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Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2007

Publication Date
Jul 30, 2007

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


This report was written by Gil Crouse, Sarah Douglas, and Susan Hauan of the Office of Human Services Policy under the direction of Melissa Pardue, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.

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 nonmarital births, as well an appendix with data related to the above programs.

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Executive Summary

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 requires the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare annual reports to Congress on indicators and predictors of welfare dependence.  The 2007 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the tenth annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2004, 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 that:  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.  Given data limitations, we follow the Board’s proposal by adopting the following definition of welfare dependence among individuals in families1 for use in this report:

Welfare dependence is the proportion of all individuals in families that receive more than half of their total family income in one year from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI.

This report uses data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and administrative data for theAFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI programs to provide updated measures through 2004 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.  Based on these data, this report provides a number of key indicators of welfare recipiency, dependence and labor force attachment.  Highlights from the report include the following:

  • In 2004, 3.7 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 slightly higher than the 3.6 percent dependency rate measured in 2003, the 2004 rate is lower than the 5.2 percent rate measured in 1996.  Overall, 3 million fewer Americans were dependent on welfare in 2004 compared with 1996.
  • Although data are not yet available to show a clear trend in dependency rates through 2005, available data suggest that the rate may not change from 2004.
  • 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 1.7 percent between 1993 and 2005 (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 8.6 percent in 2005.  This increase in food stamp recipiency may explain the increase in overall dependency since 2000.
  • In an average month in 2004, more than half (52 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 60 and 39 percent, respectively (see Indicator 2).  Although there was a decline in labor force participation among TANF families from 2002 to 2004, 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 organized into three categories: economic security measures, measures related to employment and barriers to employment and measures of nonmarital childbearing.  The economic security risk factors include measures of poverty and well-being that are important not only as potential predictors of dependence, but also as a supplement to the dependence indicators, ensuring that dependence measures are not assessed in isolation.  As such, the report includes data on the official poverty rate, one of the most common measures of economic well-being:

  • As the dependency rate 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, but still remained lower than any year between 1980 and 1997.  In 2005, 12.6 percent of all individuals were poor (see Economic Security Risk Factor 1).

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.


1 Appendix D provides more information on the use of individuals, rather than families or households, as the unit of analysis for most of the statistics in this report.

Chapter I. Introduction and Overview

Contents

  • Organization of Report
  • Measuring Welfare Dependence
  • Measuring Economic Well-Being
  • Data Sources

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 2007 report, the tenth 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 2007 report provides updated measures through 2004 for dependency measures based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement, with one preliminary estimate for 2005. Although more recent administrative data for the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI programs provide some information on recipiency through 2005, the survey data needed to examine overall welfare recipiency are not available past 2004 for the CPS-based measures and 2003 for the SIPP-based measures and are even less current for measures based on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). As in the 2006 report, measures updated annually are presented at the front of each chapter, followed by the figures that are derived from data sources that are updated less frequently.

Organization of Report

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the specific summary measure of welfare dependence proposed by a bipartisan Advisory Board1 and how this measure was 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 included 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 on several data and technical issues. The welfare programs presented 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 1962 through June 1997, and TANF data from July 1997 through 2005.
  • 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 1962 to 2005.
  • 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 2005 are provided in Appendix A.

1 The first annual report was produced under the oversight of a bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators, which assisted the Secretary in defining welfare dependence, developing indicators of welfare dependence, and choosing appropriate data. Under the terms of the original authorizing legislation, the Advisory Board was terminated in October 1997, prior to the submission of the first annual report.

Measuring Welfare Dependence

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

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. For this purpose, the bipartisan Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators proposed that: 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. In following the Board’s proposal, we adopt the following definition of welfare dependence among individuals in families2 for use in this report:

Welfare dependence is the proportion of all individuals in families that receive more than half of their total family income in one year from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI.

Any definition of welfare dependence is not without its limitations. The Advisory Board recognized that no single measure could capture fully all aspects of dependence and that their proposed measure should be examined in concert with other indicators of well-being. While the Board’s proposal 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 may overstate the incidence of dependence 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 2005, 31 percent of welfare recipients were working (including employment, work experience and community service), compared to only 7 percent in 1992.3

As shown in Figure SUM 1, 3.7 percent of the population would be considered “dependent” on welfare in 2004 in that they received more than half of their family income in 2004 from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI. This is one-quarter of the percentage (15.0 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 2005, available data suggest the rate may remain the same between 2004 and 2005.4


Figure SUM 1.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates:  1993-2004

Figure SUM 1. Recipiency and Dependency Rates:  1993-2004

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 2005 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 2004, the 2004 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 TANF administrative data showing declining caseloads, especially after enactment of welfare reform in 1996. What is not apparent from these 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 10.75 million were dependent in 2004 — representing a decline of 3 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 2004 compared to 1993.

Measures of welfare dependency also vary based upon which programs are counted as “welfare programs.” Dependency would be much lower — 2.0 percent — if only AFDC/TANF and food stamp benefits were counted (as shown in Appendix B and as is done in some measures in this report). Moreover, the drop in dependency is even larger under this alternative definition of dependence than usually reported. For example, between 1995 and 2004, dependency declined from 3.6 percent to 2.0 percent under the alternative definition.

Another factor affecting dependence is the time period observed. The summary measures shown in Figure and Table SUM 1 focus on recipiency and dependency rates measured on an annual, cross-sectional basis. Longitudinal measures of program receipt (both annual and monthly) show that program spells are typically short and long-term recipiency is more rare (see Chapter II). Indicator 9, for example, shows that among individuals receiving AFDC/TANF at some point over a ten-year period ending in 2000, 18 percent received some welfare during six or more years. Another 31 percent were recipients in three to five years, and more than half (51 percent) received welfare in only one or two years.


2 Appendix D provides more information on the use of individuals, rather than families or households, as the unit of analysis for most of the statistics in this report.

3 This 31 percent includes just over 20 percent in unsubsidized employment and 10 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 Advisory Board’s proposed measure.

4 While TRIM-adjusted CPS data for 2005 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 2004 and 2005.

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 2005 remains much lower than in 1993, when poverty reached its highest peak since the early 1980s. The official poverty rate for 2005 was 12.6 percent, compared to 15.1 percent in 1993. This difference in the poverty rate indicates that 2.2 million fewer people are in poverty and 2.4 million fewer children are in families with incomes below poverty in 2005 than in 1993.

Table SUM 1.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates:  Selected Years

 19931996199920002001200220032004
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, 1994-2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Recipiency Rates (Rates of Any Amount of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, or SSI)
All Persons16.61613.312.512.613.214.115.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White10.39.98.48.28.28.89.210.1
Non-Hispanic Black38.035.629.827.026.327.731.332.4
Hispanic34.632.023.421.021.621.722.522.6
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-530.528.221.519.820.821.424.224.6
Children Ages 6-1024.924.219.818.018.418.820.522.2
Children Ages 11-1522.121.117.316.316.116.819.720.4
Women Ages 16-6416.416.013.612.512.513.414.015.0
Men Ages 16-6411.511.79.69.29.610.310.611.6
Adults Ages 65 and over11.210.310.010.49.69.79.910.0
Family Categories
Persons in:
   Married-Couple Families10.59.67.97.27.47.58.28.6
   Female-Headed Families47.846.039.937.136.437.739.942.6
   Male-Headed Families27.625.319.321.821.221.222.221.9
Unrelated Individuals9.711.510.010.110.011.511.612.7
Dependency Rates (More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, or SSI)
All Persons5.95.23.33.03.13.23.63.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White3.02.61.81.91.81.82.12.2
Non-Hispanic Black17.813.89.17.78.88.710.110.0
Hispanic11.810.95.44.54.54.95.25.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-513.911.26.26.05.96.07.57.1
Children Ages 6-1011.29.56.15.15.45.15.86.0
Children Ages 11-159.38.14.54.04.44.05.05.1
Women Ages 16-645.95.23.53.03.33.43.63.7
Men Ages 16-642.72.71.91.92.02.02.32.4
Adults Ages 65 and over2.42.42.02.11.92.02.22.2
Family Categories
Persons in:
   Married-Couple Families1.81.71.00.91.01.01.11.0
   Female-Headed Families25.721.113.611.411.911.713.213.8
   Male-Headed Families6.85.43.04.44.03.84.94.0
Unrelated Individuals3.84.23.43.83.84.14.44.5

Figure SUM 2.
Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2005.

Figure SUM 2. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2005.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2006, analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office. See ECON 4 in Chapter III for underlying table and further notes.


Figure SUM 2 shows poverty estimates under both the official poverty rate and two other measures that adjust income based on 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 12.6 percent in 2005.
  • 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 13.3 percent in 2005.
  • 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.5 Under this definition, poverty rates in 2005 would be more than two percentage points lower than the official measure, or 10.3 percent.

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

Data Sources

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

If it were not for the lags in data availability, the SIPP would be considered the most useful national survey for measuring welfare dependency. It was used most extensively in the first three annual dependence reports. Its longitudinal design, system of monthly accounting and detail concerning employment, income and participation in federal income-support and related programs, make the SIPP particularly effective for capturing the complexities of program dynamics. It continues to be an important source of data in this report, particularly for measures related to AFDC/TANF and poverty spell duration, transitions in and out of program dependency and reasons for entering or leaving the AFDC/TANF program. Currently, the Census Bureau is planning to reengineer the SIPP and create a new Dynamics of Economic Well-Being System (DEWS) in 2009.

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 AFDC/TANF, food stamps and SSI 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 1993-2004 from the TRIM-adjusted CPS data.


Figure SUM 3.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates from Two Data Sources: 1987-2004

Figure SUM 3. Recipiency and Dependency Rates from Two Data Sources: 1987-2004

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, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income and veterans pension benefits are included in means-tested assistance income for receipt and dependence estimates prior to 2001.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2005, 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 fouryear 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 from these programs are generally available with little time lags; these data are generally available through fiscal year (FY) 2005. To the extent possible, TANF administrative data are reported in a consistent manner with data from the earlier AFDC program, as noted in the footnotes to the tables in Appendix A. The fact remains that assistance under locally designed TANF programs encompasses a diverse set of cash and non-cash benefits designed to support families in making a transition to work, and so direct comparisons between AFDC receipt and TANF receipt must be made with caution. This issue also affects reported data on TANF receipt in national data sets such as the CPS and SIPP.

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

Chapter II. Indicators of Dependence

Following the format of the previous annual reports to Congress, Chapter II presents summary data related to indicators of dependence. These indicators differ from other welfare statistics because of their emphasis on welfare dependence, rather than simple welfare receipt.

As discussed in Chapter I, the Advisory Board on Welfare Indicators suggested that families be considered dependent if more than 50 percent of their total income in a one-year period comes 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. 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 captured fully the Advisory Board’s recommendation; that is, one indicator based on the percentage of income from means-tested assistance only if this income is not associated with work activities. As discussed in Chapter I, we adopt the following definition of welfare dependence among individuals in families1 for use in this report:

Welfare dependence is the proportion of all individuals in families that receive more than half of their total family income in one year from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI.

The ten indicators in Chapter II were selected to provide information about the range and depth of dependence as proposed by the Advisory Board, including indicators that measure the presence of employment activities. This chapter focuses on recipients of three major meanstested 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. Administrative data for the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI programs 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 AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI 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.


1 Appendix D provides more information on the use of individuals, rather than families or households, as the unit of analysis for most of the statistics in this report.

Indicator 1. Degree of Dependence

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2004

Figure IND 1a. Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2004

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


  • Only 3.7 percent of the total population in 2004 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 3.7 percent.
  • 15 percent of the overall population received at least one dollar in means-tested assistance in 2004. However, for 59 percent of these individuals (9 percent of the total population), such assistance represented 25 percent or less of annual family income. The vast majority (85 percent) of the population received no means-tested assistance in 2004.
  • 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 (more than 50% of total income from means-tested programs) than individuals in married-couple or male-headed families (13.8 percent compared to 1.0 and 4.0 percent respectively).
  • In 2004, 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: 2004

 0%> 0% and <= 25%> 25% and <= 50%> 50% and <= 75%> 75% and <= 100%Total > 50%
All Persons85.08.82.51.12.53.7
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White89.96.41.50.71.52.2
Non-Hispanic Black67.616.26.12.97.110.0
Hispanic77.413.44.11.83.45.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-575.412.65.02.64.57.1
Children Ages 6-1077.811.64.62.23.86.0
Children Ages 11-1579.611.34.01.93.25.1
Women Ages 16-6485.08.92.41.12.63.7
Men Ages 16-6488.47.61.60.51.92.4
Adults Ages 65 and over90.06.21.60.81.52.2
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families91.46.31.30.40.71.0
Persons in Female-Headed Families57.419.99.04.89.013.8
Persons in Male-Headed Families78.114.43.61.52.54.0
Unrelated Individuals87.37.01.20.54.04.5

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, 1994-2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Table IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Means-Tested Assistance
Programs: 1993-2004

 0%> 0% and <= 25%> 25% and <= 50%> 50% and <= 75%> 75% and <= 100%Total > 50%
See above for note and source.
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
200485.08.82.51.12.53.7

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2004

Figure IND 1b. Percentage of Total Annual Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status: 2004

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


  • Those in families with income below the poverty level received almost half (48 percent) of their total family income from earnings and 31 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 26 percent, compared to 48 percent for all poor persons in 2004.
  • 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 31 percent in 2004.

Table IND 1c. Percentage of Total Annual Family Income from Various Sources, by Poverty Status
Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2004

 < 50% Poverty< 100% of Poverty< 200% of Poverty200% + of PovertyAll Individuals
All Persons
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps58.431.110.40.21.2
Earnings25.748.267.286.884.9
Other Income15.920.722.41313.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps4927.97.90.10.6
Earnings29.644.161.485.884.3
Other Income21.52830.714.115.1
Non-Hispanic Black
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps69.843.418.50.54.2
Earnings1736.660.387.381.8
Other Income13.22021.212.114
Hispanic
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps56.524.590.52.6
Earnings31.56481.192.189.4
Other Income1211.59.97.48
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-5
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps6535.513.30.22.3
Earnings23.553.67894.491.9
Other Income11.510.98.75.35.9
Children Ages 6-10
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps63.634.112.30.22
Earnings23.852.176.293.490.9
Other Income12.613.911.56.47.2
Children Ages 11-15
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps63.834.412.10.21.7
Earnings22.25073.892.189.8
Other Income14.115.614.17.78.5
Women Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps55.431.1110.21.1
Earnings2748.47189.387.8
Other Income17.620.418.110.511.1
Men Ages 16-64
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps48.526.38.30.20.7
Earnings32.5537590.589.5
Other Income1920.816.79.39.8
Adults Ages 65 and over
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps39.623.36.60.31.1
Earnings3.759.338.634.9
Other Income56.871.78461.164
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps45.920.66.10.10.5
Earnings37.964.876.287.787
Other Income16.214.617.712.112.5
Persons in Female-Headed Families
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps68.844.621.217
Earnings17.236.157.680.974.1
Other Income1419.421.21819
Persons in Male-Headed Families
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps55.128.711.20.62.1
Earnings30.551.472.586.984.9
Other Income14.419.916.312.513.1

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, 2005, 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
AFDC, 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
2004
TANF, SSI and Food Stamps58.431.110.40.2
Earnings25.748.267.286.8
Other Income15.920.722.413.0
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2005, 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: 2004

Figure IND 2. Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants in that Month by Program: 2004

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2005, 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 2004, with an additional one-quarter living in families with a labor force participant who was not full time. Thus, 52 percent of TANF recipients and 60 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 2004 this percentage decreased to 28 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: 2004

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

Note: Recipients are limited to those individuals or family members directly receiving benefits in a month. Full-time workers are those who usually work 35 hours or more per week. Part-time labor force participation includes part-time workers and those who are unemployed, laid off and/or looking for work. This indicator measures, on an average monthly basis, the combination of individual benefit receipt and labor force participation by any family member in the same month. 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, 2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

TANFAll Persons4823.828.1
 
Non-Hispanic White47.527.125.4
Non-Hispanic Black5223.125
Hispanic42.522.435.1
 
Children Ages 0-547.522.929.6
Children Ages 6-1047.425.427.2
Children Ages 11-1553.121.425.5
Women Ages 16-6447.924.827.3
Men Ages 16-6440.92633.1
Adults Ages 65 and over45550
 
Persons in Married-Couple Families25.123.951
Persons in Female-Headed Families57.123.819.1
Persons in Male-Headed Families34.823.841.4
Unrelated Individuals000
FOOD STAMPSAll Persons40.423.236.5
 
Non-Hispanic White4125.133.9
Non-Hispanic Black42.623.633.8
Hispanic36.717.645.7
 
Children Ages 0-532.523.943.6
Children Ages 6-1031.124.544.4
Children Ages 11-1532.924.143
Women Ages 16-644125.433.6
Men Ages 16-6441.822.835.4
Adults Ages 65 and over85.67.17.3
 
Persons in Married-Couple Families22.51958.5
Persons in Female-Headed Families42.626.730.7
Persons in Male-Headed Families32.825.841.5
Unrelated Individuals70.918.410.7
SSIAll Persons60.610.229.2
 
Non-Hispanic White63.91026.1
Non-Hispanic Black64.212.922.9
Hispanic54.47.338.4
 
Children Ages 0-538.211.350.5
Children Ages 6-1036.114.949.1
Children Ages 11-1542.519.538.1
Women Ages 16-6465.910.323.8
Men Ages 16-6461.110.528.4
Adults Ages 65 and over64.87.427.8
 
Persons in Married-Couple Families35.610.354.1
Persons in Female-Headed Families54.814.530.7
Persons in Male-Headed Families43.811.444.8
Unrelated Individuals945.30.7

Table IND 2b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants 1993-2004

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

Note: See above.

