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Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2008

Publication Date
Dec 19, 2008

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


RESEARCH BRIEF


This report was written and compiled by Gil Crouse, Susan Hauan, and Annette Waters
Rogers 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.


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

Office of Human Services Policy
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building, Room 404E
200 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Fax: 202-690-6562

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

"

Executive Summary

Contents

  • Economic Security Risk Factors
    • ECON 1.  Poverty Rates
    • ECON 2.  Deep Poverty Rates
    • ECON 3.  Experimental Poverty Measures
    • ECON 4.  Poverty Rates with Various Means-Tested Benefits Counted as Income
    • ECON 5.  Poverty Spells
    • ECON 6.  Child Support
    • ECON 7.  Food Insecurity
    • ECON 8.  Lack of Health Insurance
  • Employment and Work-Related Risk Factors
    • WORK 1.  Labor Force Attachment
    • WORK 2.  Employment among the Low-Skilled
    • WORK 3.  Earnings of Low-Skilled Workers
    • WORK 4.  Educational Attainment
    • WORK 5.  High School Dropout Rates
    • WORK 6.  Adult Alcohol and Substance Abuse
    • WORK 7.  Adult and Child Disability
    • WORK 8.  Labor Force Participation of Women with Children under 18
  • NonMarital Birth Risk Factors
    • BIRTH 1.  Nonmarital Births
    • BIRTH 2.  Nonmarital Teen Births
    • BIRTH 3.  Nonmarital Teen Births Rates
    • BIRTH 4.  Never-Married Family Status

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 2008 Indicators of Welfare Dependence, the eleventh annual report, provides welfare dependence indicators through 2005, 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 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, formerly the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) 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 TANF (formerly AFDC), 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 the TANF (formerly AFDC), Food Stamp and SSI programs to provide updated measures through 2005 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 2005, 3.8 percent of the total population was dependent in that they received more than half of their total family income from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI (see Indicator 1). While higher than the 3.7 percent dependency rate measured in 2004, the 2005 rate is lower than the 5.2 percent rate measured in 1996. Overall, 2.59 million fewer Americans were dependent on welfare in 2005 compared with 1996.
  • Trends in dependency are similar to the more well-known changes in TANF and food stamp caseloads. For example, the percentage of individuals receiving TANF cash assistance (formerly AFDC) fell from 5.4 percent to 1.6 percent between 1993 and 2006 (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 8.9 percent in 2006. This increase in food stamp recipiency may explain the increase in overall dependency since 2000.
  • In an average month in 2005, more than half (52.3 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 55.3 and 38.9 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 (49.6 percent) of TANF spells for individuals entering the program between 2001 and 2003 lasted 4 months or less, compared to 30.4 percent of AFDC spells beginning between 1992 and 1994 (See Indicator 7).
  • Longer-term welfare receipt was much less common during the late 1990s and early 2000s compared to earlier periods. Less than 3 (2.6) percent of those with some TANF (or AFDC) assistance between 1995 and 2004 received assistance in nine or ten years of the period, compared to 10.5 percent and 14.6 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 wellbeing:

  • 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. Between 2005 and 2006, the poverty rate decreased from 12.6 percent to 12.3 percent of all individuals (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 (Public Law 103-432) directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to publish an annual report on welfare dependency. This 2008 report, the eleventh 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 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (formerly the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program), the Food Stamp Program, and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Throughout the report we use AFDC/TANF to refer to cash assistance benefits received under these two programs because the AFDC program preceded the TANF program.

This 2008 report provides updated measures through 2005 for dependency measures based on the Current Population Survey (CPS), Annual Social and Economic Supplement. Although more recent administrative data provide some information on recipiency through 2006, the survey data needed to examine overall welfare recipiency are not available past 2005 for the CPS-based measures, 2003 for the SIPP-based measures, and 2004 for the Panel Study of Income Dynamics measures. As in the 2007 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 and their recipients; Appendix B shows how dependence is affected by the inclusion of benefits from the SSI program; Appendix C includes additional data on nonmarital childbearing; and Appendix D provides background information on several data and technical issues. The main welfare programs in Appendix A include the following.

  • The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides monthly cash benefits to eligible families with children and is run directly by the states. Prior to 1996 this program was known as the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. 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 2006.
  • 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 2006.
  • 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 2006 are provided in Appendix A.

Measuring Welfare Dependence

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

Welfare dependence, like poverty, is a continuum, with variations in degree and in duration. Families may be more or less dependent if larger or smaller shares of their total resources are derived from welfare programs. The amount of time over which a family depends on welfare might also be considered in assessing its degree of dependence. Nevertheless, a summary measure of dependence to be used as an indicator for policy purposes must have some fixed parameters that allow one to determine which families should be counted as dependent, just as the poverty line defines who is poor under the official standard. The definition of dependence proposed by the Advisory Board for this purpose is as follows: A family is dependent on welfare if more than 50 percent of its total income in a one-year period comes from AFDC/TANF, 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 nonwork-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 2006, 30.1 percent of welfare recipients were working (including employment, work experience and community service), compared to 7 percent in 1992.3

Any definition also represents an arbitrary choice of a percentage of income from welfare beyond which families will be considered dependent. But using a single point – in this case 50 percent – yields a relatively straightforward measure that can be tracked easily over time, and is likely to be associated with any large changes in total dependence, however defined. For example, dependence under the definition used in this report declined as policy changes under welfare reform moved more recipients into employment.

As shown in Figure SUM 1, 3.8 percent of the population would be considered “dependent” on welfare in 2005 in that they received more than half of their family income in 2005 from TANF, food stamps and/or SSI. This is one-quarter of the percentage that lived in a family receiving at least some TANF, food stamps, or SSI benefits during the year.


Figure SUM 1.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates: 1993-2005

Figure SUM 1

Note:  Recipiency is defined as living in a family with receipt of any amount of AFDC/TANF, SSI or food stamps during the 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.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2006, 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 2005, the 2005 dependency and recipiency rates remain substantially lower than the peak rates of 5.9 and 17.2 percent, occurring in 1993 and 1994, respectively.  The overall drop in recipiency rates since the early 1990s is consistent with TANF administrative data showing declining TANF caseloads, especially after enactment of welfare reform in 1996.  What is not apparent from administrative records, but is shown in 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 11.15 million were dependent in 2005 — representing a decline of 2.59 million people.

Table SUM 1.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates: Selected Years

 19931996199719981999200020012002200320042005
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, 1994-2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

Recipiency Rates (Rates of Any Amount of AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, or SSI)
  All Persons16.616.014.813.513.312.512.613.214.115.015.3
  Racial/Ethnic Categories
    Non-Hispanic White10.39.99.78.68.48.28.28.89.210.110.1
    Non-Hispanic Black38.035.630.229.629.827.026.327.731.332.432.9
    Hispanic34.632.028.024.523.421.021.621.722.522.624.0
  Age Categories
    Children ages 0-530.528.225.122.421.519.820.821.424.224.625.6
    Children ages 6-1024.924.221.220.019.818.018.418.820.522.222.6
    Children ages 11-1522.121.119.417.017.316.316.116.819.720.420.9
    Women ages 16-6416.416.014.713.613.612.512.513.414.015.015.4
    Men ages 16-6411.511.711.110.09.69.29.610.310.611.611.7
    Adults ages 65 and over11.210.310.29.910.010.49.69.79.910.010.3
  Family Categories
     Persons in:
       Married-couple families10.59.68.78.37.97.27.47.58.28.68.8
       Female-headed families47.846.041.637.539.937.136.437.739.942.644.5
       Male-headed families27.625.324.319.719.321.821.221.222.221.922.1
     Unrelated persons9.711.511.910.910.010.110.011.511.612.712.2
Dependency Rates (More than 50 Percent of Income from AFDC/TANF, Food Stamps, or SSI)
  All Persons5.95.24.53.83.33.03.13.23.63.73.8
  Racial/Ethnic Categories
    Non-Hispanic White3.02.62.52.11.81.91.81.82.12.22.2
    Non-Hispanic Black17.813.811.410.59.17.78.88.710.110.010.2
    Hispanic11.810.99.16.65.44.54.54.95.25.25.7
  Age Categories
    Children ages 0-513.911.29.37.86.26.05.96.07.57.17.4
    Children ages 6-1011.29.58.46.76.15.15.45.15.86.06.1
    Children ages 11-159.38.17.45.74.54.04.44.05.05.15.5
    Women ages 16-645.95.24.63.93.53.03.33.43.63.74.0
    Men ages 16-642.72.72.52.11.91.82.02.02.32.42.4
    Adults ages 65 and over2.42.42.12.12.02.11.92.02.22.22.2
  Family Categories
     Persons in:
       Married-couple families1.81.71.41.11.00.91.01.01.11.01.1
       Female-headed families25.721.118.415.013.611.411.911.713.213.814.0
       Male-headed families6.85.45.64.23.04.44.03.84.94.04.3
     Unrelated persons3.84.24.24.23.43.83.84.14.44.54.7

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 2005 compared to 1993.

