.657-28
Dist. of Columbia17.216.111.410.316.214.113.014.558-10
Florida7.69.35.56.09.25.55.96.154-34
Georgia9.811.49.58.210.66.87.68.628-18
Hawaii8.410.69.56.910.89.78.58.057-26
Idaho4.66.45.95.86.64.55.26.015-10
Illinois8.27.99.78.89.16.67.07.53-17
Indiana7.36.47.45.66.64.96.77.61815
Iowa4.04.87.26.16.24.24.85.20-15
Kansas2.53.84.95.76.64.35.25.915-10
Kentucky13.612.815.212.412.410.011.012.2-0-1
Louisiana13.113.514.617.215.211.213.114.6-12-4
Maine11.812.39.87.610.58.08.610.238-3
Maryland6.37.76.55.37.34.14.24.638-37
Massachusetts6.37.95.75.86.03.63.84.55-25
Michigan6.88.810.89.89.66.17.58.3-3-13
Minnesota4.24.25.56.06.34.04.34.64-26
Mississippi15.719.619.119.416.69.711.312.3-14-26
Missouri6.26.87.28.410.27.69.110.4212
Montana5.15.57.17.18.06.67.07.813-3
Nebraska3.24.25.96.06.14.85.15.72-6
Nevada5.24.03.44.15.83.04.55.042-14
New Hampshire5.35.42.82.74.52.93.23.564-23
New Jersey6.78.26.14.96.64.13.73.935-41
New Mexico13.514.110.910.313.49.39.210.430-23
New York7.210.010.38.611.37.67.07.531-34
North Carolina8.49.97.66.38.46.06.97.734-8
North Dakota2.93.94.96.16.15.05.86.3-02
Ohio7.98.010.610.09.35.46.47.5-7-20
Oklahoma6.26.98.08.510.67.39.110.8252
Oregon8.67.58.57.68.96.810.211.21726
Pennsylvania7.18.38.88.09.26.36.26.715-28
Rhode Island9.29.17.26.48.97.16.76.940-23
South Carolina14.113.611.38.59.47.39.210.91015
South Dakota4.86.26.97.26.65.76.36.7-92
Tennessee9.313.611.010.811.88.710.312.596
Texas9.08.17.811.012.36.47.28.511-31
Utah3.73.74.65.75.33.73.94.5-7-16
Vermont9.18.98.26.89.56.76.56.740-30
Virginia5.17.26.35.68.04.74.85.343-33
Washington7.06.06.46.98.65.05.86.624-23
West Virginia13.110.714.614.616.412.613.113.613-17
Wisconsin3.24.67.65.85.43.64.85.4-70
Wyoming2.73.05.46.26.84.54.75.08-25

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).

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 of $564 for an individual and $846 for a married couple in fiscal year 2004. SSI eligibility is restricted to qualified persons who have countable resources/assets of not more than $2,000, or $3,000 for a couple.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the SSI program. Since its inception, SSI has been viewed as the “program of last resort.” Therefore, SSA helps recipients obtain any other public assistance that they are eligible to receive before providing SSI benefits. 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. Since states have the authority to set TANF eligibility standards and benefit levels under PRWORA, individuals are not prohibited from receiving both TANF benefits and SSI.

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, the household is categorically eligible for food stamps and does not need to meet the Food Stamp Program’s financial eligibility standards. 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 affected SSI participation and expenditures. Public Law 104-121, the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996, prohibited 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.

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, SSA discontinued use of the Individualized Functional Assessment (IFA) which it had implemented in 1991 following the Supreme Court's decision in Sullivan v Zebley, 493 U.S. 521 (1990).1 Third, 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) were eliminated. 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. Additionally, the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-203), enacted March 2, 2004, introduced program and beneficiary protections covering the use of representative payees and required documentation of changes in beneficiary status.

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.
  • Tables SSI 7 through SSI 9 present state-by-state trend data on the SSI program through fiscal year 2003.

SSI Caseload Trends (Tables SSI 1 and SSI 2 and Figure SSI 1). From 1990 to 1995, the number of SSI beneficiaries increased from 4.8 million to 6.5 million, 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 2003, there were 6.9 million beneficiaries. Table SSI 1 presents information on the total number of persons receiving SSI payments in December of each year from 1974 through 2003, and also presents recipients by eligibility category (aged, blind and disabled) and by type of recipient (child, adults ages 18-64, and adults ages 65 or older). See also Tables IND 3c and 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 a low of 1.2 million persons in December 2003. At the same time, there has been strong growth in blind and disabled beneficiaries, from 1.7 million in December 1974 to 5.7 million in December 2003. Moreover, the number of disabled children has increased dramatically, particularly during the 1990s, when the number of disabled children receiving SSI increased from 309,000 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 began to rise again in 2001, reaching 959,000 in 2003.