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

19935724.218.8
199454.824.820.4
199550.624.325.1
199650.125.624.3
199747.62824.4
199844.325.829.9
199940.824.135.1
200041.224.134.7
200138.72635.3
200239.825.834.3
200347.424.128.5
20044823.828.1

Indicator 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-tested Assistance

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age: 1970-2005

Figure IND 3a. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF, by Age: 1970-2005

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


  • A little under 2 percent of the total population received TANF in 2005. 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 2005 rate of receipt was less than one-third of the peak rate and the lowest since 1970.
  • AFDC/TANF recipiency rates have been much higher with more pronounced changes over time for children than for adults. Between 1993 and 2005, AFDC/TANF receipt among children decreased by more than half (from 14 percent 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 1970-2005

 Total RecipientsAdult RecipientsChild Recipients
Fiscal YearNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent

Notes: See Appendix A, Tables TANF 2, TANF 12 and TANF 14, for more detailed data on recipiency rates, including recipiency rates by calendar year. Recipients are expressed as the fiscal year average of monthly caseloads from administrative data, excluding  recipients in the territories. 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. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

19707,1883.51,8631.45,3257.6
19719,2814.52,5161.86,7659.7
197210,3454.92,8482.07,49710.8
197310,7605.12,9842.17,77611.3
197410,5915.02,9352.07,65611.3
197510,8545.03,0782.17,77611.6
197611,1715.13,2712.27,90011.9
197710,9335.03,2302.17,70311.8
197810,4854.73,1282.07,35711.4
197910,1464.53,0711.97,07511.0
198010,4224.63,2262.07,19611.3
198110,9794.83,4912.17,48811.8
198210,2334.43,3952.06,83810.9
198310,4674.53,5482.16,91911.1
198410,6774.53,6522.17,02511.2
198510,6304.53,5892.07,04111.2
198610,8104.53,6372.17,17311.4
198710,8784.53,6242.07,25411.5
198810,7344.43,5362.07,19811.4
198910,7414.43,5031.97,23811.4
199011,2634.53,6432.07,62011.9
199112,3914.94,0162.18,37512.8
199213,4235.24,3362.39,08713.7
199313,9435.44,5192.39,42413.9
199414,0335.34,5542.39,47913.8
199513,4795.14,3222.29,15713.2
199612,4774.63,9212.08,55612.2
199710,7794.03,1061.57,67310.8
19988,6533.12,4691.26,1848.7
19997,0682.51,8380.95,2317.3
20006,2182.21,6870.84,5316.3
20015,6742.01,5040.74,1715.7
20025,5761.91,4770.74,0995.6
20035,4521.91,4150.64,0375.5
20045,3141.81,3570.63,9575.4
20055,0711.71,2770.63,7945.2

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age: 1975-2005

Figure IND 3b. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps, by Age: 1975-2005

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 2005 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. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • The food stamp recipiency rate increased to 8.6 percent in 2005, up from a low of 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001 – the lowest rate since the Food Stamp Program became available nationwide. While the 2005 recipiency rate is higher than the rate for 2004, it is still significantly lower than the peak of 10.4 percent experienced in 1993 and 1994.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, food stamp recipiency rates have been much higher over time for children than for adults. Between 1980 and 2005, the percentage of all children who received food stamps was at least 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 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 1975-2005

 Total RecipientsAdult Recipients
Ages 60 and over
Adult Recipients
Ages 18-59
Child Recipients
Ages 0-18
Fiscal YearNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent

Note: See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates. 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 2005 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. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

197516,3207.6
197617,0337.89,12613.8
197715,6047.1
197814,4056.5
197915,9427.1
198019,2538.51,7414.97,1865.69,87615.5
198120,6549.01,8455.07,8116.09,80315.5
198221,7549.41,6414.47,8386.09,59115.3
198321,6689.31,6544.48,9606.710,91017.4
198420,7968.81,7584.58,5216.310,49216.8
198519,8478.31,7834.58,2586.19,90615.8
198619,3828.11,6314.17,8955.79,84415.7
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
200525,6348.62,0444.110,3906.012,40516.9

Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2005

Figure IND 3c. Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2005

Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Report, 2005, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/), and U.S. Census Bureau (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 2005. As shown in Table IND 3c, the total number of recipients has grown by 72 percent over the same period, from 4.1 million in 1985 to a little over 7 million people in 2005.
  • 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 2005.
  • 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 and 2005.

Table IND 3c. Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI, by Age: 1975-2005

 Total RecipientsAdult Recipients
Ages 65 & over
Adult Recipients
Ages 18-64
Child Recipients
Ages 0-18
DateNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent

Note: December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the Census Bureau's July 1 population estimates for the current and the following year. 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, 2005, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy), and U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).

Dec 19754,3142.02,50810.91,6991.31070.2
Dec 19764,2361.92,39710.21,7141.31250.2
Dec 19774,2381.92,3539.71,7381.31470.2
Dec 19784,2171.92,3049.31,7471.31660.3
Dec 19794,1501.82,2468.81,7271.31770.3
Dec 19804,1421.82,2218.61,7311.21900.3
Dec 19814,0191.72,1218.01,7031.21950.3
Dec 19823,8581.72,0117.41,6551.21920.3
Dec 19833,9011.72,0037.31,7001.21980.3
Dec 19844,0291.72,0377.21,7801.22120.3
Dec 19854,1381.72,0317.11,8791.32270.4
Dec 19864,2691.82,0186.92,0101.32410.4
Dec 19874,3851.82,0156.72,1191.42510.4
Dec 19884,4641.82,0066.62,2031.52550.4
Dec 19894,5931.92,0266.52,3021.52650.4
Dec 19904,8171.92,0596.52,4501.63090.5
Dec 19915,1182.02,0806.52,6421.73970.6
Dec 19925,5662.22,1006.52,9101.95560.8
Dec 19935,9842.32,1136.43,1482.07231.1
Dec 19946,2962.42,1196.33,3352.18411.2
Dec 19956,5142.52,1156.33,4822.29171.3
Dec 19966,6302.52,1106.23,5682.29551.4
Dec 19976,4952.42,0546.03,5622.28801.3
Dec 19986,5662.42,0335.93,6462.28871.3
Dec 19996,5572.42,0195.83,6912.28471.2
Dec 20006,6022.32,0115.73,7442.18471.2
Dec 20016,6882.31,9955.63,8112.18821.2
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
Dec 20057,1142.41,9955.44,0832.21,0361.4

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


  • Whereas Indicator 3 examined participants as a percentage of the total population (recipiency rates), this indicator examines participating families or households as a percentage of the estimated eligible population (participation rates, also known as “take-up” rates).
  • Only 42 percent of the families estimated as eligible for TANF cash assistance actually enrolled and received benefits in an average month in 2004. 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.
  • Over the past four years the participation rate for food stamps has increased from 48 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2004.
  • After rising steadily to 76 percent in 2000, the SSI participation rate dropped 10 percentage points over the last 4 years. At 66 percent it still is considerably 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)

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. In 2004 the methods for identifying potential child-only units capture the fact that non-parent caretakers generally have a choice of whether or not to be included in the TANF unit. TRIM now excludes those caretakers whose income would make the unit ineligible, increasing the number of potential child-only units.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, caseload tabulations and unpublished tabulations from the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

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
20034.772.1845.7
20045.082.1442.0
  • Between 2003 and 2004, 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 2004. The participation rate continued to decrease in 2004 due to the increase of families eligible for the TANF program. In 2004 there were 500,000 more families eligible for TANF than in 2000.
  • Participating families were defined as families receiving cash assistance only. Families receiving services and benefits, other than cash assistance, were 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)

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 the methodology over time, due to model improvements and revisions to the CPS. Notably, the model was revised in 1994 to produce more accurate and lower estimates of eligible households. The 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: 2004, June 2006 (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/FILES/Participation/FSPP...).

September 197616.35.332.6
February 197814.05.337.8
August 198014.07.452.5
August 198214.57.551.5
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 200115.27.348.0
Fiscal Year 200216.68.048.3
Fiscal Year 200317.88.949.9
Fiscal Year 200418.310.054.7

Between fiscal years 1999 and 2004 there was a 26 percent increase in households eligible for the Food Stamp Program (from 14.5 to 18.3 million households). Caseloads grew by a third over the same period, with the largest increase occurring from 2003 to 2004. Subsequently, the estimated participation rate increased from 52 percent in 1999 to 55 percent in 2004.

While there were 10 million households participating in the Food Stamps Program in 2004, the caseload is still lower than the 1993 peak in. During the mid to late nineties, there was a 32 percent drop in food stamp caseloads, from a peak of nearly 11 million households in 1993 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.

Table IND 4c. Percentage of Eligible Adult Units Participating in the SSI Program, by Type 1993-2004

  One-Person UnitsMarried-Couple
 All Adult UnitsAgedDisabledUnits

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. In 2004 the TRIM methods for identifying individuals eligible for SSI due to disability were improved resulting in more eligibles for this category. 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, 1994-2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

199362.057.071.037.0
199465.058.473.043.9
199569.164.974.052.2
199666.660.473.546.7
199771.162.779.449.1
199870.763.677.948.1
199974.365.883.347.8
200075.870.982.349.9
200169.764.475.945.7
200270.461.978.347.9
200368.262.373.847.6
200465.763.369.246.0
  • After holding fairly constant at about 70 percent between 2001 and 2002, the SSI participation rate among adult units declined in 2003 and 2004. The 2004 SSI participation rate among adult units was about 66 percent – the lowest rate in 10 years.
  • The participation rates among aged one-person units increased slightly to about 63 percent in 2004.
  • The rates for disabled one-person units continued to move downward in 2004 reaching a rate nearly 14 percentage points below its peak of 83 percent in 1999.
  • In 2004, as in past years, disabled adults in one-person units had a higher participation rate (69 percent) than both aged adults in one-person units (63 percent) and adults in marriedcouple units (46 percent).

Indicator 5. Multiple Program Receipt

Figure IND 5. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), among Those Receiving Assistance: 2004

Figure IND 5. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (TANF, Food Stamps, SSI), among Those Receiving Assistance: 2004

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


  • About three-quarters (73 percent) of the families receiving TANF, food stamps or SSI benefits in an average month in 2004 received assistance from only one program. Most of these families received food stamps or SSI benefits only. However, other common patterns include food stamp and TANF receipt (16 percent) and food stamp and SSI receipt (11 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 2004, 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 2004. Most of these families received food stamps only (19 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 10 percent in 2004, 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: 2004

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
  TANFFSSSITANF & FSFS & SSI

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, 1994-2005, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

All Persons10.30.26.11.21.61.1
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White6.80.14.30.90.70.8
Non-Hispanic Black24.90.514.01.95.72.8
Hispanic14.30.58.21.72.81.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-520.20.612.10.66.20.7
Children Ages 6-1017.80.511.50.74.50.6
Children Ages 11-1515.80.510.10.93.60.7
Women Ages 16-649.50.16.01.01.31.1
Men Ages 16-646.60.14.01.20.30.9
Adults Ages 65 and over7.90.02.33.10.02.5
Family Categories
Persons in Married-Couple Families4.90.13.10.70.50.4
Persons in Female-Headed Families33.00.619.32.77.92.5
Persons in Male-Headed Families13.70.47.52.22.31.3
Unrelated Individuals9.70.05.21.70.02.8

Table IND 5b. Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs (AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, SSI): 1993-2004

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
  AFDC/ TANFFSSSIAFDC/ TANF & FSFS & SSI
See above for note and source.
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
200410.30.26.11.21.61.1

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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

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

  Percentage of Persons Receiving
Individuals Receiving More than 50 Percent of Income from Assistance in 2002Total (thousands)No Aid in 2003Up to 50% in 2003Over 50% in 2003

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.

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

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

  Percentageof Persons Receiving
Transitions from:Total (thousands)No Aid in Second YearUp to 50% in Second YearOver 50% in Second Year

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, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income in all years and 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.

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

Indicator 7. Program Spell Duration

Figure IND 7. Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001-2003 Period, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 7. Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001-2003 Period, 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.
  • 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 (12 percent) compared to non- Hispanic blacks and Hispanics (19 percent and 20 percent, respectively). 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. A similar pattern was found for SSI with only 44 percent of SSI spells lasting 20 months or longer in early 2000, compared with 61 percent in the early nineties.
  • 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 2001-2003 Period, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age

  Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months

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

TANFAll Recipients49.623.71016.8
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 0-5502411.914.1
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 White35.925.8830.3
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 over3012.59.648
SSIAll Recipients27.921.47.343.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White31.319.87.941
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

Table IND 7b. Percentage of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Individuals Entering Programs during Selected Time Periods

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2001 Panels.
1992-1994    
AFDC30.424.710.534.4
Food Stamps33.424.910.231.5
SSI25.78.94.860.6
1993-1995    
AFDC Food Stamps30.7 33.125.4 26.812.5 10.131.4 30.0
SSI24.07.94.763.4
1996-1999    
AFDC/TANF46.629.211.512.7
Food Stamps43.127.79.319.8
SSI34.119.29.137.6
2001-2003    
TANF49.623.710.016.8
Food Stamps35.924.48.930.7
SSI27.921.47.343.5

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 2001-2003 Period, by Length of Spell

Figure IND 8. Percentage of TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment for Individuals Entering Programs during the 2001-2003 Period, 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).
  • The percentage of spells lasting more than 20 months was much higher in the early nineties than in the early 2000s. About 10 percent of spells between 2001 and 2003 lasted more than 20 months, compared to 23 percent between 1993 and 1995, as shown in Table IND 8b.
  • 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 2001-2003 Period, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months

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.

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

Table IND 8b. Percentage of TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment for Individuals Entering Programs during Selected Time Periods

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993,1996 and 2001 panels.
1993 – 199542.626.48.522.5
1996 – 199954.228.39.38.3
2001 – 200356.123.010.610.2

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, as shown in Table IND 9.
  • 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:

Years Received AFDC/TANFAll RecipientsChild Recipients Ages 0-5
1971-19801981-19901991-20001971-19801981-19901991-2000
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:

Years Received AFDC/TANFAll RecipientsChild Recipients Ages 0-5
1971-19801981-19901991-20001971-19801981-19901991-2000
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:

Years Received AFDC/TANFAll RecipientsChild Recipients Ages 0-5
1971-19801981-19901991-20001971-19801981-19901991-2000

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, 1972-2001.

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

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

Figure IND 10a. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Entries during the 2001-2003 Period

Figure IND 10a. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Entries during the 2001-2003 Period

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

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. While only affecting a small number of cases, General Assistance income is included within AFDC/TANF income. Other government benefits include Unemployment Insurance, Foster Care, Railroad Retirement, veterans payments and Workers Compensation. A decrease in earnings must be a decrease of at least $50 per month. 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.

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
  • 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 the 2001-2003 Period

Figure IND 10b. Trigger Events Associated with Single Mother TANF Exits during the 2001-2003 Period

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

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.

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
  • 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 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, if former welfare families are left with fewer economic resources, reductions in welfare caseloads may not lead to decreases in poverty.

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: 1959-2005

Figure ECON 1. Percentage of Persons in Poverty, by Age: 1959-2005

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” Current Population
Reports
, Series P60-231, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • The official poverty rate was 12.6 percent in 2005. The percentage of persons living in poverty in 2005 was below the poverty rates experienced during all of the 1980s and most of the 1990s.
  • Children under 18 had a poverty rate of 17.6 percent in 2005, down slightly from 17.8 percent in 2004. As in past years, the child poverty rate is considerably higher than the overall poverty rate.
  • The poverty rate for the elderly (persons ages 65 and over) was 10.1 percent in 2005, up slightly from 9.8 in 2004. This was a percentage point below the 11.1 percent rate for adults ages 18-64 and far lower than poverty rate of children, as shown in table ECON 1.