Measures of welfare dependency also vary based upon which programs are counted as “welfare programs.”  Dependency would be much lower — 2.1 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 2005, dependency declined from 3.6 percent to 2.1 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 2004, 10.0 percent received some welfare during six or more years. Another quarter (24.7 percent) were recipients in three to five years, and nearly two-thirds (65.3 percent) received welfare in only one or two years during this period.

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 2006 remains much lower than in 1993, when poverty reached its highest peak since the early 1980s. The official poverty rate for 2006 was 12.3 percent, compared to 15.1 percent in 1993. This difference in the poverty rate indicates that 2.8 million fewer people are in poverty and 2.9 million fewer children are in poverty in 2006 than in 1993.


Figure SUM 2.
Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Transfers Counted as Income: 1979-2006

Figure SUM 2

Note: The three measures of income are as follows: (1) “Before means-tested cash transfers” is earnings and other pre-transfer (“private” or “market”) cash income, plus social security, workers compensation, and other social insurance cash transfers.  It does not include means-tested cash transfers; (2) The “Official poverty measure” uses the official Census Bureau income definition, which includes means-tested cash transfers, primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI; (3) “After means-tested non-cash benefits and taxes” counts the cash value of means-tested food and housing benefits, adds the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and subtracts federal payroll and income taxes. The fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid is not included in any of the income measures.

Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980 – 2007, 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 the official poverty rate and two other measures that adjust income by adding or subtracting means-tested cash transfers, means-tested non-cash benefits, and federal taxes.  While each of the three poverty measures in the graph uses a different definition of income, all three poverty measures use the Census Bureau’s official poverty thresholds.

The “Official poverty measure” trend line shows the official poverty rate based on total cash income, including means-tested cash transfers. The official poverty rate was 12.3 percent in 2006.

The “Before means-tested cash transfers” trend line shows what the poverty rate would be if means-tested cash transfers (primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI) were excluded from income.  Income in this measure includes earnings and other pre-transfer cash income, plus social security, workers compensation, and other social insurance cash transfers.  The poverty rate under this measure would be higher than under the official measure, or 13.0 percent in 2006.

The “After means-tested non-cash benefits and taxes” trend line shows that the poverty rate would be lower if the cash value of means-tested food and housing transfers and the effect of federal taxes were counted as income.4  Under this definition, the poverty rate in 2006 would be more than two percentage points lower than the official measure, or 10.0 percent.

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.

For measures of receipt, dependency and poverty at a single point in time, the report primarily uses the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the CPS, which measures income and poverty over an annual accounting period.  As stated above, the CPS data are available on a timelier basis than the SIPP, and have been widely used to measure trends since the welfare reform legislation of 1996.  However, because the CPS does not collect income in the same detail as the SIPP, it has been subject to criticism for underreporting of income, particularly welfare income.  To address this concern, some of the indicators in this report are based on CPS data that have been analyzed by the Transfer Income Model (TRIM3), a microsimulation model developed by the Urban Institute under contract to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.  Although its primary purpose is to simulate program eligibility and the impact of policy proposals, the TRIM model also has been used to correct for underreporting of welfare receipt and benefits.  Welfare caseloads in TRIM3 are based on CPS data, adjusted upward to ensure that total estimates of recipients equal the total counts from administrative data.  To maintain consistency in data trends, we present estimates based on CPS data analyzed by TRIM3 beginning in 1993, the first year the TRIM3 microsimulation model became available.

As shown in Figure SUM 3, the overall measures of dependency and recipiency have not been greatly affected by the change in data sources. Both data sources show a decline in dependence between 1996 and 1999 and a small increase in dependence during the early 2000s.  Still, readers are cautioned against comparing measures for 1987-1995 from the SIPP data in the first three annual reports with the measures for 1993-2005 from the TRIM-adjusted CPS data.


Figure SUM 3.
Recipiency and Dependency Rates from Two Data Sources: 1987 – 2005.

Figure SUM 3

Note:  Recipiency is defined as 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. 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 SIPP-based receipt and dependency estimates prior to 2001.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model, and unpublished tabulations from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1987, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1996, 2001, and 2004 panels.


The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is another source of data used in this report.  Like the SIPP it provides longitudinal data, but over a much longer time period than the three- to four-year time period of the SIPP.  With annual data on program receipt since 1968, the PSID provides vital data for measuring longer-term welfare use over periods of up to 10 years.  Because the PSID indicators cover time spans as long as a decade, they are updated less frequently than the CPS-based and SIPP-based measures.  In this 2008 annual report, the key PSID indicator for long-term welfare receipt, Indicator 9, has been updated.  Indicator 9 still includes estimates of welfare receipt over 10-year periods, but the years covered by each time period have shifted.  Thus, readers are cautioned against comparisons with estimates from prior reports.

The report also draws upon administrative data for the AFDC/TANF, Food Stamp and SSI programs.  These data are largely reported in Appendix A.  Like the CPS data, administrative data are generally available with little time lags; these data are generally available through fiscal year (FY) 2006.  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 should be made with caution.  This issue also affects reported data on AFDC and TANF receipt in national data sets such as the CPS and SIPP.

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

Endnotes

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

2 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 30.1 percent includes 21.7 percent in unsubsidized employment and 8.5 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 definition.

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

Chapter II. Indicators of Dependence

Contents

  • Indicator Summary
  • Indicator 1: Degree of Dependence
  • Indicator 2: Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance and Labor Force Attachment
  • Indicator 3: Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance
  • Indicator 4: Rates of Participation in Means-Tested Assistance Programs
  • Indicator 5: Multiple Program Receipt
  • Indicator 6: Dependence Transitions
  • Indicator 7: Program Spell Duration
  • Indicator 8: Welfare Spell Duration with No Labor Force Attachment
  • Indicator 9: Long Term Receipt
  • Indicator 10: Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells

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 simply 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 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (formerly the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) 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 means-tested cash and nutritional assistance programs: cash assistance through the AFDC and TANF programs, benefits under the Food Stamp Program, and SSI benefits for elderly and disabled recipients. For some indicators, summary data and characteristics are provided for all recipients, not just those defined as welfare-dependent. While a number of indicators focus on the percentage of recipients’ income from means-tested assistance, other indicators focus on presence of work activities at the same time as welfare receipt.


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 Summary

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 family income from these sources (Indicators 1a and 1b).  This indicator also shows the average percentage of income from means-tested assistance and earnings received by families with various levels of income relative to the poverty level (Indicators 1c and 1d).

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

Indicator 3: Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance.  This indicator paints yet another picture of dependence by measuring recipiency rates, that is, the percentage of the population that receives AFDC/TANF, food stamps or SSI in an average month.  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 individuals and 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 estimated to be 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 that it provides information on spells of TANF receipt during months where no one in the family worked or was officially unemployed.

Indicator 9: Long Term Receipt.  Many individuals who leave welfare programs cycle back on after an absence of several months.  Thus it is important to look beyond individual program spells, measured in Indicator 7, to examine the cumulative amount of time individuals receive assistance over a period of several years.

Indicator 10: Events Associated with the Beginning and Ending of Program Spells.  To gain a better understanding of welfare dynamics, it is important to go beyond measures of spell duration and examine information regarding the major events in people’s lives that are correlated with the beginnings or endings of program spells. This measure focuses on receipt of TANF.

INDICATOR 1. Degree of Dependence

Figure IND 1a.
Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 2005

Figure IND 1a

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.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Figure IND 1a shows the percentage of persons in families with varying degrees of dependence on means-tested assistance programs in 2005.
  • The majority of persons (84.7 percent) lived in families that received no income from means-tested assistance programs in 2005.
  • Fifteen (15.3) percent of persons lived in families that receive income supports from means-tested assistance programs.  Almost 4 (3.8) percent of persons lived in families that received more than half of their income from means-tested assistance programs.  These persons would be considered welfare dependent under the definition of dependence used in this report.1
  • Table IND 1a shows the percentage of persons in families with varying degrees of reliance on income from means-tested assistance programs by demographic characteristics.  Welfare dependence varies across demographic groups. Among racial and ethnic groups, Non-Hispanic Blacks were more likely to be welfare dependent (10.2 percent) than were Non-Hispanic Whites (2.2 percent) or Hispanics of any race (5.7 percent).
  • Among age categories, children from birth to 5 years of age were more likely to live in families that were welfare dependent than were children of other age categories.
  • Among family types, persons living in female-headed families were more likely to be welfare dependent than those in other family categories.
  • Table IND 1b shows trends in welfare dependence between 1993 and 2005.  Welfare dependence was highest in 1993 at 5.9 percent.  Welfare dependence declined between 1993 and 2000, with notable drops occurring between 1996 and 2000.  After 2000, the downward trend in welfare dependence reversed, with dependence increasing from 3.0 percent in 2000 to 3.8 percent in 2005.