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 Government Accountability 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.2

SSI Expenditures (Tables SSI 3 through SSI 5). While administrative costs increased by about 1 percent, the total amount paid out in SSI benefits increased from $33.1 billion (inflation adjusted) in 2001 to $35.6 billion in 2003, as shown in Table SSI 3. Average monthly benefits per person were $421 in 2003, down slightly from 2002 inflation adjusted benefit level of $424. For more details see Table SSI 4.

SSI Recipient Characteristics (Table SSI 6). Over the last 20 years, the percentage of aged SSI recipients has dramatically decreased, while the percentage of disabled recipients has increased substantially. As shown in Table SSI 6, the proportion of SSI recipients aged 65 or older has decreased dramatically, from 54 percent in 1980 to 29 percent in 2003.

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients, by Age: 1974–2003

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients, by Age: 1974–2003

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2004 (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics).

Table SSI 1. Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments: 1974–2003
(thousands)
DateTotalEligibility CategoryType of Recipient
AgedBlind and DisabledChildrenAdults
TotalBlindDisabled
Ages
18-64
65 or
Older
Dec19743,9962,2861,710751,63671 11,5032,422
Dec19754,3142,3072,007741,9331071,6992,508
Dec19764,2362,1482,088762,0121251,7142,397
Dec19774,2382,0512,187772,1091471,7382,353
Dec19784,2171,9682,249772,1721661,7472,304
Dec19794,1501,8722,278772,2011771,7272,246
Dec19804,1421,8082,334782,2561901,7312,221
Dec19814,0191,6782,341792,2621951,7032,121
Dec19823,8581,5492,309772,2311921,6552,011
Dec19833,9011,5152,386792,3071981,7002,003
Dec19844,0291,5302,499812,4192121,7802,037
Dec19854,1381,5042,634822,5512271,8792,031
Dec19864,2691,4732,796832,7132412,0102,018
Dec19874,3851,4552,930832,8462512,1192,015
Dec19884,4641,4333,030832,9482552,2032,006
Dec19894,5931,4393,154833,0712652,3022,026
Dec19904,8171,4543,363843,2793092,4502,059
Dec19915,1181,4653,654853,5693972,6422,080
Dec19925,5661,4714,095854,0105562,9102,100
Dec19935,9841,4754,509854,4247233,1482,113
Dec19946,2961,4664,830854,7458413,3352,119
Dec19956,5141,4465,068844,9849173,4822,115
Dec19966,6141,4135,201825,1199553,5682,090
Dec19976,4951,3625,133815,0528803,5622,054
Dec19986,5661,3325,234805,1548873,6462,033
Dec19996,5571,3085,249795,1698473,6912,019
Dec20006,6021,2895,312795,2348473,7442,011
Dec20016,6881,2645,424785,3468823,8111,995
Dec20026,7881,2525,537785,4599153,8781,995
Dec20036,9021,2335,670775,5939593,8781,990

1 Includes students 18-21 in 1974 only.

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Annual Statistical Report, 2004 (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/statistics).

Table SSI 2. SSI Recipiency Rates: 1974–2003
(percent)
Date
All Recipients
as a Percent
of Total
Population 1
Adults 18-64
as a Percent
of 18-64
Population 1
Child
Recipients
as a Percent
of All Children 1
Elderly Recipients (Persons 65 & Older)
as a Percent of
All Persons
65 & Older 1
All Elderly
Poor 2
Pretransfer
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 19992.32.21.25.862.672.4
Dec 20002.32.11.25.760.566.9
Dec 20012.32.11.25.658.467.6
Dec 20022.32.11.35.655.864.5
Dec 20032.42.21.35.556.0xxx

1 Population numbers used for the denominators are Census Bureau 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 (resident population estimates by age are 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 P60-226.