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

Calendar
Year
Related ChildrenAll Persons
Ages 0-5Ages 6-17TotalUnder 18 118 to 6465 & overMarried FamiliesFemale Householder 3

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, persons in “Married Families” include a small number of persons in male-headed families with no spouse present. In 1988, the first year for which we have separate data for these families, poor persons in male-headed families with no spouse present comprised just over 8 percent of the combined total in both groups of persons below the poverty level.

3 No spouse present.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” Current Population
Reports
, Series P60-231, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

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
200420.016.012.717.811.39.86.430.5
200520.015.712.617.611.110.15.931.1

Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Deep Poverty Rates

Figure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level 1975-2005

Figure ECON 2. Percentage of Total Population below 50, 100 and 125 Percent of Poverty Level 1975-2005

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-231, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • The percentage of the population in “deep poverty” (with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level) was 5.4 percent in 2005, compared to an overall poverty rate of 12.6 percent. Only about 4 percent of the population was “near-poor” (had incomes at or above 100 percent but below 125 percent of the federal poverty level).
  • In general, the percentage of the population with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty threshold has followed a pattern that reflects the trend in the overall poverty rate, as shown in Figure ECON 2. The percentage of people below 50 percent of poverty rose in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but then, after falling slightly, rose to a second peak in 1993. The rates for 100 percent of poverty and 125 percent of poverty followed a somewhat similar pattern with more pronounced peaks and valleys.
  • Over the past two decades, the proportion of the poverty population in “deep poverty” has increased. From a low of 28 percent of the poverty population in 1976, this population rose to just over 43 percent in 2005 up slightly from 2004.
  • The total number of poor people in 2005 was 37 million, as shown in Table ECON 2. While similar to 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

YearTotal Population (thousands)Below 50 PercentBelow 75 PercentBelow 100 PercentBelow 125 Percent
Number (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)PercentNumber (thousands)Percent

Note: The number of persons below 50 percent and 75 percent of poverty for 1969 are estimated based on the distribution of
persons below 50 percent and 75 percent for 1969 taken from the 1970 decennial census.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” Current Population
Reports
, Series P60-231, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html; also 1970 Census of
Population, Volume 1, Social and Economic Characteristics
, Table 259.

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
2004290,60015,7005.425,0008.637,00012.749,70017.1
2005293,10015,9005.425,2008.637,00012.649,30016.8

Economic Security Risk Factor 3. Experimental Poverty Measures

Figure ECON 3. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Age: 2004

Figure ECON 3. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Age: 2004

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “The Effects of Government Taxes and Transfers on Income and Poverty: 2004,”, available online at http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/..., 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. For more information on the definition of these measures see note for Table ECON 3a.
  • 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: 2004

  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)

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. Census Bureau, “Alternative Poverty Estimates in the United States: 2004,” 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.

All Persons12.712.713.113.312.513.013.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White8.79.49.59.88.78.89.1
Non-Hispanic Black24.722.122.923.121.322.022.4
Hispanic21.920.221.721.222.825.324.7
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-1717.814.115.214.813.915.314.9
Adults Ages 18-6411.311.512.112.011.412.112.0
Adults Ages 65 and over9.815.913.716.915.413.116.3

Table ECON 3b. Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures 1999-2004

 199920002001200220032004
See above for note and source.
Official Measure11.911.311.712.112.512.7
No Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds      
Medical Costs Alternative 1 (MSI-NGA)12.212.112.412.412.412.7
Medical Costs Alternative 2 (MIT-NGA)12.812.712.813.012.813.1
Medical Costs Alternative 3 (CMB-NGA)12.912.813.013.013.013.3
Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds      
Medical Costs Alternative 1 (MSI-GA)12.112.012.312.312.312.5
Medical Costs Alternative 2 (MIT-GA)12.712.512.712.812.713.0
Medical Costs Alternative 3 (CMB-GA)12.812.612.912.912.913.3

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: 1979-2005

Figure ECON 4. Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Benefits Added to Total Cash Income: 1979-2005

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2006,
analyzed 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 12.6 percent in 2005, as shown in the bold line with empty boxes in Figure ECON 4. Without cash welfare, the 2005 poverty rate would be 13.3 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 11.2 percent in 2005.
  • 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 10.3 percent in 2005. 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 2005 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 (DATA EMBARGOED)

 1983198619891992199519982000200220042005

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, 1984-2006, analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office.

Cash Income Plus All Social Insurance16.014.513.815.614.913.512.012.813.513.3
   Plus Means-Tested Cash Assistance15.213.612.814.513.812.711.312.112.712.6
   Plus Food and Housing Benefits13.712.211.212.912.011.310.110.911.511.2
   Plus EITC and Federal Taxes14.713.111.813.011.510.49.510.010.510.3
Reduction in Poverty Rate1.31.42.02.63.43.12.52.83.03.0

Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993-1995 and 2001-2003 Periods, by Length of Spell

Figure ECON 5. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the 1993-1995 and 2001-2003 Periods, 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 between 2001 and 2003 ended within four months, and 77 percent ended within one year. Only 15 percent of all such spells were longer than 20 months, as shown in Table ECON 5a.
  • 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 2001-2003 Period, by Length of Spell, Race/Ethnicity and Age

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months

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.

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

Table ECON 5b. Percentage of Poverty Spells for Individuals Entering Poverty during the Selected Time Periods, by Length of Spell and Panel

 Spells <=4 MonthsSpells 5-12 MonthsSpells 13-20 MonthsSpells >20 Months
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1993, 1996 and 2001 panels.
1993 – 199547.328.18.915.7
1996 – 199951.329.08.311.4
2001 – 200349.227.77.715.5

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

ECONOMIC SECURITY RISK FACTOR 6. CHILD SUPPORT

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 nonresident parents. This amount represents current year support received for a twelvemonth 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.
 Collections (billions)Total (percent)
Current $Constant 03$

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 ASPE-published 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.

2001Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:   
    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
2001Receiving 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
1999Families 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 Families20.122.2100
1997Families 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
1995Families 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
1993Families 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

Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Food Insecurity

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2005

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2005

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2005.


  • Many American households (89 percent) were food secure in 2005 – that is, showed little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • The prevalence of very low food security in 2005 was estimated to be 3.9 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2005, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and normal eating patterns disrupted as a result of financial constraints. An additional 7 percent of households experienced food insecurity, during the twelve months ending in December 2004. Food insecurity would be lower if measured over a monthly basis.
  • Poor households and female-headed households have higher rates of very low food security (13.5 and 8.7 percent, respectively) than the 3.9 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 7a.
  • The percentage of households with food insecurity has decreased between 2004 and 2005 (11.9 and 11.0 percent, respectively). This reverses a five year trend, as shown in Table ECON 7b.

Table ECON 7a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2005

  Food Insecurity
 Food SecureAllLowVery Low

Note: Food secure households had consistent access to enough food for active, healthy lives for all household members at all times during the year. Households with very low food security reported reduced food intake of some household members and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because of the lack of money and other resources. Households with low food security obtained enough food to avoid substantial disruptions in eating patterns and food intake, using a variety of coping strategies, such as eating less varied diets, participating in Federal food assistance programs, or getting emergency food from community food pantries or emergency kitchens. 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, 2005. Data are from the Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement.

All Households89.011.07.03.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White91.88.25.22.9
Non-Hispanic Black77.622.413.88.6
Hispanic82.117.912.65.3
Households, by Age
Households with Children under 683.316.712.93.9
Households with Children under 1884.415.611.64.1
Households with Elderly94.06.04.21.8
Household Categories   
Married-Couple Households90.19.97.62.3
Female-Headed Households69.230.822.28.7
Male-Headed Households82.117.912.45.5
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio
Under 1.0064.036.022.413.5
Under 1.3066.833.220.612.6
Under 1.8571.728.317.710.6
1.85 and over94.85.23.61.7

Table ECON 7b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1998-2005

  Food Insecurity
 Food SecureAllLowVery Low
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2005.
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
200589.011.07.03.9

Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Lack of Health Insurance

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2005

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income: 2005

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006.


  • Poor persons were almost twice as likely as all persons to be without health insurance in 2005 (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, age or family status.
  • Hispanics were the ethnic group least likely to have health insurance in 2005, 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, there was less variation in insurance coverage rates across education levels than there was among all persons, as shown in Figure ECON 8.
  • As shown in Table ECON 8, more than half of poor people ages 25 to 34 were without health insurance. Among the general population, individuals ages 18 to 24 were the most likely to be without health insurance.
  • Among all persons, individuals in married families were more likely to have health insurance than those in female or male-headed households. People in poor married families, however, were less likely to have insurance than those in poor female or male-headed families, as shown in Table ECON 8.

Table ECON 8. Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance, by Income and Selected Characteristics: 2005

 All PersonsPoor Persons

Note: "Poor persons" are defined as those with total family incomes at or below the federal poverty threshold. 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 reports prior to 2006, 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, 2006.

All Persons15.931.0
 
Men17.233.3
Women14.529.3
   
Non-Hispanic White11.326.6
Non-Hispanic Black19.326.3
Hispanic32.742.5
 
Not a High School Graduate30.138.4
High School Graduate, No College20.339.0
College Graduate8.332.4
 
Ages 17 and under11.219.0
    Ages 5 and under10.816.8
    Ages 6-1110.217.9
    Ages 12-1712.622.9
 
Ages 18-2430.645.9
Ages 25-3426.450.9
Ages 35-4418.845.8
Ages 45-5415.337.5
Ages 55-6413.629.1
 
Under 65 years17.934.0
Ages 65 and over1.33.9
 
Persons in Married-Couple Families12.333.8
Persons in Female-Headed Families22.225.5
Persons in Male-Headed Families25.629.1
Unrelated Individuals19.733.6

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 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: 2005

Figure WORK 1. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants by Race/Ethnicity: 2005

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006.


  • In 2005, 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.
  • 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 2005 (9 percent compared to 15 and 17 percent, respectively).
  • Working-age women in 2005 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).
  • More than 80 percent of individuals in married families lived with at least one full-time, fullyear worker in 2005, compared to only about 60 percent in male or female-headed households, as shown in Table WORK 1a.

Table WORK 1a. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2005

 No One in LF During YearAt Least One in LF No One FT/FYAt Least One FT/FY Worker

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, 1991-2006.

All Persons13.714.172.2
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White14.713.272.1
Non-Hispanic Black16.718.864.5
Hispanic8.714.277.2
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-56.215.478.4
Children Ages 6-106.414.179.6
Children Ages 11-156.213.680.1
Women Ages 16-648.214.877.0
Men Ages 16-645.912.881.3
Adults Ages 65 and over63.615.221.3
Family Structure
Individuals in married families9.39.980.8
Individuals in female-headed families14.626.159.3
Individuals in male-headed families14.623.861.6
Unrelated individuals29.718.352.0

Table WORK 1b. Percentage of Individuals in Families with Labor Force Participants: Selected Years

 No One in LF During YearAt Least One in LF No One FT/FYAt Least One FT/FY Worker
See above for note and source.
199013.717.668.7
199114.318.167.6
199214.418.167.6
199314.117.968.0
199613.616.170.3
199713.415.770.9
199813.314.672.1
199912.614.473.1
200012.813.873.3
200113.314.472.4
200413.914.471.7
200513.714.172.2

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

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed at Any Time during Year, by Race/Ethnicity: 1968-2005

Figure WORK 2. Percentage of Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed at Any Time during Year, by Race/Ethnicity: 1968-2005

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1969-2006.


  • 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 2005) 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 (66 percent in 2005 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 3 percentage points higher than those of similarly educated non-Hispanic black women in 2005. In contrast, there was a 14 percentage point difference in employment levels of non-Hispanic white men and women with a high school education or less, and a 30 percentage point difference between similarly educated Hispanic men and women.

Table WORK 2. Percentage of Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed, by Race/Ethnicity: 1968-2005

 WomenMen
 Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanicNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic

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, 1969-2006.

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
200566.363.356.180.766.385.6

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/Ethnicity (2005 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/Ethnicity (2005 Dollars): Selected Years

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1981-2006.


  • 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 2005 ($477 compared to $597).
  • Non-Hispanic white women have had the highest average weekly wages among low-skilled women working full-time, full-year reaching $570 in 2005. This level is a 19 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 (9 percent and 5 percent, respectively).
  • Average weekly wages for all low-skilled workers decreased from 2004 to 2005. Wages for Hispanic men decreased the most during this time period ($551 compared to $531), while low-skilled non-Hispanic black women had the smallest drop in wages ($480 compared to $477).
  • Over the past two decades, both Hispanic women and men’s wages have lagged behind non-Hispanic whites and blacks among low-skilled, full-time workers. In 2005, Hispanic women’s wages were 25 percent lower than non-Hispanic white women and 10 percent lower than non-Hispanic black women. Hispanic men trailed non-Hispanic white men by 33 percent and non-Hispanic black men by 11 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/Ethnicity (2005 Dollars): Selected Years

 WomenMen
 Non-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanicNon-Hispanic WhiteNon-Hispanic BlackHispanic

Note: Full-time, full-year workers work at least 48 weeks per year and usually work 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, 1981-2006.

1980479438410792589597
1981470425417783583589
1982475431414765565565
1983474430410755544571
1984480447417773544576
1985493447411767568565
1986497447432781568548
1987508468420784582549
1988509452420781611554
1989507477431766571537
1990510467409738570525
1991502453407723566504
1992513458424733558519
1993509444412719551505
1994518460416731566502
1995523460404756574504
1996529487419778599502
1997535457428789599540
1998556464431771605537
1999535466424795648536
2000554472414817643547
2001562495433807620550
2002573510437806626574
2003593490445809639540
2004582480436805602551
2005570477430796597531

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 4. Educational Attainment

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2005

Figure WORK 4. Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over, by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2005

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


  • There has been a notable decline over the past 45 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 2005.
  • 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 2005, 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 2005.
  • The percentage of the population completing four or more years of college has more than tripled from 1960 to 2005, 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 GraduateHigh School Graduate, 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
200515322528

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. Census Bureau, “Educational Attainment in the United States: 2005,” 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: 2003 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 to 4.0 percent in 2003.
  • The 2002 dropout rate of 3.6 percent was the lowest rate in thirty years.
  • 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 2003, the dropout rate was 7.1 percent for Hispanic teens, compared to 4.8 percent for non-Hispanic black teens and 3.2 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

Note: Beginning in 1987, the U.S. Census Bureau 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, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other 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: 2003 and earlier years (based on Current Population Survey data from the October supplement).

19726.15.39.511.2
19736.35.59.910.0
19746.75.811.69.9
19755.85.08.710.9
19765.95.67.47.3
19776.56.18.67.8
19786.75.810.212.3
19796.76.09.99.8
19806.15.28.211.7
19815.94.89.710.7
19825.54.77.89.2
19835.24.47.010.1
19845.14.45.711.1
19855.24.37.89.8
19864.73.75.411.9
19874.13.56.45.4
19884.84.25.910.4
19894.53.57.87.8
19904.03.35.07.9
19914.03.26.07.3
19924.43.75.08.2
19934.53.95.86.7
19945.34.26.610.0
19955.74.56.412.3
19965.04.16.79.0
19974.63.65.09.5
19984.83.95.29.4
19995.04.06.57.8
20004.84.16.17.4
20015.04.16.38.8
20023.62.64.95.8
20034.03.24.87.1

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: 2005

Figure WORK 6. Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol, by Age: 2005

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2006.


In 2005, 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 ages 18 to 25 reported using marijuana in the past month during 2005, compared with 9 percent of adults ages 26 to 34 and 3 percent of adults ages 35 and older.

The percentage of persons reporting binge alcohol use was significantly larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors across all age groups, as shown in Table WORK 6.

Among young adults, heavy drinking and marijuana and cocaine use increased between 2004 and 2005 while heavy drinking and marijuana use declined 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: 1999-2005

 1999200020012002200320042005

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. “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, 2000-2006.

Cocaine       
Ages 18-251.71.41.92.02.22.12.6
Ages 26-341.20.81.11.21.51.41.3
Ages 35 and over0.40.30.50.60.60.50.6
 
Marijuana       
Ages 18-2514.213.616.017.317.016.116.6
Ages 26-345.45.96.87.78.48.38.6
Ages 35 and over2.22.32.43.13.03.13.0
 
Binge Alcohol Use       
Ages 18-2537.937.838.740.941.641.241.9
Ages 26-3429.330.330.133.132.932.232.9
Ages 35 and over16.016.416.218.618.118.518.3
 
Heavy Alcohol Use       
Ages 18-2513.312.813.614.915.115.115.3
Ages 26-347.57.67.89.09.49.49.6
Ages 35 and over4.24.14.25.25.15.34.7

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: 2005

Figure WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting an Activity Limitation by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2005

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the National Health Interview Survey, 2006.