Table IND 1a.
Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs by Selected Characteristics: 2005

 0%> 0% and
<= 25%
> 25% and
<= 50%
> 50% and
<= 75%
> 75% and
<= 100%
Total
> 50%
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, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

All Persons84.78.92.61.12.73.8
  Racial/Ethnic Categories
    Non-Hispanic White89.96.41.4.61.62.2
    Non-Hispanic Black67.115.96.83.27.010.2
    Hispanic76.014.14.21.73.95.7
  Age Categories
    Children ages 0-574.413.05.22.45.07.4
    Children ages 6-1077.411.94.61.94.26.1
    Children ages 11-1579.111.44.01.93.75.5
    Women ages 16-6484.68.92.51.12.94.0
    Men ages 16-6488.37.71.6.61.82.4
    Adults ages 65 and over89.76.31.8.71.52.2
  Family Categories
    Persons in married-couple families91.26.41.2.4.71.1
    Persons in female-headed families55.520.89.64.69.514.0
    Persons in male-headed families77.913.93.91.52.84.3
    Unrelated persons87.86.41.2.64.14.7

Table IND 1b.
Percentage of Total Income from Means-Tested Assistance Programs:  1993-2005

 0%> 0% and
<= 25%
> 25% and
<= 50%
> 50% and
<= 75%
> 75% and
<= 100%
Total
> 50%
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.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

199383.47.83.01.84.15.9
199482.88.43.11.84.05.8
199583.28.53.11.83.55.3
199684.07.83.11.93.35.2
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
200584.78.92.61.12.73.8

Figure IND 1b.
Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources by Poverty Status: 2005

Figure IND 1b

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

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Figure IND 1b shows sources of income by poverty status in 2005. There is an association between poverty status and receiving income from means-tested assistance programs.
  • Persons in families with incomes below the poverty line received 46.6 percent of their income from earnings and 32.5 percent from means-tested assistance programs.  Persons in families with incomes at 200 percent or more of the poverty line received 86.6 percent of their income from earnings and .2 percent of their income from means-tested assistance programs.
  • The percentage of family income that comes 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 in families living in deep poverty (below 50 percent of the poverty line) was 25.3 percent compared to 46.6 percent for all poor persons in 2005.
  • Table IND 1c shows sources of income by poverty status for various demographic groups.  On average, persons in married-couple families rely on earnings more and on means-tested assistance programs less than persons in other family categories at all income levels.
  • Table IND 1d shows the percentage of income from various sources across selected years.  The percentage of income received from earnings for persons in families with incomes below the poverty line increased from 40.4 percent in 1995 to a high of 49.5 percent in 2000.  After 2000, the rate decreased to 46.6 percent in 2005.
  • Over the same time period, the percentage of income from means-tested programs among persons in poor families decreased substantially from 41.3 percent in 1995 to 30.3 percent in 2000.  After 2000, the rate increased to 32.5 percent in 2005

Table IND 1c.
Percentage of Total Income from Various Sources by Poverty Status and Selected Characteristics: 2005

 <50% Poverty<100% of Poverty<200% of Poverty200%+ of PovertyAll
Persons
Note:  Total income is total annual family income, including the value of food stamps.  Other income is non-means-tested, non-earnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest and dividends.  Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive. 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, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

All Persons
  TANF, SSI, and food stamps58.532.510.40.21.1
  Earnings25.346.668.286.684.9
  Other income16.220.821.413.213.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
  Non-Hispanic White
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps53.129.98.00.10.6
    Earnings25.541.962.785.684.3
    Other income21.428.329.414.315.1
  Non-Hispanic Black
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps66.343.517.90.54.0
    Earnings18.935.360.688.182.5
    Other income14.721.221.611.513.5
  Hispanic
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps55.626.59.40.52.7
    Earnings32.762.481.591.689.1
    Other income11.711.19.07.98.2
 Age Categories
   Children ages 0-5
     TANF, SSI, and food stamps65.537.213.50.22.3
     Earnings22.852.078.094.692.1
     Other income11.610.78.55.25.7
  Children ages 6-10
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps65.135.512.00.21.9
    Earnings20.750.277.493.791.3
    Other income14.214.310.66.26.8
  Children ages 11-15
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps61.836.112.50.11.7
    Earnings22.647.374.392.089.8
    Other income15.616.613.27.98.5
  Women ages 16-64
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps55.633.311.20.21.1
    Earnings26.646.371.489.187.7
    Other income17.820.517.510.711.2
  Men ages 16-64
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps48.027.48.00.20.7
    Earnings34.453.176.490.289.3
    Other income17.619.515.59.610.0
  Adults ages 65 and over
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps37.221.46.50.31.0
    Earnings9.26.59.940.236.6
    Other income53.672.283.559.562.4
Family Categories
  Persons in married-couple families
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps49.722.45.90.10.5
    Earnings35.062.077.087.686.9
    Other income15.315.617.112.312.6
  Persons in female-headed families
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps66.945.221.71.06.9
    Earnings17.836.458.681.975.3
    Other income15.218.419.717.117.8
  Persons in male-headed families
    TANF, SSI, and food stamps65.831.211.00.52.0
    Earnings21.050.772.187.385.2
    Other income13.218.016.912.212.8

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

 < 50%
Poverty
<100% of
Poverty
<200% of
Poverty
200%+ of
Poverty
Note:  Total income is total annual family income, including the value of food stamps.  Other income is non-means-tested, non-earnings income such as child support, alimony, pensions, Social Security benefits, interest and dividends.  Poverty status categories are not mutually exclusive.

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

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation mode.

1995
  AFDC, SSI, and Food Stamps65.941.314.20.3
  Earnings22.540.464.885.4
  Other income11.618.321.014.3
1998
  AFDC, 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
2005
  TANF, SSI, and Food Stamps58.532.510.40.2
  Earnings25.346.668.286.6
Other income16.220.821.413.2

1 For a discussion on defining welfare dependence, please see “Measuring Welfare Dependence” in Chapter I.

INDICATOR 2. Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance and Labor Force Attachment

Figure IND 2.
Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants by Program: 2005

Figure IND 2

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

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

  • Figure IND 2 shows the percentage of recipients in families with labor force participants by program.1  In 2005, SSI recipients were more likely to live in families with no labor force participants (61.1 percent) than were TANF recipients (47.7 percent) or food stamp recipients (44.6 percent).
  • Table IND 2a shows the percentage of recipients in families with labor force participants by program and demographic characteristics.
  • Among TANF recipients, Hispanics of any race were more likely to live in families with at least one full-time worker (34.3 percent) than were Non-Hispanic Whites (25.9 percent) or Non-Hispanic Blacks (22.5 percent).
  • Among TANF recipients, 49.2 percent of persons in married-couple families lived with at least one full-time worker compared to 19.6 percent of persons in female-headed families, and 28.3 percent of persons in male- headed families.
  • Table IND 2b shows the percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients living in families with labor force participants by year.  The percentage of recipients living in families with full-time workers increased from 18.8 percent in 1993 to 35.3 percent in 2001 and then declined to 26.9 percent in 2005.

Table IND 2a.
Percentage of Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants by Program and Selected Characteristics: 2005

  No One in LFAt Least One in LF,
No One FT
At 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, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

TANFAll Persons47.725.426.9
  Non-Hispanic White47.326.825.9
  Non-Hispanic Black50.726.822.5
  Hispanic43.921.834.3
  Children ages 0-548.123.628.4
  Children ages 6-1049.225.825.0
  Children ages 11-1549.222.428.4
  Women ages 16-6449.427.023.6
  Men ages 16-6435.831.432.9
  Adults ages 65 and over51.47.640.9
  Persons in married-couple families25.025.849.2
  Persons in female-headed families55.824.619.6
  Persons in male-headed families39.931.828.3
  Unrelated personsNANANA
FOOD STAMPSAll Persons44.622.432.9
  Non-Hispanic White47.023.030.0
  Non-Hispanic Black45.224.930.0
  Hispanic39.017.743.3
  Children ages 0-534.522.842.8
  Children ages 6-1036.324.639.1
  Children ages 11-1538.422.239.4
  Women ages 16-6447.623.928.5
  Men ages 16-6444.424.031.6
  Adults ages 65 and over84.86.68.6
  Persons in married-couple families28.520.051.5
  Persons in female-headed families44.825.230.0
  Persons in male-headed families35.727.137.2
  Unrelated persons79.415.25.4
SSIAll Persons61.110.228.7
  Non-Hispanic White65.09.525.4
  Non-Hispanic Black62.812.424.7
  Hispanic54.48.736.9
  Children ages 0-539.813.946.3
  Children ages 6-1042.812.145.1
  Children ages 11-1542.819.038.3
  Women ages 16-6467.810.221.9
  Men ages 16-6458.511.430.1
  Adults ages 65 and over65.96.627.6
  Persons in married-couple families36.411.552.1
  Persons in female-headed families53.714.431.9
  Persons in male-headed families44.814.041.2
  Unrelated persons95.24.00.9

Table IND 2b.
Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients in Families with Labor Force Participants: 1993-2005

 No One in LFAt Least One in LF,
No One FT
At Least One
FT Worker
Note:  Recipients are limited to those individuals or family members directly receiving benefits in a month. Full-time workers are those who usually work 35 hours or more per week. Part-time labor force participation includes part-time workers and those who are unemployed, laid off and/or looking for work.  This indicator measures, on an average monthly basis, the combination of individual benefit receipt and labor force participation by any family member in the same month.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994 - 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

199357.024.218.8
199454.824.820.4
199550.624.325.1
199650.125.624.3
199747.628.024.4
199844.325.829.9
199940.824.135.1
200041.224.134.7
200138.726.035.3
200239.825.834.3
200347.424.128.5
200448.023.828.1
200547.725.426.9

1 Note that lower family employment rates are reported in TANF administrative data, which are limited to the employment of family members in the TANF assistance unit and employment reported to welfare agencies (see Table TANF 7 in Appendix A).