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, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States: 2003," Current Population Reports, Series P60-226, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Table SSI 3. Total, Federal and State SSI Benefits and Administration: 1974–2003 1
(millions)
Calendar
Year
Total Benefits
Federal
Payments
State SupplementationAdministrativeCosts (fiscal year)
20032
Dollars
Current
Dollars
Total
Federally
Administered
State
Administered
1974$18,598$5,246$3,833$1,413$1,264$149$285
197519,2455,8784,3141,5651,403162399
197618,7906,0664,5121,5541,388166500
197718,3596,3064,7031,6031,431172526
197817,8606,5524,8811,6711,491180539
197917,5927,0755,2791,7971,590207611
198017,7537,9415,8662,0741,848226668
198117,5488,5936,5182,0761,839237717
198217,2868,9816,9072,0741,798276780
198317,3739,4047,4231,9821,711270846
198418,36810,3728,2812,0911,792299864
198518,91411,0608,7772,2831,973311956
198620,28212,0819,4982,5832,2433401,023
198720,97712,95110,0292,9222,563359977
198821,44313,78610,7343,0522,671381976
198922,22814,98011,6063,3742,9554191,052
199023,36816,59912,8943,7053,2394661,075
199125,02518,52414,7653,7593,2315291,230
199229,15722,23318,2473,9863,4355501,426
199331,27024,55720,7223,8353,2705661,468
199432,12725,87722,1753,7013,1165851,780
199533,35627,62823,9193,7083,1185901,978
199633,76528,79225,2653,5272,9885391,953
199733,30629,05225,4573,5952,9136822,055
199834,10930,21626,4053,8123,0038082,304
199934,15330,92326,8054,1543,3018532,493
200033,72731,56427,2904,2743,3818932,321
200134,34933,06128,7064,3553,4608952,397
200235,35534,56729,8994,6683,8208482,522
200335,60535,60530,6884,9174,0059122,656

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

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

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2004, (Data available online at http://wwwssagov/statistics).

Table SSI 4. Average Monthly SSI Benefit Payments: 1974–2003

Calendar
Year
Total 1
Federal
Payments
State Supplementation
2003 Dollars
Current
Dollars
Total
Federally
Administered
State
Administered
1974$477$135$108$64$71$35
197536811292666945
197636511899687150
1977357123104697253
1978349128108727456
1979349140119777967
1980353158133899176
1981360176151929479
1982369191166969793
1983366198172919289
1984374211187939393
19853752191939999102
1986389232202107108101
1987392242208117118110
1988393253219118118118
1989396267230126126127
1990398283244132131136
1991401297260125122143
1992430328292124121147
1993430337306112107150
199442033831010599152
1995423350322110103164
1996421359333108103145
19974233693429910286
1998428379350103104102
1999429388356111113105
2000420393360113114109
2001423407373113114108
2002424415383129129128
2003421421387136135138

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 calendar-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, 2004.

Table SSI 5. Number of Persons Receiving SSI Payments, by Type of Payment: 1974–2003
(thousands)
 TotalFederalState Supplementation
Total
Federally Administered
State Administered
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
Dec 2002....................................6,9406,5053,0142,462553
Dec 2003....................................7,0526,6143,0192,467551

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2004.

Table SSI 6. Characteristics of SSI Recipients, by Age, Sex, Earnings/Income
and Citizenship: Selected Years 1980-2003
 
 19801985199019941998200020022003
Total
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Under 185.55.56.413.413.512.813.513.9
18-6440.945.450.953.055.556.757.257.3
65 or Older53.649.142.733.731.030.529.328.8
Sex
Male34.435.237.241.341.341.542.042.4
Female65.564.862.858.758.758.558.057.6
Selected Sources of Income
Earnings3.23.84.74.24.54.44.13.5
Social Security51.049.445.939.136.536.135.535.1
No Other Income34.834.536.443.647.354.455.155.4
NoncitizensNA5.19.011.710.210.510.410.1
Eligibility Category
Aged43.636.430.223.320.319.518.417.9
Blind1.92.01.71.41.21.21.11.1
Disabled54.561.768.175.478.579.380.481.0
Aged
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
65-6914.014.919.420.517.617.615.315.2
70-7951.545.641.344.348.448.449.148.2
80 or older34.539.539.235.134.034.035.736.6
Sex
Male27.325.525.126.827.827.829.930.3
Female72.674.574.973.272.272.270.169.7
NoncitizensNA9.719.430.027.027.029.228.9
Blind and Disabled
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
18-6480.277.780.083.483.683.683.883.9
65 or older19.822.320.016.616.416.416.116.1
Sex1
Male39.840.842.441.841.141.144.845.0
Female60.259.257.658.258.958.955.255.0
NoncitizensNA2.44.66.25.55.57.26.0
Children
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
Under 511.7NANA15.815.815.816.116.2
5-920.9NANA28.530.230.226.826.7
10-1428.8NANA32.734.634.636.936.7
15-1721.7NANA17.319.419.420.220.4
18-21216.814.39.35.7
Sex
MaleNANANA63.062.962.964.364.7
FemaleNANANA37.037.137.135.735.3

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.

Note: Data are for December of the year.

Source: Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2004 and prior years.