  • In 2005, non-elderly adults were more likely than children to have an activity limitation, 10.7 percent compared to 7.4 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 2005 (6.2 percent compared to 4.7 percent), as shown in Table WORK 7.
  • For both non-elderly adults and children, the percentage of non-Hispanic blacks with an activity limitation was higher than the percentages for non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics. Non-Hispanic black adults and children also were more likely to receive disability program benefits than non-Hispanic white and Hispanic adults and children in 2005, as shown in Table WORK 7.
  • Among non-elderly adults, rates of work disability and long-term care needs were lower for Hispanics than for non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks, as shown in Table WORK 7.

Table WORK 7. Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting a Disability, by Race/Ethnicity and Age: 2005

 Activity LimitationWork DisabilityLong-Term Care NeedsDisability Program Recipient

Note: Respondents were defined as having an activity limitation if they answered positively to any of the questions regarding: (1) work disability (see definition below); (2) long-term care needs (see definition below); (3) difficulty walking; (4) difficulty remembering; (5) for children under 5, limitations in the amount of play activities they can participate in because of physical, mental or emotional problems; (6) for children 3 and over, receipt of Special Educational or Early Intervention Services; and, (7) any other limitations due to physical, mental or emotional problems. Work disability is defined as limitations in or the inability to work as a result of a physical, mental or emotional health condition. Individuals are identified as having long-term care needs if they need the help of others in handling either personal care needs (eating, bathing, dressing, getting around the home) or routine needs (household chores, shopping, getting around for business or other purposes). Disability program recipients include persons covered by Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Special Education Services, Early Intervention Services and/or disability pensions.

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, 2006.

All Persons    
Adults Ages 18-6410.78.12.14.7
Children Ages 0-177.4NANA6.2
 
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Adults Ages 18-64)    
Non-Hispanic White11.38.72.14.6
Non-Hispanic Black13.510.33.07.6
Hispanic7.25.41.43.1
 
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Children Ages 0-17)    
Non-Hispanic White7.6NANA6.2
Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic8.9 6.4NA NANA NA7.5 5.5

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: 1975-2005

Figure WORK 8. Labor Force Participation of Women with Children under 18: 1975-2005

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1976-2006.


  • The labor force participation rates for married and for divorced, separated or widowed mothers decreased between 2004 and 2005, as shown in Figure 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 rate for never-married mothers increased from 43 percent in 1992 to 62 percent in 2005, 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 2005, the labor force participation rate of divorced, separated or widowed mothers was 80 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.
  • While the labor force participation rate of married mothers decreased last year, the employment rate, which excludes women laid off or unemployed but looking for work, increased slightly.

Table WORK 8. Employment Status of Women with Children under 18 Years of Age: 1975-2005

 Labor Force Participation Rate (percent of population)Employment Rate
 Married, Spouse PresentDivorced, Separated or WidowedNever-MarriedMarried, Spouse PresentDivorced, Separated or WidowedNever-Married

Notes: The Labor Force Participation Rate includes all women who are employed, laid off or unemployed but looking for work. The Employment Rate 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, 1976-2006.

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
200568.179.872.966.074.462.0

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factors (BIRTH)

The final group of risk factors addresses out-of-wedlock childbearing. The tables and figures in this subsection are labeled with the BIRTH prefix. This category includes long-term time trends in nonmarital births (BIRTH 1), nonmarital teen births (BIRTH 2 and BIRTH 3), and children living in families with never-married parents (BIRTH 4). Children living in families with nevermarried 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 discussion on dependence 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: 1940-2005

Figure BIRTH 1. Percentage of Births that are Nonmarital, by Age Group: 1940-2005

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 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2006, and preliminary data for 2005 published at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/Default.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 37 percent in 2005. This increase reflects changes in several factors: the rate at which unmarried women have children, the rate at which married women have children and the rate at which women marry.
  • The percentage of children born outside of marriage is especially high among teen women and women ages 20-24. A little more than four-fifths (83 percent) of all births to teens and over half (56 percent) of all births to women ages 20-24 took place outside of marriage in 2005.
  • After reaching a plateau of 33 percent in 1994, the percentage of births that are nonmarital has inched up, with notable increases in the last three years. The growth in the percentage of nonmarital teen births also slowed in the mid-1990s and has increased since 1994 (from 76 to 83 percent). The steepest growth between 1994 and 2005 has been among the 20 to 24 year old age group, where the percentage of births that are nonmarital has increased from 45 to 56 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

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 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2006, and preliminary data for 2005 published at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/Default.htm.

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
200497.490.378.782.654.835.8
2005 prel.97.990.479.183.055.936.8

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 2. Nonmarital Teen Births

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race/Ethnicity 1940-2004

Figure BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race/Ethnicity 1940-2004

Note: Prior to 1969, race data were available for Whites and Non-Whites only.

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 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), 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 over the last six years, from 9.7 to 8.3 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.

Among black women, the percentage of all births that were nonmarital teen births fell to 16.0 percent in 2004, 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 percentage of all births that were nonmarital teen births increased slightly for whites (from 7.1 to 7.2 percent) and Hispanics (from 10.7 to 10.9 percent) between 2003 and 2004.

Table BIRTH 2. Percentage of All Births that are Nonmarital Teen Births, by Race/Ethnicity: Selected Years

YearAll RacesWhiteBlackHispanic

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 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (2), September 2006.

19401.70.8NANA
19501.60.6NANA
19551.70.7NANA
19602.00.9NANA
19653.31.6NANA
19694.72.417.5NA
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
20048.37.216.010.9

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: 1960-2004

Figure BIRTH 3a. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17, by Race: 1960-2004

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2004

Figure BIRTH 3b. Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19, by Race: 1960-2004

Note: Prior to 1969, race data were available for Whites and Non-Whites only.

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 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2006.


  • The birth rate per 1,000 unmarried teens fell again in 2004 for both black and white teens 15 to 17 years. The rates of teens in the older age groups (18 and 19 years) showed little change. The rate for black teens ages 15 to 17 has been cut by more than half from 80 per thousand in 1991 to 37 per thousand in 2004, and for blacks ages 18 and 19, the rate fell from 148 per thousand in 1991 to 101 per thousand in 2004.
  • 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 15 to 17 years was lower in 2004 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: 1950-2004

 Ages 15 to 17Ages 18 and 19
YearAll RacesWhiteBlackAll RacesWhiteBlack

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 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2006. Birthrates for 1950 to 1965 computed by ASPE staff from NCHS birth data and Census population estimates.

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
199130.821.779.965.449.4147.7
199230.221.577.266.751.1146.4
199330.321.975.966.151.9140.0
199431.723.973.969.155.7139.6
199530.123.367.466.554.6129.2
199628.522.362.664.953.4127.2
199727.722.059.063.952.8124.8
199826.521.555.063.753.0121.5
199925.020.750.062.452.8115.8
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
200420.117.137.057.750.4100.9

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 4. Never-married Family Status

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2006

Figure BIRTH 4. Percentage of All Children Living in Families with a Never-Married Female Head by Race/Ethnicity: 1982-2006

Source of CPS data: U.S. Census Bureau, “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 2006.

Source of 1960 data: U.S. Census Bureau, 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 5 percent in 1982 to 11 percent in 2006.
  • The percentage of white children living in families headed by never-married women has steadily increased threefold over the past twenty years, from 2 percent in 1982 to 6 percent in 2006.
  • Among Hispanics, the percentage of children living with never-married female heads tripled over the past 25 years, going from 4 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 2004. Over the past three years, however, the percentage has remained stable at 12 percent.
  • The percentage of black children (35 percent) living in families headed by never-married women has been much higher than the percentages for other groups throughout the time period (6 percent for white children and 12 percent for Hispanic children).

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

Note: Data are for all children under 18 who are not family heads (excludes householders, subfamily reference persons and their spouses). Inmates of institutions also are excluded. 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. Census Bureau, “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. Census Bureau, 1960 Census of Population, PC(2)-4B, “Persons by Family Characteristics,” Tables 1
and 19.

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
20067,4433,2633,5571,67710.66.035.012.0

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). Enacted 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 $2.9 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 families 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 are subject to the same work requirements as regular TANF families, but may still be excluded from time limits. 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 Figures TANF 1 and TANF 2, 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 2005, the average monthly number of TANF recipients was 5.1 million persons, down 4.7 percent from FY 2004. Moreover, this was 59 percent lower than the average monthly AFDC caseload in fiscal year 1996 and the smallest number of people on welfare since 1967. 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 2005.3 Over three-fourths of the reduction in the caseload since March 1994 has occurred following the passage of Welfare Reform in August 1996 (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 2005 the average monthly benefit per recipient had declined to 69 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 2005, 23 percent of TANF adult recipients were employed, down from 26 percent in 2000, but up from 11 percent in FY 1996 and 7 percent in FY 1992, as shown in Table TANF 7. Adding in those in work experience and community service positions, the percentage working was 31 percent in FY 20054 (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 8 in Chapter III for trends in employment rates for women with children under age 18.)

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 45.5 percent in FY 2005. Not counting cases with a sanctioned parent, 42.6 percent of the caseload was child-only in 2005. 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. The number of cases without an adult in the assistance unit has fallen by about 108,000 since 1996 — between 1996 and 1998 the child-only caseload decreased by 254,000 but subsequently increased by 146,000.

In other areas, TANF 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 TANF 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 2006 ranges from 96 percent (Wyoming) to 27 percent (Nebraska). Twelve 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 7 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 of 1996. Shaded areas indicate NBER designated periods of recession from peak to trough. The decrease in number of families receiving assistance during the 1981-82 recession stems from changes in eligibility requirements and other policy changes mandated by OBRA 1981. Beginning in 2000, “Total Families” includes TANF and SSP families. Last data point plotted is June 2006.

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 2005 Dollars

Figure TANF 2. Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Benefit per Recipient in Constant 2005 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 2005 dollars with the weighted average maximum benefit in current and constant 2005 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 Seventh TANF Annual Report to Congress, 2006.

Table TANF 1. Trends in AFDC/TANF Caseloads: 1962-2005

 Average Monthly Number (thousands)  
Fiscal YearTotal Families 1AFDC UP 2 Two-Parent FamiliesTANF Two-Parent FamiliesTotal RecipientsChild RecipientsChildren as a Percent of Total  RecipientsAverage 1 Number of Children per Family
1962...........92448NA3,5932,77877.33.0
1964...........98460NA4,0593,04375.03.1
1965...........1,03769NA4,3233,24275.03.1
1966...........1,07462NA4,4723,36975.33.1
1967...........1,14158NA4,7183,56075.53.1
1968...........1,31067NA5,3494,01375.03.1
1969...........1,53966NA6,1464,59174.73.0
1970...........1,90678NA7,4155,48474.02.9
1971...........2,531143NA9,5576,96372.92.8
1972...........2,918134NA10,6327,69872.42.6
1973...........3,123120NA11,0387,96772.22.6
1974...........3,17093NA10,8457,82572.22.5
1975...........3,357100NA11,0677,95271.92.4
1976...........3,575135NA11,3868,05470.72.3
1977...........3,593149NA11,1307,84670.52.2
1978...........3,539128NA10,6727,49270.22.1
1979...........3,496114NA10,3187,19769.82.1
1980...........3,642141NA10,5977,32069.12.0
1981...........3,871209NA11,1607,61568.22.0
1982...........3,569232NA10,4316,97566.92.0
1983...........3,651272NA10,6597,05166.11.9
1984...........3,725287NA10,8667,15365.81.9
1985...........3,692261NA10,8137,16566.31.9
1986...........3,748254NA10,9977,30066.41.9
1987...........3,784236NA11,0657,38166.72.0
1988...........3,748210NA10,9207,32567.12.0
1989...........3,771193NA10,9347,37067.42.0
1990...........3,974204NA11,4607,75567.72.0
1991...........4,374268NA12,5928,51367.61.9
1992...........4,768322NA13,6259,22667.71.9
1993...........4,981359NA14,1439,56067.61.9
1994...........5,046363NA14,2269,61167.61.9
1995...........4,871335NA13,6609,28067.91.9
1996...........4,543301NA12,6458,67268.61.9
1997 2.........3,937256NA10,9357,781 371.2 32.0 3
1998...........3,200NA1628,7906,27371.42.0
1999...........2,674NA1257,1885,31974.02.0
2000...........2,356NA1326,3244,59872.72.0
2001...........2,200NA1195,7614,22573.31.9
2002...........2,195NA1185,6564,14973.31.9
2003...........2,181NA1165,5184,07573.91.9
2004...........2,160NA1135,3753,99374.31.8
2005...........2,098NA1085,1243,82474.61.8

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 for 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: 1970-2005

Calendar Year 1Total Recipients inthe States & DC (thousands)Child Recipients in the States & DC (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
19708,3036,1044.032.78.758.5
197110,0437,3034.839.310.569.2
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
198010,5997,2954.736.211.563.2
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
20006,0434,4152.119.16.138.1
20015,6314,1402.017.15.735.3
20025,5294,0831.916.05.633.6
20035,4244,0251.915.15.531.3
20045,2813,9351.814.35.430.2
20054,9833,7321.713.55.128.9

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 and likewise for child 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 P60-231 (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. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-231 (available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Table TANF 3. TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2000-2005

[In thousands]

Fiscal YearTANFSSPTotal
Families
20002,265912,356
20012,117822,200
20022,0651292,195
20032,0321492,181
20041,9871732,160
20051,9291692,098
All Recipients
20005,9433806,324
20015,4233385,761
20025,1495085,656
20034,9675515,518
20044,7835925,375
20054,5565695,124
Child Recipients
20004,3702284,598
20014,0232024,225
20023,8413084,149
20033,7313444,075
20043,6183753,993
20053,4653593,824

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: 1970-2005

[In millions of dollars]

 Federal Funds
(current dollars)
State Funds
(current dollars)
Total
(current dollars)
Total
(constant 2005 dollars1)
Fiscal YearBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdmin
1970$2,187$572 2$1,895$309$4,082$881 218,4453,981
19713,0082712,4692545,47752523,6932,271
19723,612240 32,9422416,554481 327,3782,009
19733,8653133,1382967,00361028,0972,447
19744,0713793,3003627,37174027,2382,735
19754,6255523,7875298,4121,08228,3323,644
19765,2585414,4185279,6761,06930,5073,370
19775,6265954,76258310,3881,17730,4883,454
19785,7246314,89861710,6211,24829,2443,436
19795,8256834,95466810,7791,35027,2913,418
19806,4487505,50872911,9561,47927,2813,375
19816,9288355,91781412,8451,64826,6553,420
19826,9228785,93487812,8571,75624,9873,413
19837,3329156,27591513,6071,83025,3103,404
19847,7078766,66482214,3711,69825,7133,038
19857,8178906,76388914,5801,77925,2063,076
19868,2399936,99696715,2351,96025,7393,311
19878,9141,0817,4091,05216,3232,13326,8683,511
19889,1251,1947,5381,15916,6632,35326,4393,734
19899,4331,2117,8071,20617,2402,41726,2323,678
199010,1491,3588,3901,30318,5392,66126,9853,873
199111,1651,3739,1911,30020,3562,67328,3703,725
199212,2581,4599,9931,37822,2502,83730,2613,858
199312,2701,51810,0161,43822,2862,95629,5543,920
199412,5121,68010,2851,62122,7973,30129,5914,285
199512,0191,77010,0141,75122,0323,52127,9414,466
199611,0651,6339,3461,63320,4113,26625,2494,040
1997 49,7481,2737,7991,09817,5472,37121,1862,862
19987,5181,2317,0961,02814,6142,25917,3832,688
19996,4751,4076,97588413,4492,29115,7202,677
20005,4441,5705,7361,03211,1802,30212,6682,948
20014,7721,5985,3901,04210,1632,63911,1572,898
20024,5541,6334,8549839,4082,61710,1782,831
20035,8201,5924,39885910,2192,45110,8012,591
20044,7171,4715,65282810,3682,30010,7102,376
20055,1931,5075,54687010,7392,37710,7392,377

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 2005 level were made using a CPI-U-RS fiscal year price index.