INDICATOR 3. Rates of Receipt of Means-Tested Assistance

Figure IND 3a.
Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF by Age: 1970-2006

Figure IND 3a

Note:  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. Beginning in 2000, the data include both TANF and SSP recipients who have comprised as much as 11 percent of total recipients.

Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance. Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • Figure IND 3a shows the percentage of the population who received income from the AFDC program or TANF program by age group from 1970 to 2006.
  • Table IND 3a shows the number and percent of the population receiving AFDC/TANF by age between 1970 and 2006.  In 1993, 5.4 percent of the population received income from AFDC.  In 2006, the percentage was 1.6.  The 2006 rate of TANF receipt was the lowest since 1970.
  • AFDC/TANF recipiency rates have been higher with more pronounced changes over time for children than for adults.  Between 1993 and 2006, AFDC/TANF receipt among children decreased from 13.9 percent to 4.8 percent, the most rapid decline in the time period shown.

Table IND 3a.
Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving AFDC/TANF by Age:
1970-2006

Fiscal
Year
Total RecipientsAdult RecipientsChild Recipients
Number
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
Percent
Note:  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. Beginning in 2000, the data include both TANF and SSP recipients who have comprised as much as 11 percent of total recipients.

Source:  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance.  Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the 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
20015,6732.01,5030.74,1715.7
20025,5761.91,4760.74,0995.6
20035,4521.91,4150.74,0375.5
20045,3151.81,3570.63,9575.4
20055,0641.71,2760.63,7885.2
20064,6951.61,1630.53,5324.8

Figure IND 3b.
Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps by Age: 1975-2006

Figure IND 3b

Note:  See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates. Recipient totals 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 2006 and earlier reports (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm), and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank. Population denominators for the percents in each category are from U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • Figure IND 3b shows the percentage of the population who received food stamps by age category from 1975 to 2006.
  • The food stamp recipiency rate increased to 8.9 percent in 2006 from a low of 6.1 percent in 2000 and 2001, the lowest rate since the Food Stamp Program became available nationwide. While the 2006 recipiency rate is higher than the 2005 rate, it is still lower than the peak rate of 10.4 percent experienced in 1993 and 1994.
  • As with AFDC/TANF, food stamp recipiency rates have been higher over time for children than for adults.  Between 1980 and 2006, the percentage of all children who received food stamps was at least double the percentage for all adults ages 18 to 59.
  • Table IND 3b shows the number and percentage of the population receiving food stamps by age from 1975 to 2006.  Trends in food stamp recipiency across all age groups are similar over the time period.  The trends may largely reflect changes in the rate of unemployment and programmatic changes.
  • The percentage of all persons receiving food stamps declined between 1984 and 1988 and then increased in the early 1990s reaching a peak rate in 1993 (10.4 percent). The percentage then declined through 2000 and since then has risen to 8.9 percent in 2006.

Table IND 3b.
Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving Food Stamps
by Age: 1975-2006

Fiscal
Year
Total RecipientsAdult Recipients
Ages 60 and over
Adult Recipients
Ages 18-59
Child Recipients
Ages 0-18
Number
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
Percent
Note:  See Appendix A, Tables FSP 1 and FSP 6 for more detailed data on recipiency rates.  Recipient totals 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 2006 and earlier reports (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm), and unpublished data from the Food Stamps National Data Bank.  Individual age groups do not sum exactly to total recipients. 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
200525,6778.72,0444.110,3906.012,40516.9
200626,6318.92,2264.410,7516.112,57917.1

Figure IND 3c.
Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI by Age: 1975-2006

Figure IND 3c

Note:  December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the U.S. 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, 2006, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy). Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the U.S. Census Bureau (available online at http://www.census.gov).


  • Figure IND 3c shows the percentage of the population who received income assistance from the SSI program by age category from 1975 through 2006.
  • Unlike the recipiency rates for AFDC/TANF and food stamps, overall recipiency rates for SSI show less variation over time.  After decreasing from 1975 to the early 1980s, the proportion of the population that received SSI increased from 1.7 percent in 1985 to 2.5 percent in 1996.  The percentage then declined to 2.4 percent in 2006.  The total number of recipients has increased by 72 percent over the same period, from 4.1 million in 1985 to 7.2 million people in 2006.
  • Table IND 3c shows the percentage of the population and number of persons receiving SSI by age between 1975 and 2006.
  • Elderly adults (ages 65 and older) have higher recipiency rates than any other age group.  The gap, however, has narrowed as the percentage of adults aged 65 and older receiving SSI has been cut in half, declining from 10.9 percent in 1975 to 5.3 percent in 2006.
  • The proportion of children receiving SSI increased gradually between 1975 and 1990, and grew more rapidly in the early and mid-1990s, reaching 1.4 percent in 1996.  The rate then fell through 2000 before rising to 1.5 percent in 2006.

Table IND 3c.
Number and Percentage of the Total Population Receiving SSI
by Age: 1975-2006

DateTotal RecipientsAdult Recipients
Ages 65 & over
Adult Recipients
Ages 18-64
Child Recipients
Ages 0-18
Number
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
PercentNumber
(thousands)
Percent
Note:  December population figures used as the denominators are obtained by averaging the U.S. 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, 2006, (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy). Population denominators for the percents in each category are from the 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
Dec 20067,2362.42,0045.34,1522.21,0791.5

INDICATOR 4. Rates of Participation in Means-Tested Assistance Programs

Figure IND 4.
Participation Rates in the AFDC/TANF1, Food Stamp and SSI Programs: Selected Years

Figure IND 4

Note:  AFDC/TANF and SSI participation rates are estimated by an Urban Institute model (TRIM3) that uses CPS data to simulate program 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.  For TANF, in contrast to editions prior to 2004, this table includes families receiving assistance under Separate State Programs (SSPs).  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.

Food Stamp Eligible households are estimated from a Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. model that uses CPS data to simulate the Food Stamp Program.  Food Stamp 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 re-weighting 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 2005.

Source:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1999-2005 (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm), and unpublished tabulations from the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Figure IND 4 shows the participation rates of means-tested assistance programs for selected years.  This indicator examines participating families or households as a percentage of the estimated eligible population.  It is a contrast to Indicator 3, which examines participants as a percentage of the total population (recipiency rates).
  • Forty (40.4) percent of families estimated as eligible for TANF cash assistance, 59.1 percent of households estimated as eligible for food stamps, and 67.7 percent of adults estimated as eligible for SSI are estimated to have enrolled and received benefits in an average month in 2005.

Table IND 4a.
Number and Percentage of Eligible Families Participating in the AFDC/TANF Cash Assistance Program: Selected Years

Calendar
Year
Eligible Families
(millions)
Participating Families
(millions)
Participation Rate
(percent)
Note:  AFDC/TANF 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 (SSPs).  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
20045.222.1942.0
20055.272.1340.4
  • Table IND 4a shows the number and percentage of eligible families participating in the cash AFDC/TANF program in selected years.
  • Between 1981 and 1996, participation rates in the AFDC program ranged from 76.7 percent (in 1987) to 85.7 percent (in 1992).
  • After 1996, participation rates in the cash TANF program decreased from 78.9 percent of families estimated to be eligible for AFDC/TANF cash benefits in 1996 to 40.4 percent of families estimated to be eligible for TANF cash benefits in 2005.
  • Note that TANF is a flexible program with a flexible funding stream.  As such, states provide substantial “non assistance” services and benefits that would not be included in these cash assistance estimates.
  • Families also may receive cash benefits or other services through general assistance and other solely state-funded programs2 that are separate from the TANF program and are not shown here.

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:  Food Stamp Eligible households are estimated from a Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. model that uses CPS data to simulate the Food Stamp Program.  Food Stamp 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 re-weighting 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 2005.

Source:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1999-2005 (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/snapmain.htm).

