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Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2006

Publication Date
Aug 29, 2006
Contributors to this report include Gil Crouse, Sarah Douglas, Susan Hauan and Julia Isaacs of the Office of Human Services Policy under the direction of Jerry Regier, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

 

 

A limited number of copies of this year’s report also are available from:

Office of Human Services Policy
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 404E
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Fax: 202-690-6562

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.

 

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 2006 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the ninth annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2003, 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 individuals in families who are dependent on welfare.

This 2006 report uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and administrative data to provide updated measures through 2003 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 2003, 3.6 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 higher than the 3.2 percent dependency rate measured in 2002, the 2003 rate is lower than the 5.2 percent rate measured in 1996.  Overall, 3.4 million fewer Americans were dependent on welfare in 2003 compared with 1996.
  • Although data are not yet available to show a clear trend in dependency rates through 2004, available data suggest that the rate may not change from 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 5.4 percent to 1.8 percent between 1993 and 2004 (see Indicator 3).  Food stamp recipiency rates fell from 10.4 percent in 1993 to 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001.  Since then, the food stamp recipiency rate has increased to 8.1 percent in 2004.  This increase in food stamp recipiency may explain the increase in overall dependency since 2000.
  • In an average month in 2003, more than half (53 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 36 percent, respectively (see Indicator 2).  Although there was a decline in labor force participation among TANF families from 2002 to 2003, full-time employment increased considerably among TANF families during much of 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 7).
  • 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:

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.

  • As the dependency rate decreased after 1993, the poverty rate for all individuals fell also, from 15.1 percent in 1993 to 11.3 percent in 2000.  Between 2000 and 2004, the poverty rate increased to 12.7 percent, but still remained lower than any year between 1980 and 1997 (see Economic Security Risk Factor 1, Figure ECON 1a).

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 2006 report, the ninth annual indicators report, gives updated data on the measures of welfare recipiency, dependency, and predictors of welfare dependence developed for previous reports. Much of this report 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 2006 report provides updated measures through 2003 for dependency measures based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement, with one preliminary estimate for 2004. 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 2003 for the CPS-based and SIPP-based measures and are even less current for measures based on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). As in the 2005 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 Board(1) and adopted for use in this annual report series. Also it 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 also are shown. The second half of the chapter includes longitudinal data on transitions on and off welfare programs and spells of program recipiency, including spells of TANF receipt among persons in families that have no attachment to the labor market. Also, this section includes a measure of long-term program receipt of up to 10 years, and a 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 2004.
  • 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 2004.
  • 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 2004 are provided in Appendix A.

Measuring Welfare Dependence

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

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

A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC, food stamps and/or SSI, and this welfare income is not associated with work activities. Welfare dependence is the proportion of all individuals in 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, 30 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, 3.6 percent of the population would be considered “dependent” on welfare in 2003 under the above definition. This is one-quarter of the percentage (14.1 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 2004, available data suggest the rate may remain the same between 2003 and 2004.(3)

Figure SUM 1.

Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1993-2003

Figure SUM 1.  Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1993-2003

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 2004 is preliminary.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2005, 
analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Dependency and recipiency rates follow fairly similar trends, falling fairly dramatically during the 1990s to lows of 3.0 percent for dependency and 12.5 percent for recipiency in 2000. While rates have increased somewhat between 2000 and 2003, the 2003 dependency and recipiency rates remain significantly lower than the peak rates of 5.9 and 17.2 percent, occurring in 1993 and 1994, respectively. The overall drop in recipiency rates in this time period is consistent with administrative data showing declining TANF caseloads, especially after enactment of welfare reform in 1996. What is not apparent from administrative records, but is shown in the national survey data, is that dependency also declined after 1993, with the sharpest decline occurring after enactment of the 1996 welfare reform legislation. While 13.74 million individuals were dependent in 1996, only 10.35 million were dependent in 2003 — representing a decline of 3.39 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 2003 compared to 1993.

Table SUM 1.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates:  Selected Years

 

 1993199619992000200120022003
Recipiency Rates (Rates of Any Amount of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, or SSI)
All Persons16.61613.312.512.613.214.1
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White10.39.98.48.28.28.89.2
Non-Hispanic Black38.035.629.827.026.327.731.3
Hispanic34.632.023.421.021.621.722.5
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-530.528.221.519.820.821.424.2
Children Ages 6-1024.924.219.818.018.418.820.5
Children Ages 11-1522.121.117.316.316.116.819.7
Women Ages 16-6416.416.013.612.512.513.414.0
Men Ages 16-6411.511.79.69.29.610.310.6
Adults Ages 65 and over11.210.310.010.49.69.79.9
Family Categories
Persons in:
   Married-Couple Families10.59.67.97.27.47.58.2
   Female-Headed Families47.846.039.937.136.437.739.9
   Male-Headed Families27.625.319.321.821.221.222.2
Unrelated Individuals9.711.510.010.110.011.511.6
Dependency Rates (More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, or SSI)
All Persons5.95.23.33.03.13.23.6
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White3.02.61.81.91.81.82.1
Non-Hispanic Black17.813.89.17.78.88.710.1
Hispanic11.810.95.44.54.54.95.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-513.911.26.26.05.96.07.5
Children Ages 6-1011.29.56.15.15.45.15.8
Children Ages 11-159.38.14.54.04.44.05.0
Women Ages 16-645.95.23.53.03.33.43.6
Men Ages 16-642.72.71.91.92.02.02.3
Adults Ages 65 and over2.42.42.02.11.92.02.2
Family Categories
Persons in:
   Married-Couple Families1.81.71.00.91.01.01.1
   Female-Headed Families25.721.113.611.411.911.713.2
   Male-Headed Families6.85.43.04.44.03.84.9
Unrelated Individuals3.84.23.43.83.84.14.4

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, 1994-2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


Measures of welfare dependency also vary based upon which programs are counted as “welfare programs.” Dependency would be much lower — 1.9 percent — if only AFDC/TANF and food stamp benefits were counted (as shown inAppendix 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 2003, dependency declined from 3.6 percent to 1.9 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.

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 also are included under the Economic Risk Factors found in Chapter III.

The poverty rate in 2004 remains much lower than in 1993, when poverty reached its highest peak since the early 1980s. The official poverty rate for 2004 was 12.7 percent, compared to 15.1 percent in 1993. This difference in the poverty rate indicates that 2.3 million fewer people are in poverty and 2.7 million fewer children are in families with incomes below poverty than in 1993. There was an increase in the overall and child poverty rates between 2000 and 2003, but the poverty rate among adults over age 64 continued to decline for the second consecutive year (see Table ECON 1 in Chapter III).

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 12.7 percent in 2004.

The dotted line shows what the poverty rate 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. The poverty rate under this measure would be higher than under the official measure, or 13.5 percent in 2004.

The lowest line shows that the poverty rate 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 2004 would be more than two percentage points lower than the official measure, or 10.5 percent.

Figure SUM 2.
Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2004

Figure SUM 2. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2004

Source: Unpublished Congressional Budget Office tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2005. Additional calculations by DHHS. See ECON 4 in Chapter III for underlying table and further notes.

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 AFDC/TANF and poverty spell duration, transitions in and out of program dependency and reasons for entering or leaving the AFDC/TANF program.

This year we refined Indicator 8,(5) a SIPP-based indicator that tracks month-by-month duration of TANF receipt when there is no labor force participant living in the recipients' family during that month. In prior volumes, we identified individuals in families without a labor force participant only at the start of the panel period and then tracked their month-by-month spells of welfare receipt over the next three to four years. Under the previous methodology, a welfare spell would continue with each new month of benefit receipt even if someone in the recipient's family joined the labor market at a later point. Under the new measure, a welfare spell would end if the recipient or another family member enters the labor market, regardless of whether TANF benefits continue. Tracking both TANF receipt and family labor force participation each month is particularly important given increasing rates of employment among welfare recipients and their families (see Table IND 2b). The revised methodology results in somewhat shorter spells.

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 also has 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. To maintain consistency in data trends, we present estimates based on CPS data analyzed by TRIM3 beginning in 1993, the first year the TRIM3 microsimulation model became available.

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 2003. Still, readers are cautioned against comparing measures for 1987-1995 from the SIPP data in the first three annual reports with the measures for 1993-2003 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. 
While only affecting a small number of cases, 
veterans pension benefits are included in means-tested assistance income for SIPP-based receipt and dependency estimates prior to 2001.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2004,
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.

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 (FY) 2004. 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.

 

Endnotes

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.

2. This 30 percent includes just over 20 percent in unsubsidized employment and 9 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 2004 are not yet available, non-adjusted estimates from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the CPS, indicate no change in the level of dependence between 2003 and 2004.

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.

5. Indicator 8, Welfare Spell Duration with No Labor Force Attachment, was formerly Indicator 7, Dependence Spell Duration, in previous reports.

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 individuals in families with more than 50 percent of their total income in a one-year period coming from cash assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program (now Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program), food stamps and Supplemental Security Income (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 AFDC and TANF programs, benefits under the Food Stamp Program, and 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 meanstested 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: Program Spell Duration. One critical aspect of dependence is how long individuals receive means-tested assistance. This indicator provides information on short, medium, and long spells of welfare receipt for each of the three major means-tested programs – AFDC/TANF, the Food Stamp Program and SSI.

Indicator 8: Welfare Spell Duration with No Labor Force Attachment. This indicator is concerned with dynamics of welfare receipt among persons in families with no attachment to the labor market. It differs from Indicator 7 in providing information on spells of TANF receipt during months where no one in the family worked or was officially unemployed.

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 7, 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: 2003

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Only 3.6 percent of the total population in 2003 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 have been small increases in dependency each year resulting in a shift from 3.0 to 3.6 percent.
  • A little over 14 percent of the overall population received at least one dollar in means-tested assistance in 2003. However, for 58 percent of these individuals (8 percent of the total population), such assistance represented 25 percent or less of annual family income. The vast majority (86 percent) of the population received no means-tested assistance in 2003.
  • 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 marriedcouple or male-headed families (13.2 percent compared to 1.1 and 4.9 percent respectively).
  • In 2003, 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 1993, when more than 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: 2003

 0%> 0% and <= 25%> 25% and <= 50%> 50% and <= 75%> 75% and <= 100%Total > 50%
All Persons85.98.22.41.12.43.6
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White90.85.81.30.71.42.1
Non-Hispanic Black68.715.26.02.97.110.1
Hispanic77.513.14.31.83.55.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-575.812.14.72.64.97.5
Children Ages 6-1079.510.64.12.13.75.8
Children Ages 11-1580.310.73.91.73.35.0
Women Ages 16-6486.08.22.21.12.53.6
Men Ages 16-6489.46.91.40.61.72.3
Adults Ages 65 and over90.15.81.90.81.42.2
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families91.86.01.20.50.61.1
Persons in Female-Headed Families60.118.28.64.58.613.2
Persons in Male-Headed Families77.813.83.61.63.34.9
Unrelated Individuals88.46.11.10.63.84.4

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, 1994-2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


Table IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1993-2003

 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
200385.98.22.41.12.43.6

See above for note and source.

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2003

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Those in families with income below the poverty level received almost half (46 percent) of their total family income from earnings and 32 percent of their total family income from means-tested assistance programs (TANF, SSI and food stamps) in 2003. In contrast, those with family income over 200 percent of the poverty level received the majority (87 percent) of their income from earnings and less than one percent of their income from means-tested assistance (a percentage so small 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 persons living in deep poverty (below 50 percent of poverty) was only 24 percent, compared to 46 percent for all poor persons in 2003.
  • On average, persons in married-couple families rely on earnings more and on means-tested assistance programs less than persons in other families at all income levels, as shown in Table IND 1c.
  • 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 only 40 percent of their income from earnings; this percentage rose to 48 percent in 1998 and has remained above 45 percent ever 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 32 percent in 2003.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2003

 < 50% Poverty< 100% of Poverty< 200% of Poverty200% + of PovertyAll Individuals
All Persons
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps57.631.610.10.21.1
Earnings24.246.266.887.085.2
Other Income18.322.123.112.813.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps49.127.77.30.10.5
Earnings27.142.061.686.284.7
Other Income23.830.331.013.714.8
Non-Hispanic Black
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps67.644.017.80.64.0
Earnings16.333.960.187.582.1
Other Income16.122.122.111.913.9
Hispanic
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps56.226.29.50.52.7
Earnings30.461.680.291.488.7
Other Income13.412.210.38.08.6
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-5
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps66.237.013.30.32.2
Earnings20.950.476.694.691.9
Other Income12.812.610.15.25.9
Children Ages 6-10
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps65.134.512.00.21.8
Earnings19.650.576.093.691.1
Other Income15.215.012.16.37.1
Children Ages 11-15
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps61.934.111.50.21.7
Earnings20.649.075.192.590.2
Other Income17.517.013.47.48.2
Women Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps54.132.110.60.21.0
Earnings26.046.670.889.688.1
Other Income19.921.318.610.210.9
Men Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps44.427.28.00.20.7
Earnings34.951.174.490.889.7
Other Income20.821.817.69.09.6
Adults Ages 65 and over
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps21.519.26.50.31.1
Earnings3.85.89.237.533.8
Other Income74.775.084.362.365.1
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families
AFDC, SSI and Food Stamps43.721.16.00.10.5
Earnings37.662.275.688.087.2
Other Income18.716.718.411.912.3
Persons in Female-Headed Families
AFDC, SSI and Food Stamps67.444.220.61.06.5
Earnings16.335.958.181.574.9
Other Income16.319.921.317.518.6
Persons in Male-Headed Families
AFDC, SSI and Food Stamps63.633.711.30.62.1
Earnings21.649.070.286.784.4
Other Income14.817.418.512.713.5

Note: Total income is total annual family income, including the value of food stamps. Other income is non-means-tested, nonearnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest and dividends. Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive. 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, 2004, 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
2003
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps57.631.610.10.2
Earnings24.246.266.887.0
Other Income18.322.123.112.8

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2004, 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: 2003

Figure IND 2. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants in that Month by Program: 2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • About one-third of TANF and food stamp recipients lived in families with at least one fulltime worker in 2003, with an additional one quarter living in families with a labor force participant who was not full time. Thus, 53 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, persons in female-headed families receiving TANF were less likely to live with at least one full-time worker than were persons in similar families receiving food stamps and SSI.
  • As shown in Table IND 2b, 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 and remained stable through 2002. From 2002 to 2003 this percentage decreased to 29 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: 2003

  No One in LFAt Least One in LF, No One FTAt Least One FT Worker
TANFAll Persons47.424.128.5
 Non-Hispanic White44.822.632.7
 Non-Hispanic Black53.326.220.5
 Hispanic44.121.834.1
 Children Ages 0-547.921.730.4
 Children Ages 6-1050.623.326.1
 Children Ages 11-1550.622.926.4
 Women Ages 16-6446.426.327.3
 Men Ages 16-6434.830.634.6
 Adults Ages 65 and over17.45.477.3
 Persons in Married-Couple Families21.124.154.7
 Persons in Female-Headed Families59.223.517.2
 Persons in Male-Headed Families31.929.039.1
 Unrelated Individuals000
FOOD STAMPSAll Persons41.524.034.4
 Non-Hispanic White42.625.032.5
 Non-Hispanic Black44.524.930.5
 Hispanic35.819.644.5
 Children Ages 0-534.425.140.4
 Children Ages 6-1034.225.640.2
 Children Ages 11-1535.524.040.5
 Women Ages 16-6442.425.632.0
 Men Ages 16-6441.524.434.1
 Adults Ages 65 and over84.58.47.1
 Persons in Married-Couple Families24.221.953.9
 Persons in Female-Headed Families42.927.230.0
 Persons in Male-Headed Families36.426.936.7
 Unrelated Individuals75.115.89.0
SSIAll Persons64.09.926.1
 Non-Hispanic White68.38.523.1
 Non-Hispanic Black65.513.121.4
 Hispanic51.49.838.8
 Children Ages 0-537.115.847.1
 Children Ages 6-1033.722.743.6
 Children Ages 11-1533.616.749.7
 Women Ages 16-6469.68.821.6
 Men Ages 16-6467.210.222.6
 Adults Ages 65 and over68.17.124.8
 Persons in Married-Couple Families39.811.948.3
 Persons in Female-Headed Families53.515.531.0
 Persons in Male-Headed Families47.714.937.4
 Unrelated Individuals97.42.10.5

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. 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, 2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


Table IND 2b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants 1993-2003

 No One in LFAt Least One in LF, No One FTAt 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
200239.825.834.3
200347.424.128.5

Note: See above.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2004, 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: 1970-2004

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age: 1970-2004

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 ).


  • Just under 2 percent of the total population received TANF in 2004. The rate of AFDC/TANF receipt has dropped significantly since 1993, when it was at a 25-year high of over 5 percent, as shown in Table IND 3a. The 2004 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 2004, AFDC/TANF receipt among children decreased by more than half (from 14 to just over 5 percent), the most rapid decline in a generation.