2 Includes expenditures for services.

3 Administrative expenditures only.

4 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. 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 1997-2005

[In millions of dollars]

 Cash & Work-Based AssistanceWork ActivitiesChild CareTrans- portationAdministrationSystemsTransitional ServicesOther ExpendituresTotal Expenditures
Federal TANF Grants
19977,70846714872109086210,032
19987,16876325293822461,13610,487
19996,4751,2256041,070337171,59511,323
20005,4441,6061,5534961,3282422,71513,384
20014,7721,9831,5835221,3752234,32514,782
20024,5542,1211,5723391,3392944,36814,588
20035,8201,9371,6984341,3072854,77216,254
20044,7171,6131,4273541,2202514,81114,393
20055,1931,7021,2793931,2772304,08914,164
State Maintenance of Effort Expenditures in the TANF Program
19975,95531175270410199268,758
19986,879520890883138111,30110,623
19996,5415031,135743118231,33410,397
20005,4328841,893150921921,17010,541
20014,8876851,730113920831,1959,613
20023,9945821,860221877661,5549,154
20033,5975961,99373766601,4418,526
20044,7295011,878119721551,3309,333
20054,5374291,761111776461,4899,148
State Maintenance of Effort Expenditures in Separate State Programs
199769121110018210
199821631376128391
1999434262572200126865
2000305117317190431856
20015032834203814991,125
200286024722441-.56521,673
200380166-2233633-.38481,560
2004922404519521.11,0162,095
20051,0093615719461.99992,268
Total Expenditures
199713,7317908771,57721191,80519,000
199814,2641,2861,2801,828362172,46521,502
199913,4491,7541,9951,835456403,05522,585
200011,1802,5013,5196632,2673354,31624,781
200110,1632,6963,3476552,3333066,01925,520
20029,4082,7273,5045842,2583596,57425,414
200310,2192,5993,4685432,1063457,06026,340
200410,3682,1543,3504921,9923077,15725,821
200510,7392,1673,1975232,0992786,57725,580

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: 1962-2005

 Monthly Benefit per RecipientAverage Number of Persons per
Family
Monthly Benefit per Family
(not reduced by Child Support)
Weighted Average 1 Maximum Benefit
(per 3-person Family)
Fiscal YearCurrent Dollars2005 DollarsCurrent Dollars2005 DollarsCurrent Dollars2005 Dollars
1962$31$1743.9$121$676NANA
1963311724.0126694NANA
1964321734.1131714NANA
1965341804.2140752NANA
1966351844.2146765NANA
1967361854.1150765NANA
1968401954.1162798NANA
1969432054.0173819$186 2$885
1970462073.9178805194 2878
1971482073.8180780201 2870
1972512143.6187781205 2857
1973532123.5187750213 2854
1974572093.4194716229 2845
1975632133.3209703243818
1976712233.2226711257809
1977782283.1241707271796
1978832283.0250689284783
1979872203.0257651301762
1980942152.9274624320730
1981961992.9277574326676
19821032002.9300583331642
19831061982.9311578336625
19841101972.9322575352629
19851121942.9329569369638
19861151952.9339572383647
19871232022.9359592393648
19881272022.9370588403640
19891312002.9381580413628
19901351962.9389566420611
19911351882.9388541424591
19921361852.9389529419569
19931311742.8373494414549
19941341732.8376489416539
19951341702.8376478418531
19961351662.8374463419519
1997 31301572.8362437418505
19981301552.7358426429510
19991331552.7357417450526
20001331512.6349395446505
20011371512.6351386448492
20021461582.5364393452489
20031401532.4354374449475
20041501552.4360372462478
20051571572.4370370468468

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 for Needy Families (TANF) program. Beginning in 1997, average monthly benefits are calculated from case-level data rather than by dividing aggregate expenditures on cash assistance by aggregate caseloads, as in the past. This change was necessary due to uncertainty about the extent to which states may be reporting 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 1969-2005

 MayMayMarchFiscal Year 1
 1969197519791983198819921996200020022005
Avg. Family Size (persons)4.03.23.03.03.02.92.82.62.52.4
Number of Child Recipients
    One26.637.942.343.442.542.543.944.247.049.2
    Two23.026.028.129.830.230.229.928.428.027.2
    Three17.716.115.615.215.815.515.015.314.213.6
    Four or More32.520.013.910.19.910.19.210.18.98.0
    UnknownNANANA1.51.70.71.32.01.91.9
Families with No Adult in Asst. Unit10.112.514.68.39.614.821.534.439.045.5
    Child-Only Families 232.736.642.6
Families with Non-Recipients33.134.8NA36.936.838.949.9
Median Months on AFDC/TANF
    Since Most Recent Opening23.031.029.026.026.322.523.6
Presence of Assistance
    Living in Public Housing12.814.6NA10.09.69.28.817.719.218.4
    Participating in Food Stamp or Donated Food Program52.975.175.183.084.687.389.379.980.181.5
Presence of Income
    With EarningsNA14.612.85.78.47.411.123.6 321.8 319.5 3
    No Non-AFDC/TANF Income56.071.180.686.879.678.976.071.6 372.8 375.3 3
Adult Employment Status (percent of adults)
    Employed6.611.326.425.323.2
    Unemployed49.247.250.4
    Not in Labor Force24.327.526.4
Adult Women's Employment Status (percent of adult female recipients):4
    Full-Time Job8.210.48.71.52.22.24.7
    Part-Time Job6.35.75.43.44.24.25.4
Marital Status (percent of adults)
    Single65.366.668.8
    Married12.411.510.7
    Separated13.113.011.8
    Widowed0.70.70.6
    Divorced8.58.28.1
Basis for Child's Eligibility (percent children):
    Incapacitated11.7 57.75.33.43.74.14.3
    Unemployed4.6 53.74.18.76.58.28.3
    Death5.5 53.72.21.81.81.61.6
    Divorce or Separation43.3 548.344.738.534.630.024.3
    Absent, No Marriage Tie27.9 531.037.844.351.953.158.6
    Absent, Other Reason3.5 54.05.91.41.62.02.4
    Unknown1.70.90.6

Note: Figures are percentages of families/cases unless noted otherwise.

1 Percentages are based on the average monthly TANF caseload during the year. Hawaii and the territories are not included in 1983. Data after 1986 include the territories and Hawaii. Unlike most of the figures in this report, this table does not include families from Separate State Programs (SSP).

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

3 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
selected years.

Table TANF 8. AFDC/TANF Benefits, by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1978-2005

[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 $10,753
Alabama$78$74$68$62$62$92$44$36$33$47
Alaska173746546011377555541
Arizona306779103138266145107130160
Arkansas51394853575726342618
California1,8133,2073,5744,0914,9556,0884,1283,6432,6083,504
Colorado7410710712513715880485375
Connecticut168226223218295397305166128126
Delaware28282524294024201919
Dist. of Columbia917577768412697726766
Florida145251261318418806357234256199
Georgia103149223266321428313180109117
Hawaii83837377991631531418582
Idaho2121191920306357
Illinois699845886815839914771269146122
Indiana11815314816717022810487146113
Iowa107159170155152169104797676
Kansas7387919710512341435065
Kentucky122135104143179198147104101105
Louisiana97145162182188168103586751
Maine5169848010110880736690
Maryland166229250250296314192196227124
Massachusetts476406471558630730442336279332
Michigan7801,2141,2481,2311,2111,132589386326412
Minnesota164287322338355379276193184137
Mississippi33587485868260183727
Missouri152196209215228287180139148125
Montana15273741404930213120
Nebraska38566256596241415254
Nevada8101620274839284833
New Hampshire21162021326239322935
New Jersey489485509459451531372222194441
New Mexico32495156611441041138275
New York1,6891,9162,0992,1402,2592,9132,1491,5541,4651,762
North Carolina138149138206247353211140139108
North Dakota14162022242622121011
Ohio4417258048058771,016546368336316
Oklahoma748510011913216572784533
Oregon1481011201281451971413469105
Pennsylvania726724389747798935523573338407
Rhode Island59717982991361171058972
South Carolina5275103919611552913573
South Dakota18171521222514101112
Tennessee7783100125168215108146132121
Texas122229281344416544315248203181
Utah41525561647750404145
Vermont21404040486547393836
Virginia136165179169177253123186101143
Washington175294375401438610450312295262
West Virginia537510910711012652497143
Wisconsin2605194445064404251457126115
Wyoming613161919217927

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

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 2005 Family Assistance Grants Awarded under PRWORA

[In millions of dollars]

StateFY 1996 Grants for AFDC, EA & JOBS 1FY 2005 Family Assistance Grants & Supplemental 2FY 2005 Bonus Awards 3FY 2005 Total AwardsIncrease of FY 2005 over FY 1996 LevelPercent Increase from FY 1996 Level
United States$15,067$16,667$325$16,989$1,92213
Alabama$79.0$104.4$0.0$104.0$25.032
Alaska60.758.92.761.60.91
Arizona200.6226.10.3226.425.813
Arkansas54.363.02.865.811.521
California3,545.63,681.012.93,693.9148.44
Colorado138.9149.60.0149.610.78
Connecticut221.1266.80.0266.845.721
Delaware30.232.31.033.33.110
Dist. of Columbia77.192.624.9117.540.452
Florida504.7622.70.0622.7118.023
Georgia301.2368.04.0372.070.823
Hawaii98.498.90.399.20.91
Idaho31.333.90.033.92.68
Illinois593.8585.10.8585.8-8.0-1
Indiana121.4206.87.4214.292.977
Iowa129.3131.56.3137.88.57
Kansas86.9101.90.1102.115.117
Kentucky171.6181.30.0181.39.66
Louisiana122.4181.04.6185.663.252
Maine73.278.13.081.27.911
Maryland207.6229.10.0229.121.510
Massachusetts372.0459.49.2468.696.526
Michigan581.5775.45.2780.5199.034
Minnesota239.3265.313.4278.739.416
Mississippi68.695.81.897.629.042
Missouri207.9217.110.9227.920.010
Montana39.241.22.343.54.311
Nebraska56.257.80.057.81.63
Nevada41.247.70.047.46.115
New Hampshire36.038.51.940.44.412
New Jersey353.4404.00.5404.651.214
New Mexico129.9117.10.0115.2-14.7-11
New York2,332.72,442.944.42,487.3154.67
North Carolina311.9338.30.0338.326.58
North Dakota24.526.41.327.73.213
Ohio564.5728.014.7742.6178.232
Oklahoma125.1147.66.2153.828.723
Oregon146.4166.81.1167.921.515
Pennsylvania780.1719.54.7724.2-56.0-7
Rhode Island82.995.02.997.915.018
South Carolina99.4100.025.0125.025.526
South Dakota19.721.30.421.72.010
Tennessee178.9213.147.9260.982.046
Texas437.1539.05.9544.9107.725
Utah68.084.328.7113.045.066
Vermont42.447.41.148.56.114
Virginia134.6158.37.9166.231.623
Washington393.2383.69.0392.7-0.5-0
West Virginia95.1110.20.1110.315.216
Wisconsin241.6314.56.4320.979.433
Wyoming14.418.50.719.24.833

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 2005 Family Assistance Grants and Supplemental is net of the Tribal Grants amounts.

3 FY 2005 Bonus Awards include Out of Wedlock Bonus, High Performance Bonus, and Contingency Fund Grants but not penalties assessed.

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 2006 Peak

[In thousands]

StatePeak Caseload Oct ‘89 to June ’06Date Peak Occurred Oct ’89 to June ’06Sept ’96 AFDC CaseloadJune ’06 TANF & SSP CaseloadPercent Decline 1 Sept ’96 to June ’06Percent Decline Peak to June ’06
United States5,098Mar-944,3461,9035663
Alabama52.3Mar-9340.718.55465
Alaska13.4Apr-9412.33.67073
Arizona72.8Dec-9361.837.83948
Arkansas27.1Mar-9222.17.96471
California933.1Mar-95870.3486.94448
Colorado43.7Dec-9333.614.15868
Connecticut61.9Mar-9557.121.86265
Delaware11.8Apr-9410.55.44854
Dist. of Columbia27.5Apr-9425.115.33944
Florida259.9Nov-92200.350.87580
Georgia142.8Nov-93120.929.27680
Hawaii23.4Jun-9721.99.25861
Idaho9.5Mar-958.41.87981
Illinois243.1Aug-94217.836.18385
Indiana76.1Sep-9349.743.51343
Iowa40.7Apr-9431.121.23248
Kansas30.8Aug-9323.417.02745
Kentucky84.0Mar-9370.432.65461
Louisiana94.7May-9066.510.68489
Maine24.4Aug-9319.711.44253
Maryland81.8May-9568.919.37276
Massachusetts115.7Aug-9384.347.14459
Michigan233.6Apr-91167.583.25064
Minnesota66.2Jun-9257.230.94653
Mississippi61.8Nov-9145.212.67280
Missouri93.7Mar-9479.143.14654
Montana12.3Mar-949.83.86269
Nebraska17.2Mar-9314.412.51327
Nevada16.3Mar-9513.26.94858
New Hampshire11.8Apr-948.96.23047
New Jersey132.6Nov-92100.841.85968
New Mexico34.9Nov-9433.016.35153
New York463.7Dec-94412.7174.35862
North Carolina134.1Mar-94107.529.27378
North Dakota6.6Apr-934.72.74259
Ohio269.8Mar-92201.978.36171
Oklahoma51.3Mar-9335.39.97281
Oregon43.8Apr-9328.518.53558
Pennsylvania212.5Sep-94180.192.84856
Rhode Island22.9Apr-9420.512.24147
South Carolina54.6Jan-9342.917.65968
South Dakota7.4Apr-935.72.85061
Tennessee112.6Nov-9396.268.22939
Texas287.5Dec-93238.867.97276
Utah18.7Mar-9314.07.14962
Vermont10.3Apr-928.74.74654
Virginia76.0Apr-9460.534.34355
Washington104.8Feb-9596.854.74348
West Virginia41.9Apr-9337.610.97174
Wisconsin82.9Jan-9249.918.36378
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]

 19651970198019901994199620002005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States4,3237,41510,59711,46014,22612,6456,3245,124-50-19
Alabama781231801301321054649-566
Alaska58152038362212-38-46
Arizona4051511242011728799-4914
Arkansas3045857169582919-50-36
California5281,1481,3871,9022,6392,6261,5741,256-40-20
Colorado426677102119992938-7133
Connecticut59831391201661627353-55-27
Delaware1220322127231313-43-2
Dist. of Columbia2040854974704743-33-8
Florida106204256370669561158113-72-29
Georgia7119822129339335312991-64-29
Guam1254781011269
Hawaii142560446267753112-58
Idaho10162117232323-9043
Illinois26236867263671265525698-61-62
Indiana4873157154216148103136-3031
Iowa446410498110895452-39-4
Kansas3653687787683246-5446
Kentucky811291671752081758975-49-15
Louisiana1042022132822482367537-68-50
Maine1936605664563232-420
Maryland801312121862222047763-62-18
Massachusetts94208350263307237102104-573
Michigan162253685655666527207215-614
Minnesota517613517118717111687-32-25
Mississippi831151731791591293435-743
Missouri107140199211263232131118-44-10
Montana713192935311312-58-6
Nebraska1630354345402835-3025
Nevada512122338381619-5819
New Hampshire49221630241415-425
New Jersey104286459309335288138118-52-15
New Mexico305153571021017245-28-37
New York5171,0521,1009811,2551,184724490-39-32
North Carolina11112419822333327810068-64-32
North Dakota8111316161387-44-2
Ohio183266513632685546245179-55-27
Oklahoma7395891121311053628-66-22
Oregon317510289114873945-5515
Pennsylvania303426629521620544250253-541
Puerto Rico2022231681901831559242-40-55
Rhode Island2438524663585035-15-30
South Carolina30521531111401194143-655
South Dakota11162019191676-59-10
Tennessee76129162211300260147191-4330
Texas91214308611788684342214-50-38
Utah2233374550402323-441
Vermont512232228251613-36-22
Virgin Islands12334531-35-56
Virginia46871661511951627587-5316
Washington71109154228292274168144-39-14
West Virginia1169377111114953231-66-4
Wisconsin45792132372261704049-7621
Wyoming45714161311-91-52

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]

 19651970198019901994199620002005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States2.13.54.64.55.34.62.21.7-52-22
Alabama2.23.64.63.23.12.41.01.1-574
Alaska1.82.63.73.76.35.93.61.8-40-49
Arizona2.62.91.93.44.73.71.71.7-55-1
Arkansas1.52.33.73.02.82.31.10.7-52-38
California2.95.75.86.38.48.24.63.5-44-25
Colorado2.23.02.63.13.22.50.70.8-7323
Connecticut2.12.74.53.65.04.82.11.5-56-29
Delaware2.43.65.43.23.83.21.71.6-46-8
Dist. of Columbia2.55.313.38.112.612.38.27.8-33-5
Florida1.83.02.62.84.73.81.00.6-74-36
Georgia1.64.34.04.55.54.71.61.0-67-36
Hawaii1.93.26.23.95.25.56.12.511-60
Idaho1.42.22.21.62.01.90.20.2-9130
Illinois2.53.35.95.66.05.42.10.8-62-63
Indiana1.01.42.92.83.72.51.72.2-3227
Iowa1.62.33.63.53.93.11.91.8-40-5
Kansas1.62.42.93.13.42.61.21.7-5543
Kentucky2.54.04.64.75.44.52.21.8-51-18
Louisiana2.95.65.06.75.75.41.70.8-69-51
Maine1.93.65.44.55.24.52.52.5-43-3
Maryland2.23.35.03.94.44.01.51.1-64-22
Massachusetts1.83.76.14.45.03.81.61.6-582
Michigan2.02.97.47.06.95.42.12.1-622
Minnesota1.42.03.33.94.13.62.31.7-35-28
Mississippi3.65.26.96.95.94.71.21.2-750
Missouri2.43.04.04.14.94.32.32.0-45-13
Montana1.01.92.43.64.03.51.41.3-59-9
Nebraska1.12.02.22.72.82.41.62.0-3122
Nevada1.22.41.51.92.52.30.80.8-65-0
New Hampshire0.71.22.41.52.72.11.11.1-45-0
New Jersey1.54.06.24.04.23.51.61.3-54-18
New Mexico3.05.04.13.86.15.84.02.3-31-41
New York2.95.86.35.46.86.43.82.5-40-33
North Carolina2.22.43.43.44.63.71.20.8-67-37
North Dakota1.21.72.02.42.62.11.21.2-43-1
Ohio1.82.54.85.86.14.92.21.6-56-27
Oklahoma3.03.72.93.64.03.11.00.8-67-24
Oregon1.63.63.93.13.72.71.11.2-588
Pennsylvania2.63.65.34.45.14.42.02.0-540
Rhode Island2.74.05.54.66.25.74.73.2-17-32
South Carolina1.22.04.93.23.83.11.01.0-67-1
South Dakota1.62.42.92.72.62.20.90.8-59-13
Tennessee2.03.33.54.35.74.82.63.2-4624
Texas0.91.92.13.64.23.51.60.9-54-43
Utah2.23.12.52.62.52.01.00.9-48-8
Vermont1.42.64.43.94.84.32.72.0-38-24
Virginia1.01.93.12.43.02.41.11.2-569
Washington2.43.23.74.75.44.92.82.3-42-19
West Virginia6.45.34.06.26.35.21.81.7-66-5
Wisconsin1.11.84.54.84.43.30.80.9-7717
Wyoming1.11.51.43.13.42.60.20.1-91-54

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. Census Bureau (Resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/popest/states/).