Table SSI 7. Total SSI Payments, Federal SSI Payments and State Supplementary Payments Calendar Year 2003 (thousands)
StateTotal
Total
Federal
Federal
SSI
State Supplementation
Federally
Administered
State
Administered
Total$35,604,829$34,693,278$30,688,029$4,005,249$911,551
Alabama738,282737,864737,864418
Alaska102,31246,65046,65055,662
Arizona429,640429,266429,266374
Arkansas361,449361,449361,4454
California7,573,1897,573,1894,594,2642,978,925
Colorado333,924245,610245,61088,314
Connecticut332,186244,249244,24987,937
Delaware58,85358,85357,8421,011
District of Columbia104,754104,754101,3983,356
Florida1,927,4841,907,6711,907,67119,813
Georgia887,534887,534887,52113
Hawaii112,546112,546100,32712,219
Idaho98,18790,65190,6517,536
Illinois1,296,4191,266,7221,266,72229,697
Indiana444,294440,514440,5143,780
Iowa192,737176,138172,9933,14516,599
Kansas169,930169,930169,930
Kentucky837,776819,136819,13618,640
Louisiana769,164768,662768,662502
Maine154,958135,931135,93119,027
Maryland450,002441,479441,463168,523
Massachusetts854,601854,601689,082165,519
Michigan1,164,7931,086,3261,061,72224,60478,467
Minnesota407,273316,268316,26891,005
Mississippi550,133550,133550,11914
Missouri554,337528,033528,03326,304
Montana63,63363,63362,783850
Nebraska101,57095,26395,2636,307
Nevada144,194144,194138,9335,261
New Hampshire69,59457,99757,99711,597
New Jersey731,586731,586650,40581,181
New Mexico223,135222,902222,902233
New York3,400,4633,400,4632,848,138552,325
North Carolina965,057824,976824,976140,081
North Dakota33,78831,85631,8561,932
Ohio1,203,9501,203,9501,203,9419
Oklahoma376,375338,925338,92537,450
Oregon291,441271,165271,16520,276
Pennsylvania1,599,0271,599,0271,453,656145,371
Rhode Island149,950149,950126,86623,084
South Carolina483,611461,421461,42122,190
South Dakota54,18251,67451,67132,508
Tennessee718,938718,938718,938
Texas1,903,0871,901,1201,901,1201,967
Utah99,12499,12399,06756
Vermont57,44157,44149,0138,428
Virginia606,200586,507586,50719,693
Washington545,912545,684545,6804228
West Virginia357,405357,405357,405
Wisconsin524,654397,850397,850126,804
Wyoming25,53724,85024,850687
Other: N. Mariana Islands3,5493,5493,549

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2004.

Table SSI 8. SSI Recipiency Rates, by State and Program Type: 1979 and 2003
(percent)
 Total Recipiency RateRate for Adults 18-64Rate for Adults 65 & over
19792003
Percent
Change
1979-03
19792003
Percent
Change
1979-03
19792003
Percent
Change
1979-03
Total1.92.4301.32.2759.05.5-39
Alabama3.63.611.83.59121.06.5-69
Alaska0.81.61080.51.619614.07.5-47
Arizona1.11.6440.91.6805.03.2-36
Arkansas3.53.2-91.93.06017.15.5-68
California3.03.392.12.52216.413.3-19
Colorado1.11.290.81.1436.73.1-54
Connecticut0.81.51000.61.51382.72.6-4
Delaware1.21.6340.91.5605.42.3-58
District of Columbia2.33.6581.93.1618.66.5-24
Florida1.82.4351.11.9676.24.7-24
Georgia2.92.3-201.92.11117.76.5-63
Hawaii1.11.7620.71.51177.65.0-34
Idaho0.81.5900.61.61503.81.9-50
Illinois1.12.0851.02.01114.33.8-11
Indiana0.81.51000.61.61623.31.7-49
Iowa0.91.4570.61.61583.51.7-51
Kansas0.91.4570.61.51383.51.9-45
Kentucky2.54.3691.84.515112.56.9-45
Louisiana3.43.7102.03.57220.17.5-63
Maine2.02.4231.42.7948.63.0-65
Maryland1.21.7480.91.5605.44.0-26
Massachusetts2.22.6161.32.59510.85.6-48
Michigan1.32.2751.12.31155.92.9-50
Minnesota0.81.4730.61.41553.72.6-30
Mississippi4.54.4-22.44.06526.09.6-63
Missouri1.82.0141.12.1917.92.8-65
Montana0.91.6800.71.71363.82.0-47
Nebraska0.91.3480.61.41193.41.7-50
Nevada0.81.4670.51.21265.93.3-44
New Hampshire0.61.0720.41.11502.51.2-53
New Jersey1.11.7490.91.5744.74.5-4
New Mexico2.02.7371.42.58212.46.9-44
New York2.13.3561.62.7708.39.09
North Carolina2.42.3-41.62.13313.65.1-63
North Dakota1.01.3310.61.31285.12.1-58
Ohio1.12.1891.02.31324.22.4-42
Oklahoma2.32.1-91.32.26511.63.6-69
Oregon0.91.6860.71.71433.32.7-18
Pennsylvania1.42.5791.12.61325.03.4-31
Rhode Island1.62.7701.12.71506.44.9-24
South Carolina2.72.5-71.82.32917.05.2-69
South Dakota1.11.6400.71.61225.02.9-42
Tennessee2.92.8-21.92.74414.85.3-64
Texas1.92.1111.01.77912.77.4-42
Utah0.60.9640.51.0963.01.8-41
Vermont1.82.1191.32.2688.13.4-58
Virginia1.51.8201.01.6578.54.4-48
Washington1.21.8551.01.8844.83.6-25
West Virginia2.14.2971.94.81588.04.5-43
Wisconsin1.41.6111.01.7776.52.3-65
Wyoming0.41.11620.31.23142.71.5-45