Table IND 3a. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age 1970-2004

 Total RecipientsAdult RecipientsChild Recipients
Fiscal YearNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
19707,1883.51,8631.45,3257.6
19719,2814.52,5161.86,7659.7
197210,3454.92,8482.07,49710.8
197310,7605.12,9842.17,77611.3
197410,5915.02,9352.07,65611.3
197510,8545.03,0782.17,77611.6
197611,1715.13,2712.27,90011.9
197710,9335.03,2302.17,70311.8
197810,4854.73,1282.07,35711.4
197910,1464.53,0711.97,07511.0
198010,4224.63,2262.07,19611.3
198110,9794.83,4912.17,48811.8
198210,2334.43,3952.06,83810.9
198310,4674.53,5482.16,91911.1
198410,6774.53,6522.17,02511.2
198510,6304.53,5892.07,04111.2
198610,8104.53,6372.17,17311.4
198710,8784.53,6242.07,25411.5
198810,7344.43,5362.07,19811.4
198910,7414.43,5031.97,23811.4
199011,2634.53,6432.07,62011.9
199112,3914.94,0162.18,37512.8
199213,4235.24,3362.39,08713.7
199313,9435.44,5192.39,42413.9
199414,0335.34,5542.39,47913.8
199513,4795.14,3222.29,15713.2
199612,4774.63,9212.08,55612.2
199710,7794.03,1061.57,67310.8
19988,6533.12,4691.26,1848.7
19997,0682.51,8380.95,2317.3
20006,2182.21,6870.84,5316.3
20015,6742.01,5040.74,1715.7
20025,5731.91,4740.74,0995.6
20035,4521.91,4150.74,0375.5
20045,3101.81,3520.63,9585.4

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: 1975-2004

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age: 1975-2004

Source: Recipient data by age from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2004 and earlier reports (available online at www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/participation.htm, and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank. Population denominators are from U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov ).


  • Source: Recipient data by age from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2004 and earlier reports (available online at www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/participation.htm, and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank. Population denominators are from U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov ).
  • As with AFDC/TANF, food stamp recipiency rates have been much higher over time for children than for adults. Between 1980 and 2004, the percentage of all children who received food stamps was more than double the percentage 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 from their low of 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001.

Table IND 3b. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age 1975-2004

 Total RecipientsAdult Recipients Ages 60 and overAdult Recipients Ages 18-59Child Recipients Ages 0-18
Fiscal YearNumber (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
198420,796.81,7584.58,5216.310,49216.8
198519,8478.31,7834.58,2586.19,90615.8
198619,3828.11,6314.17,8955.79,84415.7
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
199225,3709.91,6873.910,5507.213,34920.1
199326,95710.41,8764.311,2147.514,19621.0
199427,43910.41,9554.511,6157.714,39121.0
199526,57910.01,9204.411,1057.313,86020.0
199625,4959.51,8914.310,7697.013,18918.8
199722,8208.41,8314.19,3736.011,84716.7
199819,7497.21,6353.67,7604.910,52414.7
199918,1466.51,6963.77,0794.49,33213.0
200017,1566.11,7003.76,6124.08,74312.1
200117,2826.11,6583.66,7784.18,81912.1
200219,0596.61,6843.67,6254.59,68813.3
200321,2227.31,7863.78,5035.010,60514.5
200423,8198.11,9173.99,7535.711,77116.1

Note: See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates. Recipient total exclude the territories and are the fiscal year averages of monthly caseloads from administrative data. From 1975 to 1983 the number of participants includes the Family Food Assistance Program (FFAP) that was largely replaced by the Food Stamp program in 1975. From 1975 to 1983 the number of FFAP participants averaged only 88 thousand.

Source: Recipient data by age from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2004 and earlier reports (available online at www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/participation.htm, and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank. Individual age groups do not sum exactly to total participants. The population denominators for the percents in each category are from U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov ).


Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2004

Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2004

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/data_sub109.html ) and U.S. Bureau of the Census (available online at http://www.census.gov ).


  • Unlike the recipiency rates for AFDC/TANF and food stamps, which have been influenced by outside factors such as the economy and welfare reform, overall recipiency rates for SSI show less variation over time. After trending downward slightly from 1975 to the early 1980s, the proportion of the total population that receives SSI has risen from 1.7 percent in 1985 to 2.5 percent in 1996 and subsequently declined slightly to 2.4 percent in 2004. As shown in Table IND 3c, the total number of recipients has grown by 69 percent over the same period, from 4.1 million in 1985 to just under 7 million people in 2004.
  • Elderly adults (ages 65 and older) have much higher recipiency rates than any other age group. The gap has narrowed, however, as the percentage of adults aged 65 and older receiving SSI has been cut in half, declining from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.4 percent in 2004.
  • The proportion of children receiving SSI increased gradually between 1975 and 1990, and grew more rapidly in the early and mid-1990s, reaching a high of 1.4 percent in 1996. The rate then fell slightly through 2000 before inching back upward to 1.4 percent in 2004.

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2004

 Total RecipientsAdult Recipients Ages 65 & overAdult Recipients Ages 18-64Child Recipients Ages 0-18
DateNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent
Dec 19754,3142.02,50810.91,6991.31070.2
Dec 19764,2361.92,39710.21,7141.31250.2
Dec 19774,2381.92,3539.71,7381.31470.2
Dec 19784,2171.92,3049.31,7471.31660.3
Dec 19794,1501.82,2468.81,7271.31770.3
Dec 19804,1421.82,2218.61,7311.21900.3
Dec 19814,0191.72,1218.01,7031.21950.3
Dec 19823,8581.72,0117.41,6551.21920.3
Dec 19833,9011.72,0037.31,7001.21980.3
Dec 19844,0291.72,0377.21,7801.22120.3
Dec 19854,1381.72,0317.11,8791.32270.4
Dec 19864,2691.82,0186.92,0101.32410.4
Dec 19874,3851.82,0156.72,1191.42510.4
Dec 19884,4641.82,0066.62,2031.52550.4
Dec 19894,5931.92,0266.52,3021.52650.4
Dec 19904,8171.92,0596.52,4501.63090.5
Dec 19915,1182.02,0806.52,6421.73970.6
Dec 19925,5662.22,1006.52,9101.95560.8
Dec 19935,9842.32,1136.43,1482.07231.1
Dec 19946,2962.42,1196.33,3352.18411.2
Dec 19956,5142.52,1156.33,4822.29171.3
Dec 19966,6302.52,1106.23,5682.29551.4
Dec 19976,4952.42,0546.03,5622.28801.3
Dec 19986,5662.42,0335.93,6462.28871.3
Dec 19996,5572.42,0195.83,6912.28471.2
Dec 20006,6022.32,0115.73,7442.18471.2
Dec 20016,6882.31,9955.63,8112.18821.2
Dec 20026,7882.31,9955.63,8782.19151.3
Dec 20036,9022.41,9905.53,9532.29591.3
Dec 20046,9882.41,9785.44,0172.29931.4

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, SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/data_sub109.html ) 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 4 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 46 percent of the families estimated as eligible for TANF cash assistance actually enrolled and received benefits in an average month in 2003. 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 2003. At 68 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
20024.552.1948.1
20034.782.1845.7

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 2002 and 2003, there was a small increase in the number of families eligible for the TANF program.
  • After falling every year from 1994 to 2001, the caseload has remained fairly steady between 2001 and 2003. The participation rate dipped further in 2003 owing to the increase in the number of eligible families with no comparable increase in participation.
  • Participating families include 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

DateEligible 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
Fiscal Year 200317.88.949.9

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. Due to additional changes in methodology, the estimates for 2003 should not be directly compared to previous estimates.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 2003, July 2005 (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/FILES/Participation/FSPP...).


  • Between fiscal years 1999 and 2003 there was a 23 percent increase in households eligible for the Food Stamp Program (from 14.5 to 17.8 million households). Caseloads grew at a lower rate (19 percent increase) over the same period. The net effect was a decrease in the estimated participation rate, from 52 to 50 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 more than twice as large as the subsequent increases between 1999 and 2003.

Table IND 4c. Percentage of Eligible Adult Units Participating in the SSI Program, by Type 1993-2003

 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
200368.262.373.847.6

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, 1994-2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • After holding fairly constant at about 70 percent between 2001 and 2002, the SSI participation rate among adult units edged downward in 2003 to 68 percent.
  • The participation rates among aged one-person units remained fairly constant at about 62 percent in 2002 and 2003.
  • The rates for disabled one-person units moved downward sharply in 2003 bringing the rate to nearly 10 percentage points below its peak of 83 percent in 1999.
  • In 2003, as in past years, disabled adults in one-person units had a higher participation rate (74 percent) than both aged adults in one-person units (62 percent) and adults in marriedcouple units (48 percent).

Indicator 5. Multiple Program Receipt

Figure IND 5. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), amongThose Receiving Assistance: 2003

Figure IND 5. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), amongThose Receiving Assistance: 2003

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Of the almost 10 percent of the population in families receiving TANF, food stamps, or SSI benefits in an average month in 2003, about three-quarters (74 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 (17 percent) and food stamp and SSI receipt (10 percent).
  • Children are more likely than other age groups to live in families receiving TANF and/or food stamps. For example, 20 percent of children under six lived in families receiving any public assistance in an average month in 2003, and 6 percent of children under six lived in families receiving both TANF and food stamps, as shown in Table IND 5a.
  • Almost one in three persons in a female-headed family received TANF, food stamps, or SSI benefits in an average month in 2003. Most of these families received food stamps only (18 percent) or TANF and food stamps (8 percent).
  • 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 9.7 percent in 2003, 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: 2003

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
TANFFSSSITANF & FSFS & SSI
All Persons9.70.25.51.31.61.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White6.20.13.71.00.70.8
Non-Hispanic Black24.50.513.82.35.42.6
Hispanic14.00.77.41.83.01.1
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-519.70.911.60.85.80.6
Children Ages 6-1016.30.810.00.54.50.6
Children Ages 11-1515.10.69.40.93.50.7
Women Ages 16-649.00.15.41.01.41.1
Men Ages 16-645.90.13.41.20.40.8
Adults Ages 65 and over7.90.02.23.60.02.1
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families4.60.22.80.70.50.4
Persons in Female-Headed Families30.90.517.72.78.02.1
Persons in Male-Headed Families13.90.57.72.42.21.1
Unrelated Individuals9.20.04.42.20.02.6

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 at some point over the course of a year (shown in Table SUM 1 in Chapter I and Table IND 1a in Chapter II). 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, 1994-2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


Table IND 5b. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, SSI): 1993-2003

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
AFDC/ TANFFSSSIAFDC/ TANF & FSFS & 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
20039.70.25.51.31.61.0
 

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 (28 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 Percent of Income from Assistance in 2002Total (thousands)Percentage of Persons Receiving
No Aid in 2003Up to 50% in 2003Over 50% in 2003
All Persons6,0232.625.871.6
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2,2224.624.670.8
Non-Hispanic Black2,2251.725.772.6
Hispanic1,0770.730.269.1
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-58532.933.963.2
Children Ages 6-106971.327.970.9
Children Ages 11-156480.024.875.2
Women Ages 16-642,2713.727.369.0
Men Ages 16-641,0903.117.979.0
Adults Ages 65 and over4470.920.378.8

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 YearUp 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 20026,2581.529.269.3
2002 to 20036,0232.625.871.6

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. While only affecting a small number of cases, veterans pension benefits are included in means-tested assistance income for receipt and dependence estimates prior to 2001.

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

Indicator 7. Program Spell Duration

Figure IND 7. Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 7. 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 7a, 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 7b. 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 7a. 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
 Children Ages 0-550.024.011.914.1
 Children Ages 6-1045.421.58.524.6
 Children Ages 11-1543.725.312.418.6
 Adults Ages 16-6452.924.28.414.4
 Adults Ages 65 and overNANANANA
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
 Children Ages 0-527.725.612.933.8
 Children Ages 6-1028.627.410.733.3
 Children Ages 11-1531.828.19.630.6
 Adults Ages 16-6440.323.97.528.4
 Adults Ages 65 and over30.012.59.648.0
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
 Children Ages 0-10NANANANA
 Children Ages 11-1531.218.83.946.1
 Adults Ages 16-6429.420.97.242.5
 Adults Ages 65 and over22.723.28.445.7

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 7b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001 SIPP Panels

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >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 8. Welfare Spell Duration with No Labor Force Attachment

Figure IND 8. Percentage of TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001 SIPP Panel, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 8. Percentage of TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment 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.

  • Welfare spells with no labor force attachment are measured as consecutive months that an individual received TANF benefits and lived in a family with no labor force participants.
  • In the early 2000s, 56 percent of TANF spells with no labor force attachment ended within four months and over three-quarters (79 percent) ended within a year.
  • As shown in Table IND 8a, the percentage of spells ending in four months or less was larger for non-Hispanic whites (61 percent) than for non-Hispanic blacks (53 percent) and Hispanics (60 percent).
  • Spells shown in Indicator 8 are limited to spells of recipients in families without any labor force participation. Spell lengths, on average, are slightly longer in Indicator 7, which shows spells for all recipients, including those in families with labor force participants. For example, whereas 10 percent of spells between 2001 and 2003 shown in Figure IND 8 last more than 20 months, 17 percent of all TANF spells during the same time period are more than 20 months long, as shown in Figure IND 7.

Table IND 8a. Percentage of TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment 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
All Persons56.123.010.610.2
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White61.220.213.55.1
Non-Hispanic Black52.825.74.517.0
Hispanic59.921.112.86.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-1553.723.811.411.1
Adults Ages 16-6459.722.19.48.9

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 with no family labor force attachment are defined as those spells starting during the 2001 SIPP panel for individuals who received TANF and lived in families with no labor force participants in each month.

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 TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment for Individuals Entering Programs during the 1996 and 2001 SIPP Panels

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months
1996 Panel All Persons54.228.39.38.3
2001 Panel All Persons56.123.010.610.2

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 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 Ages 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 Ages 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 Ages 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

igure 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 also were 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 1993-1995Spell Began 1996-1999Spell 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, veterans payments and Workers 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 volumes prior to 2004.
  • 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

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 onehalf (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 the recipient’s 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 1993-1995Spell Ended 1996-1999Spell 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, veterans payments and Workers 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.

Economic Security Risk Factor 1. Poverty Rates

Figure ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2004

Figure ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2004

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-229 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-229.pdf .


  • The official poverty rate was 12.7 percent in 2004, a small increase over the rate of 12.5 percent in 2003. Even so, the percentage of persons living in poverty in 2004 was below the poverty rates experienced in most of the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Children under 18 had a poverty rate of 17.8 percent in 2004, up slightly from 17.6 percent in 2003. 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 9.8 percent in 2004, down slightly for the second year in a row. This was a far lower poverty rate than the 17.8 percent rate for persons under 18 and below the 11.3 percent rate for adults ages 18 to 64, as shown in Table ECON 1.
  • The poverty rate for persons in female-headed households was 30.5 percent, as shown in Table ECON 1. While about one third of persons in female-headed households lived in poverty in 2004, this was below the poverty rates experienced in the 1980s and most of the 1990s.

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

CalendarRelated ChildrenAll Persons
YearAges 0-5Ages 6-17TotalUnder 18 118 to 6465 & overMarried FamiliesFemale 3 Householder
1959NANA22.427.317.035.218.2 249.4
1963NANA19.523.1NANA14.9 247.7
1966NANA14.717.610.528.510.3 239.8
196915.313.112.114.08.725.37.4 238.2
197315.713.611.114.48.316.36.0 237.5
197617.715.111.816.09.015.06.4 237.3
197917.915.111.716.48.915.26.3 234.9
198020.316.813.018.310.115.77.4 236.7
198122.018.414.020.011.115.38.1 238.7
198223.320.415.021.912.014.69.1 240.6
198324.620.415.222.312.413.89.3 240.2
198423.419.714.421.511.712.48.5 238.4
198522.618.814.020.711.312.68.2 237.6
198621.618.813.620.510.812.47.3 238.3
198722.318.313.420.310.612.57.2 238.1
198821.817.513.019.510.512.06.637.2
198921.917.412.819.610.211.46.735.9
199023.018.213.520.610.712.26.937.2
199124.019.514.221.811.412.47.239.7
199225.719.414.822.311.912.97.738.5
199325.620.015.122.712.412.28.038.7
199424.519.514.521.811.911.77.438.6
199523.718.313.820.811.410.56.836.5
199622.718.313.720.511.410.86.935.8
199721.618.013.319.910.910.56.435.1
199820.617.112.718.910.510.56.233.1
199918.415.711.917.110.19.75.930.5
200017.814.711.316.29.69.95.527.9
200118.214.611.716.310.110.15.728.6
200218.515.312.116.710.610.46.128.8
200319.815.912.517.610.810.26.230.0
200419.916.012.717.811.39.86.430.5

1 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.

2 In 1959-1987, the married families category includes a small number of persons in male-headed families, no spouse present. In 1988, poor persons in male-headed families, no spouse present, comprised just over 8 percent of the combined total of both groups of persons below the poverty level.

3 No spouse present.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-229 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-229.pdf.

Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Deep Poverty Rates

Figure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level 1975-2004

gure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level 1975-2004

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-229 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-229.pdf .