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

[In thousands]

 19651970198019901994199620002005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States3,2425,4837,3207,7559,6118,6724,5983,82412-56
Alabama62961299396793738-5710
Alaska4610132423158-49-31
Arizona313938871361186674-405
Arkansas2334625149422214-51-30
California3918169321,2941,8041,8051,1631,002-42-4
Colorado3350536980682228-6618
Connecticut436297811111085037-62-12
Delaware91522141916910-381
Dist. of Columbia1631593451483432-341
Florida8516018426446339512491-74-12
Georgia5415016120627425110174-60-26
Guam114356NA0NANA
Hawaii1018402941445021-26-36
Idaho7111411161623-8840
Illinois20228347343648645619378-76-27
Indiana3655111105145104741021-3
Iowa3246696472593634-39-6
Kansas2841495259482331-4724
Kentucky58931181171371206456-52-2
Louisiana791571561991801625931-70-35
Maine1426403540352222-415
Maryland611001451241511405646-63-12
Massachusetts711532281681971537372-50-6
Michigan119190460427439354153157-586
Minnesota3958911101241168161-32-22
Mississippi6693128129116962726-68-15
Missouri821061351391761629481-43-13
Montana6101319232198-47-23
Nebraska1223252931282023-2410
Nevada4981627271214-16-37
New Hampshire37151119161010-372
New Jersey7920931821322819510285-585
New Mexico2339353766655132-48-4
New York380759759658813771491343-52-8
North Carolina83941411522231917654-63-24
North Dakota6891011955-34-13
Ohio136198348414455382180136-63-4
Oklahoma5571657790742822-62-22
Oregon2352656076602933-5010
Pennsylvania217307432345417368184179-5815
Puerto Rico1611661181301241056429-55-38
Rhode Island1827363041393424-24-18
South Carolina244010980102893232-57-17
South Dakota8121513141255-55-6
Tennessee5899115144203181107136-3313
Texas68162225428549484252172-44-36
Utah1623243133271617-4715
Vermont4814141716108-42-11
Virgin Islands12223421-52-40
Virginia35661161041341145561-5520
Washington507697148187177115101-39-6
West Virginia8065586872622222-54-23
Wisconsin34601421581531233439-694
Wyoming345911910-92-30

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 1965-2005

[In percent]

 19651970198019901994199620002005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States4.47.611.311.914.012.46.35.2-49-18
Alabama4.67.711.18.88.97.33.33.5-554
Alaska3.15.08.07.412.812.47.94.3-36-45
Arizona4.86.04.88.612.19.74.74.7-52-0
Arkansas3.15.29.38.27.76.43.22.1-49-34
California6.012.314.616.220.820.312.510.3-38-17
Colorado4.46.46.57.88.36.81.92.3-7221
Connecticut4.46.111.810.814.213.75.94.4-57-26
Delaware4.77.513.48.710.58.94.95.0-452
Dist. of Columbia6.013.840.930.744.544.131.428.8-29-8
Florida4.37.67.88.814.111.63.32.2-71-32
Georgia3.29.19.811.814.612.84.63.1-64-31
Hawaii3.66.514.510.513.614.517.27.019-60
Idaho2.74.24.73.64.64.60.50.7-8945
Illinois5.37.514.614.815.714.46.02.4-58-60
Indiana2.03.06.97.39.87.04.76.4-3337
Iowa3.24.78.48.89.98.25.05.0-38-0
Kansas3.55.47.57.98.57.03.24.7-5444
Kentucky4.98.310.912.414.112.46.75.7-46-15
Louisiana5.511.311.816.514.613.34.92.7-63-44
Maine3.97.712.511.513.111.87.57.9-364
Maryland4.67.312.410.612.011.14.13.3-63-20
Massachusetts3.88.115.312.413.910.64.95.0-530
Michigan3.75.816.717.417.413.95.96.2-575
Minnesota2.94.27.79.410.19.36.45.0-32-22
Mississippi7.011.115.717.615.312.73.53.5-72-1
Missouri5.26.99.910.612.911.66.65.9-43-12
Montana2.04.05.78.49.78.93.84.1-575
Nebraska2.34.45.56.87.06.14.45.3-2821
Nevada2.55.23.85.07.16.52.22.3-665
New Hampshire1.42.65.83.96.65.43.13.4-428
New Jersey3.48.816.011.711.79.94.94.0-51-19
New Mexico5.29.58.58.313.513.110.16.6-23-34
New York6.313.016.215.418.017.010.67.5-37-29
North Carolina4.45.38.59.312.610.43.82.5-63-34
North Dakota2.33.64.76.06.35.43.63.8-347
Ohio3.65.311.214.916.013.46.34.9-53-21
Oklahoma6.48.57.69.110.48.53.12.6-63-18
Oregon3.37.49.08.19.77.43.43.9-5516
Pennsylvania5.58.013.812.314.412.86.36.3-50-0
Rhode Island5.99.114.713.417.516.513.810.0-16-28
South Carolina2.34.211.68.710.89.43.23.1-66-3
South Dakota3.15.07.16.76.65.92.72.7-53-2
Tennessee4.27.58.911.815.713.77.79.8-4427
Texas1.74.15.28.710.48.84.22.7-52-36
Utah3.75.44.44.94.94.02.32.2-42-3
Vermont2.75.49.99.511.710.87.26.1-33-15
Virginia2.24.17.96.88.47.03.13.3-567
Washington4.76.58.511.313.312.47.66.8-39-11
West Virginia12.211.210.415.716.814.65.55.7-623
Wisconsin2.23.810.512.111.49.12.53.0-7321
Wyoming2.13.23.47.08.16.80.80.4-89-43

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. Census Bureau (Resident population by state and age available online at http://www.census.gov/popest/states/).

Table TANF 15. TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2005

[In thousands]

 FamiliesAll RecipientsChild Recipients
 TANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotal
U.S. Total1,9291692,0984,5565695,1243,4653593,824
Alabama20.30.320.548.21.249.437.20.637.9
Alaska4.44.412.012.08.28.2
Arizona43.743.799.399.373.873.8
Arkansas8.68.618.818.814.414.4
California463.642.9506.51,087.9167.81,255.7895.4106.81,002.2
Colorado15.315.338.338.327.527.5
Connecticut19.84.324.140.113.153.228.77.836.5
Delaware5.60.15.712.50.513.19.50.39.8
D.C.16.90.417.342.01.143.131.70.732.5
Florida60.31.461.6107.25.4112.688.52.791.2
Georgia41.70.242.090.10.991.073.90.574.4
Guam3.13.110.810.80.0
Hawaii8.02.910.920.311.031.314.46.520.9
Idaho1.91.93.33.32.72.7
Illinois38.40.939.396.31.998.377.30.978.2
Indiana48.72.551.2124.810.7135.596.36.1102.3
Iowa17.74.221.942.99.552.430.13.733.8
Kansas17.617.646.046.031.431.4
Kentucky34.734.775.075.056.156.1
Louisiana16.116.137.537.531.531.5
Maine9.51.911.525.57.032.517.54.421.8
Maryland23.13.026.154.48.863.240.65.746.3
Massachusetts48.80.148.9103.90.4104.372.00.272.3
Michigan80.680.6214.5214.5157.1157.1
Minnesota29.03.332.373.014.387.353.57.861.4
Mississippi16.116.134.734.726.026.0
Missouri40.16.446.596.621.2117.968.112.780.8
Montana4.64.612.212.28.38.3
Nebraska10.02.312.426.48.434.818.05.023.0
Nevada6.81.17.915.63.419.012.52.014.5
New Hampshire6.20.26.314.20.614.89.80.410.2
New Jersey46.02.048.0109.28.5117.780.94.585.4
New Mexico17.617.645.345.332.432.4
New York141.549.2190.7323.1167.1490.2233.8108.9342.6
North Carolina33.833.867.667.653.753.7
North Dakota2.92.97.47.45.25.2
Ohio82.682.6179.4179.4136.2136.2
Oklahoma12.112.127.927.922.122.1
Oregon19.619.644.744.733.133.1
Pennsylvania96.696.6253.4253.4178.6178.6
Puerto Rico15.115.141.541.529.329.3
Rhode Island10.72.513.327.17.534.618.95.524.4
South Carolina15.92.518.436.17.343.327.74.432.0
South Dakota2.82.86.16.15.15.1
Tennessee70.61.371.9186.05.1191.1133.33.1136.3
Texas86.72.989.6201.412.3213.7165.16.6171.7
Utah9.00.09.122.80.223.016.40.116.6
Vermont4.60.45.011.51.112.67.40.78.1
Virgin Islands0.50.51.41.41.11.1
Virginia9.926.836.728.259.087.218.142.860.9
Washington56.81.858.6136.97.5144.496.44.5100.8
West Virginia12.00.912.927.23.730.919.91.821.8
Wisconsin20.20.520.746.62.348.937.71.539.2
Wyoming0.30.00.30.50.00.60.50.00.5

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.

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.

4 Not all of these adults are participating in enough hours to meet the TANF Work Participation Rate requirement.

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, the 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 that are categorically eligible (they are composed entirely of TANF, SSI, General Assistance participants), or contain elderly or disabled members, 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 that are not categorically eligible 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 supersede 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; and
  • combining Puerto Rico and American Samoa’s block grants into one grant and indexing both with inflation.

Food Stamp Program Data

The following six tables and accompanying figure provide information about the Food Stamp Program:

  • Tables FSP 1 and FSP 2 and Figure FSP 1 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the Food Stamp Program as discussed below;
  • Table FSP 3 presents some demographic characteristics of the food stamp caseload; and
  • Tables FSP 4 through FSP 6 present some state-by-state trend data on the FSP through fiscal year 2005.

Food Stamp Caseload Trends (Table FSP 1). Average monthly food stamp participation was 25.7 million persons in fiscal year 2005, 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, below the peak of 27.5 million recipients in fiscal year 1994. 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 2005 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. In addition, in the fall of 2005, participation reached all-time highs as a result of emergency disaster assistance provided to those affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

Food Stamp Expenditures. Total program costs, shown in Table FSP 2, were considerably higher in 2005 than 2004, reflecting the increase in participation during that period as well as an increase in average benefits. Total federal program costs were $31.1 billion in 2005; the comparable 2004 cost was $30.0 billion (after adjusting for inflation). Average monthly benefits per person, also shown in Table FSP 2, were $92.72 per person in fiscal year 2005, up from $88.80 in 2004. This constitutes a 4.4 percent increase in average monthly benefits over the previous year adjusted to 2005 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 2005. At the same time, the proportion of households with income from AFDC/TANF has declined, from 43 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2005, 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 2005. The vast majority (88 percent in 2005) of households have incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2005

Figure FSP 1. Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2005

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 1962–2005

 Food Stamp ParticipantsParticipants as a Percent of:Child Participants as a Percent of:
Fiscal YearIncluding Territories 1 (thousands)Excluding Territories (thousands)Children Excld. Terr. (thousands)Total Population 2All Poor Persons 2Total Child Population 2Children in Poverty 2
19626,5546,554NA3.517.0NANA
19655,1675,167NA2.715.6NANA
19708,3178,317NA4.132.7NANA
197113,01013,010NA6.350.9NANA
197214,11114,111NA6.757.7NANA
197314,60714,607NA6.963.6NANA
197414,28814,288NA6.761.1NANA
1975 417,15216,320NA7.663.1NANA
197618,62817,0339,1267.868.213.888.8
197717,16115,604NA7.163.1NANA
197816,07714,405NA6.558.8NANA
1979 517,75815,942NA7.161.1NANA
198021,17319,2539,8768.565.815.585.6
198122,51820,6559,8039.064.615.578.4
198221,80820,3929,5918.859.315.370.3
198321,72720,09510,9108.661.417.478.4
198420,85420,79610,4928.861.716.878.2
198519,89919,8479,9068.360.015.775.3
198619,42919,3819,8448.159.915.776.5
198719,11319,0729,7717.959.215.576.1
198818,64518,6139,3517.658.614.875.1
198918,80618,7789,4297.659.614.974.9
199020,04920,02010,1278.059.615.875.4
199122,62522,59911,9528.963.318.383.3
199225,40625,37013,3499.966.720.187.3
199326,98226,95214,19610.468.621.090.3
199427,46827,43314,39110.472.121.094.1
199526,61926,57913,86010.073.020.094.5
199625,54325,49513,1899.569.818.891.2
199722,85822,82011,8478.464.116.783.9
199819,79119,74810,5247.257.314.778.1
199918,18318,1469,3326.555.313.076.0
200017,19417,1568,7436.154.312.175.5
200117,31817,2828,8196.152.512.175.2
200219,09619,0599,6886.655.113.379.8
200321,25921,22210,6057.359.214.582.4
200423,85823,81911,7718.164.416.190.3
200525,67425,63412,4058.669.416.996.2

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. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-231.

Table FSP 2. Trends in Food Stamp Expenditures: Selected Years 1975–2005

 Total Federal Cost (Benefits + Administration)Benefits (Federal)(millions)Administration1Total Program Cost (millions)Average Monthly Benefit per Person
 Current Dollars (millions)2005 Dollars2(millions)Federal (millions)State & Local (millions)Current Dollars2005 Dollars2
1975$4,619$15,556$4,386$233$175$4,794$21.30$71.70
19765,68517,9255,3263592705,95523.9075.40
19775,46116,0275,0673942955,75624.8072.80
19785,52015,1985,1393812855,80526.6073.20
197936,94017,5716,4804603887,32830.5077.20
19809,20621,0078,7214863759,58134.5078.70
198111,22523,29410,63059550411,72939.5082.00
198210,83721,06110,20862855711,39439.2075.00
198311,84722,03611,15269561212,45943.0080.00
1984411,57920,71710,696883580512,38442.7076.40
198511,70320,23310,74496087112,57445.0077.80
198611,63819,66210,6051,03393512,57345.5076.90
198711,60419,10110,5001,10499612,60045.8075.40
198812,31719,54311,1491,1681,08013,39749.8079.00
198912,93419,68111,7021,2321,10114,03351.9079.00
199015,49022,54714,1861,3051,17416,66459.0085.90
199118,77126,16017,3391,4321,24720,01863.9089.10
199222,46230,55020,9061,5571,37523,83768.6093.30
199323,65331,36722,0061,6471,57225,22568.0090.20
199424,49431,79322,7491,7451,64326,13669.0089.60
199524,62031,22322,7641,8561,74826,36871.3090.40
199624,33130,09922,4401,8911,84226,17373.2090.60
199721,48525,94119,5491,9371,90423,38971.3086.10
199818,88822,46816,8911,9981,98820,87671.1084.60
199917,71020,70015,7691,9411,87419,58472.3084.50
200017,05419,32414,9832,0712,08619,14072.6082.30
200117,79019,52915,5472,2422,23320,02374.8082.10
200220,63722,32518,2562,3812,39723,03479.7086.20
200323,81425,17221,4042,4102,43026,24483.9088.70
200427,09927,99324,6192,4802,50029,59986.0088.80
200531,12431,12428,5672,5562,55633,68092.7292.72

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 2005 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 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: Selected Years 1980-2005

[In percent]

 Year 1
 1980198419881990199419961998200020022005
With Gross Monthly Income:          
    Below the Federal Poverty Levels87939292909190898888
    Between the Poverty Levels and 130 Percent of the Poverty Levels10688989101110
    Above 130 Percent of Poverty21**111112
With Earnings19192019212326272829
With Public Assistance Income 2§§§§§§§§§§6159565043
    With AFDC/TANF IncomeNA424243383731262115
    With SSI Income18182019232428322926
With Children60616161616058545454
    And Female Heads of HouseholdNA475051515047444444
        With No Spouse PresentNANA3937434341383736
With Elderly Members 323221918161618211917
Average Household Size2.82.82.82.72.62.52.42.32.32.3

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 (in 1996 just under 6 percent of households received assistance from multiple sources).