Note: Recipiency rates for 2002 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. The total recipiency rate includes both children and adults.

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Annual Statistical Report, 2003 and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Table SSI 9. SSI Recipiency Rates, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1975–2003
(percent)
 19751980198519901994 21998 22002220032
Total 12.01.81.71.92.42.42.42.4
Alabama4.03.43.33.33.83.83.63.6
Alaska0.80.80.70.81.11.31.51.6
Arizona1.21.11.01.21.71.71.61.6
Arkansas4.13.43.13.23.83.53.13.2
California3.13.02.62.93.23.23.23.3
Colorado1.41.00.91.11.51.41.21.2
Connecticut0.80.80.81.01.31.41.51.5
Delaware1.21.21.21.21.51.61.61.6
District of Columbia2.22.42.52.73.53.83.53.6
Florida1.91.81.61.72.32.42.42.4
Georgia3.32.82.62.52.82.62.32.3
Hawaii1.11.11.11.31.51.61.71.7
Idaho1.10.80.81.01.41.41.41.5
Illinois1.21.11.21.62.22.12.02.0
Indiana0.80.80.91.11.51.51.51.5
Iowa1.00.91.01.21.41.41.41.4
Kansas1.10.90.91.01.41.41.41.4
Kentucky2.82.62.73.14.14.44.34.3
Louisiana3.93.22.93.24.14.03.73.7
Maine2.31.91.91.92.42.32.42.4
Maryland1.21.11.21.31.61.71.61.7
Massachusetts2.32.21.92.02.62.72.62.6
Michigan1.31.21.41.52.22.22.12.2
Minnesota1.00.80.80.91.31.31.31.4
Mississippi5.24.44.34.45.24.94.44.4
Missouri2.11.71.61.72.12.12.02.0
Montana1.10.90.91.31.61.61.61.6
Nebraska1.10.90.91.01.31.31.31.3
Nevada1.00.80.91.01.31.31.31.4
New Hampshire0.70.60.60.60.81.01.01.0
New Jersey1.11.21.21.41.81.81.71.7
New Mexico2.31.91.82.12.62.62.62.7
New York2.22.12.02.33.13.33.33.3
North Carolina2.72.42.22.22.62.62.32.3
North Dakota1.31.01.01.21.41.31.31.3
Ohio1.21.11.21.42.12.22.12.1
Oklahoma3.02.21.81.92.22.22.12.1
Oregon1.10.81.01.11.51.51.61.6
Pennsylvania1.21.41.41.62.12.32.42.5
Rhode Island1.71.61.61.72.32.62.72.7
South Carolina2.82.72.62.63.02.92.62.5
South Dakota1.31.21.21.51.81.81.71.6
Tennessee3.22.82.72.93.43.12.82.8
Texas2.21.81.61.72.12.12.02.1
Utah0.80.50.50.71.01.00.90.9
Vermont1.91.71.81.82.22.12.12.1
Virginia1.51.51.51.51.92.01.81.8
Washington1.51.11.11.31.61.71.71.8
West Virginia2.42.12.22.63.53.94.14.2
Wisconsin1.41.41.51.82.21.71.61.6
Wyoming0.70.40.50.81.21.21.11.1

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 1994-2003 the number of recipients is from the month of December; calculations by DHHS.

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Annual Statistical Report, 2004, and U.S. Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

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. As shown in Table B-1, the rate of dependency would have been much lower – only 1.5 percent – in 2002 if based on income from TANF and food stamps, as opposed to 3.2 percent when counting income from all three programs (TANF, food stamps, and SSI).

There also is significant variation across age groups in the programs upon which individuals are dependent. The elderly depend more on SSI than on TANF and food stamps; whereas 2.0 percent of elderly persons are dependent when counting the three major types of means-tested assistance, very few, 0.1 percent, are dependent when the definition is limited to TANF and food stamps. In contrast, children are primarily dependent on TANF and food stamps.