  • The percentage of the population in “deep poverty” (with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level) was 5.4 percent in 2004, compared to an overall poverty rate of 12.7 percent. Only 4.4 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 just over 42 percent in 2004, down slightly from 2003.
  • The total number of poor people in 2004 was 37 million, as shown in Table ECON 2. While higher than the previous year, this number was 2.3 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

  Below 50 PercentBelow 75 PercentBelow 100 PercentBelow 125 Percent
Year

Total Population (thousands)

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
2004290,60015,6005.425,0008.637,00012.749,70017.1

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, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-229 and data published online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-229.pdf ; also 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: 2003

Figure ECON 3. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Age: 2003

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Alternative Poverty Estimates in the United States: 2003,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-227, available online at http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-227.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 do not take into account geographic adjustments (NGA) in housing costs; the measures can be calculated with geographic adjustment (GA), 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: 2003

  No Geographic AdjustmentGeographic Adjustment
 OfficialAlternative 1 (MSI-NGA)Alternative 2 (MIT-NGA)Alternative 3 (CMB-NGA)Alternative 1 (MSI-GA)Alternative 2 (MIT-GA)Alternative 3 (CMB-GA)
All Persons12.512.412.713.012.312.712.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories       
Non-Hispanic White8.29.09.19.48.48.48.8
Non-Hispanic Black24.321.221.922.120.320.721.1
Hispanic22.621.022.622.223.625.325.0
Age Categories       
Children Ages 0-1717.613.915.014.714.015.014.8
Adults Ages 18-6410.811.011.611.510.911.611.5
Adults Ages 65 and over10.216.313.917.315.713.216.5

Note: These experimental poverty measures implement changes recommended by a 1995 NAS panel, including: counting noncash 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 medical out-of-pocket expenses (MOOP) differently. The first alternative (“MOOP subtracted from income” or MSI) subtracts out-of-pocket medical expenses 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).

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. Bureau of the Census, “Alternative Poverty Estimates in the United States: 2003,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-227, available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2005pubs/p60-227.pdf , and unpublished CPS data from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Table ECON 3b. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures 1999-2003

 19992000200120022003
Official Measure11.911.311.712.112.5
No Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds     
Medical Costs Alternative 1 (MSI-NGA)12.212.112.412.412.4
Medical Costs Alternative 2 (MIT-NGA)12.812.712.813.012.7
Medical Costs Alternative 3 (CMB-NGA)12.912.813.013.013.0
Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds     
Medical Costs Alternative 1 (MSI-GA)12.112.012.312.312.3
Medical Costs Alternative 2 (MIT-GA)12.712.512.712.812.7
Medical Costs Alternative 3 (CMB-GA)12.812.612.912.912.9

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: 1979-2004

Figure ECON 4. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2005, 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 12.7 percent in 2004, as shown in the bold line with empty boxes in Figure ECON 4. Without cash welfare, the 2004 poverty rate would be 13.5 percent, as shown by the top line in the figure above.
  • Adding other non-cash, public assistance benefits to this definition has the effect of lowering the percentage of people who have incomes below the official poverty line. Including the value of food and housing benefits in total income reduces the poverty rate to 11.5 percent in 2004.
  • When income is defined as including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and federal taxes, the percentage of the total population in poverty decreases to 10.5 percent in 2004. Federal taxes and tax credits have had a net effect of reducing poverty rates following the EITC expansions 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 2004 by 3.0 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

 1983198619891992199519982000200220032004
Cash Income Plus All Social Insurance16.014.513.815.614.913.512.012.813.213.5
Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance15.213.612.814.513.812.711.312.112.512.7
Plus Food and Housing Benefits13.712.211.212.912.011.310.110.911.211.5
Plus EITC and Federal Taxes14.713.111.813.011.510.49.510.010.410.5
Reduction in Poverty Rate1.31.42.02.63.43.12.52.82.83.0

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 Cash 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, 1984-2005, 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 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >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 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >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 2003 Dollars): 1993-2003


Figure23

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2004.


  • In 2003 families reported receiving $25.6 billion in child support payments from the nonresident 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 24 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 $3.1 billion in 1993 (in inflationadjusted dollars) to $2.6 billion in 2003. 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 2003, from $2.1 to $5.3 billion (in 2003 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 $16.2 billion, or 63 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: 1993-2003

 Collections (billions)Total (percent)
2003 Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:Current $Constant 03$ 
TANF2.62.610
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing5.35.321
Child Support Services Only8.38.332
Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services16.216.263
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services9.49.437
Total Families25.625.6100
2001 Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
TANF1.51.67
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing3.73.816
Child Support Services Only8.38.636
Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services13.514.059
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services9.49.841
Total Families22.923.8100
1999 Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
TANF1.71.98
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing2.93.214
Child Support Services Only6.77.534
Subtotal IV-D Families11.312.556
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services8.89.744
Total Fam lies20.122.2100
1997 Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
AFDC/TANF2.52.912
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing2.83.214
Child Support Services Only5.96.829
Subtotal IV-D Families11.212.855
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services9.310.745
Total Families20.623.5100
1995 Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
AFDC2.42.912
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing2.02.410
Child Support Services Only6.78.134
Subtotal IV-D Families11.113.356
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services8.810.544
Total Families19.923.8100
1993 Families Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
AFDC2.53.115
Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing1.72.110
Child Support Services Only4.75.928
Subtotal IV-D Families8.811.053
Families Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services7.79.747
Total Families16.520.7100

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 monthby-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 ASPEpublished report Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001, available at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/CSEChar04/index.htm and previous reports. Due to a slight change in methodology, estimates for 1993 through 2001 differ slightly from estimates in previously published reports.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2004.

Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Food Insecurity

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2004

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2004

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004.


  • A large majority (88 percent) of American households was food secure in 2004 – 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 2004 was estimated to be 3.9 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2004, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and hunger at times during the year as a result of financial constraints. An additional 8 percent of households experienced food insecurity, but were without hunger, during the twelve months ending in December 2004. Food insecurity would be lower if measured over a monthly basis.
  • Poor households and persons in female-headed households have higher rates of food insecurity with hunger (13.6 and 9.2 percent, respectively) than the 3.9 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 7a.
  • After decreasing between 1998 and 1999, the percentage of households with food insecurity has increased slightly between 1999 and 2004 (10.1 and 11.9 percent, respectively), as shown in Table ECON 7b.

Table ECON 7a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2004

 Food SecureFood Insecure TotalFood Insecure without HungerFood Insecure with Hunger
All Households88.111.98.03.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories    
Non-Hispanic White91.48.65.72.9
Non-Hispanic Black76.323.715.68.1
Hispanic78.321.715.85.9
Households, by Age    
Households with Children under 681.518.514.44.1
Households with Children under 1882.417.613.34.3
Households with Elderly93.56.54.71.8
Household Categories    
Married-Couple Households88.411.69.32.3
Female-Headed Households67.033.023.89.2
Male-Headed Households77.822 215.96.3
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio    
Under 1.0063.236.823.213.6
Under 1.3066.034.021.712.3
Under 1.8570.229.819.410.5
1.85 and over94.65.43.81.6

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. Spouses are not present in the Female-Headed and Male-Headed household categories.

Race and ethnicity categories for households are determined by the race and ethnicity of the reference person for 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, 2004. Data are from the Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement.

Table ECON 7b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1998-2004

 Food SecureFood Insecure TotalFood Insecure without HungerFood 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
200488.111.98.03.9

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004.

Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Lack of Health Insurance

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2004

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005.

  • Poor persons were almost twice as likely as all persons to be without health insurance in 2004 (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 2004, among both the general population and those with incomes below the poverty line. Hispanic individuals were three times more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic white individuals.
  • Among all persons, education levels were inversely related to health insurance coverage. However, among poor persons, only college graduates have higher rates of insurance coverage, as shown in Table ECON 8.
  • As shown in Table ECON 8, more than 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: 2004

 All PersonsPoor Persons
All Persons15.730.8
Men17.233.3
Women14.428.9
Non-Hispanic White11.326.9
Non-Hispanic Black19.526.2
Hispanic32.742.1
No High School Diploma29.538.6
High School Graduate, No College20.038.8
College Graduate8.631.8
Ages 17 and under11.219.4
Ages 5 and under10.115.9
Ages 6-1111.020.1
Ages 12-1712.523.1
Ages 18-2431.444.7
Ages 25-3425.951.4
Ages 35-4418.745.1
Ages 45-5414.938.1
Ages 55-6413.328.6
Under 65 years17.833.7
Ages 65 and over0.82.9

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, 2005.

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.

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: 2004

Figure WORK 1. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants by Race/Ethnicity: 2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005.


  • In 2004, 72 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. While slightly lower than the peak in 2000, the percentage of individuals living with full-time, full year workers has generally increased since the early 1990s, as shown in Table WORK 1b.
  • Overall, 14 percent of the population lived in families with no labor force participants and 14 percent lived in families with part-time and/or part-year labor force participants in 2004.
  • 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 2004 (10 percent compared to 15 and 17 percent, respectively).
  • Working-age women in 2004 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: 2004

 No One in LF During YearAt Least One in LF No One FT/FYAt Least One FT/FY Worker
All Persons13.914.471.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories   
Non-Hispanic White14.613.671.8
Non-Hispanic Black17.018.764.3
Hispanic9.514.476.1
Age Categories   
Children Ages 0-57.016.076.4
Children Ages 6-106.314.779.0
Children Ages 11-156.814.079.2
Women Ages 16-647.914.977.2
Men Ages 16-646.012.781.3
Adults Ages 65 and over64.715.719.6

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.

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, 1991-2005.


Table WORK 1b. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants: 1990-2004

 No One in LF During YearAt Least One in LF No One FT/FYAt 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
199813.314.672.1
199912.614.473.1
200012.813.873.3
200113.314.472.4
200213.414.672.0
200313.815.071.2
200413.914.471.7

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: 1968-2004

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: 1968-2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1969-2005.


  • 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 (66 and 63 percent, respectively, in 2004) than among low-skilled Hispanic women (56 percent).
  • In contrast, employment levels for non-Hispanic men with a high school education or less have decreased over the past three decades, especially for non-Hispanic black men (67 percent in 2004 compared to 90 percent in 1968). Hispanic men with a high school education or less have had only slight variation in employment levels over the past three decades.
  • As shown in Figure and Table WORK 2, employment levels for non-Hispanic black men with a high school education or less were 4 percentage points higher than those of similarly educated non-Hispanic black women in 2004. In contrast, there was a 15 percentage point difference in employment levels of non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less, and a 29 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: 1968-2004

 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
197255.658.1NA91.184.3NA
197558.357.249.788.278.886.2
197761.457.652.288.378.189.2
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
200169.864.859.283.469.985.5
200269.564.457.582.567.385.1
200366.965.256.981.165.784.6
200466.362.956.180.866.784.9

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, 1969-2005.

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 (2004 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 (2004 Dollars): Selected Years

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1981-2005.


  • 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 80 percent of those of men of the same race, education, and work status in 2004 ($465 compared to $583).
  • Non-Hispanic white women have had the highest average weekly wages among low-skilled women working full-time, full-year reaching $563 in 2004. This level is a 21 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 (10 percent and 7 percent, respectively).
  • Average weekly wages for all low-skilled workers, except Hispanic men, decreased from 2003 to 2004. Wages for non-Hispanic black men decreased the most during this time period ($619 compared to $583), while low-skilled non-Hispanic white men had the smallest drop in wages ($784 compared to $779).
  • Over the past two decades, both Hispanic women and men’s wages have lagged behind nonHispanic whites and blacks among low-skilled full-time workers. In 2004, 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 32 percent and non-Hispanic black men by 9 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 (2004 Dollars): Selected Years

 WomenMen
 Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanicNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic
1980464424396767570578
1981455411403758564570
1982460418401740547547
1983459417397731526553
1984464433404748526558
1985477433398742550547
1986481433418756549530
1987492453406759563532
1988493438406756592536
1989490461417742553520
1990494453396715551508
1991486439394700548488
1992496443411710540502
1993493430399696533488
1994502445402708547486
1995506445391732555488
1996512471405753580486
1997518442414764580523
1998538449418747586520
1999518452410769627519
2000537456401791623530
2001544479419781600533
2002554494423780606556
2003574474431784619523
2004563465422779583533

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, 1981-2005.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 4. Educational Attainment

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2004

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2004

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Educational Attainment in the United States, 2005,” Current Population Reports, P20-550, and earlier reports.


  • There has been a notable 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 2004.
  • The percentage of the population receiving a high school education only (with no subsequent college education) was 25 percent in 1960 and rose to 39 percent in 1988. Since then this figure has fallen to 32 percent in 2004, 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 2004.
  • The percentage of the population completing four or more years of college has more than tripled from 1960 to 2004, rising steadily from 8 percent to 28 percent.

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

 Not a High School GraduateFinished High School, No CollegeOne to Three Years of CollegeFour or More Years of College
1940761455
1950672076
1960592598
1965513199
197045341011
197537361214
198031371517
198130381517
198229381518
198328381619
198427381619
198526381619
198625381719
198724391720
198824391720
198923381721
199022381821
199122391821
199221362221
199320352322
199419342422
199518342523
199618342524
199718342424
199817342524
199917332525
200016332526
200116332626
200216322527
200315322527
200415322528

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,” http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/educ-attn.html 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: 2004

Figure WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 2004

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2004.


  • In 2004, 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, about one in six (16 percent) adults 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month during 2004, 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.
  • The use of both cocaine and marijuana decreased between 2003 and 2004 among all adult age categories. Alcohol abuse showed less of a decline and actually increased slightly for adults ages 35 and over, as shown in Table WORK 6.

Table WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol by Age: 1999 - 2004

 199920002001200220032004
Cocaine
Ages 18-251.71.41.92.02.22.1
Ages 26-341.20.81.11.21.51.4
Ages 35 and over0.40.30.50.60.60.5
Marijuana
Ages 18-2514.213.616.017.317.016.1
Ages 26-345.45.96.87.78.48.3
Ages 35 and over2.22.32.43.13.03.1
Binge Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2537.937.838.740.941.641.2
Ages 26-3429.330.330.133.132.932.2
Ages 35 and over16.016.416.218.618.118.5
Heavy Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2513.312.813.614.915.115.1
Ages 26-347.57.67.89.09.49.4
Ages 35 and over4.24.14.25.25.15.3

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 refers to 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, 1999-2005.

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

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting an Activity Limitation by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2004

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting an Activity Limitation by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2005.


  • In 2004, non-elderly adults were more likely than children to have an activity limitation, 10.9 percent compared to 7.5 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 2004 (6.3 percent compared to 4.5 percent), as shown in Table WORK 7.
  • The percentage of non-Hispanic black adults and children with an activity limitation was higher than the percentages for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults and children. NonHispanic black adults and children also were more likely to receive disability program benefits than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults and children in 2004, 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 2004, 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: 2004

 Activity LimitationWork DisabilityLong-Term Care NeedsDisability Program Recipient
All Persons
Adults Ages 18-6410.98.22.14.5
Children Ages 0-177.5NANA6.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Adults Ages 18-64)
Non-Hispanic White11.58.72.14.4
Non-Hispanic Black14.210.52.87.4
Hispanic6.95.11.43.1
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Children Ages 0-17)
Non-Hispanic White7.9NANA6.5
Non-Hispanic Black9.4NANA8.2
Hispanic5.2NANA4.3

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, 2005.

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: 1975-2004

Figure WORK 8. Labor Force Participation of Women with Children under 18: 1975-2004

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1976-2005.


  • The labor force participation rate for all women with children under 18 years of age decreased between 2003 and 2004. While the employment to population ratio also decreased for married and never-married mothers during this time period, the ratio for divorced, separated or widowed mothers increased slightly, as shown in Table WORK 8.
  • Since 1992, the labor force participation rate of never-married mothers with children under 18 has increased dramatically from 53 percent to 73 percent. Since 1998, the participation rate for never-married mothers has exceeded the rate for married mothers. Similarly, the employment to population ratio for never-married mothers increased from 43 percent in 1992 to 63 percent in 2004, as shown in Table WORK 8.
  • Historically, mothers who are divorced, separated or widowed have always had the highest rates of labor force participation. By 1994, the gap between these women and married mothers had narrowed considerably; however, over the past 10 years this gap has again widened. In 2004, the labor force participation rate of divorced, separated or widowed mothers was 81 percent, compared to 68 percent for married mothers.
  • The labor force participation rate of married mothers with children under 18 followed an upward trend from 1950 until 1997 when it peaked at 71 percent. Since 1997 it has edged downward slowly.

Table WORK 8. Employment Status of Women with Children under 18 Years of Age: 1975-2004

 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
199870.679.772.568.074.361.5
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
200468.280.772.665.475.063.1

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, 1976-2005.

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factors (BIRTH).

The final group of risk factors addresses out-ofwedlock 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.

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 1. Nonmarital Births

Figure BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Age Group: 1940-2004

Figure BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Age Group: 1940-2004

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 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005 and preliminary data for 2004 published at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm.