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 199914.57.551.4
Fiscal Year 200014.37.150.0
Fiscal Year 200115.27.347.8
Fiscal Year 200216.78.047.6
Fiscal Year 200317.98.949.7
Fiscal Year 200418.010.055.5
Fiscal Year 200518.110.759.1
  • Table IND 4b shows the number and percentage of eligible households participating in the Food Stamp Program for selected years.  Between fiscal years 2004 and 2005, the participation rate for food stamps increased from 55.5 percent in 2004 to 59.1 percent in 2005.
  • Between fiscal years 1999 and 2005 there was a 24.8 percent increase in households eligible for the Food Stamp Program (from 14.5 to 18.1 million households).  Caseloads grew by 42.6 percent over the same period, with notable increases occurring in both 2004 and 2005.  Subsequently, the estimated participation rate increased from 51.4 percent in 1999 to 59.1 percent in 2005.
  • While there were 10.7 million households participating in the Food Stamp Program in 2005, the caseload is still lower than the 1993 peak (10.9 million households).  During the mid to late 1990s, there was a 33 percent drop in food stamp caseloads, from a peak of 10.9 million households in 1993 to 7.3 million households 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 Selected Characteristics: 1993-2005

 All Adult UnitsOne-Person UnitsMarried-Couple Units
AgedDisabled
Note:  SSI 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 and 1998 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.  Still it is important to note that the TRIM model utilizes the limited information on disability status available from the Current Population Survey and thus may be underestimating the eligible non-elderly adult population resulting in participation rates that are too high.  For example unpublished tabulations from the Social Security Administration based on data from the Survey of Income and program Participation suggest that the rate of SSI participation among eligible non-elderly adults may be somewhere between a low estimate of around 40 percent and a high estimate of 80 percent — a fairly wide range.  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 adult 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
200567.763.473.541.1
  • Table IND 4c shows the percentage of eligible adult units participating in the SSI program by select demographic categories. After rising to 75.8 percent of adults estimated to be eligible for SSI in 2000, the SSI participation rate decreased to 67.7 percent of those estimated to be eligible for SSI in 2005.  This rate remains higher than recent TANF and food stamp participation rates (see Tables IND 4a and IND 4b).
  • Between 2004 and 2005, for aged adults in one-person units, the estimated SSI participation rate increased from 57.0 percent in 1993 to a high of 70.9 percent in 2000.  After some declines in the early 2000s, the estimated SSI participation rate among aged one-person units increased from 61.9 percent in 2002 to 63.4 percent in 2005.

1 Unlike the Food Stamp and SSI programs, TANF is a block grant program for which there is no individual entitlement.  One of the main goals of TANF is to move people from cash assistance to self-sufficiency, which may be inconsistent with achieving a higher coverage rate.

2 As discussed in the note to Table IND 4a above, the model for estimating participation in the TANF cash assistance program does take into account benefits from Separate State Programs (SSPs) that are used to meet Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirements.

INDICATOR 5. Multiple Program Receipt

Figure IND 5.
Percentage of Recipients Receiving Assistance from Multiple Programs — TANF, Food Stamps and SSI: 2005

Figure IND 5

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

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.


  • Figure IND 5 shows the percentage of those receiving benefits from TANF, food stamps, or SSI or a combination of benefits from these programs in 2005.  About three-quarters (74.3 percent) of persons in families receiving TANF, food stamps, or SSI benefits in an average month received assistance from only one program. Most received food stamps or SSI benefits only.  Two percent of persons in families received only TANF benefits.
  • Table IND 5a shows the percentage of the population receiving assistance from multiple means-tested assistance programs by demographic characteristics.  Among age categories, children were more likely than persons in other age categories to live in families that received support from multiple means-tested assistance programs.  For example, 5.3 percent of children from birth to 5 years lived in families that received both TANF and food stamps as compared with 1.2 percent of women aged 16 to 64.
  • Among family categories, persons in female-headed families were more likely than those living in other types of families to receive support from multiple means-tested assistance programs.  Among persons in female-headed families, 7.4 percent received support from TANF and food stamps, as compared to .5 percent of those in married-couple families, and 1.9 percent of those in male-headed families.
  • Table IND 5b shows the percentage of the population receiving assistance from multiple means-tested assistance programs between 1993 and 2005.  Reliance on multiple means-tested programs has decreased over time.  In 1993, 4.8 percent of the population received AFDC and food stamps.  In 2005, the percent who received both TANF and food stamps decreased to 1.5 percent.

Table IND 5a.
Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Means-Tested Assistance Programs
by Selected Characteristics: 2005

 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, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

All Persons10.20.26.21.31.51.2
  Racial/Ethnic Categories
    Non-Hispanic White6.70.14.10.90.70.8
    Non-Hispanic Black24.90.515.12.04.42.9
    Hispanic14.60.48.51.72.71.3
  Age Categories
    Children ages 0-520.70.613.40.75.30.7
    Children ages 6-1017.60.511.60.74.20.6
    Children ages 11-1515.90.710.20.93.30.8
    Women ages 16-649.60.16.10.91.21.3
    Men ages 16-646.30.13.81.20.40.9
    Adults ages 65 and over8.00.02.43.10.02.4
  Family Categories
    Persons in married-couple families4.80.13.00.70.50.4
    Persons in female-headed families33.40.720.12.57.42.7
    Persons in male-headed families13.90.38.22.21.91.3
    Unrelated persons9.40.04.91.80.02.7

Table IND 5b.
Percentage of Population Receiving Assistance from Multiple Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1993-2005

 Any ReceiptOne Program OnlyTwo Programs
AFDC/TANFFSSSIAFDC/TANF & 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).

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1994-2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.

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
200510.20.26.21.31.51.2 

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 and Ethnicity

Figure IND 6

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.

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


  • Figure IND 6 shows the 2003 dependency status of persons who were welfare dependent in 2002 by race and ethnicity.  Welfare dependence is defined as receiving more than half of one’s total family income in the year from TANF, food stamps, and/or SSI.  For further discussion of defining welfare dependency, see Chapter I.
  • Of the recipients who received more than 50 percent of their total family income from AFDC/TANF, food stamps and/or SSI in 2002, 70.8 percent of Non-Hispanic Whites, 72.6 percent of Non-Hispanic Blacks, and 69.1 percent of Hispanics were welfare dependent in 2003.
  • Table IND 6a shows the 2003 dependency status of persons who were welfare dependent in 2002 by demographic groups.  Men ages 16 to 64 who received more than half of their total income from means-tested assistance programs in 2002 remained dependent in 2003 in higher percentages than women.
  • Table IND 6b shows the dependency status of all persons who received more than 50 percent of their income from means-tested assistance programs in the previous year.  Recipients of means-tested assistance programs were more likely to move out of welfare dependency in the early 2000s than in the early 1990s.

Table IND 6a.
Dependency Status in 2003 of Persons Who Received More than 50 Percent of Income
from Means-Tested Assistance in 2002 by Selected Characteristics

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

Transitions from: Total
(thousands)
Percentage of Persons Receiving
No aid in
second year
Up to 50% in
second year
Over 50% in
second year
Note:  Means-tested assistance is defined as AFDC/TANF, food stamps and SSI.  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.  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.  Because full calendar year data for 1995 were not available for all SIPP respondents, some transitions between 1994 and 1995 were based on twelve-month periods that did not correspond exactly to calendar years.

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

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 Persons Entering Programs during the 2001-2003 Period
by Length of Spell

Figure IND 7

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.  Program 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.

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


  • Figure IND 7 shows the percentage of TANF, food stamp, and SSI spells by spell length categories for persons entering programs in the early 2000s.  Between 2001 and 2003, spells lasting four months or less accounted for 49.6 percent of TANF spells, 35.9 percent of food stamp spells, and 27.9 percent of SSI spells.
  • Approximately three-fourths of all TANF spells (73.3 percent) and three-fifths of food stamp spells (60.3 percent) lasted one year or less compared to 49.3 percent of SSI spells.
  • Table IND 7a shows the percentage of program spells for persons entering programs during the 2001 – 2003 period by length of spell and demographic characteristics.  For TANF spells, a smaller percentage of Non-Hispanic White recipients (11.9 percent) had long spells lasting more than 20 months compared to Non-Hispanic Blacks (19.1 percent) and Hispanics (19.8 percent).
  • Table IND 7b shows how the percentage of program spells of varying lengths for persons entering programs during selected periods has changed.  Spells of welfare receipt were shorter in the early 2000s than in the early 1990s.  For instance, 16.8 percent of TANF
  • spells for persons entering TANF between 2001 and 2003 lasted 20 months or longer as compared to 34.4 percent of AFDC spells beginning between 1992 and 1994.

Table IND 7a.
Percentage of TANF, Food Stamp and SSI Spells for Persons Entering Programs during the 2001-2003 Period
by Length of Spell and Selected Characteristics

Program Spells
<=4 Months
Spells
5-12 Months
Spells
13-20 Months
Spells
>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.  Program 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 Recipients49.623.710.016.8
Non-Hispanic White51.423.713.111.9
Non-Hispanic Black50.623.56.819.1
Hispanic51.720.18.419.8
Children ages 0-550.024.011.914.1
Children ages 6-1045.421.58.524.6
Children ages 11-1543.725.312.418.6
Adults ages 16-6452.924.28.414.4
Adults ages 65 and overNANANANA
FOOD STAMPSAll Recipients35.924.48.930.7
Non-Hispanic White35.925.88.030.3
Non-Hispanic Black32.223.711.732.4
Hispanic40.522.57.829.2
Children ages 0-527.725.612.933.8
Children ages 6-1028.627.410.733.3
Children ages 11-1531.828.19.630.6
Adults ages 16-6440.323.97.528.4
Adults ages 65 and over30.012.59.648.0
SSIAll Recipients27.921.47.343.5
Non-Hispanic White31.319.87.941.0
Non-Hispanic Black26.925.37.140.7
Hispanic23.718.87.350.2
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 Persons Entering Programs
during Selected Periods by Length of Spell

PeriodProgramSpells <=4
Months
Spells 5-12
Months
Spells 13-20
Months
Spells >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.  Program spells are defined as those starting during the 2001 SIPP panel.