Dependency from AFDC/TANF and food stamp receipt has declined since 1995, while dependency from SSI receipt alone has remained stable, as shown in Table B-2. As a result, the difference between the standard definition (based on all three programs) and the alternative definition (based on TANF and food stamps only) has grown. In 1995, over two-thirds (68 percent) of individuals who were dependent under the standard definition also were dependent under the alternative definition shown in this appendix. By 2002, the proportion had dropped to less than half (47 percent). If this report had focused on the alternative definition of dependence, it would have shown an even larger decline in dependence than usually reported. For example, between 1995 and 2002, dependency declined by 58 percent (3.6 percent to 1.5 percent) under the alternative definition, compared to a decline of 40 percent (5.3 percent to 3.2 percent) under the standard 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: 2002

 TANF, SSI & Food StampsTANF & Food StampsSSI Only
All Persons3.21.51.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White1.80.70.9
Non-Hispanic Black8.74.33.3
Hispanic4.92.61.6
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-56.04.01.2
Children Ages 6-105.13.21.2
Children Ages 11-154.02.21.1
Women Ages 16-643.41.51.5
Men Ages 16-642.00.71.1
Adults Ages 65 and over2.00.11.6

Note: Income is measured as total family income.

Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table B-2. Percentage of the Total Population with More than 50 Percent of Income from Various Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1998-2002

 TANF, SSI & Food StampsTANF & Food StampsSSI Only
19955.33.61.1
19983.82.11.3
19993.31.71.2
20003.01.51.2
20013.11.41.3
20023.21.51.3

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2003, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Appendix C Additional Nonmarital Birth Data

Table C-1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital within Age Groups, by Race and Ethnicity
1940-2002
 WhiteAges
18 - 19
Black1Hispanic2
Total
Teens3
Ages
15 - 17
Ages
18 - 19
Total
Women
Total
Teens
Ages
15 - 17
Ages
18 - 19
Total
Women
Total
Teens
Ages
15 - 17
Ages
18 - 19
Total
Women
1940723617
19451024118
19506105237482818
19557105242523320
19607125243543422
196512179451633926
1970172514664765238
1975233317778876849
1980344527118693805642513624
19854558381591968661614630
1990576851209296896762685437
1991597053229396906864695638
1992617155239396906865695739
1993637257249396916966695840
1994687862259598937073776543
1995687762259598937071756241
1996697963269698947071756341
1997718265269698946976806641
1998728367269698946977826742
1999738367279698946976826742
2000738368279699946876826743
2001738368289699946875816742
2002758570289699946877836944

Note: Trends in nonmarital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring nonmarital births when marital status is not reported. In particular, the increases from 1993 to 1994 to a great extent reflect improvements in the completeness of reporting of nonmarital births in two states, Michigan and Texas.

1 From 1940 to 1965, percentages of births to unmarried Black women (shown in italics) include all unmarried Non-white.

2 Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Data for Hispanics have been available only since 1980, with 22 states reporting in 1980, representing 90 percent of the Hispanic population. Hispanic birth data were reported by 23 states and the District of Columbia in 1985; 48 states and the District of Columbia in 1990; 49 states and the District of Columbia in 1991 and 1992; and all 50 states and the District of Columbia since 1993.

3 Births to teens under 15 are included in the percentages for Total Teens but are not shown separately.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births of Hispanic Parentage, 1980,” Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 32, No. 6 Supplement; “Births of Hispanic Parentage, 1985,” Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 36, No. 11 Supplement; “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940 - 1999,” National Vital Health Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16); “Births: Final Data for 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), and earlier reports. Additional calculations by ASPE staff.

Table C-2. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by State: Selected Years
1960-2002
 196019701980199019921994199620002002
United States51118283033323334
Alabama111422303334343435
Alaska5916262729313334
ArizonaNA919333638393940
ArkansasNA1320293133343637
CaliforniaNANA21323436313333
ColoradoNA913212425252527
ConnecticutNANA18272930312929
Delaware91524293335353841
Dist of Columbia203856656769666057
Florida91423323436363839
GeorgiaNANA23333536353738
Hawaii51018252628303234
IdahoNANA8171819212222
Illinois61323323334343535
Indiana4816262932323536
Iowa2710212425262829
Kansas3712222426272931
Kentucky5815242628303133
Louisiana91523374043434647
Maine3714232528293133
MarylandNANA25303034343535
MassachusettsNANA16252627252727
Michigan41116262735343334
Minnesota3811212324252627
Mississippi141728404345454647
Missouri61118293233333535
MontanaNANA13242626283133
NebraskaNA812212325252729
Nevada41113253335433637
New HampshireNA611171922232525
New Jersey41021242628282929
New MexicoNANA16353942424647
New YorkNANA24333538403736
North Carolina91219293132323335
North Dakota379182323252829
Ohio4NA18293233333535
OklahomaNA814252830313436
Oregon3715262729303031
Pennsylvania41018293233323333
Rhode Island3716263032333536
South Carolina121523333537374040
South Dakota3713232728303335
Tennessee91220303333333536
Texas5913181729303132
Utah246141516161717
VermontNANA14202325262832
Virginia81119262829293030
Washington3914242526272829
West Virginia6613252830313233
Wisconsin3814242627272930
Wyoming278202427272930

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003 and earlier reports available online at (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/vsus/1963/1963.htm).