  • 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 36 percent in 2004. 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 to 24. A little more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all births to teens and over half (55 percent) of all births to women ages 20 to 24 took place outside of marriage in 2004.
  • After reaching a peak of 33 percent in 1994, the percentage of births that are nonmarital had remained fairly steady. However, the percentage has continued to drift up since then, with notable increases in both 2003 and 2004. Similarly, the growth in the percentage of nonmarital teen births also has slowed since 1994, but is still rising (from 76 percent in 1994 to 83 percent in 2004). 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 55 percent.
  • In contrast, the percentage of births that are nonmarital continues to remain steady since 1994 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
196578.532.815.321.66.87.7
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
198893.677.158.565.932.925.7
198992.477.760.467.235.127.1
199091.677.761.367.636.928.0
199191.378.763.269.339.429.5
199291.379.264.670.540.730.1
199391.379.966.171.842.231.0
199494.584.170.075.944.932.6
199593.583.769.875.644.732.2
199693.884.470.876.345.632.4
199795.786.772.578.246.632.4
199896.687.573.678.947.732.8
199996.587.774.079.048.533.0
200096.587.774.379.149.533.2
200196.387.874.679.250.433.5
200297.088.575.880.251.634.0
200397.189.777.381.653.234.6
2004 prel.97.490.378.782.654.735.7

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 Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Final Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005. Additional computations by ASPE staff of percentages for all teens (this age category not reported by NCHS) and preliminary data for 2004 published at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/births.htm .

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 2. Nonmarital Teen Births

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race and Ethnicity 1940-2003

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race and Ethnicity 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: Final Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005.


  • 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 five years, from 9.5 to 8.2 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 five years, declining to 7.1 percent in 2003. 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 16.2 percent in 2003, the lowest percentage since 1969. This rate has varied greatly over time peaking at 24 percent in 1975, and then gradually declining over most of the past three decades. 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
19918.76.420.410.3
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
20038.27.116.210.7

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 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005.

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: 1960-2003

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, by Race: 1960-2003

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2003

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2003

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 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005.


  • The birth rate per 1,000 unmarried teens fell again in 2003 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 15 to 17 has been cut by more than half from 80 per thousand in 1991 to 38 per thousand in 2003, and for blacks ages 18 and 19, the rate fell from 148 per thousand in 1991 to 100 per thousand in 2003.
  • Prior to 1994, birth rates among unmarried white teens in both age groups rose steadily for over four decades (from 4 to 24 percent among 15 to 17 year-olds and from 11 to 56 percent among 18 and 19 year-olds). Since then the rates for both age groups have followed a downward trend.
  • The birth rate among unmarried black teens in both age groups was lower in 2003 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 between black and white teens narrowed considerably during the 1990s and 2000s.

Table BIRTH 3. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teen Women within Age Groups, by Race: 1950-2003

 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
200320.317.238.157.650.4100.4

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.

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 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005. 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

NONMARITAL BIRTH RISK FACTOR 4. NEVER-MARRIED FAMILY STATUS

NONMARITAL BIRTH RISK FACTOR 4. NEVER-MARRIED FAMILY STATUS

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 and “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-537, 547, 553 and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2005.

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 11 percent in 2005.
  • The percentage of white children living in families headed by never-married women has steadily increased over the past twenty years, from less than 2 percent in 1982 to 6 percent in 2005.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads more than doubled over the past two decades, going from less than 6 percent in 1982 to 12 percent in 2005.
  • The percentage of black children living in families headed by never-married women has been 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
196022149173NA0.40.12.2NA
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
20006,5912,8813,4131,2559.55.332.911.4
20016,7363,0023,3811,3979.85.533.211.9
20026,8723,0483,5731,4009.95.633.411.5
20037,0063,0293,4511,49510.05.633.311.9
20047,2183,1133,5411,57710.35.834.112.0
20057,4123,2783,6091,62210.66.035.412.0

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 and “America’s Families and Living Arrangements,” Current Population Reports, Series P20-537, 547, 553 and ASPE tabulations of the CPS for 2005.

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.

Appendices

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;
  • 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

The current legislative authority for the TANF block grant is from the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171). Passed in February 2006, the Act reauthorizes the original 1996 legislation at an annual funding level of $16.5 billion and continues to require each state to have at least 50 percent of its work eligible families participating in meaningful work activities. However, prior to this Act, a caseload reduction credit allowed states to reduce their work requirement by their caseload declines since 1995. As most states experienced dramatic caseload declines, the credit had virtually eliminated the work participation requirements for most states. Starting with FY 2007, the Deficit Reduction Act recalibrates the base year for calculating the caseload reduction credit to 2005, effectively re-implementing a meaningful performance guideline.

Also starting in FY 2007, the Deficit Reduction Act expands the work participation calculations to include adults in certain welfare programs funded out of state funds countable toward the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement. Under the original legislation, these adults were excluded from the calculations. This change was implemented because there was some concern that states were moving work-eligible TANF adults into non-TANF programs with similar program structures, in part, to avoid federal work participation standards.

The Deficit Reduction Act also provides $100 million per year to support programs designed to promote healthy marriages, and up to $50 million annually for programs designed to encourage responsible fatherhood. In addition, the new law increased mandatory child care funding to states to $2.917 billion annually.

Data Issues Relating to the TANF Program and 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. The vast majority of families receiving “assistance”1 are, in fact, receiving cash payments.

Another data issue concerns the treatment of who receive cash and other forms of assistance under Separate State Programs (SSPs), funded out of MOE dollars rather than federal TANF funds. Under TANF, some states use SSP programs to serve specific categories of families (e.g., two-parent families, families who have exhausted their time limits). From 1996-2005, such families were exempted from federal time limits and work requirements; as of October 2006, such families will be subject to the same work requirements as regular TANF families. The official TANF caseload figures do not include SSP families when reporting TANF caseloads. Starting with the 2004 edition, this Indicators report adds 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 2004, the average monthly number of TANF recipients was 5.4 million persons, down 2.6 percent from FY 2003. Moreover, this was 57 percent lower than the average monthly AFDC caseload in fiscal year 1996 and the smallest number of people on welfare since 1968. From the peak of 14.4 million in March 1994, the number of AFDC/TANF recipients dropped by more than 64 percent to 5.1 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 2004 the average monthly benefit per recipient had declined to 68 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 2004, 22 percent of TANF adult recipients were employed, down from 27 percent in 2001, but 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 30 percent in FY 2004 (data not shown). Similar trends are shown in data on income from earnings. These trends likely reflect the effects of welfare-to-work programs and the overall economy. One can also see a relationship between employment of welfare recipients and 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 43.6 percent in FY 2004. Not counting cases with a sanctioned parent, 40.9 percent of the caseload was child-only in 2004. 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 often 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 114,000 since 1996 — between 1996 and 1998 the child-only caseload decreased by more than 250,000 but subsequently increased by 140,000.

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 — those with the fewest barriers to employment — 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 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 June 2005 ranges from 96 percent (Wyoming) to 26 percent (Nebraska). Nine 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 two-parent cases receiving benefits under AFDC Unemployed Parent programs that operated in certain states before FY 1991 and in all states after October 1, 1990. The AFDC Basic and UP programs were replaced by TANF as of July 1, 1997 under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996. Shaded areas indicate the National Bureau of Economic Research (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 Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (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 2004 Dollars

Figure TANF 2. Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Benefit per Recipient in Constant 2004 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 2004 dollars with the weighted average maximum benefit in current and constant 2004 dollars since 1988 indicates that the primary cause of the decline in the average monthly benefit has been the erosion of the real value of the maximum benefit due to inflation. The current value of the maximum benefits has not shown much increase in most states.

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 Eight TANF Annual Report to Congress, 2006.

Table TANF 1. Trends in AFDC/TANF Caseloads: 1962 – 2004

Fiscal YearAverage Monthly Number (In thousands)Children as a Percent of Total RecipientsAverage 1 Number of Children per Family
Total Families 1AFDC UP 2 Two-Parent FamiliesTANF Two-Parent FamiliesTotal RecipientsChild 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
19972.........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...........2,195NA1185,6564,14973.31.9
2003...........2,181NA1165,5184,07573.91.9
2004...........2,160NA1135,3763,99374.31.8

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 to Needy Families (TANF) program beginning July 1, 1997.
3 Based on data from the 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 – 2004

Calendar Year 1Total Recipients in the States & DC (in thousands)Child Recipients in the States & DC (in thousands)Recipients as a Percent of Total Population 2Recipients as a Percent of Poverty Population 3Child Recipients as a Percent of Total Child Population 2Child Recipients as a Percent of Children in Poverty 3
19708,3036,1044.132.78.858.5
197110,0437,3034.939.310.569.2
197210,7367,7665.143.911.275.5
197310,7387,7635.146.711.380.5
197410,6217,6375.045.411.375.2
197511,1317,9285.243.011.871.4
197611,0987,8505.144.411.876.4
197710,8567,6324.943.911.774.2
197810,3877,2704.742.411.273.2
197910,1407,0574.538.911.068.0
198010,5997,2954.736.211.463.2
198110,8937,3974.734.211.759.2
198210,1616,7674.429.510.849.6
198310,5696,9674.529.911.150.1
198410,6437,0174.531.611.252.3
198510,6727,0734.532.311.354.4
198610,8507,2064.533.511.556.0
198710,8417,2404.533.611.555.9
198810,7287,2014.433.811.457.8
198910,7987,2864.434.311.557.9
199011,4977,7814.634.212.157.9
199112,7288,6015.035.613.260.0
199213,5719,1895.335.713.860.1
199314,0079,4605.435.714.060.2
199413,9709,4485.336.713.861.8
199513,2429,0135.036.413.061.5
199612,1568,3554.533.311.957.8
199710,2247,077 43.728.710.050.1
19988,2155,7813.023.88.142.9
19996,7094,8362.420.56.739.4
20006,0434,3992.119.16.138.0
20015,6314,1312.017.15.735.2
20025,5294,0501.916.05.633.4
20035,4264,0001.915.15.531.1
20045,2793,8881.814.35.329.8

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 P60-229 (available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html ).
4 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 Coverage in the United States: 2004,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-229, (available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html ).


Table TANF 3. TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2000 – 2004 (In thousands)

 TANFSSPTotal
Fiscal YearFamilies
20002,265912,356
20012,117822,200
20022,0651292,195
20032,0321492,181
20041,9871732,160
 All Recipients
20005,9433806,324
20015,4233385,761
20025,1485085,656
20034,9675515,518
20044,7845925,376
 Child Recipients
20004,3702284,598
20014,0232024,225
20023,8413084,149
20033,7313444,075
20043,6183753,993

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 – 2004 [In millions of dollars]

Fiscal YearFederal Funds (Current Dollars)State Funds (Current Dollars)Total (Current Dollars)Total (Constant 2004 Dollars1 )
BenefitsAdminBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdmin
1970$2,187$572 2$1,895$309$4,082$881 2$17,856$3,854
19713,0082712,4692545,47752522,9362,199
19723,612240 32,9422416,554481 326,5041,945
19733,8653133,1382967,00361027,1992,369
19744,0713793,3003627,37174026,3682,647
19754,6255523,7875298,4121,08227,4273,528
19765,2585414,4185279,6761,06929,5333,263
19775,6265954,76258310,3881,17729,5143,344
19785,7246314,89861710,6211,24828,3103,326
19795,8256834,95466810,7791,35026,4203,309
19806,4487505,50872911,9561,47926,4103,267
19816,9288355,91781412,8451,64825,8043,311
19826,9228785,93487812,8571,75624,1893,304
19837,3329156,27591513,6071,83024,5023,295
19847,7078766,66482214,3711,69824,8912,941
19857,8178906,76388914,5801,77924,4012,977
19868,2399936,99696715,2351,96024,9173,206
19878,9141,0817,4091,05216,3232,13326,0103,399
19889,1251,1947,5381,15916,6632,35325,5953,614
19899,4331,2117,8071,20617,2402,41725,3953,560
199010,1491,3588,3901,30318,5392,66126,1233,750
199111,1651,3739,1911,30020,3562,67327,4633,606
199212,2581,4599,9931,37822,2502,83729,2943,735
199312,2701,51810,0161,43822,2862,95628,6103,795
199412,5121,68010,2851,62122,7973,30128,6464,148
199512,0191,77010,0141,75122,0323,52127,0494,323
199611,0651,6339,3461,63320,4113,26624,4423,911
1997 49,7481,2737,7991,09817,5472,37120,5092,771
19987,5181,2317,0961,02814,6142,25916,8282,602
19996,4751,4076,97588413,4492,29115,2182,592
20005,4441,5705,7361,03211,1802,30212,2642,854
20014,7721,5985,3901,04210,1632,63910,8002,805
20024,5541,6334,8549839,4082,6179,8522,740
20035,8201,5924,39885910,2192,45110,4562,508
20044,7171,4715,65282810,3682,30010,3682,300

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 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-RS fiscal year price index.
2 Includes expenditures for services.
3 Administrative expenditures only.
4 PRWORA repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to 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 Systems.


Table TANF 5. Federal and State TANF Program and Other Related Spending Fiscal Years 1997 to 2004 [In millions of dollars]

 Cash & Work-Based AssistanceWork ActivitiesChild CareTransportationAdministrationSystemsTransitional ServicesOther ExpendituresTotal Expenditures
Federal TANF Grants
19977,708467 14 872109086210,032
19987,168763 25293822461,13610,487
19996,4751,225 604 1,070337171,59511,323
20005,4441,606 1,553 4961,3282422,71513,384
20014,7721,983 1,583 5221,3752234,32514,782
20024,5542,121 1,572 3391,3392944,36814,588
20035,8201,937 1,698 4341,3072854,77216,254
20044,7171,613 1,427 3541,2202514,81114,393
State Maintenance of Effort Expenditures in the TANF Program
19975,955311 752 70410199268,758
19986,879520 890 883138111,30110,623
19996,541503 1,135743118231,33410,397
20005,432884 1,893 150921921,17010,541
20014,887685 1,730 113920831,1959,613
20023,994582 1,860 221877661,5549,154
20033,597596 1,993 73766601,4418,526
20044,729501  1,878119721551,3309,333
State Maintenance of Effort Expenditures in Separate State Programs
19976912 1110018210
1998216137 6128391
199943426 2572200126865
200030511 7317190431856
200150328 34 203814991,125
200286024 72 2441-.56521,673
200380166 -223 3633-.38481,560
200492240 45 195211,0162,095
Total Expenditures
199713,731790 877 1,57721191,80519,000
199814,2641,286 1,280 1,828362172,46521,502
199913,4491,754 1,995 1,835456403,05522,585
200011,1802,501 3,519 6632,2673354,31624,781
200110,1632,696 3,347 6552,3333066,01925,520
20029,4082,727 3,504 5842,2583596,57425,414
200310,2192,599 3,468 5432,1063457,06026,340
200410,3682,154 3,350 4921,9923077,15725,821

Note: Administration and Systems, shown separately here in Table TANF 5, can be combined to show total administrative costs, as in Table TANF 3.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Financial Services (available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/data/index.html ).


Table TANF 6. Trends in AFDC/TANF Average Monthly Payments: 1962 – 2004

Fiscal YearMonthly Benefit per RecipientAverage Number of Persons per FamilyMonthly Benefit per Family (not reduced by Child Support)Weighted Average 1 Maximum Benefit (per 3-person Family)
Current Dollars2004 DollarsCurrent Dollars2004 DollarsCurrent Dollars2004 Dollars
1962$31$1683.9$121$654NANA
1963311674.0126672NANA
1964321684.1131692NANA
1965341754.2140728NANA
1966351784.2146741NANA
1967361794.1150741NANA
1968401894.1162772NANA
1969431994.0173793$186 2$856
1970462013.9178779194 2850
1971482003.8180755201 2842
1972512083.6187756205 2830
1973532053.5187726213 2827
1974572033.4194693229 2818
1975632063.3209681243792
1976712163.2226688257783
1977782213.1241685271770
1978832213.0250667284758
1979872133.0257630301737
1980942082.9274604320707
1981961932.9277556326654
19821031932.9300565331622
19831061922.9311559336605
19841101912.9322557352609
19851121882.9329551369618
19861151892.9339554383627
19871231962.9359573393627
19881271952.9370569403619
19891311942.9381561413608
19901351902.9389548420592
19911351822.9388523424572
19921361792.9389512419551
19931311692.8373479414532
19941341682.8376473416522
19951341652.8376463418514
19961351612.8374448419502
1997 31301522.8362423418489
19981301502.7358412429494
19991331502.7357404450509
20001331462.6349383446489
20011371462.6351373448476
20021461532.5364381452474
20031401482.5354362449460
20041501502.5360360473473

Note: AFDC benefit amounts have not been reduced by child support collections. Constant dollar adjustments to 2004 level were made using a CPI-U-RS fiscal-year price index.