* 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 2005, Report No. FSP-06-CHAR (available 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 1975–2005

[In millions]

 19751980198519901996200020022005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States$4,386$8,721$10,744$14,186$22,441$14,983$18,256$28,567-3391
Alabama$103$246$318$328$440$344$417$616-2279
Alaska627252554465980-1575
Arizona4197121239372240386634-35164
Arkansas78122126155224206265401-895
California3615306399682,5551,6391,7062,313-3641
Colorado447194156210127165313-40147
Connecticut36596272175138146223-2162
Delaware621222547313965-34110
Dist. of Columbia31414043957776103-1935
Florida2074213686091,2967718781,598-40107
Georgia1292642903827034896211,048-30114
Guam2151815273652543449
Hawaii23609381196166152156-15-6
Idaho11293640614662103-25123
Illinois2383947138351,0347779231,400-2580
Indiana58154242226330268408627-19134
Iowa2854107109141100129220-29119
Kansas1238649613583113180-39118
Kentucky135211332334413337410611-1882
Louisiana148243365549597448587979-25118
Maine316062631138197162-2899
Maryland76140171203362199215320-4561
Massachusetts75171173207295182209363-38100
Michigan1242635416637734576451,099-41141
Minnesota4062105165221165201275-2667
Mississippi110199264352376226298463-40105
Missouri82142212312480358477736-25105
Montana1118314158515889-1274
Nebraska11254459786174120-2196
Nevada10152241915796129-38128
New Hampshire1122152042283551-3280
New Jersey125226260289508304314437-4044
New Mexico488188117199140154251-3080
New York2097269381,0862,0541,3611,4792,136-3457
North Carolina122234237282547403536856-26112
North Dakota59162532253145-2277
Ohio2533826978619345207261,157-44122
Oklahoma3873134186308208288440-32111
Oregon5680142168259198319456-24131
Pennsylvania1753735476619816567001,105-3368
Rhode Island1831354278596479-2432
South Carolina121181194240299249352566-17127
South Dakota818263541374561-1067
Tennessee115282280372542415552942-23127
Texas3145147011,4292,1401,2151,5222,659-43119
Utah12224071876880141-21107
Vermont918202243323445-2641
Virgin Islands619231842211721-50-1
Virginia63158189247450263305500-4290
Washington7090140229426241318539-43123
West Virginia5687159192252185198258-2639
Wisconsin2968148180198129197317-35146
Wyoming36152128192227-3445

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 2005 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

[In thousands]

 19751980198519901996200020022005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States17,19221,08219,89920,04925,54317,19419,09625,673-3349
Alabama365583588454509396444559-2241
Alaska1529222546384656-1948
Arizona143196206317427259379550-39112
Arkansas267301253235274247284374-1052
California1,4551,4931,6151,9373,1431,8301,7111,992-429
Colorado150163170221244156178246-3658
Connecticut155170145133223165169204-2624
Delaware2652403358324062-4491
Dist. of Columbia122103726293817489-1310
Florida6479126307811,3718829851,382-3657
Georgia498627567536793559646921-2965
Guam6222012182224272623
Hawaii75102997713011810594-9-21
Idaho3961595980587093-2761
Illinois9269031,1101,0131,1058178861,158-2642
Indiana392353406311390300411556-2385
Iowa115141203170177123141207-3068
Kansas5890119142172117140178-3253
Kentucky472468560458486403450570-1741
Louisiana510569644727670500588808-2562
Maine12613911494131102111153-2251
Maryland261324287255375219228289-4132
Massachusetts365453337347374232243368-3859
Michigan6198139859179356037501,048-3674
Minnesota167171228263295196217260-3333
Mississippi376496495499457276325391-4042
Missouri300335362431554423515766-2481
Montana3843585771596381-1636
Nebraska496694951028288117-1942
Nevada32323250976197122-37100
New Hampshire4450283153364152-3144
New Jersey490605464382540345320392-3614
New Mexico157185157157235169170241-2842
New York1,2911,7591,8341,5482,0991,4391,3491,755-3122
North Carolina466582474419631488574800-2364
North Dakota1925333940323742-2033
Ohio8548651,1331,0891,0456107351,007-4265
Oklahoma171209263267354253317424-2868
Oregon201197228216288234359429-1983
Pennsylvania8489801,0329521,1247777671,043-3134
Rhode Island8687696491747276-182
South Carolina410426373299358295379521-1876
South Dakota3343485049434856-1231
Tennessee397624518527638496598850-2271
Texas1,1331,1671,2631,8802,3721,3331,5542,442-4483
Utah465475991108290133-2663
Vermont4446443856414045-2811
Virgin Islands1634321831161214-49-14
Virginia257384360346538336352488-3745
Washington253248281340478295350508-3872
West Virginia242209278262300227236262-2416
Wisconsin148215363286283193262346-3279
Wyoming1014272833222424-328

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 2005 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

[In percent]

 19751980198519901996200020022005Percent Change
1996-002000-05
United States7.68.58.38.09.56.16.68.6-3642
Alabama9.914.914.811.211.88.99.912.3-2438
Alaska4.07.14.14.57.66.07.28.4-2140
Arizona6.37.16.58.69.35.07.09.3-4685
Arkansas12.413.110.910.010.69.210.513.4-1446
California6.86.36.16.59.85.44.95.5-452
Colorado5.85.65.36.76.23.64.05.3-4246
Connecticut5.05.54.54.06.74.84.95.8-2820
Delaware4.58.76.55.07.84.14.97.3-4878
Dist. of Columbia17.216.111.410.316.214.113.016.1-1314
Florida7.69.35.56.09.25.55.97.8-4041
Georgia9.811.49.58.210.66.87.610.2-3649
Hawaii8.410.69.56.910.89.78.57.3-10-25
Idaho4.66.45.95.86.64.55.26.5-3346
Illinois8.27.99.78.89.16.67.09.1-2838
Indiana7.36.47.45.66.64.96.78.9-2580
 4.04.87.26.16.24.24.87.0-3265
Kansas2.53.84.95.76.64.35.26.5-3450
Kentucky13.612.815.212.412.410.011.013.7-2037
Louisiana13.113.514.617.215.211.213.117.9-2760
Maine11.812.39.87.610.58.08.611.6-2445
Maryland6.37.76.55.37.34.14.25.2-4425
Massachusetts6.37.95.75.86.03.63.85.8-4058
Michigan6.88.810.89.89.66.17.510.4-3771
Minnesota4.24.25.56.06.34.04.35.1-3627
Mississippi15.719.619.119.416.69.711.313.4-4238
Missouri6.26.87.28.410.27.69.113.2-2675
Montana5.15.57.17.18.06.67.08.6-1831
Nebraska3.24.25.96.06.14.85.16.7-2139
Nevada5.24.03.44.15.83.04.55.0-4867
New Hampshire5.35.42.82.74.52.93.24.0-3537
New Jersey6.78.26.14.96.64.13.74.5-3810
New Mexico13.514.110.910.313.49.39.212.5-3134
New York7.210.010.38.611.37.67.09.1-3320
North Carolina8.49.97.66.38.46.06.99.2-2852
North Dakota2.93.94.96.16.15.05.86.6-1934
Ohio7.98.010.610.09.35.46.48.8-4264
Oklahoma6.26.98.08.510.67.39.112.0-3163
Oregon8.67.58.57.68.96.810.211.8-2373
Pennsylvania7.18.38.88.09.26.36.28.4-3133
Rhode Island9.29.17.26.48.97.16.77.1-210
South Carolina14.113.611.38.59.47.39.212.2-2267
South Dakota4.86.26.97.26.65.76.37.2-1427
Tennessee9.313.611.010.811.88.710.314.2-2664
Texas9.08.17.811.012.36.47.210.7-4868
Utah3.73.74.65.75.33.73.95.4-3148
Vermont9.18.98.26.89.56.76.57.3-308
Virginia5.17.26.35.68.04.74.86.5-4136
Washington7.06.06.46.98.65.05.88.1-4262
West Virginia13.110.714.614.616.412.613.114.4-2415
Wisconsin3.24.67.65.85.43.64.86.2-3474
Wyoming2.73.05.46.26.84.54.74.8-335

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. Census Bureau (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 $603 for an individual and $904 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.”

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

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).5 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. Furthermore, the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) included two SSI program reforms, designed to improve the accuracy of disability determinations and benefit awards, among other program goals.

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 2005.

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 7 percent per year. Between 1995 and 2000, the number of beneficiaries fluctuated between 6.5 and 6.6 million persons. Between 2000 and 2005, the caseload increased from 6.6 to 7.1 million beneficiaries, an average annual growth rate of 1.6 percent. Table SSI 1 presents information on the total number of persons receiving SSI payments in December of each year from 1974 through 2005, 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 2005. At the same time, there has been strong growth in blind and disabled beneficiaries, from 1.7 million in December 1974 to 5.9 million in December 2005. 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 over 1 million children in 2005.

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.6

SSI Expenditures (Tables SSI 3 through SSI 5). While down slightly from 2004, the total amount paid out in SSI benefits has increased over the past 4 years from $35.8 billion (inflation adjusted) in 2001 to over $38.1 billion in 2005, as shown in Table SSI 3. Average monthly benefits per person were $438 in 2005, down slightly (about 4 percent) from 1999 inflation adjusted benefit level of $445. 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 2005.

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients, by Age: 1974-2005

Figure SSI 1. SSI Recipients, by Age: 1974-2005

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Annual Statistical Report, 2006 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2006/index.html).

Table SSI 1. Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments: 1974-2004

[In thousands]

DateTotalEligibility CategoryType of Recipient
AgedBlind and DisabledChildrenAdults
TotalBlindDisabledAge 18-6465 or Older
Dec 19743,9962,2861,710751,63671 11,5032,422
Dec 19754,3142,3072,007741,9331071,6992,508
Dec 19764,2362,1482,088762,0121251,7142,397
Dec 19774,2382,0512,187772,1091471,7382,353
Dec 19784,2171,9682,249772,1721661,7472,304
Dec 19794,1501,8722,278772,2011771,7272,246
Dec 19804,1421,8082,334782,2561901,7312,221
Dec 19814,0191,6782,341792,2621951,7032,121
Dec 19823,8581,5492,309772,2311921,6552,011
Dec 19833,9011,5152,386792,3071981,7002,003
Dec 19844,0291,5302,499812,4192121,7802,037
Dec 19854,1381,5042,634822,5512271,8792,031
Dec 19864,2691,4732,796832,7132412,0102,018
Dec 19874,3851,4552,930832,8462512,1192,015
Dec 19884,4641,4333,030832,9482552,2032,006
Dec 19894,5931,4393,154833,0712652,3022,026
Dec 19904,8171,4543,363843,2793092,4502,059
Dec 19915,1181,4653,654853,5693972,6422,080
Dec 1992 25,5661,4714,095854,0105562,9102,100
Dec 19935,9841,4754,509854,4247233,1482,113
Dec 19946,2961,4664,830854,7458413,3352,119
Dec 19956,5141,4465,068844,9849173,4822,115
Dec 19966,6141,4135,201825,1199553,5682,090
Dec 19976,4951,3625,133815,0528803,5622,054
Dec 19986,5661,3325,234805,1548873,6462,033
Dec 19996,5571,3085,249795,1698473,6912,019
Dec 20006,6021,2895,312795,2348473,7442,011
Dec 20016,6881,2645,424785,3468823,8111,995
Dec 20026,7881,2525,537785,4599153,8781,995
Dec 20036,9021,2335,670775,5939593,8781,990
Dec 20046,9881,2115,777765,7019934,0171,978
Dec 20057,1141,2145,900755,8251,0364,0831,995

1 Includes students 18-21 in 1974 only.

2 The jump in benefits in 1992 is due to retroactive payments resulting from the Sullivan v. Zebley decision.

Source: Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2006 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/).

Table SSI 2. SSI Recipiency Rates: 1974-2005

[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 20042.42.21.45.457.3
Dec 20052.42.21.45.455.4

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

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 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 P60-231.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005," Current Population Reports, Series P60-231, (available online at www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).

Table SSI 3. Total, Federal and State SSI Benefits and Administration: 1974-2005 1

[In millions of dollars]

Calendar YearTotal BenefitsFederal PaymentsState SupplementationAdministrative Costs
(fiscal year)
2005 2 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
1974$18,165$5,246$3,833$1,413$1,264$149$285
197518,7985,8784,3141,5651,403162399
197618,3466,0664,5121,5541,388166500
197717,9286,3064,7031,6031,431172526
197817,8596,5524,8811,6711,491180539
197917,6297,0755,2791,7971,590207611
198017,8187,9415,8662,0741,848226668
198117,6268,5936,5182,0761,839237717
198217,3938,9816,9072,0741,798276780
198317,4869,4047,4231,9821,711270846
198418,54510,3728,2812,0911,792299864
198519,13911,0608,7772,2831,973311956
198620,53012,0819,4982,5832,2433401,023
198721,28312,95110,0292,9222,563359977
198821,86013,78610,7343,0522,671381976
198922,77414,98011,6063,3742,9554191,052
199024,04016,59912,8943,7053,2394661,075
199125,89218,52414,7653,7593,2315291,230
199230,31522,23318,2473,9863,4355501,426
199332,67024,55720,7223,8353,2705661,468
199433,71525,87722,1753,7013,1165851,780
199535,14327,62823,9193,7083,1185901,978
199635,66728,79225,2653,5272,9885391,953
199735,23729,05225,4573,5952,9136822,055
199836,14030,21626,4053,8123,0038082,304
199936,22330,92326,8054,1543,3018532,493
200035,78131,56427,2904,2743,3818932,321
200136,45933,06128,7064,3553,4608952,397
200237,52334,56729,8994,6683,8208482,522
200337,78435,60530,6884,9174,0059122,656
200438,19736,96131,8875,0754,1798962,806
200538,12938,12933,0585,0714,1788932,795

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 Supplement, 2006, (Data available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2006/index.html).

Table SSI 4. Average Monthly SSI Benefit Payments: 1974-2005

Calendar YearTotal 1Federal PaymentsState Supplementation
2005 DollarsCurrent DollarsTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
1974$466$135$108$64$71$35
197535911292666945
197635711899687150
1977348123104697253
1978349128108727456
1979350140119777967
1980354158133899176
1981361176151929479
1982371191166969793
1983368198172919289
1984377211187939393
19853802191939999102
1986394232202107108101
1987398242208117118110
1988401253219118118118
1989406267230126126127
1990410283244132131136
1991415297260125122143
1992447328292124121147
1993449337306112107150
199444133831010599152
1995445350322110103164
1996445359333108103145
19974473693429910286
1998453379350103104102
1999455388356111113105
2000446393360113114109
2001448407373113114108
2002451415383129129128
2003446421387136135138
2004446431397139139135
2005438438404151155135

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.

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

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2006 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2006/index.html).

Table SSI 5. Number of Persons Receiving SSI Payments, by Type of Payment: 1974-2005

[In thousands]

   State Supplementation
 TotalFederalTotalFederally AdministeredState Administered
Jan 19743,2492,9561,8391,480358
Dec 19754,3603,8931,9871,684303
Dec 19804,1943,6821,9341,685249
Dec 19844,0943,6991,8751,607268
Dec 19854,2003,7991,9161,661255
Dec 1986.4,3473,9222,0031,723279
Dec 19874,4584,0192,0791,807272
Dec 19884,5414,0892,1551,885270
Dec 19894,6734,2062,2241,950275
Dec 19904,8884,4122,3442,058286
Dec 19915,2004,7302,5122,204308
Dec 19925,6475,2022,6842,372313
Dec 19936,0655,6362,8502,536314
Dec 19946,3775,9652,9502,628322
Dec 19956,5766,1942,8172,518300
Dec 19966,6776,3262,7322,421310
Dec 19976,5656,2123,0292,372657
Dec 19986,6496,2893,0722,412661
Dec 19996,6416,2753,1162,441675
Dec 20006,6856,3203,1642,481683
Dec 20016,7766,4103,2092,520689
Dec 20026,9406,5053,0142,462553
Dec 20037,0526,6143,0192,467551
Dec 20047,1396,6953,0502,498552
Dec 20057,2626,8192,7942,242552

Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2006 (available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2006/index.htm).