Table C-3. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Race/Ethnicity and State
1994 and 2002
StateAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanic
TotalNon-Hispanic
1994200219942002199420021994200219942002
United States33342529212370684344
Alabama35351620161971681925
Alaska29342124212339432941
Arizona38403538252565625152
Arkansas33372028202774763137
California36333634232063634642
Colorado25272326181857544441
Connecticut31292425181670666561
Delaware35412332222874705056
Dist. of Columbia6957152610880775958
Florida36392632242869673440
Georgia36381825182168662343
Hawaii28341617151720194444
Idaho19221821171940332536
Illinois34352327182179773843
Indiana32362632263078764250
Iowa25292328232775743741
Kansas26312228212666683943
Kentucky28332329232973732544
Louisiana43472127212772753033
Maine28332833283347342336
Maryland34351924182164593945
Massachusetts27272324191963596262
Michigan35342426232579744242
Minnesota24272124202173584651
Mississippi45471824182475762142
Missouri33352429242879763445
Montana26332028202728§3041
Nebraska25292126202374663942
Nevada35373135272870704444
New Hampshire22252225212434433736
New Jersey28291924131467644853
New Mexico42473744232761574954
New York38362930191870666160
North Carolina32351825172068662948
North Dakota23291924192324362640
Ohio33352529252878755050
Oklahoma30362331232970703142
Oregon29312831272871613542
Pennsylvania33332527232479756361
Rhode Island32362832242669635859
South Carolina37401925192367722843
South Dakota28352026202621383349
Tennessee33362127212575732646
Texas29322430182263623136
Utah16171516131345473738
Vermont253225322532335934§
Virginia29301922182064623840
Washington26292428232555533542
West Virginia30332932293276722235
Wisconsin27302124202282824646
Wyoming28302629252746524543

§ Figure does not meet standards of reliability or precision; based on fewer than 20 births in the numerator.

Note: Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003 and earlier reports available online at (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/vsus/1963/1963.htm).

Table C-4. Birth Rates of Teens 15-19 Years, by State: Selected Years 1960-2002
(births per 1,000 women in specified group)
State196019701975198019851990199520002002
United States896856535160564843
Alabama1049078686471696155
Alaska12810360645665554940
Arizona1127967656776746861
Arkansas1169384757380726660
California1036952535371674741
Colorado976751504855525147
Connecticut544432313139393126
Delaware1007349515155554846
Dist. of Columbia13211673627293855369
Florida1178664595869605145
Georgia11710178726876706356
Hawaii776652514861494638
Idaho1026659594751494339
Illinois636356565163584842
Indiana1007564575259574945
Iowa735346433541383433
Kansas946557575256524643
Kentucky1088678726368625551
Louisiana1138479767274706258
Maine936555474243342925
Maryland1006946434653474135
Massachusetts514031282935332623
Michigan806952454359494035
Minnesota644436353136333028
Mississippi12110392847681797065
Missouri997259585463554944
Montana976254484448423736
Nebraska825445454042383837
Nevada1189460595573736354
New Hampshire765541343233302320
New Jersey585037353441383227
New Mexico1277967727378746662
New York575138353644423330
North Carolina1048872585768635952
North Dakota684443423635332727
Ohio846556525058534640
Oklahoma1128376756967646058
Oregon885848514355504337
Pennsylvania675344414045413432
Rhode Island564335333644403436
South Carolina1098973656371635853
South Dakota834951534647413838
Tennessee1038874646172676054
Texas1158574747275766964
Utah865654655049413837
Vermont745443393634282324
Virginia1037653484653484138
Washington886046474553483933
West Virginia877273685457534746
Wisconsin644641403943383532
Wyoming1127168795956484240

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2002,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (10), December 2003 and earlier reports available online at (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/vsus/1963/1963.htm).