1 The maximum benefit for a 3-person family in each state is weighted by that state’s share of total AFDC families.
2 Estimated based on the weighted average benefit for a 4-person family.
3 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. 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 noncash 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 – 2004

 May 1969May 1975March 1979Fiscal year 1
1983198819921996200020022004
Avg. Family Size (persons) 4.03.23.03.03.02.92.82.62.52.4
Number of Child Recipients
One 26.637.942.343.442.542.543.944.247.048.9
Two 23.026.028.129.830.230.229.928.428.027.7
Three 17.716.115.615.215.815.515.015.314.213.2
Four or More 32.520.013.910.19.910.19.210.18.98.4
Unknown NANANA1.51.70.71.32.01.91.8
Families with No Adult in Asst. Unit 10.112.514.68.39.614.821.534.539.043.6
Child-Only Families 232.736.640.9
Families with Non-Recipients 33.134.8NA36.936.838.949.9
Median Months on AFDC/TANF
Since Most Recent Opening 23.031.029.026.026.322.523.6
Presence of Assistance
Living in Public Housing 12.814.6NA10.09.69.28.817.719.218.8
Participating in Food Stamp or Donated Food Program 52.975.175.183.084.687.389.379.980.181.5
Presence of Income
With Earnings NA14.612.85.78.47.411.123.6 321.8 318.9 3
No Non-AFDC/TANF Income 56.071.180.686.879.678.976.071.6 372.8 377.6 3
Adult Employment Status (percent of adults)
Employed 6.611.326.425.322.0
Unemployed 49.247.250.2
Not in Labor Force 24.327.527.8
Adult Women's employment status (percent of adult female recipients):4
Full-time job 8.210.48.71.52.22.24.7
Part-time job 6.35.75.43.44.24.25.4
Marital Status (percent of adults)
Single 65.366.669.1
Married 12.411.510.3
Separated 13.113.011.9
Widowed 0.70.70.6
Divorced 8.58.28.1
Basis for Child's Eligibility (percent children):
Incapacitated 11.7 57.75.33.43.74.14.3
Unemployed 4.6 53.74.18.76.58.28.3
Death 5.5 53.72.21.81.81.61.6
Divorce or Separation 43.3 548.344.738.534.630.024.3
Absent, No Marriage Tie 27.9 531.037.844.351.953.158.6
Absent, Other Reason 3.5 54.05.91.41.62.02.4
Unknown 1.70.90.6

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 report, 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 Presence of income is measured as a percentage of adult recipients, not families, 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, unpublished data and Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of TANF Recipients: TANF Annual Report to Congress, (November 2004) and earlier years.


Table TANF 8. AFDC/TANF Benefits, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1978 – 2004 [In Millions of dollars]

 1978198419861988199019941998200020022004
United States$10,621$14,371$15,236$16,663$18,543$22,798$14,614$11,180$9,408$10,368
Alabama$78$74$68$62$62$92$44$36$33$45
Alaska173746546011377555543
Arizona306779103138266145107130183
Arkansas51394853575726342617
California1,8133,2073,5744,0914,9556,0884,1283,6432,6083,286
Colorado7410710712513715880485365
Connecticut168226223218295397305166128126
Delaware28282524294024201920
Dist. of Columbia917577768412697726770
Florida145251261318418806357234256239
Georgia103149223266321428313180109162
Guam3543512NANANANA
Hawaii83837377991631531418587
Idaho2121191920306357
Illinois699845886815839914771269146110
Indiana11815314816717022810487146122
Iowa107159170155152169104797680
Kansas7387919710512341435061
Kentucky122135104143179198147104101106
Louisiana97145162182188168103586765
Maine5169848010110880736677
Maryland166229250250296314192196227110
Massachusetts476406471558630730442336279341
Michigan7801,2141,2481,2311,2111,132589386326401
Minnesota164287322338355379276193184167
Mississippi33587485868260183732
Missouri152196209215228287180139148138
 15273741404930213121
Nebraska38566256596241415264
Nevada8101620274839284832
New Hampshire21162021326239322934
New Jersey489485509459451531372222194267
New Mexico32495156611441041138273
New York1,6891,9162,0992,1402,2592,9132,1491,5541,4651,586
North Carolina138149138206247353211140139119
North Dakota14162022242622121012
Ohio4417258048058771,016546368336320
Oklahoma748510011913216572784543
Oregon148101120128145197141346985
Pennsylvania726724389747798935523573338385
Puerto Rico253833677274NANANANA
Rhode Island59717982991361171058979
South Carolina5275103919611552913518
South Dakota18171521222514101111
Tennessee7783100125168215108146132120
Texas122229281344416544315248203213
Utah41525561647750404145
Vermont21404040486547393835
Virgin Islands222234NANANANA
Virginia136165179169177253123186101112
Washington175294375401438610450312295322
West Virginia537510910711012652497169
Wisconsin2605194445064404251457126136
Wyoming613161919217925

Note: Benefits refers to total cash benefits paid, (see Table TANF 4) but does not include emergency assistance payments. NA denotes data not available.

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


Table TANF 9. Comparison of Federal Funding for AFDC and Related Programs And 2004 Family Assistance Grants Awarded Under PRWORA [In millions of dollars]

StateFY 1996 Grants for AFDC, EA & JOBS 1FY 2004 Family Assistance Grants & Supplemental 2FY 2004 Bonus Awards 3FY 2004 Total AwardsIncrease of FY 2004 over FY 1996 LevelPercent Increase from FY 1996 Level
United States$15,067$16,677$300$16,977$1,90913
Alabama$79.0$103.9$2.6$106.4$27.435
Alaska60.760.33.263.42.85
Arizona200.6226.14.0230.229.515
Arkansas54.362.92.865.811.521
California3,545.63,687.77.03,694.7149.14
Colorado138.9149.60.0149.610.78
Connecticut221.1266.80.0266.845.721
Delaware30.232.00.732.72.48
Dist. of Columbia77.191.926.3118.241.053
Florida504.7622.710.2633.0128.225
Georgia301.2368.00.0368.066.822
Hawaii98.498.00.098.0-0.4-0
Idaho31.333.91.635.54.213
Illinois593.8585.10.0585.1-8.8-1
Indiana121.4205.410.3215.794.378
Iowa129.3131.54.5136.06.75
Kansas86.9101.10.0101.114.216
Kentucky171.6181.33.1184.412.77
Louisiana122.4179.90.0179.957.547
Maine73.278.12.680.77.510
Maryland207.6229.125.0254.146.522
Massachusetts372.0459.47.3466.694.625
Michigan581.5775.410.5785.8204.435
Minnesota239.3267.213.4280.641.217
Mississippi68.695.82.698.429.843
Missouri207.9217.110.9227.920.010
Montana39.243.72.346.06.817
Nebraska56.257.72.960.64.58
Nevada41.247.30.047.36.015
New Hampshire36.038.126.064.228.178
New Jersey353.4404.012.0416.162.718
New Mexico129.9116.20.0116.2-13.7-11
New York2,332.72,442.925.02,467.9135.26
North Carolina311.9338.40.0338.326.58
North Dakota24.526.41.327.73.213
Ohio564.5728.028.1756.1191.634
Oklahoma125.1147.63.0150.625.520
Oregon146.4166.82.2169.022.615
Pennsylvania780.1719.54.6724.1-56.0-7
Rhode Island82.994.10.294.311.414
South Carolina99.4100.03.8103.84.34
South Dakota19.721.30.722.02.312
Tennessee178.9213.19.6222.743.724
Texas437.1539.00.0539.0101.923
Utah68.084.33.587.819.929
Vermont42.447.41.849.26.816
Virginia134.6158.37.9166.231.623
Washington393.2388.70.8389.5-3.7-1
West Virginia95.1110.23.8114.018.920
Wisconsin241.6315.110.9326.084.435
Wyoming14.418.50.919.45.035

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 2004 Family Assistance Grants and Supplemental is net of the Tribal Grants amounts.
3 The FY 2004 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. AFDC/TANF Caseload, by State: October 1989 to June 2005 Peak [In thousands]

StatePeak Caseload Oct ‘89 to June ’05Date Peak Occurred Oct ’89 to June ’05Sept ’96 AFDC CaseloadJune ’05 TANF & SSP CaseloadPercent Decline 1 Sept ’96 to June ’05Percent Decline Peak to June ’05
United States5,098Mar-944,3462,0455260
Alabama52.3Mar-9340.720.15162
Alaska13.4Apr-9412.34.66366
Arizona72.8Dec-9361.842.03242
Arkansas27.1Mar-9222.18.26370
California933.1Mar-95870.3505.54246
Colorado43.7Dec-9333.615.45465
Connecticut61.9Mar-9557.123.25963
Delaware11.8Apr-9410.55.64652
Dist. of Columbia27.5Apr-9425.116.83339
Florida259.9Nov-92200.359.77077
Georgia142.8Nov-93120.938.76873
Hawaii23.4Jun-9721.910.55255
Idaho9.5Mar-958.41.97880
Illinois243.1Aug-94217.839.28284
Indiana76.1Sep-9349.750.2-134
Iowa40.7Apr-9431.121.33248
Kansas30.8Aug-9323.417.42644
Kentucky84.0Mar-9370.434.05259
Louisiana94.7May-9066.515.67784
Maine24.4Aug-9319.711.74152
Maryland81.8May-9568.925.56369
Massachusetts115.7Aug-9384.348.44358
Michigan233.6Apr-91167.579.85266
Minnesota66.2Jun-9257.231.84452
Mississippi61.8Nov-9145.215.46675
Missouri93.7Mar-9479.146.04251
Montana12.3Mar-949.84.75261
Nebraska17.2Mar-9314.412.71226
Nevada16.3Mar-9513.27.84152
New Hampshire11.8Apr-948.96.42946
New Jersey132.6Nov-92100.847.65364
New Mexico34.9Nov-9433.017.24851
New York463.7Dec-94412.7189.05459
North Carolina134.1Mar-94107.532.17076
North Dakota6.6Apr-934.72.93857
Ohio269.8Mar-92201.980.56070
Oklahoma51.3Mar-9335.311.26878
Oregon43.8Apr-9328.519.53256
Pennsylvania212.5Sep-94180.196.84654
Rhode Island22.9Apr-9420.512.93744
South Carolina54.6Jan-9342.917.95867
South Dakota7.4Apr-935.72.75263
Tennessee112.6Nov-9396.270.72737
Texas287.5Dec-93238.883.06571
Utah18.7Mar-9314.09.03652
Vermont10.3Apr-928.74.94452
Virginia76.0Apr-9460.536.24052
Washington104.8Feb-9596.858.73944
West Virginia41.9Apr-9337.612.16871
Wisconsin82.9Jan-9249.920.16076
Wyoming7.1Aug-924.30.39396

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.

1 Negative values denote percent increase.

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


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

 19651970198019901994199620002004Percent Change
1990-961996-04
United States4,3237,41510,59711,46014,22612,6456,3245,37610-57
Alabama781231801301321054646-19-56
Alaska5815203836221479-62
Arizona4051511242011728711538-33
Arkansas3045857169582922-19-62
California5281,1481,3871,9022,6392,6261,5741,28038-51
Colorado426677102119992938-4-61
Connecticut5983139120166162735635-66
Delaware122032212723131310-43
Dist. of Columbia204085497470474544-37
Florida10620425637066956115812352-78
Georgia7119822129339335312912620-64
Guam12547810119137
Hawaii142560446267753652-46
Idaho1016211723232338-85
Illinois262368672636712655256903-86
Indiana4873157154216148103145-4-2
Iowa446410498110895455-9-39
Kansas3653687787683244-11-36
Kentucky811291671752081758978-0-55
Louisiana1042022132822482367546-16-81
Maine1936605664563232-0-43
Maryland80131212186222204776810-67
Massachusetts94208350263307237102108-10-54
Michigan162253685655666527207212-20-60
Minnesota51761351711871711161080-37
Mississippi831151731791591293442-28-67
Missouri10714019921126323213112210-48
Montana7131929353113148-54
Nebraska1630354345402832-7-19
Nevada51212233838162366-38
New Hampshire4922163024141548-40
New Jersey104286459309335288138116-7-60
New Mexico30515357102101724677-55
New York5171,0521,1009811,2551,18472450821-57
North Carolina1111241982233332781007724-72
North Dakota8111316161388-14-41
Ohio183266513632685546245186-14-66
Oklahoma7395891121311053634-6-67
Oregon317510289114873942-2-51
Pennsylvania3034266295216205442502314-57
Puerto Rico2022231681901831559249-18-68
Rhode Island243852466358503927-34
South Carolina305215311114011941467-61
South Dakota11162019191676-14-63
Tennessee7612916221130026014719523-25
Texas9121430861178868434226712-61
Utah2233374550402323-11-42
Vermont51223222825161315-47
Virgin Islands1233453255-67
Virginia468716615119516275857-48
Washington7110915422829227416814320-48
West Virginia1169377111114953240-14-58
Wisconsin45792132372261704056-28-67
Wyoming45714161311-9-95

Note: Recipients in 2000 and beyond include both TANF and SSP recipients.

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/programs/ofa/caseload/caseloadindex.htm ).


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

 19651970198019901994199620002004Percent Change
1990-961996-04
United States2.13.54.64.55.34.62.21.83-61
Alabama2.23.64.63.23.12.41.01.0-24-58
Alaska1.82.63.73.76.35.93.62.163-65
Arizona2.62.91.93.44.73.71.72.011-46
Arkansas1.52.33.73.02.82.31.10.8-25-64
California2.95.75.86.38.48.24.63.629-57
Colorado2.23.02.63.13.22.50.70.8-19-67
Connecticut2.12.74.53.65.04.82.11.633-67
Delaware2.43.65.43.23.83.21.71.6-0-49
Dist. of Columbia2.55.313.38.112.612.38.28.052-34
Florida1.83.02.62.84.73.81.00.733-81
Georgia1.64.34.04.55.54.71.61.44-70
Hawaii1.93.26.23.95.25.56.12.940-48
Idaho1.42.22.21.62.01.90.20.216-87
Illinois2.53.35.95.66.05.42.10.7-2-87
Indiana1.01.42.92.83.72.51.72.3-9-7
Iowa1.62.33.63.53.93.11.91.8-12-40
Kansas1.62.42.93.13.42.61.21.6-16-39
Kentucky2.54.04.64.75.44.52.21.9-6-58
Louisiana2.95.65.06.75.75.41.71.0-20-81
Maine1.93.65.44.55.24.52.52.4-2-46
Maryland2.23.35.03.94.44.01.51.23-69
Massachusetts1.83.76.14.45.03.81.61.7-12-56
Michigan2.02.97.47.06.95.42.12.1-23-61
Minnesota1.42.03.33.94.13.62.32.1-7-42
Mississippi3.65.26.96.95.94.71.21.5-32-69
Missouri2.43.04.04.14.94.32.32.14-51
Montana1.01.92.43.64.03.51.41.5-3-56
Nebraska1.12.02.22.72.82.41.61.8-12-22
Nevada1.22.41.51.92.52.30.81.022-56
New Hampshire0.71.22.41.52.72.11.11.140-45
New Jersey1.54.06.24.04.23.51.61.3-11-62
New Mexico3.05.04.13.86.15.84.02.453-58
New York2.95.86.35.46.86.43.82.617-59
North Carolina2.22.43.43.44.63.71.20.910-76
North Dakota1.21.72.02.42.62.11.21.2-15-40
Ohio1.82.54.85.86.14.92.21.6-17-67
Oklahoma3.03.72.93.64.03.11.01.0-12-69
Oregon1.63.63.93.13.72.71.11.2-14-56
Pennsylvania2.63.65.34.45.14.42.01.92-58
Rhode Island2.74.05.54.66.25.74.73.625-38
South Carolina1.22.04.93.23.83.11.01.1-1-65
South Dakota1.62.42.92.72.62.20.90.8-19-65
Tennessee2.03.33.54.35.74.82.63.311-31
Texas0.91.92.13.64.23.51.61.2-1-66
Utah2.23.12.52.62.52.01.01.0-25-50
Vermont1.42.64.43.94.84.32.72.210-49
Virginia1.01.93.12.43.02.41.11.1-1-53
Washington2.43.23.74.75.44.92.82.36-53
West Virginia6.45.34.06.26.35.21.82.2-16-58
Wisconsin1.11.84.54.84.43.30.81.0-33-69
Wyoming1.11.51.43.13.42.60.20.1-16-95

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/popest/states/ ).