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

1992 – 1994AFDC30.424.710.534.4
Food Stamps33.424.910.231.5
SSI25.78.94.860.6
1993 – 1995AFDC30.725.412.531.4
Food Stamps33.126.810.130.0
SSI24.07.94.763.4
1996 – 1999AFDC/TANF46.629.211.512.7
Food Stamps43.127.79.319.8
SSI34.119.29.137.6
2001 – 2003TANF49.623.710.016.8
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 Persons Entering Programs during the 2001 – 2003 Period
by Length of Spell

Figure IND 8

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 persons who received TANF and lived in families with no labor force participants in each month.

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


  • Figure IND 8 shows the percentage of TANF spells with no family labor force attachment for persons entering the TANF program between 2001 and 2003 by length of spell.
  • Welfare spells with no family labor force attachment are measured as consecutive months that a person received TANF benefits and lived in a family with no labor force participants.  Welfare spells with no family labor force attachment may end when a person leaves the TANF program or when a person remains on TANF but at least one person in the family enters the labor market.
  • Fifty-six (56.1) percent of welfare spells with no family labor force attachment lasted less than four months as measured in the SIPP.
  • Table IND 8a shows the percentage of TANF spells with no family labor force attachment by spell length for different demographic groups. The percentage of spells ending in four months or less was larger for Non-Hispanic Whites (61.2 percent) than it was for Non-Hispanic Blacks (52.8 percent) and Hispanics (59.9 percent).

Table IND 8a.
Percentage of TANF Spells with No Family Labor Force Attachment for Persons Entering Programs
during the 2001 – 2003 Period by Length of Spell and Selected Characteristics

 Spells
<=4 Months
Spells
5-12 Months
Spells
13-20 Months
Spells
>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 persons 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 Persons Entering Programs during Selected Years

Spells
<=4 Months
Spells
5-12 Months
Spells
13-20 Months
Spells
>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 persons who received TANF and lived in families with no labor force participants in each month.

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
  • Table IND 8b shows the percentage of TANF spells with no family labor force attachment for persons entering the program during selected periods by spell length.  In the early 2000s, 56.1 percent of TANF spells with no family labor force attachment ended within four months and 79.1 percent ended within a year.
  • The percentage of spells with no family labor force attachment lasting more than 20 months was higher in the early 1990s than in the early 2000s (22.5 percent compared to 10.2 percent, respectively).
  • Indicators 7 and 8 provide similar information; however, the percentages of spell lengths differ because the two Indicators are computed differently.  Indicator 7 shows spells for all recipients while Indicator 8 restricts welfare spells to recipients in families without any labor force participants.  This difference results in a higher percentage of spells longer than 20 months in Indicator 7, where TANF and employment may be combined and compared to Indicator 8 where no one in the family may be in the labor force.

INDICATOR 9. Long Term Receipt

Figure IND 9.
Percentage of AFDC/TANF Recipients
by Years of Receipt during the 1995 – 2004 Period

Figure IND 9

Note:  The base for the percentages consists of mothers who received 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.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1996-2005.


  • Figure IND 9 shows the percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients by years of receipt between 1995 and 2004.  Among all persons receiving AFDC/TANF at some point within the ten-year period, 65.3 percent received assistance in only one or two of these years. In contrast, 2.6 percent received assistance in 9 or 10 of the years.
  • Table IND 9 shows the percentage of AFDC/TANF recipients with varying years of receipt across three ten-year time periods by demographic characteristics.  Long spells of welfare receipt were more common in earlier time periods than they were in later time periods. For example, for the 1975 - 1984 time period, 14.6 percent of AFDC recipients received benefits in at least 9 of the 10 years as compared to 2.6 percent of AFDC/TANF recipients for the 1995 – 2004 time period.
  • Short spells of TANF were more prevalent in the 1995 to 2004 period compared to earlier periods.  Between 1995 and 2004, 65.3 percent of TANF recipients received benefits in only one or two years compared to 44.5 percent in the 1985 to 1994 period and 46.2 percent in the 1975 to 1984 period.
  • Among child recipients, for the 1975 – 1984 time period, 36.3 percent of children birth to age 5 lived in families that received AFDC/TANF in only 1 or 2 of the years as compared to 66.3 percent for the 1995 – 2004 time period.
  • Among racial groups, the percentage of Non-Hispanic Black recipients receiving TANF benefits in only one or two years during a ten-year period increased by 25.6 percentage points between the 1975 to 1984 period and the 1995 to 2004 period.  In comparison, this same percentage for Non-Hispanic White recipients increased by 15.8 percentage points across the same two time periods.

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

Years received AFDC/TANF

All RecipientsChild Recipients Ages 0-5
1975-19841985-19941995-20041975-19841985-19941995-2004
Note:  The base for the percentages consists of mothers who received 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.

Due to small sample size, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the estimates for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, public release data files, 1976-2005, and unreleased data from 2003-2005

All Persons
1-2 years46.244.565.336.332.166.3
3-5 years24.427.124.724.528.119.5
6-8 years14.817.97.416.521.012.6
9-10 years14.610.52.622.618.91.7
Non-Hispanic Whites
1-2 years55.150.170.944.741.967.7
3-5 years20.827.722.519.128.117.0
6-8 years12.417.76.613.922.714.6
9-10 years11.84.60.022.47.30.6
Non-Hispanic Blacks
1-2 years32.638.058.224.121.663.2
3-5 years29.525.927.632.428.124.8
6-8 years18.918.58.420.519.28.1
9-10 years19.017.65.923.031.13.9

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

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

Figure IND 10a

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 Adults (not marriage)” was limited to cases where the adult joining the household was not marrying 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.  An increase in earnings must be an increase 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.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the 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.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

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


  • Figure IND 10a shows events associated with single mother TANF exits during the 2001 – 2003 time period.  Welfare exits were most often associated with an increase in recipient earnings.  Thirty-four (34.1) percent of welfare spells that ended during the 2001 to 2003 time period were associated with an increase in the recipient’s earnings.  Twelve (12.1) percent of welfare exits were associated with an increase in the earnings of other household members.
  • Thirty-seven percent of welfare exits during the 2001 – 2003 time period were not associated with any of the events listed above within the time period observed.
  • Table IND 10a shows the events associated with welfare exits among single mother recipients for selected years.  Exits associated with an increase in recipient earnings have decreased over time.  For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 54.8 percent of exits were associated with an increase in recipient earnings yet for the 2001 - 2003 time period, 34.1 percent were associated with increases in recipient earnings1.

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

 Spell Ended
1993-1995
Spell Ended
1996-1999
Spell Ended
2001-2003
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 Adults (not marriage)” was limited to cases where the adult joining the household was not marrying 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.  An increase in earnings must be an increase 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.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the 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.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

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
  • Welfare exits associated with changes in household composition have also decreased over time.  For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 5.6 percent of welfare exits were related to the last child in a household leaving home or turning 19 years old as compared to 1.5 percent for the 2001 – 2003 time period.  Welfare exits associated with marriage also declined over the two time periods.  For the 1993 – 1995 time period, 5.4 percent of exits were related to marriage, for the 2001 – 2003 time period, the rate was 2.2 percent.
  • Thirty-seven (37.4) percent of welfare exits were not associated with any of the events listed above within the time period observed.

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

Figure IND 10b

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.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the 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.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

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


  • Figure IND 10b shows the events associated with the beginning of TANF spells among single mother recipients in the 2001 – 2003 time period. A decrease in earnings was the most common event associated with welfare entries.  For spells beginning between 2001 and 2003, 50.3 percent were associated with a decrease in the recipient’s earnings and 20.0 percent were associated with a decrease in the earnings of other household members.
  • Changes in household composition also were associated with the beginning of welfare spells.  Twenty (20.2) percent of welfare entries were associated with a new child joining the family while 4.2 percent of welfare entries were associated with divorce or separation.
  • Seventeen (16.9) percent of welfare entries were not associated with any of the events listed above within the time period observed.

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

 Spell Began
1993-1995
Spell Began
1996-1999
Spell Began
2001-2003
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.

Spells of welfare receipt and associated events are measured using monthly data from the 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.

Events sum to more than 100 percent because the same household could experience more than one event associated with a specific welfare entry or exit.

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
  • Table IND 10b shows the events associated with the beginning of welfare spells among single mother recipients by selected time periods.
  • For the 1993-1995 time period, 57.1 percent of AFDC spell entries were associated with a decrease in recipient earnings.  The percentage was 50.3 percent for the 2001-2003 time period.
  • A decrease in other household members’ earnings also was related to the beginning of welfare spells.  For the 1993-1995 time period, 24.0 percent of welfare entries were associated with a decrease in other household members’ earnings.  For the 2001-2003 time period, 19.8 percent of welfare entries were associated with a decrease in other household members’ earnings.

1 The percentage point difference between the two time periods in exits associated with increases in earnings may be related to the larger share of the welfare caseload combining welfare and work.  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.