Table SSI 6. Characteristics of SSI Recipients, by Age, Sex, Earnings/Income and Citizenship: Selected Years 1980-2005

 19801985199019941998200020022005
Total
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
    under 185.55.56.413.413.512.813.514.6
    18-6440.945.450.953.055.556.757.257.4
    65 or older53.649.142.733.731.030.529.328.0
Sex        
    Male34.435.237.241.341.341.542.043.1
    Female65.564.862.858.758.758.558.056.9
Selected Sources of Income        
    Earnings3.23.84.74.24.54.44.13.8
    Social Security51.049.445.939.136.536.135.535.2
    No other income34.834.536.443.647.354.455.1NA
Noncitizens Eligibility CategoryNA5.19.011.710.210.510.4NA
    Aged43.636.430.223.320.319.518.417.1
    Blind1.92.01.71.41.21.21.11.1
    Disabled54.561.768.175.478.579.380.481.9
Aged
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
    65-6914.014.919.420.517.617.615.315.1
    70-7951.545.641.344.348.448.449.146.8
    80 or older34.539.539.235.134.034.035.738.1
Sex        
    Male27.325.525.126.827.827.829.931.4
    Female72.674.574.973.272.272.270.168.6
NoncitizensNA9.719.430.027.027.029.2NA
Blind and Disabled
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
    18-6480.277.780.083.483.683.683.884.1
    65 or older19.822.320.016.616.416.416.116.0
Sex1        
    Male39.840.842.441.841.141.144.841.2
    Female60.259.257.658.258.958.955.258.8
NoncitizensNA2.44.66.25.55.57.2NA
Children
Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
    Under 511.7NANA15.815.815.816.115.5
    5-920.9NANA28.530.230.226.827.3
    10-1428.8NANA32.734.634.636.935.3
    15-1721.7NANA17.319.419.420.222.0
    18-21216.814.39.35.7
Sex        
    MaleNANANA63.062.962.964.365.4
    FemaleNANANA37.037.137.135.734.6

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 2005

[In thousands]

State 1TotalTotal FederalFederal SSIState Supplementation
Federally AdministeredState Administered
Total$38,128,653$37,235,843$33,058,056$4,177,787$892,810
Alabama776,750776,426776,426324
Alaska109,32153,23253,23256,089
Arizona482,030481,652481,652378
Arkansas406,593406,593406,593
California8,146,4018,146,4014,899,4793,246,922
Colorado354,115263,801263,80190,314
Connecticut341,616259,818259,81881,798
Delaware65,68165,68164,6021,079
District of Columbia113,382113,382109,7203,662
Florida2,041,1472,031,4422,031,4429,705
Georgia943,626943,626943,626
Hawaii119,074119,074106,31212,762
Idaho113,628105,635105,6357,993
Illinois1,364,0031,336,6091,336,60927,394
Indiana491,972488,082488,0823,890
Iowa208,017193,191189,3213,87014,826
Kansas186,659186,659186,6572
Kentucky879,478861,923861,92317,555
Louisiana771,703771,262771,262441
Maine165,300145,872145,87219,428
Maryland488,592480,910480,893177,682
Massachusetts902,250902,250736,031166,219
Michigan1,236,6291,157,3081,134,39722,91179,321
Minnesota445,821354,514354,51491,307
Mississippi571,831571,831571,8238
Missouri599,958573,065573,06526,893
Montana69,87169,87168,975896
Nebraska109,540103,215103,2156,325
Nevada163,037163,037157,5895,448
New Hampshire78,14866,52466,52411,624
New Jersey763,413763,413681,30982,104
New Mexico248,142247,904247,904238
New York3,561,2303,561,2303,010,222551,008
North Carolina1,024,575894,175894,175130,400
North Dakota35,44133,48833,4881,953
Ohio1,295,0111,295,0111,295,011
Oklahoma418,234380,582380,58237,652
Oregon317,804297,508297,50820,296
Pennsylvania1,658,8331,658,8331,610,50948,324
Rhode Island160,833160,833137,07523,758
South Carolina499,482488,167488,16711,315
South Dakota57,29354,68654,68422,607
Tennessee752,148752,148752,13711
Texas2,191,4622,190,6042,190,604858
Utah109,845109,845109,77372
Vermont62,63062,63053,9168,714
Virginia650,926632,173632,17318,753
Washington616,282616,054616,054228
West Virginia375,880375,880375,880
Wisconsin551,894437,359437,359114,535
Wyoming27,13826,45026,450688
Other: N. Mariana Islands3,9873,9873,987

1 Columns do not added 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, 2006
(available online at www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/).

Table SSI 8. SSI Recipiency Rates by State and Program Type: 1979 and 2005

[In percent]

 Total Recipiency RateRate for Adults 18-64Rate for Adults 65 & Over
 19792005Percent Change 1979-0519792005Percent Change 1979-0519792005Percent Change 1979-05
Total1.92.4301.32.2759.05.4-40
Alabama3.63.611.83.59121.05.8-72
Alaska0.81.71210.51.619614.06.9-51
Arizona1.11.6440.91.6805.03.1-38
Arkansas3.53.3-61.93.16617.15.0-71
California3.03.392.12.62716.413.5-18
Colorado1.11.290.81.2566.73.0-55
Connecticut0.81.51000.61.51382.72.6-4
Delaware1.21.6340.91.5605.42.2-59
District of Columbia2.33.8671.93.4778.66.2-28
Florida1.82.4351.11.9676.24.7-24
Georgia2.92.2-231.92.0617.75.9-67
Hawaii1.11.8710.71.61327.64.9-35
Idaho0.81.61030.61.71663.81.9-50
Illinois1.12.0851.02.01114.33.8-11
Indiana0.81.61130.61.71793.31.6-52
Iowa0.91.5690.61.61583.51.6-54
Kansas0.91.4570.61.51383.51.8-48
Kentucky2.54.3691.84.515112.56.5-48
Louisiana3.43.412.03.25820.16.5-68
Maine2.02.4231.42.7948.62.8-67
Maryland1.21.7480.91.6705.43.8-30
Massachusetts2.22.7211.32.610310.85.6-48
Michigan1.32.2751.12.31155.92.9-50
Minnesota0.81.4730.61.41553.72.6-30
Mississippi4.54.3-42.43.96126.08.6-67
Missouri1.82.0141.12.1917.92.6-67
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 Hampshire0.61.0720.41.21732.51.1-57
New Jersey1.11.7490.91.5744.74.5-4
New Mexico2.02.8421.42.69012.46.7-46
New York2.13.3561.62.7708.39.09
North Carolina2.42.3-41.62.13313.64.6-66
North Dakota1.01.2210.61.31285.11.9-62
Ohio1.12.2981.02.41424.22.4-42
Oklahoma2.32.2-51.32.37311.63.4-71
Oregon0.91.7980.71.71433.32.8-15
Pennsylvania1.42.6861.12.61325.03.2-35
Rhode Island1.62.8761.12.81596.44.8-25
South Carolina2.72.5-71.82.32917.04.7-72
South Dakota1.11.6400.71.61225.02.8-44
Tennessee2.92.7-61.92.74414.84.8-68
Texas1.92.2161.01.88912.77.2-43
Utah0.60.9640.51.0963.01.8-41
Vermont1.82.1191.32.2688.13.0-63
Virginia1.51.8201.01.6578.54.1-52
Washington1.21.8551.01.8844.83.7-23
West Virginia2.14.2971.94.81588.04.4-45
Wisconsin1.41.7181.01.7776.52.2-66
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, 2006 and U.S. Census Bureau (resident population by state available online at www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).

Table SSI 9. SSI Recipiency Rates, by State: Selected Fiscal Years: 1975-2005

[In percent]

 19751980198519901994 21998 22002 22005 2
Total 12.01.81.71.92.42.42.42.4
Alabama4.03.43.33.33.83.83.63.6
Alaska0.80.80.70.81.11.31.51.7
Arizona1.21.11.01.21.71.71.61.6
Arkansas4.13.43.13.23.83.53.13.3
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
Georgia3.32.82.62.52.82.62.32.2
Hawaii1.11.11.11.31.51.61.71.8
Idaho1.10.80.81.01.41.41.41.6
Illinois1.21.11.21.62.22.12.02.0
Indiana0.80.80.91.11.51.51.51.6
Iowa1.00.91.01.21.41.41.41.5
Kansas1.10.90.91.01.41.41.41.4
Kentucky2.82.62.73.14.14.44.34.3
Louisiana3.93.22.93.24.14.03.73.4
Maine2.31.91.91.92.42.32.42.4
Maryland1.21.11.21.31.61.71.61.7
Massachusetts2.32.21.92.02.62.72.62.7
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 Mexico2.31.91.82.12.62.62.62.8
New York2.22.12.02.33.13.33.33.3
North Carolina2.72.42.22.22.62.62.32.3
North Dakota1.31.01.01.21.41.31.31.2
Ohio1.21.11.21.42.12.22.12.2
Oklahoma3.02.21.81.92.22.22.12.2
Oregon1.10.81.01.11.51.51.61.7
Pennsylvania1.21.41.41.62.12.32.42.6
Rhode Island1.71.61.61.72.32.62.72.8
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
Texas2.21.81.61.72.12.12.02.2
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
Wisconsin1.41.41.51.82.21.71.61.7
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, 2006, and U.S. Census Bureau (resident population by state available online at www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/)


5 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.

6 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. We adopt the following definition of welfare dependence for this report:

Welfare dependence is the proportion of all individuals in families that receive more than half of their total family income in one year from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI.

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 2.0 percent – in 2004 if based on income from TANF and food stamps, as opposed to 3.7 percent when counting income from all three programs (TANF, food stamps and SSI).

There also is significant variation across age groups in the programs upon which individuals are dependent. The elderly depend more on SSI than on TANF and food stamps; whereas 2.2 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 2004, the proportion had dropped to just over half (54 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 2004, dependency declined by 44 percent (3.6 percent to 2.0 percent) under the alternative definition, compared to a decline of 30 percent (5.3 percent to 3.7 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/Ethnicity and Age: 2004

 TANF, SSI & Food StampsTANF & Food StampsSSI Only
All Persons3.72.01.3
 
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White2.21.01.0
Non-Hispanic Black10.06.22.8
Hispanic5.23.11.6
Age Categories
Children Ages 0-57.15.11.3
Children Ages 6-106.04.21.1
Children Ages 11-155.13.41.0
 
Women Ages 16-643.72.01.4
Men Ages 16-642.41.01.2
Adults Ages 65 and over2.20.11.9
Family Categories
Persons in married families1.00.40.5
Persons in female-headed families13.89.13.4
Persons in male-headed (no spouse) families4.01.51.7
Unrelated individuals4.51.72.8

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, 2005, 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: 1995-2004

 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
20043.72.01.3

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1996-2005, 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/Ethnicity

 WhiteBlack1Hispanic2
 Total Teens3Age 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
2004788774319699956981867346

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. In particular, the increases from 1993 to 1994 to a great extent reflect improvements in the completeness of reporting of nonmarital births in two states, Michigan and Texas.

1 From 1940 to 1965, 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
2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), and earlier reports. Additional calculations by ASPE staff.

Table C-2. Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women, by State Selected Years 1960-2004

 196019701980199019921994199620002004
United States51118283033323336
Alabama111422303334343436
Alaska5916262729313335
ArizonaNA919333638393942
ArkansasNA1320293133343639
CaliforniaNANA21323436313334
ColoradoNA913212425252528
ConnecticutNANA18272930312931
Delaware91524293335353842
Dist of Columbia203856656769666056
Florida91423323436363841
GeorgiaNANA23333536353739
Hawaii51018252628303233
IdahoNANA8171819212223
Illinois61323323334343536
Indiana4816262932323539
Iowa2710212425262831
Kansas3712222426272933
Kentucky5815242628303135
Louisiana91523374043434649
Maine3714232528293134
MarylandNANA25303034343536
MassachusettsNANA16252627252729
Michigan41116262735343336
Minnesota3811212324252629
Mississippi141728404345454648
Missouri61118293233333537
MontanaNANA13242626283134
NebraskaNA812212325252730
Nevada41113253335433640
New HampshireNA611171922232526
New Jersey41021242628282930
New MexicoNANA16353942424649
New YorkNANA24333538403738
North Carolina91219293132323337
North Dakota379182323252830
Ohio4NA18293233333537
OklahomaNA814252830313438
Oregon3715262729303033
Pennsylvania41018293233323335
Rhode Island3716263032333537
South Carolina121523333537374042
South Dakota3713232728303335
Tennessee91220303333333538
Texas5913181729303136
Utah246141516161718
VermontNANA14202325262832
Virginia81119262829293031
Washington3914242526272830
West Virginia6613252830313235
Wisconsin3814242627272931
Wyoming278202427272932

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 and 2004

State  Non-HispanicHispanic
All racesWhiteBlack
19942004199420041994200419942004
United States3336212571694346
Alabama3536162171711925
Alaska2935212241392935
Arizona3842252565615154
Arkansas3339202874773142
California3634232163634645
Colorado2528181957534442
Connecticut3131181770676562
Delaware3542222874715058
Dist. of Columbia695610681785963
Florida3641243069673443
Georgia3639182368672345
Hawaii2833152419284445
Idaho1923171942382537
Illinois3436182279783845
Indiana3239263378784253
Iowa2531232875733744
Kansas2633212867713945
Kentucky2835233173762549
Louisiana4349213073773041
Maine2834283445362332
Maryland3436182164603949
Massachusetts2729192063576263
Michigan3536232779744246
Minnesota2429202275584652
Mississippi4548182675772147
Missouri3337242979773448
Montana2634202829513041
Nebraska2530202474703944
Nevada3540272970694448
New Hampshire2226212633403740
New Jersey2830131468654854
New Mexico4249232860544956
New York3838192170676162
North Carolina3237172268682950
North Dakota2330192324262635
Ohio3337253078765052
Oklahoma3038233170723146
Oregon2933272972653545
Pennsylvania3335232680756361
Rhode Island3237242770645861
South Carolina3742192567732844
South Dakota2835202521423347
Tennessee3338212875742649
Texas2936182463643141
Utah1618131352463741
Vermont2532253332493435
Virginia2931182064623844
Washington2630232656553544
West Virginia3035293476772234
Wisconsin2731202482824648
Wyoming2832252842464549

Women of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2006 and earlier reports.

Table C-4. Birth Rates of Teens 15-19 Years, by State: Selected Years 1960-2004

[Births per 1,000 women in specified group]

State196019701975198019851990199520002004
United States896856535160564841
Alabama1049078686471696152
   Alaska12810360645665554939
   Arizona1127967656776746860
   Arkansas1169384757380726660
   California1036952535371674740
   Colorado976751504855525144
Connecticut544432313139393124
   Delaware1007349515155554844
   Dist. of Columbia13211673627293855367
   Florida1178664595869605142
   Georgia11710178726876706353
Hawaii776652514861494636
   Idaho1026659594751494339
   Illinois636356565163584840
   Indiana1007564575259574944
   Iowa735346433541383432
Kansas946557575256524641
   Kentucky1088678726368625549
   Louisiana1138479767274706256
   Maine936555474243342924
   Maryland1006946434653474132
Massachusetts514031282935332622
   Michigan806952454359494034
   Minnesota644436353136333027
   Mississippi12110392847681797062
   Missouri997259585463554943
   Montana976254484448423736
   Nebraska825445454042383836
   Nevada1189460595573736351
   New Hampshire765541343233302318
   New Jersey585037353441383224
   New Mexico1277967727378746661
   New York575138353644423327
   North Carolina1048872585768635949
   North Dakota684443423635332727
   Ohio846556525058534639
Oklahoma1128376756967646056
   Oregon885848514355504333
   Pennsylvania675344414045413431
   Rhode Island564335333644403433
   South Carolina1098973656371635852
   South Dakota834951534647413839
   Tennessee1038874646172676052
   Texas1158574747275766963
   Utah865654655049413834
   Vermont745443393634282321
Virginia1037653484653484135
   Washington886046474553483931
   West Virginia877273685457534744
   Wisconsin644641403943383530
   Wyoming1127168795956484243

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2004,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 55 (1), September 2006 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
Missouri635344504537145107814670100
   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 to 15, 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 SUM 1, IND 1, IND 2, IND 5, and ECON 7). 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 IND 4, and ECON 1).

Spells

Spells of program recipiency (IND 7), spells of welfare receipt with no attachment to the labor market (IND 8) and spells of poverty (ECON 5) 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.

Populations
Children