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

 19651970198019901994199620002004Percent Change
1990-961996-04
United States3,2425,4837,3207,7559,6118,6724,5983,99312-54
Alabama62961299396793736-14-55
Alaska461013242315976-60
Arizona31393887136118668436-29
Arkansas2334625149422217-18-60
California3918169321,2941,8041,8051,1631,01239-44
Colorado3350536980682228-2-59
Connecticut43629781111108503833-65
Delaware915221419169109-37
Dist. of Columbia163159345148343340-31
Florida851601842644633951249849-75
Georgia541501612062742511019822-61
Guam114356NANA87NA
Hawaii101840294144502451-46
Idaho711141116162341-83
Illinois202283473436486456193745-84
Indiana365511110514510474108-14
Iowa3246696472593635-7-41
Kansas2841495259482330-8-38
Kentucky589311811713712064583-52
Louisiana791571561991801625937-19-77
Maine14264035403522220-39
Maryland61100145124151140565113-64
Massachusetts711532281681971537375-9-51
Michigan119190460427439354153155-17-56
Minnesota39589111012411681745-36
Mississippi6693128129116962731-25-67
Missouri82106135139176162948416-48
Montana6101319232191010-53
Nebraska1223252931282022-5-19
Nevada498162727121771-36
New Hampshire3715111916101048-37
New Jersey7920931821322819510284-8-57
New Mexico233935376665513275-50
New York38075975965881377149135617-54
North Carolina8394141152223191766026-68
North Dakota6891011955-12-39
Ohio136198348414455382180140-8-63
Oklahoma5571657790742826-4-64
Oregon23526560766029310-47
Pennsylvania2173074323454173681841667-55
Puerto Rico1611661181301241056434-19-68
Rhode Island182736304139342729-31
South Carolina24401098010289323312-63
South Dakota8121513141255-11-58
Tennessee589911514420318110713926-23
Texas6816222542854948425221013-57
Utah1623243133271617-11-39
Vermont481414171610915-45
Virgin Islands1222342152-67
Virginia3566116104134114555910-48
Washington50769714818717711510020-44
West Virginia8065586872622230-10-52
Wisconsin34601421581531233444-22-65
Wyoming345911911-4-94

Note: From FY 2000 onward, TANF child recipients include both TANF and SSP child recipients.

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/programs/ofa/caseload/caseloadindex.htm ).


Table TANF 14. AFDC/TANF Recipiency Rates for Children, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1965 – 2004 [In percent]

 19651970198019901994199620002004Percent Change
1990-961996-04
United States4.47.611.311.914.012.46.35.44-56
Alabama4.67.711.18.88.97.33.33.3-17-55
Alaska3.15.08.07.412.812.47.95.067-60
Arizona4.86.04.88.612.19.74.75.512-44
Arkansas3.15.29.38.27.76.43.22.5-23-61
California6.012.314.616.220.820.312.510.525-48
Colorado4.46.46.57.88.36.81.92.4-13-65
Connecticut4.46.111.810.814.213.75.94.627-67
Delaware4.77.513.48.710.58.94.95.22-42
Dist. of Columbia6.013.840.930.744.544.131.430.344-31
Florida4.37.67.88.814.111.63.32.531-79
Georgia3.29.19.811.814.612.84.64.29-67
Hawaii3.66.514.510.513.614.517.28.039-45
Idaho2.74.24.73.64.64.60.50.727-84
Illinois5.37.514.614.815.714.46.02.3-3-84
Indiana2.03.06.97.39.87.04.76.8-5-3
Iowa3.24.78.48.89.98.25.05.2-8-37
Kansas3.55.47.57.98.57.03.24.4-12-37
Kentucky4.98.310.912.414.112.46.75.9-0-52
Louisiana5.511.311.816.514.613.34.93.2-20-76
Maine3.97.712.511.513.111.87.57.63-35
Maryland4.67.312.410.612.011.14.13.65-67
Massachusetts3.88.115.312.413.910.64.95.1-15-51
Michigan3.75.816.717.417.413.95.96.1-20-56
Minnesota2.94.27.79.410.19.36.46.0-0-36
Mississippi7.011.115.717.615.312.73.54.2-28-67
Missouri5.26.99.910.612.911.66.66.110-48
Montana2.04.05.78.49.78.93.84.66-48
Nebraska2.34.45.56.87.06.14.45.1-10-16
Nevada2.55.23.85.07.16.52.22.929-56
New Hampshire1.42.65.83.96.65.43.13.340-39
New Jersey3.48.816.011.711.79.94.93.9-16-60
New Mexico5.29.58.58.313.513.110.16.659-50
New York6.313.016.215.418.017.010.67.811-54
North Carolina4.45.38.59.312.610.43.82.912-73
North Dakota2.33.64.76.06.35.43.64.0-10-27
Ohio3.65.311.214.916.013.46.35.0-10-62
Oklahoma6.48.57.69.110.48.53.13.1-7-64
Oregon3.37.49.08.19.77.43.43.7-8-50
Pennsylvania5.58.013.812.314.412.86.35.94-54
Rhode Island5.99.114.713.417.516.513.811.023-33
South Carolina2.34.211.68.710.89.43.23.28-66
South Dakota3.15.07.16.76.65.92.72.6-12-55
Tennessee4.27.58.911.815.713.77.710.016-27
Texas1.74.15.28.710.48.84.23.31-62
Utah3.75.44.44.94.94.02.32.2-19-43
Vermont2.75.49.99.511.710.87.26.413-41
Virginia2.24.17.96.88.47.03.13.33-53
Washington4.76.58.511.313.312.47.66.79-46
West Virginia12.211.210.415.716.814.65.57.7-7-47
Wisconsin2.23.810.512.111.49.12.53.3-25-64
Wyoming2.13.23.47.08.16.80.80.5-2-93

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 and age available on line at http://www.census.gov/popest/states/ ).


Table TANF 15. TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2004 (In thousands)

 FamiliesAll RecipientsChild Recipients
 TANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotal
U.S. Total1,9871732,1604,7845925,3763,6183753,993
Alabama19.20.219.445.40.946.335.50.536.0
Alaska4.94.913.813.89.49.4
Arizona49.649.6115.0115.084.384.3
Arkansas10.010.022.422.416.816.8
California456.744.1500.81,103.2176.71,279.9899.8112.51,012.3
Colorado14.614.638.238.227.727.7
Connecticut20.74.224.942.813.055.830.57.838.3
Delaware5.60.15.812.70.613.39.70.310.0
D.C.17.20.317.543.60.944.532.60.633.2
Florida57.51.859.3116.27.2123.494.73.698.2
Georgia53.20.553.7124.22.2126.496.51.297.7
Guam3.13.110.810.80.0
Hawaii8.93.412.222.913.136.016.27.623.8
Idaho1.81.83.43.42.72.7
Illinois35.70.636.389.01.390.373.00.573.5
Indiana50.63.253.8131.113.6144.8100.67.7108.3
Iowa18.34.122.444.89.954.731.04.035.1
Kansas16.716.743.643.630.030.0
Kentucky35.635.678.278.257.957.9
Louisiana18.818.845.545.537.337.3
Maine9.71.411.126.75.332.018.23.321.5
Maryland25.43.028.459.48.968.344.95.850.7
Massachusetts49.80.149.9107.60.4108.075.10.275.4
Michigan79.479.4212.2212.2155.4155.4
Minnesota34.34.638.988.320.0108.363.410.874.2
Mississippi18.818.842.542.531.331.3
Missouri41.06.847.799.622.0121.670.613.584.2
Montana5.35.314.314.39.69.6
Nebraska10.91.412.326.75.532.219.33.022.3
Nevada8.80.69.521.02.223.216.11.217.3
New Hampshire6.00.16.214.00.614.69.70.310.0
New Jersey44.71.946.6107.78.0115.780.34.284.5
New Mexico17.617.645.945.932.532.5
New York147.150.1197.1336.2171.4507.6240.9114.7355.6
North Carolina37.737.777.177.160.460.4
North Dakota3.13.17.97.95.55.5
Ohio84.684.6186.3186.3140.0140.0
Oklahoma14.214.234.234.226.426.4
Oregon18.518.542.442.431.531.5
Pennsylvania88.188.1231.3231.3166.0166.0
Puerto Rico17.517.548.948.934.234.2
Rhode Island12.32.114.431.96.738.622.34.526.8
South Carolina16.72.619.338.67.446.028.14.432.5
South Dakota2.72.76.06.05.05.0
Tennessee72.11.473.5190.15.2195.4135.93.2139.0
Texas105.24.2109.4249.617.8267.4200.39.5209.8
Utah9.00.09.123.00.223.216.50.116.6
Vermont4.80.45.312.31.213.57.90.78.6
Virgin Islands0.50.51.61.61.21.2
Virginia9.426.435.826.957.784.617.342.259.5
Washington55.91.657.4136.76.6143.496.03.999.9
West Virginia14.81.115.935.64.440.027.42.229.6
Wisconsin22.50.422.954.31.455.742.70.943.6
Wyoming0.40.00.40.60.00.60.60.00.6

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/programs/ofa/caseload/caseloadindex.htm ).


Table TANF 16. Recipients with Earnings in Current and Following Quarters: Fiscal Year 2003

StateAdult TANF Recipients (thousands)Percentage with EarningsPercentage without Earnings
TotalWith Earnings in Following QuarterTotalWith Earnings in Following Quarter
All Reporting States1,46736766417
Alabama12.035726521
Alaska5.943785719
Arizona36.634726618
Arkansas8.540766025
California261.036826413
Colorado12.132696820
Connecticut15.241785918
Delaware3.841735922
Dist. of Columbia11.934756615
Florida36.037756322
Georgia37.438706219
Hawaii9.037856313
Idaho1.044775627
Illinois21.435806516
Indiana41.145805520
Iowa21.544785622
Kansas15.443745722
Kentucky23.936696418
Louisiana14.534696623
Maine10.142795817
Maryland18.132736818
Massachusetts39.122657813
Michigan63.933736718
Minnesota32.342765820
Mississippi14.932736820
Missouri34.045775522
Montana7.442735822
Nebraska9.845755522
Nevada7.643785720
New Hampshire5.336746418
New Jersey31.031746917
New Mexico16.641725920
New York111.226737413
North Carolina24.636726422
North Dakota3.343765722
Ohio61.737756319
Oklahoma11.238716222
Oregon13.724707614
Pennsylvania68.232706818
Rhode Island12.135776515
South Carolina18.542765821
South Dakota1.630717018
Tennessee57.546805419
Texas92.838776219
Utah7.736756419
Vermont5.639756118
Virginia20.045785523
Washington50.936746418
West Virginia16.132726817
Wisconsin12.331736917
Wyoming0.240676031

Note: “TANF adult recipients" consists of an 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 ASPE calculations of High Performance Bonus data.


Table TANF 17. Patterns of TANF Receipt: Fiscal Year 2003

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 States1,20674574740
Alabama12.076564438
Alaska5.975594942
Arizona36.678625347
Arkansas8.569473426
CaliforniaNANANANANA
Colorado12.174554437
Connecticut15.276614941
Delaware3.876574842
Dist. of Columbia11.986766963
Florida36.057383025
Georgia37.477584637
Hawaii9.080665649
Idaho1.051251611
Illinois21.477594739
Indiana41.178614941
Iowa21.572534336
Kansas15.474574843
Kentucky23.978605042
Louisiana14.573513625
Maine10.178645750
Maryland18.179635245
Massachusetts39.179675952
Michigan63.979645650
Minnesota32.380665649
Mississippi14.976584739
Missouri34.080665649
Montana7.474564741
Nebraska9.874605246
Nevada7.671473223
New Hampshire5.378625144
New Jersey31.080665852
New Mexico16.671524438
New York111.280665750
North Carolina24.669483729
North Dakota3.377615245
Ohio61.772524235
Oklahoma11.271493832
Oregon13.775584741
Pennsylvania68.280665954
Rhode Island12.185746658
South Carolina18.568432819
South Dakota1.664433430
Tennessee57.587766963
Texas92.873503527
Utah7.774554437
Vermont5.676615348
Virginia20.067453127
Washington50.975585044
West Virginia16.171524133
Wisconsin12.377615448
Wyoming0.24117128

Note: “Adult TANF Recipients in Qtr(t)" consists of an 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 care and 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, job search, and counseling; and benefits such as child care and transportation when provided to employed families.1 

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 unit definition. 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 to 2004, 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 workrelated activities. Participation is restricted for certain groups, including students, strikers, and people who are institutionalized. Legal immigrants who are disabled, under age 18, were admitted as 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.

Between 1996 and 2001, regulatory and legislative changes were made to increase access to food stamps among working poor families. Regulatory changes announced in July 1999 and expanded in November 2000 allowed states to reduce reporting requirements and made it easier for working families to report income changes on a semiannual basis. Under the November 2000 regulations, states also were given 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) provided 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 costneutral 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;
  • 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;
  • Tables FSP 4 through FSP 6 present some state-by-state trend data on the FSP through fiscal year 2004.

Food Stamp Caseload Trends (Table FSP 1). Average monthly food stamp participation was 23.9 million persons in fiscal year 2004, 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 2004 occurred during a period when unemployment increased from four percent to six percent, eligibility was restored to many legal immigrants, 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 and simplify the program.

Food Stamp Expenditures. Total program costs, shown in Table FSP 2, were considerably higher in 2004 than 2003, reflecting the increase in participation during that period as well as an increase in average benefits. Total federal program costs were $27 billion in 2004; the comparable 2003 cost was $23.9 billion (after adjusting for inflation). Average monthly benefits per person, also shown in Table FSP 2, were $86.00 per person in fiscal year 2004, up from $83.90 in 2003. This constitutes a 3 percent increase in average monthly benefits over the last year adjusted to 2004 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 29 percent in 2004. At the same time, the proportion of households with income from AFDC/TANF has declined, from 43 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in 2004, following the dramatic decline in AFDC/TANF caseloads. Over half of all food stamp households have children, although the proportion has declined somewhat from over 60 percent in most of the 1980s and early 1990s to 54 percent in 2004. The vast majority (88 percent in 2004) of households have incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2004

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2004

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, data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fssummar.htm and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank.


Table FSP 1. Trends in Food Stamp Caseloads: Selected Years 1962–2004

Fiscal YearFood 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
1975417,15216,320NA7.663.1NANANA
197618,62817,0339,1267.868.2NA13.888.8
197717,16115,604NA7.163.1NANANA
197816,07714,405NA6.558.8NANANA
1979517,75815,942NA7.161.157.1NANA
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
199918,18318,1469,3326.555.352.513.076.0
200017,19417,1568,7436.155.151.812.175.5
200117,31817,2828,8196.152.549.212.175.2
200219,09619,0599,6886.655.152.113.379.8
200321,25921,22210,6057.359.2NA14.582.4
200423,85823,81911,7718.164.4NA16.190.4

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, data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fssummar.htm and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank, the House Ways and Means Committee, 1996 Green Book, and U.S. Bureau of the Census,“Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-229.


Table FSP 2. Trends in Food Stamp Expenditures: Selected Years 1975–2004

Fiscal YearTotal Federal Cost (Benefits + Administration)Benefits (Federal) (millions)Administration1Total Program Cost (millions)Average Monthly Benefit per Person
Current Dollars (millions)2004 Dollars(millions)Federal (millions)State & Local (millions)Current Dollars2004 Dollars2
1975$4,619$15,059$4,386$233$175$4,794$21.30$69.40
19765,68517,3535,3263592705,95523.9072.90
19775,46115,5165,0673942955,75624.8070.50
19785,52014,7135,1393812855,80526.6070.90
197936,94017,0106,4804603887,32830.5074.80
19809,20620,3368,7214863759,58134.5076.20
198111,22522,55010,63059550411,72939.5079.30
198210,83720,38810,20862855711,39439.2072.60
198311,84721,33311,15269561212,45943.0077.40
1984411,57920,05510,696883580512,38442.7074.00
198511,70319,58710,74496087112,57445.0075.30
198611,63819,03410,6051,03393512,57345.5074.40
198711,60418,49110,5001,10499612,60045.8073.00
198812,31718,91911,1491,1681,08013,39749.8076.50
198912,93219,04911,7011,2321,10114,03351.8076.30
199015,49021,82714,1861,3051,17416,66459.0083.10
199118,77125,32517,3391,4321,24720,01863.9086.20
199222,46229,57420,9061,5571,37523,83768.6090.30
199323,65330,36522,0061,6471,57225,22568.0087.30
199424,49330,77722,7491,7441,64326,13669.0086.70
199524,62030,22622,7641,8561,74826,36871.3087.50
199624,33129,13822,4401,8911,84226,17373.2087.70
199721,48525,11219,5491,9371,90423,38971.3083.30
199818,88821,75016,8911,9981,98820,87671.1081.90
199917,71020,03915,7691,9411,87419,58472.3081.80
200017,05418,70614,9832,0702,08619,14072.6079.60
200117,79018,90515,5472,2422,23320,02374.8079.50
200220,64421,61918,2562,3882,39723,04179.7083.50
200323,87224,42721,4042,4682,48026,35283.9085.90
200426,99926,99924,6282,3712,38029,37986.0086.00

Note: Total federal cost and the cost of benefits does include food stamps in Puerto Rico from 1975 to 1982 but 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 $1.4 billion in 2004.)

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 2004 level were made using a CPI-U-RS 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.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service unpublished data (available at online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fssummar.htm ); and the House Ways and Means Committee, 2004 Green Book (available online at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/wmprints/green/2004.html ).


Table FSP 3. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: 1980–2004 (percents)

 Year 1
 1980198419881990199419961998200020022004
With Gross Monthly Income:
Below the Federal Poverty Levels.…...87939292909190898888
Between the Poverty Levels and 130 Percent of the Poverty Levels.........…..10688989101111
Above 130 Percent of Poverty........…..21**111112
With Earnings................................…….19192019212326272829
With Public Assistance Income 2.....…..§§§§§§§§§§6159565045
With AFDC/TANF Income...........…...NA424243383731262116
With SSI Income...........................…...18182019232428322927
With Children...................................…..60616161616058545454
And Female Heads of Household..…...NA475051515047444445
With No Spouse Present .......……NANA3937434341383737
With Elderly Members 3..........……......23221918161618211917
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. §§ The total percentage of households with public assistance income is approximately equal to the sum of those with AFDC/TANF and SSI income with some small percentage of households receiving both due to having individual members eligible for different forms of assistance.
* 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 2004, Report No. FSP-05-CHAR (available online at online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/participation.htm) and earlier reports.