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, lack of 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: 1959-2006

Figure ECON 1

Note:  Last data point is 2006.  All persons under 18 include related children (own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other children in the household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption), unrelated individuals under 18 (persons who are not living with any relatives), and householders or spouses under age 18.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,” Current Population Reports, SeriesP60-233, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • Figure ECON 1 shows the percentage of persons in poverty by age from 1959 to 2006.  The official poverty rate was 12.3 percent in 2006.  The percentage of persons living in poverty in 2006 was lower than poverty rates during all of the 1980s and most of the 1990s.
  • Children under 18 had a poverty rate of 17.4 percent in 2006.  As in past years, the child poverty rate is higher than the overall poverty rate.
  • Table ECON 1 shows the percentage of persons in poverty by age and family type for selected years.
  • The poverty rate for the elderly (persons ages 65 and over) was 9.4 percent and the poverty rate for other adults (persons ages 18 to 64) was 10.8 percent in 2006.
  • Related children from birth to age five have had the highest poverty rate among all age groups throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and into the 2000s.  In 2006, 20.0 percent of related children from birth to age 5 lived below the poverty line.
  • The poverty rates for persons in both married-couple families and female-headed families have decreased over time.  In 1959, 18.2 percent of persons in married-couple families and 49.4 percent of persons in female-headed families were poor.  By 2006, 5.7 percent of persons in married-couple families and 30.5 percent of persons in female-headed families were poor.

Table ECON 1.
Percentage of Persons in Poverty by Age and Family Type:  Selected Years

Calendar
Year
Related ChildrenAll Persons
Ages 0-5Ages 6-17TotalUnder 1818 to 6465 & overIn married-couple
families
In female-headed
families
Note:  All persons under 18 include related children (own children, including stepchildren and adopted children, plus all other children in the household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption), unrelated individuals under 18 (persons who are not living with any relatives), and householders or spouses under age 18.

In 1959-1987, persons in married-couple 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 of all persons below the poverty level.

Spouses are not present in the female-headed family category.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-233, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

1959NANA22.427.317.035.218.249.4
1963NANA19.523.1NANA14.947.7
1966NANA14.717.610.528.510.339.8
196915.313.112.114.08.725.37.438.2
197315.713.611.114.48.316.36.037.5
197617.715.111.816.09.015.06.437.3
197917.915.111.716.48.915.26.334.9
198020.316.813.018.310.115.77.436.7
198122.018.414.020.011.115.38.138.7
198223.320.415.021.912.014.69.140.6
198324.620.415.222.312.413.89.340.2
198423.419.714.421.511.712.48.538.4
198522.618.814.020.711.312.68.237.6
198621.618.813.620.510.812.47.338.3
198722.318.313.420.310.612.57.238.1
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
200620.015.412.317.410.89.45.730.5

Economic Security Risk Factor 2. Deep Poverty Rates

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

Figure ECON 2

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2006,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-233, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.


  • Figure ECON 2 shows the percentage of the population below 50, 100, and 125 percent of the poverty level over time.  The percentage of the population in “deep poverty” (with incomes below 50 percent of the federal poverty level) was 5.2 percent in 2006, compared to an overall poverty rate of 12.3 percent.
  • Five (4.5) percent of the population was “near-poor;” they had incomes at or above 100 percent but below 125 percent of the federal poverty level in 2006.
  • Table ECON 2 shows the number and percentage of the population below 50, 75, and 125 percent of the poverty level for selected years.  In general, the percentage of the population with incomes below 50 percent of the poverty level has followed a pattern that reflects the trend in the overall poverty rate.
  • The percentage of people below 50 percent of the poverty level rose in the late 1970s and early 1980s to 5.9 percent, and then after falling, rose to a second peak of 6.2 percent in 1993.  The rates for 100 percent and 125 percent of the poverty level 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 42 percent in 2006.
  • The total number of poor people in 2006 was 36.5 million.  This number was 2.8 million lower than the recent 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:  In previous editions of this report, the number of persons below 50 percent and 75 percent of poverty for 1969 were calculated based on data from the 1970 decennial census.  In this report the estimate of the number of persons below 75 percent of poverty for 1969 comes from Current Population Survey data published in Current Population Reports, Series P60-76.

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States:  2006,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-233, and data published online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html.

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
1969199,500NANA14,6007.324,10012.134,70017.4
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
2006296,50015,4005.225,2008.536,50012.349,70016.8

Economic Security Risk Factor 3. Experimental Poverty Measures

Figure ECON 3.
Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Age:  2006

Figure ECON 3

Note:  These measures use versions of 1999 CE-based poverty thresholds that are adjusted for inflation using the CPI-U.

These experimental poverty measures implement changes recommended by a 1995 NAS panel, including: counting certain non-cash income as benefits; subtracting from income certain work-related, health and child care expenses; introducing new poverty thresholds; and adjusting those thresholds for geographic differences in housing costs.  The three alternative measures are similar, except that each accounts 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).

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Alternative Poverty Estimates Based on National Academy of Sciences Recommendations, by Geographic and Inflationary Adjustments,” available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/povmeas/altmeas06/nas_measures_2005_2006_comparison.xls, and unpublished CPS data from the U.S. Census Bureau.


  • Figure ECON 3 shows the percentage of persons in poverty using various experimental poverty measures by age in 2006.  Three experimental measures of poverty (developed by the U.S. Census Bureau in response to the recommendation of a 1995 panel of the National Academy of Sciences) yield poverty rates that are similar to the official poverty measure overall, but differ by age and other characteristics.
  • Experimental measures generally show lower poverty rates among children than the official measure, partly because they take into account non-cash benefits that many children receive. Conversely, experimental measures show higher rates of poverty among the elderly than the official measure, in part due to taking into account certain out-of-pocket health costs for these measures.
  • All three alternative measures shown in Figure ECON 3 are versions that do not take into account geographic adjustments for housing costs (NGA); there also are versions that do take into account those geographic adjustments (GA), as shown in Tables ECON 3a and 3b.

Table ECON 3a.
Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures by Selected Characteristics:  2006

 OfficialNo Geographic AdjustmentGeographic Adjustment
Alternative 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 measures use versions of 1999 CE-based poverty thresholds that are adjusted for inflation using the CPI-U.

These experimental poverty measures implement changes recommended by a 1995 NAS panel, including: counting certain non-cash income as benefits; subtracting from income certain work-related, health and child care expenses; introducing new poverty thresholds; and adjusting those thresholds for geographic differences in housing costs.  The three alternative measures are similar, except that each accounts 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 Based on National Academy of Sciences Recommendations, by Geographic and Inflationary Adjustments,” available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/povmeas/altmeas06/nas_measures_2005_2006_comparison.xls, and unpublished CPS data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

All Persons12.312.412.813.012.212.612.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White8.29.09.19.58.48.48.8
Non-Hispanic Black24.121.622.422.520.421.121.5
Hispanic20.619.621.020.521.923.723.4
Age Categories
Children ages 0-1717.414.015.214.713.915.014.7
Adults ages 18-6410.811.211.811.711.111.711.7
Adults ages 65 and over9.415.212.916.114.712.515.5

Table ECON 3b.
Percentage of Persons in Poverty Using Various Experimental Poverty Measures: 1999-2006

 19992000200120022003200420052006
Note:  These measures use versions of 1999 CE-based poverty thresholds that are adjusted for inflation using the CPI-U.

These experimental poverty measures implement changes recommended by a 1995 NAS panel, including: counting certain non-cash income as benefits; subtracting from income certain work-related, health and child care expenses; introducing new poverty thresholds; and adjusting those thresholds for geographic differences in housing costs.  The three alternative measures are similar, except that each accounts 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).

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, “Alternative Poverty Estimates Based on National Academy of Sciences Recommendations, by Geographic and Inflationary Adjustments,” available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/povmeas/altmeas06/nas_measures_2005_2006_comparison.xls, [Excel file] and unpublished CPS data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Official Poverty Measure11.911.311.712.112.512.712.612.3
No Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds
Medical costs alternative 1 (MSI-NGA)12.212.112.412.412.412.712.612.4
Medical costs alternative 2 (MIT-NGA)12.812.712.813.012.813.113.012.8
Medical costs alternative 3 (CMB-NGA)12.912.813.013.013.013.313.313.0
Geographic Adjustment of Thresholds
Medical costs alternative 1 (MSI-GA)12.112.012.312.312.312.512.512.2
Medical costs alternative 2 (MIT-GA)12.712.512.712.812.713.013.012.6
Medical costs alternative 3 (CMB-GA)12.812.612.912.912.913.313.112.9

Economic Security Risk Factor 4. Poverty Rates with Various Means-tested Transfers Counted as Income

Figure ECON 4.
Percentage of Total Population in Poverty with Various Means-Tested Transfers Counted as Income: 1979-2006

Figure ECON 4

Note:  The four measures of income are as follows: (1) “Pre-transfer cash income plus social insurance cash transfers” is earnings and other pre-transfer (“private” or “market”) cash income, plus social security, workers compensation, and other social insurance cash transfers.  It does not include means-tested cash transfers; (2) “Plus means-tested cash transfers” is the official Census Bureau income definition, which includes means-tested cash transfers, primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI; (3) “Plus food and housing benefits” counts the cash value of means-tested food and housing benefits as income; and (4) “Plus EITC and federal taxes” is the most comprehensive income measure used.  It adds the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to income, while subtracting federal payroll and income taxes.  The fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid is not included in any of the income measures.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2007, analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office.