Table C-5. Birth Rates of Teens 15-19 Years, by Race, Ethnicity and State: Selected Years 1990-2002
(births per 1,000 women in specified group)
StateAll RacesNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic
199019962002199019962002199019962002199019962002
United States 60 54 4343  3829116  9268100  9583
Alabama  71 675555 53 45106  957034  76145
Alaska   65514053 38 27§  6140§  8699
Arizona 7672  6151  4532124  8158123  120109
Arkansas   80746066  6351132  10782§  106116
California  71 614143  3219109 81 44112 99 71
Colorado  55 514739 34 26112  8257111 106 119
Connecticut   39372620 19 12108  8051122  10184
Delaware   55544635  3327121 109 84§ 106 143
Dist. of Columbia  9379 6911 7 6123  11510689  78110
Florida  69 574551  4332138  966960  6056
Georgia  7667 5656  5139117  937173 104 153
Hawaii   61493838  2512§  4533133  9985
Idaho   51473946  4133§  §§119  10388
Illinois   63554237 31 22146  1158395 98 85
Indiana   59554552  4938124 107 8365  8198
Iowa   41373338 34 28119  1018480 101 111
Kansas   56494349  4134135 106 7686  101100
Kentucky   68615164  5849116  9870§  7092
Louisiana  7467 5853  4842113 97 8321 44 35
Maine   43322543  3225§  § §§  § §
Maryland   53463536  302197 78 5946  5474
Massachusetts   35312324  211494 68 47121 101 81
Michigan   59463541  3526132  956894 84 72
Minnesota   36322830 25 18156 112 8279 107 118
Mississippi  8174 6556  5149113 101 82§ 28 80
Missouri   63534450  4537145 107 8146 70 100
Montana   48393639  3229§ §§§ 85 §
Nebraska   42393735  3126137 102 9582  110135
Nevada   73705461  5232133  10781108 115 98
New Hampshire   332820NA  2719NA  § §NA  66§
New Jersey   41352719  1510105 82 5680  7167
New Mexico   78716251  4532100 65 4497  9084
New York   44403025  231786  694882  7358
North Carolina   68625251  4737107  9068106 127 164
North Dakota  35 322729  2620§ §§§ § §
Ohio  5850 4047 42 32130 101 8074  7979
Oklahoma  67 6358NA  5650NA 91 72NA 88 110
Oregon  55 513751  4429112  8948114 116 98
Pennsylvania   45383232 27 22128 98 78126 109 95
Rhode Island   44393632  2621137 87 66130  104107
South Carolina   71605354  4641101 83 6767 64 133
South Dakota  4740 3835 30 26§ § §§ §§
Tennessee  72 655461  5545122 100 7941  81153
Texas   75736449  4636117 93 72104  105100
Utah   49413744  3629§  6732115 107 109
Vermont   34302435  3024§§§§  §§
Virginia   53453840  3527100  776356  6276
Washington   53463347  382598 72 42113 105 90
West Virginia   57514657  504674 77 49§ § §
Wisconsin   43373230  2521177  13210490 97 107
Wyoming   56454051  4035§  §§94  7768

§ Rates not deemed to be reliable due to small number of births or number of women in the group.

Note: Women of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Trends in Characteristics of Births by State: United States, 1990, 1995, 2000-2002,”National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52 (19), May 2004.

Appendix D. Technical Notes

Age Categories

Most of the indicators are shown by age categories, generally children ages 0-15, adults 16-64, and adults 65 and older. Youth 17 and 18 years of age are often classified with adults because they are considered potential members of the labor force in many labor force statistics. Many of the risk factors, however, use published data that define “children” to include all individuals less than 18 years of age.

Annual and Monthly Measures

There are differences between monthly and annual observation of benefit receipt. 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.

Note that annual measures are for calendar years except where explicitly noted as fiscal years.

Race and Ethnicity

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 White, Non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians, and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the totals for all persons but are not shown under separate race categories. In some instances, however, data are shown for “Whites” and “Blacks,” rather than for “Non-Hispanic Whites” and “Non-Hispanic Blacks;” in such cases these racial categories include individuals of Hispanic Origin. Footnotes to the tables provide further documentation of issues related to race and ethnicity.

Estimates based on 2002 (and more recent) CPS data are affected by a change in the CPS questionnaire that allows individuals to report one or more races. This change was implemented to comply with the 1997 Standards for Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. In 2000, the Office of Management and Budget published guidelines for implementing these new standards. To accommodate the race categories under the new standards, CPS estimates for racial/ethnic categories beginning in 2002 are for persons who are non-Hispanic white (and no other race), non-Hispanic black (and no other race) and Hispanic (of any race). Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category.

Family Structure Categories

For the primary measure of dependency in this 2005 report, estimates are 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.

Spells

Spells of dependency (Indicator 7) and recipiency (Indicator 8) are limited to those spells that begin during the SIPP panel of observation. Spells separated by only 1 month are not considered separate spells. If an individual has 2 or more spells of dependency or receipt, each is counted separately in the analysis.

Unit of Analysis

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.1 The introductory chapter of this report, for example, shows 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.


1 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.

Populations
Children