Table FSP 4. Value of Food Stamps Issued, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1975–2004 (millions)

 19751980198519901995200020022004
United States$4,386$8,721$10,744$14,186$22,764$14,983$18,256$24,629
Alabama$103$246$318$328$441$344$417$513
Alaska627252550465964
Arizona4197121239414240386578
Arkansas78122126155212206265347
California3615306399682,4731,6391,7061,989
Colorado447194156217127165253
Connecticut36596272169138146198
Delaware621222547313957
Dist. of Columbia3141404392777698
Florida2074213686091,3077718781,269
Georgia129264290382700489621924
Guam215181524365248
Hawaii23609381177166152152
Idaho1129364059466291
Illinois2383947138351,0567779231,211
Indiana58154242226382268408550
Iowa2854107109142100129176
Kansas1238649614483113158
Kentucky135211332334413337410543
Louisiana148243365549629448587754
Maine316062631128197140
Maryland76140171203365199215287
Massachusetts75171173207315182209304
Michigan124263541663806457645896
Minnesota4062105165240165201249
Mississippi110199264352383226298361
Missouri82142212312488358477663
Montana1118314157515879
Nebraska11254459776174109
Nevada10152241915796120
New Hampshire1122152044283544
New Jersey125226260289506304314378
New Mexico488188117196140154217
New York2097269381,0862,0651,3611,4791,876
North Carolina122234237282495403536753
North Dakota59162532253140
Ohio2533826978611,0175207261,009
Oklahoma3873134186315208288398
Oregon5680142168254198319415
Pennsylvania1753735476611,006656700933
Rhode Island1831354282596474
South Carolina121181194240297249352501
South Dakota818263540374554
Tennessee115282280372554415552812
Texas3145147011,4292,2461,2151,5222,307
Utah12224071906880123
Vermont918202246323440
Virgin Islands619231828211719
Virginia63158189247450263305476
Washington7090140229417241318455
West Virginia5687159192253185198232
Wisconsin2968148180220129197269
Wyoming36152128192225

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, (2000 to 2004 data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fsfybft.htm) and unpublished data from the Food Stamp National Data Bank.


Table FSP 5. Average Number of Food Stamp Recipients, by State: Selected Fiscal Years (thousands)

 19751980198519901996200020022004Percent Change
1996-002000-04
United States17,19221,08219,89920,04925,54317,19419,09623,858-3339
Alabama365583588454509396444498-2226
Alaska1529222546384649-1931
Arizona143196206317427259379530-39104
Arkansas267301253235274247284346-1041
California1,4551,4931,6151,9373,1431,8301,7111,859-422
Colorado150163170221244156178242-3655
Connecticut155170145133223165169196-2619
Delaware2652403358324056-4473
Dist. of Columbia122103726293817489-1310
Florida6479126307811,3718829851,202-3636
Georgia498627567536793559646867-2955
Guam6222012182224262616
Hawaii75102997713011810599-9-16
Idaho3961595980587091-2757
Illinois9269031,1101,0131,1058178861,070-2631
Indiana392353406311390300411526-2375
Iowa115141203170177123141179-3045
Kansas5890119142172117140170-3246
Kentucky472468560458486403450545-1735
Louisiana510569644727670500588706-2541
Maine12613911494131102111142-2240
Maryland261324287255375219228274-4125
Massachusetts365453337347374232243335-3844
Michigan619813985917935603750944-3657
Minnesota167171228263295196217247-3326
Mississippi376496495499457276325377-4037
Missouri300335362431554423515700-2465
Montana3843585771596377-1630
Nebraska496694951028288114-1938
Nevada32323250976197120-3797
New Hampshire4450283153364148-3134
New Jersey490605464382540345320369-367
New Mexico157185157157235169170223-2832
New York1,2911,7591,8341,5482,0991,4391,3491,598-3111
North Carolina466582474419631488574747-2353
North Dakota1925333940323741-2030
Ohio8548651,1331,0891,045610735945-4255
Oklahoma171209263267354253317412-2863
Oregon201197228216288234359420-1979
Pennsylvania8489801,0329521,124777767961-3124
Rhode Island8687696491747278-184
South Carolina410426373299358295379497-1868
South Dakota3343485049434853-122
Tennessee397624518527638496598806-2263
Texas1,1331,1671,2631,8802,3721,3331,5542,259-4469
Utah465475991108290123-2651
Vermont4446443856414043-285
Virgin Islands1634321831161213-49-15
Virginia257384360346538336352486-3745
Washington253248281340478295350453-3854
West Virginia242209278262300227236256-2413
Wisconsin148215363286283193262324-3268
Wyoming1014272833222426-3215

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 (2000 to 2004 data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fsfypart.htm) and unpublished data from the National Data Bank.


Table FSP 6. Food Stamp Recipiency Rates, by State: Selected Fiscal Years (percent)

 19751980198519901996200020022004Percent Change
1996-002000-04
United States7.68.58.38.09.56.16.68.1-3633
Alabama9.914.914.811.211.88.99.911.0-2423
Alaska4.07.14.14.57.66.07.27.5-2126
Arizona6.37.16.58.69.35.0 7.09.2-4684
Arkansas12.413.110.910.010.69.210.512.6-1437
California6.86.36.16.59.85.44.95.2-45-4
Colorado5.85.65.36.76.23.64.05.3-4246
Connecticut5.05.54.54.06.74.84.95.6-2816
Delaware4.58.76.55.07.84.14.96.7-4864
Dist. of Columbia17.216.111.410.316.214.113.016.0-1313
Florida7.69.35.56.09.25.55.96.9-4026
Georgia9.811.49.58.210.66.87.69.8-3644
Hawaii8.410.69.56.910.89.78.57.8-10-20
Idaho4.66.45.95.86.64.55.26.6-3347
Illinois8.27.99.78.89.16.67.08.4-2828
Indiana7.36.47.45.66.64.96.78.4-2571
Iowa4.04.87.26.16.24.24.86.1-3244
Kansas2.53.84.95.76.64.35.26.2-3443
Kentucky13.612.815.212.412.410.011.013.1-2032
Louisiana13.113.514.617.215.211.213.115.6-2740
Maine11.812.39.87.610.58.08.610.8-2435
Maryland6.37.76.55.37.34.14.24.9-4419
Massachusetts6.37.95.75.86.03.63.85.2-4043
Michigan6.88.810.89.89.66.17.59.3-3754
Minnesota4.24.25.56.06.34.04.34.9-3622
Mississippi15.719.619.119.416.69.711.313.0-4234
Missouri6.26.87.28.410.27.69.112.2-2661
Montana5.15.57.17.18.06.67.08.4-1827
Nebraska3.24.25.96.06.14.85.16.5-2136
Nevada5.24.03.44.15.83.04.55.2-4871
New Hampshire5.35.42.82.74.52.93.23.7-3528
New Jersey6.78.26.14.96.64.13.74.2-384
New Mexico13.514.110.910.313.49.39.211.7-3126
New York7.210.010.38.611.37.67.08.3-3310
North Carolina8.49.97.66.38.46.06.98.7-2845
North Dakota2.93.94.96.16.15.05.86.5-1932
Ohio7.98.010.610.09.35.46.48.3-4254
Oklahoma6.26.98.08.510.67.39.111.7-3159
Oregon8.67.58.57.68.96.810.211.7-2371
Pennsylvania7.18.38.88.09.26.36.27.7-3122
Rhode Island9.29.17.26.48.97.16.77.2-212
South Carolina14.113.611.38.59.47.39.211.8-2261
South Dakota4.86.26.97.26.65.76.36.9-1422
Tennessee9.313.611.010.811.88.710.313.7-2657
Texas9.08.17.811.012.36.47.210.0-4858
Utah3.73.74.65.75.33.73.95.2-3141
Vermont9.18.98.26.89.56.76.56.9-303
Virginia5.17.26.35.68.04.74.86.5-4138
Washington7.06.06.46.98.65.05.87.3-4246
West Virginia13.110.714.614.616.412.613.114.1-2412
Wisconsin3.24.67.65.85.43.64.85.9-3464
Wyoming2.73.05.46.26.84.54.75.1-3311

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 (2000 to 2004 data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fsfypart.htm and unpublished data from the National Data Bank; 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 $579 for an individual and $869 for a married couple in fiscal year 2005. 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, there is no federal prohibition against individuals 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 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 and Figure SSI 1 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 2004.

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. Between 2000 and 2004, the caseload increased from 6.6 to 9.0 million beneficiaries, an average annual growth rate of 1.4 percent. Table SSI 1 presents information on the total number of persons receiving SSI payments in December of each year from 1974 through 2004, 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 2004. At the same time, there has been strong growth in blind and disabled beneficiaries, from 1.7 million in December 1974 to a little under 5.8 million in December 2004. 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 over the next three years, but has been increasing since 2000, reaching 993,000 in 2004.

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 noncitizens – 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 s (Tables SSI 3 through SSI 5). While administrative costs increased by about 17 percent, the total amount paid out in SSI benefits increased from $35.3 billion (inflation adjusted) in 2001 to almost $37 billion in 2004, as shown in Table SSI 3. Average monthly benefits per person were $431 in 2004, down slightly (about 2 percent) from 1999 inflation adjusted benefit level of $440. 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 28 percent in 2004.

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients, by Age: 1974 – 2004

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients, by Age: 1974 – 2004

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income • Annual Statistical Report • 2004 (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/data_sub109.html ).


Table SSI 1. Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments: 1974 – 2004 [In thousands]

DateTotalEligibility CategoryType of Recipient
 Blind and Disabled Adults
AgedTotalBlindDisabledChildrenAge 18-6465 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
Dec20046,9881,2115,777765,7019934,0171,978

1 Includes students 18-21 in 1974 only.

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income • Annual Statistical Report • 2005 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ ).


Table SSI 2. SSI Recipiency Rates: 1974 – 2004 [In percent]

DateAll Recipients as a Percent of Total Population 1Adults 18-64 as a Percent of 18-64 Population 1Child Recipients as a Percent of All Children 1Elderly Recipients (Persons 65 & Older) as a Percent of
All Persons 65 & Older 1All Elderly Poor 2
Dec 19741.91.20.110.878.5
Dec 19752.01.30.210.975.6
Dec 19761.91.30.210.272.4
Dec 19771.91.30.29.774.1
Dec 19781.91.30.39.371.5
Dec 19791.81.30.38.861.3
Dec 19801.81.20.38.657.5
Dec 19811.71.20.38.055.0
Dec 19821.71.20.37.453.6
Dec 19831.71.20.37.355.2
Dec 19841.71.20.37.261.2
Dec 19851.71.30.47.158.7
Dec 19861.81.30.46.957.9
Dec 19871.81.40.46.756.5
Dec 19881.81.50.46.657.6
Dec 19891.91.50.46.560.3
Dec 19901.91.60.56.556.3
Dec 19912.01.70.66.555.0
Dec 19922.21.90.86.453.5
Dec 19932.32.01.16.456.3
Dec 19942.42.11.26.357.9
Dec 19952.42.21.36.263.7
Dec 19962.42.21.46.161.0
Dec 19972.42.21.26.060.8
Dec 19982.42.21.25.960.0
Dec 19992.32.21.25.862.7
Dec 20002.32.11.25.760.5
Dec 20012.32.11.25.658.4
Dec 20022.32.11.35.655.8
Dec 20032.42.21.35.556.0
Dec 20042.42.21.45.457.2

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 P60-229.

Notes: Numerators for these ratios are from Table SSI 1. Rates computed by DHHS.

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2004," Current Population Reports, Series P60-229, (Available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html ).


Table SSI 3. Total, Federal, and State SSI Benefits and Administration: 1974 – 2004 [In millions of dollars]

Calendar YearTotal BenefitsFederal PaymentsState SupplementationAdministrative Costs (fiscal year)
2004 2 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
197417,577$5,246$3,833$1,413$1,264$149$285
197518,1905,8784,3141,5651,403162399
197617,7536,0664,5121,5541,388166500
197717,3486,3064,7031,6031,431172526
197817,2816,5524,8811,6711,491180539
197917,0587,0755,2791,7971,590207611
198017,2417,9415,8662,0741,848226668
198117,0568,5936,5182,0761,839237717
198216,8308,9816,9072,0741,798276780
198316,9209,4047,4231,9821,711270846
198417,94510,3728,2812,0911,792299864
198518,51911,0608,7772,2831,973311956
198619,86512,0819,4982,5832,2433401,023
198720,59412,95110,0292,9222,563359977
198821,15213,78610,7343,0522,671381976
198922,03714,98011,6063,3742,9554191,052
199023,26216,59912,8943,7053,2394661,075
199125,05418,52414,7653,7593,2315291,230
199229,33422,23318,2473,9863,4355501,426
199331,61324,55720,7223,8353,2705661,468
199432,62425,87722,1753,7013,1165851,780
199534,00627,62823,9193,7083,1185901,978
199634,51328,79225,2653,5272,9885391,953
199734,09729,05225,4573,5952,9136822,055
199834,97130,21626,4053,8123,0038082,304
199935,05130,92326,8054,1543,3018532,493
200034,62331,56427,2904,2743,3818932,321
200135,27933,06128,7064,3553,4608952,397
200236,30934,56729,8994,6683,8208482,522
200336,56235,60530,6884,9174,0059122,656
200436,96136,96131,8875,0754,1798962,806

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-RS for calendar years.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2004 and 2005 Annual Report of the SSI Program, (Data available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ and http://wwwssagov/OACT/SSIR/SSI05 ).


Table SSI 4. Average Monthly SSI Benefit Payments: 1974 – 2004

Calendar YearTotal 1Federal PaymentsState Supplementation
2004 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
1974$451$135$108$64$71$35
197534811292666945
197634511899687150
1977337123104697253
1978338128108727456
1979338140119777967
1980343158133899176
1981349176151929479
1982359191166969793
1983356198172919289
1984365211187939393
19853672191939999102
1986381232202107108101
1987385242208117118110
1988388253219118118118
1989393267230126126127
1990397283244132131136
1991402297260125122143
1992433328292124121147
1993434337306112107150
199442633831010599152
1995431350322110103164
1996431359333108103145
19974333693429910286
1998438379350103104102
1999440388356111113105
2000432393360113114109
2001434407373113114108
2002436415383129129128
2003432421387136135138
2004431431397139139135

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-RS index.

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2005 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ ).


Table SSI 5. Number of Persons Receiving SSI Payments, by Type of Payment: 1974 – 2004 (in thousands)

 TotalFederalState Supplementation
TotalFederally AdministeredState 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
Dec 2004....................................7,1396,6953,0502,498552

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2005 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ ).


Table SSI 6. Characteristics of SSI Recipients, by Age, Sex, Earnings/Income and Citizenship: Selected Years 1980-2004

 19801985199019941998200020022004
 Total
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0 100.0100.0100.0100.0
under 185.55.56.413.4 13.512.813.514.2
18-6440.945.450.953.0 55.556.757.257.6
65 or older53.649.142.733.7 31.030.529.328.2
Sex
Male34.435.237.241.3 41.341.542.042.7
Female65.564.862.858.7 58.758.558.057.3
Selected Sources of Income
Earnings3.23.84.74.2 4.54.44.13.4
Social Security51.049.445.939.1 36.536.135.534.9
No other income34.834.536.443.6 47.354.455.155.5
NoncitizensNA5.19.011.7 10.210.510.49.7
Eligibility Category
Aged43.636.430.223.3 20.319.518.417.3
Blind1.92.01.71.4 1.21.21.11.1
Disabled54.561.768.175.4 78.579.380.481.6
 Aged
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0 100.0100.0100.0100.0
65-6914.014.919.420.5 17.617.615.315.0
70-7951.545.641.344.3 48.448.449.147.3
80 or older34.539.539.235.1 34.034.035.737.6
Sex
Male27.325.525.126.8 27.827.829.930.7
Female72.674.574.973.2 72.272.270.169.3
NoncitizensNA9.719.430.0 27.027.029.228.3
 Blind and Disabled
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0 100.0100.0100.0100.0
18-6480.277.780.083.4 83.683.683.883.9
65 or older19.822.320.016.6 16.416.416.116.0
Sex1
Male39.840.842.441.8 41.141.144.841.1
Female60.259.257.658.2 58.958.955.258.9
NoncitizensNA2.44.66.2 5.55.57.25.8
 Children
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0 100.0100.0100.0100.0
Under 511.7NANA15.8 15.815.816.115.9
5-920.9NANA28.5 30.230.226.826.8
10-1428.8NANA32.7 34.634.636.936.2
15-1721.7NANA17.3 19.419.420.221.1
18-21216.814.39.35.7 
Sex
MaleNANANA63.0 62.962.964.365.0
FemaleNANANA37.0 37.137.135.735.0

Note: Data are for December of the year.

1 For 1980-1992 male-female classification reflects all blind and disabled, both children and adults; thereafter, it is based on adults only.
2 In this table, students 18-21 are classified as children prior to 1998.

Source: Social Security Administration, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2005 and prior years (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ ).


Table SSI 7. Total SSI Payments, Federal SSI Payments And State Supplementary Payments Calendar Year 2004 (In thousands)

State 1TotalTotal FederalFederal SSIState Supplementation
Federally AdministeredState Administered
Total$36,961,099$36,065,358$31,886,509$4,178,849$895,741
Alabama761,277760,957760,957320
Alaska106,54750,66250,66255,885
Arizona458,229457,851457,851378
Arkansas383,431383,431383,4292
California7,906,3397,906,3394,760,7363,145,603
Colorado342,924252,610252,61090,314
Connecticut334,933253,256253,25681,677
Delaware62,61662,61661,5491,067
District of Columbia106,383106,383102,6783,705
Florida1,962,6911,953,4931,953,4939,198
Georgia915,615915,615915,6141
Hawaii117,992117,992104,80013,192
Idaho105,40097,43897,4387,962
Illinois1,325,8691,298,3651,298,36527,504
Indiana466,957463,067463,0673,890
Iowa203,078186,236182,7763,46016,842
Kansas181,375181,375181,375
Kentucky864,280846,731846,73117,549
Louisiana798,744798,293798,2894451
Maine159,949140,521140,52119,428
Maryland471,894463,222463,209138,672
Massachusetts878,252878,252711,896166,356
Michigan1,202,7631,123,4421,099,60823,83479,321
Minnesota425,287333,966333,96691,321
Mississippi560,901560,901560,88714
Missouri579,940553,147553,14726,793
Montana66,36866,36865,493875
Nebraska107,758101,433101,4336,325
Nevada153,518153,518148,1855,333
New Hampshire73,02661,40261,40211,624
New Jersey749,659749,659667,67981,980
New Mexico234,105233,867233,867238
New York3,501,5263,501,5262,947,634553,892
North Carolina987,781857,751857,751130,030
North Dakota34,47532,52232,5221,953
Ohio1,230,5911,230,5911,230,591
Oklahoma396,406358,762358,76237,644
Oregon300,216279,920279,92020,296
Pennsylvania1,671,9401,671,9401,524,713147,227
Rhode Island156,058156,058132,34623,712
South Carolina485,550474,236474,23611,314
South Dakota55,14352,53652,53422,607
Tennessee740,629740,629740,6281
Texas2,032,3092,031,3512,031,351958
Utah103,268103,268103,22345
Vermont60,25660,25651,6298,627
Virginia626,621607,846607,84618,775
Washington581,764581,536581,536228
West Virginia366,387366,387366,387
Wisconsin532,039416,503416,503115,536
Wyoming26,36325,65525,655708
Other: N. Mariana Islands3,7623,7623,762

1 Columns do not add to totals since the totals include a small amount of payments not distributed by jurisdiction.

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin • Annual Statistical Supplement • 2005 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/ ).


Table SSI 8. SSI Recipiency Rates by State And Program Type for 1979 and 2004 [In percent]

 Total Recipiency RateRate for Adults 18-64Rate for Adults 65 & Over
 19792004Percent Change 1979-0419792004Percent Change 1979-0419792004Percent Change 1979-04
Total1.92.4301.32.2759.05.4-40
Alabama3.63.611.83.59121.06.1-71
Alaska0.81.61080.51.619614.07.2-49
Arizona1.11.6440.91.6805.03.1-38
Arkansas3.53.2-91.93.06017.15.2-70
California3.03.392.12.62716.413.3-19
Colorado1.11.290.81.1436.73.0-55
Connecticut0.81.51000.61.51382.72.6-4
Delaware1.21.6340.91.5605.42.2-59
District of Columbia2.33.8671.93.3728.66.4-25
Florida1.82.4351.11.9676.24.7-24
Georgia2.92.3-201.92.11117.76.2-65
Hawaii1.11.8710.71.61327.65.0-34
Idaho0.81.5900.61.61503.81.9-50
Illinois1.12.0851.01.91004.33.8-11
Indiana0.81.51000.61.71793.31.6-52
Iowa0.91.4570.61.61583.51.6-54
Kansas0.91.4570.61.51383.51.8-48
Kentucky2.54.3691.84.515112.56.7-47
Louisiana3.43.8132.03.67720.17.2-64
Maine2.02.4231.42.7948.62.9-66
Maryland1.21.7480.91.5605.43.9-28
Massachusetts2.22.6161.32.59510.85.6-48
Michigan1.32.2751.12.31155.92.9-50
Minnesota0.81.4730.61.41553.72.6-30
Mississippi4.54.3-42.44.06526.09.1-65
Missouri1.82.0141.12.1917.92.7-66
Montana0.91.6800.71.71363.81.9-50
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 Mexico2.02.7371.42.58212.46.8-45
New York2.13.3561.62.8768.38.98
North Carolina2.42.3-41.62.13313.64.8-65
North Dakota1.01.3310.61.31285.12.0-60
Ohio1.12.1891.02.31324.22.4-42
Oklahoma2.32.2-51.32.26511.63.5-70
Oregon0.91.6860.71.71433.32.7-18
Pennsylvania1.42.6861.12.61325.03.3-33
Rhode Island1.62.7701.12.71506.44.8-25
South Carolina2.72.5-71.82.32917.04.9-71
South Dakota1.11.6400.71.61225.02.9-42
Tennessee2.92.7-61.92.74414.84.9-67
Texas1.92.1111.01.77912.77.2-43
Utah0.60.9640.51.0963.01.8-41
Vermont1.82.1191.32.2688.13.2-60
Virginia1.51.8201.01.6578.54.2-51
Washington1.21.8551.01.8844.83.6-25
West Virginia2.14.2971.94.81588.04.5-43
Wisconsin1.41.6111.01.7776.52.2-66
Wyoming0.41.11620.31.23142.71.4-49

Note: Recipiency rates for 2004 are the ratios of the number of SSI recipients (in the respective age groups) as of the month of December to the estimated population in the respective age group as of the month of July; calculations by DHHS. The 1979 rates are based on the average number of recipients during the year.

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income • Annual Statistical Report • 2005 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 – 2004 [In percent]

 197519801985199019942199822002220042
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 Columbia2.22.42.52.73.53.83.53.8
Florida1.91.81.61.72.32.42.42.4
Georgia3.32.82.62.52.82.62.32.3
Hawaii1.11.11.11.31.51.61.71.8
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
Louisiana3.93.22.93.24.14.03.73.8
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
Mississippi5.24.44.34.45.24.94.44.3
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
Oklahoma3.02.21.81.92.22.22.12.2
Oregon1.10.81.01.11.51.51.61.6
Pennsylvania1.21.41.41.62.12.32.42.6
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
Tennessee3.22.82.72.93.43.12.82.7
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 • 2005, and Bureau of the Census, (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/)


1 In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the IFA (or a residual functional capacity assessment) that applied to adults whose condition did not meet or equal a listing of medical impairments to determine eligibility should also be applied to children whose condition did not meet or equal the medical listing of impairments.

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

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 1.9 percent – in 2003 if based on income from TANF and food stamps, as opposed to 3.6 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 1.9 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 2003, the proportion had dropped to just over half (53 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 2003, dependency declined by 47 percent (3.6 percent to 1.9 percent) under the alternative definition, compared to a decline of 32 percent (5.3 percent to 3.6 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: 2003
 TANF, SSI & Food StampsTANF & Food StampsSSI Only
All Persons3.61.91.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2.10.90.9
Non-Hispanic Black10.15.92.9
Hispanic5.23.21.5
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-57.55.41.3
Children Ages 6-105.83.90.9
Children Ages 11-155.03.31.0
Women Ages 16-643.61.81.4
Men Ages 16-642.30.91.2
Adults Ages 65 and over2.20.11.9

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, 2004, 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: 1995-2003

 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
20033.61.91.3

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2004, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Appendix C. Additional Nonmarital Birth Data

Table C-1. Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women Within Age Groups, by Race and Ethnicity 1940-2003

 WhiteBlack1Hispanic2
 Total Teens 3Age 15 - 17Age 18 - 19Total WomenTotal TeensAge 15 - 17Age 18 - 19Total WomenTotal TeensAge 15 - 17Age 18 - 19Total Women
1940723617
19451024118
19506105237482818
19557105242523320
19607125243543422
196512179451633926
1970172514664765238
1975233317778876849
1980344527118693805642513624
19854558381591968661614630
1990576851209296896762685437
1991597053229396906864695638
1992617155239396906865695739
1993637257249396916966695840
1994687862259598937073776543
1995687762259598937071756241
1996697963269698947071756341
1997718265269698946976806641
1998728367269698946977826742
1999738367279698946976826742
2000738368279699946876826743
2001738368289699946875816742
2002758570289699946877836944
2003778672299699956880857145

Notes: Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. Increases from 1993 to 1994 are mostly reflective of improvements in the reporting of nonmarital births in Michigan and Texas.

1 From 1940 to 1965, the percentage of births to unmarried Black women (shown in italics) includes 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 Teens under 15 included in Total Teen but 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 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), and earlier reports. Additional calculations by ASPE staff.


Table C-2. Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women by State: Selected Years 1960-2003

 196019701980199019921994199620002003
United States51118283033323335
Alabama111422303334343435
Alaska5916262729313335
ArizonaNA919333638393942
ArkansasNA1320293133343638
CaliforniaNANA21323436313334
ColoradoNA913212425252527
ConnecticutNANA18272930312930
Delaware91524293335353842
Dist of Columbia203856656769666054
Florida91423323436363840
GeorgiaNANA23333536353738
Hawaii51018252628303234
IdahoNANA8171819212222
Illinois61323323334343535
Indiana4816262932323537
Iowa2710212425262830
Kansas3712222426272932
Kentucky5815242628303134
Louisiana91523374043434648
Maine3714232528293134
MarylandNANA25303034343535
MassachusettsNANA16252627252728
Michigan41116262735343335
Minnesota3811212324252628
Mississippi141728404345454647
Missouri61118293233333536
MontanaNANA13242626283132
NebraskaNA812212325252730
Nevada41113253335433639
New HampshireNA611171922232525
New Jersey41021242628282929
New MexicoNANA16353942424648
New YorkNANA24333538403737
North Carolina91219293132323335
North Dakota379182323252829
Ohio4NA18293233333536
OklahomaNA814252830313437
Oregon3715262729303032
Pennsylvania41018293233323334
Rhode Island3716263032333536
South Carolina121523333537374041
South Dakota3713232728303334
Tennessee91220303333333537
Texas5913181729303134
Utah246141516161717
VermontNANA14202325262830
Virginia81119262829293030
Washington3914242526272829
West Virginia6613252830313235
Wisconsin3814242627272930
Wyoming278202427272933

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005 and earlier reports.


Table C-3. Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women, by Race/Ethnicity and State: 1994 - 2003

StateAll racesWhiteBlackHispanic
TotalNon-Hispanic
1994200319942003199420031994200319942003
United States33352529212470684345
Alabama35351620162071691924
Alaska29352124212439462940
Arizona38423539252565625153
Arkansas33382029202874763141
California36343634232063624643
Colorado25272326181857524441
Connecticut31302426181770666562
Delaware35422334222974705059
Dist. of Columbia6954151110680735958
Florida36402633242969673441
Georgia36381826182268662345
Hawaii28341625152320254443
Idaho19221822171940392537
Illinois34352328182179763844
Indiana32372633263178764250
Iowa25302328232775753743
Kansas26322229212666693945
Kentucky28342330233073732544
Louisiana43482128212872763034
Maine28342833283447342333
Maryland34351924182164593946
Massachusetts27282325192063586262
Michigan35352427232679744244
Minnesota24282124202273574650
Mississippi45471825182475752145
Missouri33362429242879773446
Montana26322027202628543043
Nebraska25302127202474703944
Nevada35393137272970704446
New Hampshire22252225212434423740
New Jersey28291924131367634853
New Mexico42483745232861614955
New York38372931192070676161
North Carolina32351826172168662950
North Dakota23291923192324292633
Ohio33362530252978755051
Oklahoma30372332233070713143
Oregon29322831272871643543
Pennsylvania33342527232579756359
Rhode Island32362832242669655857
South Carolina37411926192467722843
South Dakota28342025202421463349
Tennessee33372128212775732647
Texas29342432182263633139
Utah16171517131345473739
Vermont253025302530335334§
Virginia29301923182064623843
Washington26292427232555513542
West Virginia30352933293376752234
Wisconsin27302125202382824646
Wyoming28332631252946534550

† Women of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
§ Does not meet standards of reliability or precision; based on fewer than 20 births in the numerator.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005 and earlier reports.


Table C-4. Birth Rates of Teens 15-19 Years, by State: Selected Years 1960-2003 [Births per 1,000 women in specified group]

State196019701975198019851990199520002003
United States896856535160564842
Alabama1049078686471696152
Alaska12810360645665554939
Arizona1127967656776746861
Arkansas1169384757380726659
California1036952535371674740
Colorado976751504855525144
Connecticut544432313139393125
Delaware1007349515155554845
Dist. of Columbia13211673627293855360
Florida1178664595869605143
Georgia11710178726876706354
Hawaii776652514861494637
Idaho1026659594751494339
Illinois636356565163584840
Indiana1007564575259574944
Iowa735346433541383432
Kansas946557575256524641
Kentucky1088678726368625550
Louisiana1138479767274706256
Maine936555474243342925
Maryland1006946434653474133
Massachusetts514031282935332623
Michigan806952454359494034
Minnesota644436353136333027
Mississippi12110392847681797063
Missouri997259585463554943
Montana976254484448423735
Nebraska825445454042383836
Nevada1189460595573736353
New Hampshire765541343233302318
New Jersey585037353441383226
New Mexico1277967727378746663
New York575138353644423328
North Carolina1048872585768635949
North Dakota684443423635332727
Ohio846556525058534639
Oklahoma1128376756967646056
Oregon885848514355504334
Pennsylvania675344414045413431
Rhode Island564335333644403431
South Carolina1098973656371635852
South Dakota834951534647413835
Tennessee1038874646172676054
Texas1158574747275766963
Utah865654655049413835
Vermont745443393634282319
Virginia1037653484653484136
Washington886046474553483932
West Virginia877273685457534745
Wisconsin644641403943383531
Wyoming1127168795956484241

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2003,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 54 (2), September 2005 and earlier reports available online at (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/nvsr.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 States60544343382911692681009583
Alabama71675555534510695703476145
Alaska655140533827§6140§8699
Arizona7672615145321248158123120109
Arkansas80746066635113210782§106116
California71614143321910981441129971
Colorado5551473934261128257111106119
Connecticut393726201912108805112210184
Delaware55544635332712110984§106143
Dist. of Columbia93796911761231151068978110
Florida6957455143321389669606056
Georgia766756565139117937173104153
Hawaii614938382512§45331339985
Idaho514739464133§§§11910388
Illinois63554237312214611583959885
Indiana59554552493812410783658198
Iowa4137333834281191018480101111
Kansas5649434941341351067686101100
Kentucky6861516458491169870§7092
Louisiana7467585348421139783214435
Maine433225433225§§§§§§
Maryland534635363021977859465474
Massachusetts35312324211494684712110181
Michigan5946354135261329568948472
Minnesota3632283025181561128279107118
Mississippi81746556514911310182§2880
Missouri6353445045 37145107814670100
Montana483936393229§§§§85§
Nebraska4239373531261371029582110135
Nevada7370546152321331078110811598
New Hampshire332820na2719na§§na66§
New Jersey4135271915101058256807167
New Mexico7871625145321006544979084
New York444030252317866948827358
North Carolina6862525147371079068106127164
North Dakota353227292620§§§§§§
Ohio58504047423213010180747979
Oklahoma676358na5650na9172na88110
Oregon555137514429112894811411698
Pennsylvania453832322722128987812610995
Rhode Island4439363226211378766130104107
South Carolina71605354464110183676764133
South Dakota474038353026§§§§§§
Tennessee726554615545122100794181153
Texas7573644946361179372104105100
Utah494137443629§6732115107109
Vermont343024353024§§§§§§
Virginia5345384035271007763566276
Washington53463347382598724211310590
West Virginia575146575046747749§§§
Wisconsin4337323025211771321049097107
Wyoming564540514035§§§947768

Women of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

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

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 to15, adults ages 16 to 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) Current Population Survey (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 (OMB) 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, as well as selected indicators and measures, estimates are provided for individual persons by family structure (see SUM1, IND1, IND 2, IND5, and ECON7). For these measures, the entire population is subdivided into the following four groups:

  • Persons in Married-Couple Families
  • Persons in Female-Headed Families
  • Persons in Male-Headed Families
  • Unrelated Individuals.

Two additional measures use a subset of the above categories (see IND4, and ECON1).

Spells

Spells of program recipiency (Indicator 8), spells of welfare receipt with no attachment to the labor market (Indicator 7) and spells of poverty 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, however, 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.