  • Figure ECON 4 shows the percentage of the population in poverty with various means-tested transfers counted as income for the years 1979 to 2006.  The official poverty rate – using the official income definition, which includes means-tested cash transfers (primarily TANF and SSI) in addition to pre-transfer cash income and social insurance cash transfers – was 12.3 percent in 2006.  Without cash welfare, the 2006 poverty rate would be 13.0 percent.
  • Adding non-cash, means-tested transfers to the official income definition has the effect of lowering the percentage of people with incomes below the official poverty line.  Including the value of food and housing benefits in total income would reduce the poverty rate to 11.0 percent in 2006.
  • When income is defined to include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the effect of federal taxes, the percentage of people in poverty would decrease to 10.0 percent in 2006.  Federal taxes and the EITC have had the net effect of reducing poverty rates following the EITC expansions in 1993 and 1995.
  • Table ECON 4 shows the percentage of the population in poverty with various means-tested transfers counted as income for selected years.  The combined effect of means-tested cash transfers, food and housing benefits, the EITC, and federal taxes was to reduce the poverty rate in 2006 by 3 percentage points.  Net reductions in poverty rates were smaller during the 1981 to 1982 recession, and 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 Transfers Counted as Income:  Selected Years

 19791983198619891992199519982000200220052006
Note:  The four measures of income are as follows: (1) “Pre-transfer cash income plus social insurance cash transfers” is earnings and other pre-transfer (“private” or “market”) cash income, plus social security, workers compensation, and other social insurance cash transfers.  It does not include means-tested cash transfers; (2) “Plus means-tested cash transfers” is the official Census Bureau income definition, which includes means-tested cash transfers, primarily AFDC/TANF and SSI; (3) “Plus food and housing benefits” counts the cash value of means-tested food and housing benefits as income; and (4) “Plus EITC and federal taxes” is the most comprehensive income measure used.  It adds the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to income, while subtracting federal payroll and income taxes.  The fungible value of Medicare and Medicaid is not included in any of the income measures.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1980-2007, analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office.

Pre-transfer cash income plus social insurance cash transfers12.816.014.513.815.614.913.512.012.813.313.0
    Plus means-tested cash transfers11.615.213.612.814.513.812.711.312.112.612.3
    Plus food and housing benefits9.713.712.211.212.912.011.310.110.911.211.0
    Plus EITC and federal taxes10.014.713.111.813.011.510.49.510.010.310.0
Reduction in poverty rate2.81.31.42.02.63.43.12.52.83.03.0

Economic Security Risk Factor 5. Poverty Spells

Figure ECON 5.
Percentage of Poverty Spells for Persons Entering Poverty during the 2001 – 2003 Period by Length of Spell

Figure ECON 5

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.

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


  • Figure ECON 5 shows the percentage of poverty spells that are of various lengths for persons who became poor during the 2001 to 2003 period.  Nearly half (49.2 percent) of poverty spells that began between 2001 and 2003 ended within 4 months.  More than three-quarters (76.9 percent) of poverty spells during this period ended within one year while 15.5 percent of spells lasted more than 20 months.
  • Table ECON 5a shows the percentage of poverty spells for persons entering poverty during the 2001 to 2003 period by length of spell and demographic characteristics.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, a larger percentage of Non-Hispanic Whites had short spells of poverty (52.3 percent) than Non-Hispanic Blacks (42.1 percent) or Hispanics of any race (45.7 percent).  For poverty spells greater than 20 months, a larger percentage of Non-Hispanic Blacks had longer poverty spells (21.1 percent) compared to Non-Hispanic Whites (13.5 percent) and Hispanics of any race (16.8 percent).
  • Among age categories, the difference in the percentage of poverty spells among adults 65 years or older and other adults is notable.  Twenty-one (21.2) percent of adults ages 65 years and over had poverty spells that lasted more than 20 months as compared to 14.4 percent of women ages 16 to 64 and 12.1 percent of men ages 16 to 64.

Table ECON 5a.
Percentage of Poverty Spells for Persons Entering Poverty during the 2001-2003 Period by Length of Spell and Selected Characteristics

 Spells
<=4 Months
Spells
5-12 Months
Spells
13-20 Months
Spells >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
Children ages 0-5 years48.029.68.314.2
Children ages 6-10 years48.028.57.715.8
Children ages 11-15 years50.327.88.513.4
Women ages 16-64 years49.428.67.614.4
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 Persons Entering Poverty during Selected Time Periods by Length of Spell

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

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.
Percentage of Families Receiving Child Support Collections by Receipt of IV-D Services and Other Public Assistance: 1993-2005

Figure ECON 6

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 was receiving cash assistance. Data limitations do not allow a month-by-month breakdown.  Families receiving SSI, food stamps, Medicaid or housing assistance are limited to families not receiving AFDC/TANF.  Families receiving services through the IV-D system are estimated according to the methodology described in technical appendices to the ASPE-published report Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001, available at: http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/CSE-Char04/index.htm and previous reports.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2006.


  • Figure ECON 6 shows the percentage of all families that receive child support collections by receipt of title IV-D services and other public assistance between 1993 and 2005. Title IV-D of the Social Security Act authorizes state programs to assist custodial parents in establishing paternity and child support awards, and collecting child support payments. The total amount of child support received by custodial parents through the IV-D system in 2005 was $17.2 billion (constant 2005 dollars) or 65.9 percent of all child support payments received by custodial parents.
  • In total for 2005, custodial parents reported receiving $26.1 billion in child support payments from non-resident parents.1 Total child support collections have increased by 19.2 percent since 1993, after adjusting for inflation. 
  • Table ECON 6 shows greater detail on child support collections by receipt of IV-D services and other assistance.  Child support payments received through IV-D by custodial parents who also received AFDC/TANF cash assistance, declined from $3.3 billion (constant 2005 dollars) in 1993 to $1.8 billion in 2005.2
  • Child support payments to custodial parents who did not receive TANF but received another form of public assistance (food stamps, SSI, Medicaid or housing assistance) increased from $2.2 billion (in constant 2005 dollars) to $5.9 billion between 1993 and 2005.  This group of custodial parents includes former TANF recipients as well as those eligible for cash assistance.  The increased collections for this group offset the decline in payments to TANF families.
Table ECON 6.
Percentage of Families Receiving Child Support Collections by Receipt of IV-D Services and Other Assistance: 1993-2005
 Collections
1993199519971999200120032005
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 was receiving cash assistance.  Data limitations do not allow a month-by-month breakdown.

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

Families receiving services through the IV-D system are estimated according to the methodology described in technical appendices to the ASPE-published report Characteristics of Families Using Title IV-D Services in 1999 and 2001, available at:  http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/CSE-Char04/index.htm and previous reports.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Child Support Supplement, 1994-2006.

Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:(Billions of current dollars)
   AFDC/TANF2.52.42.51.71.52.61.8
   Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing1.72.02.82.93.75.35.9
   Child Support Services Only4.76.75.96.78.38.39.4
   Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services8.811.111.211.313.516.217.2
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services7.78.89.38.89.49.49.0
Total Families16.519.920.620.122.925.626.1
Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:(Billions of constant 2005 dollars)
   AFDC/TANF3.33.03.02.01.72.71.8
   Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing2.22.53.43.34.05.65.9
   Child Support Services Only6.28.57.17.99.18.79.4
   Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services11.714.013.613.214.817.117.2
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services10.211.111.310.210.39.99.0
Total Families21.925.224.823.425.127.026.1
Receiving Title IV-D Child Support Services and:(In percent)
   AFDC/TANF15.012.012.38.46.610.16.9
   Food Stamps, SSI, Medicaid or Housing10.19.913.614.316.020.922.8
   Child Support Services Only28.333.828.733.736.332.336.1
Subtotal Families Receiving IV-D Services53.355.854.656.458.963.365.7
Not Receiving IV-D Child Support Services46.744.245.443.641.136.734.3
Total Families100100100100100100100

1 This amount represents current year support received for a twelve-month period and does not include amounts paid for prior periods (arrearages) or amounts retained by the federal and state governments to recoup welfare costs.

2 The decline partly reflects the decrease in AFDC/TANF caseloads.  Also, some states no longer “pass-through” any child support payments to custodial parents receiving TANF.  Prior to the enactment of PRWORA in 1996, states were required to pass-through the first $50 of any child support collected.

Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Food Insecurity

Figure ECON 7.
Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2006

Figure ECON 7

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 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.  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.

Source:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006.


  • Figure ECON 7 shows the percentage of households that were food secure, had low food security, and had very low food security in 2006.  The majority of U.S. households (89.1 percent) was food secure in 2006; that is, they showed little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • Seven (6.9) percent of U.S. households experienced low food security and 4.0 percent were classified as having very low food security.  Very low food security is defined as having reduced food intake and having normal eating patterns disrupted because of financial constraints.
  • Table ECON 7a shows the percentage of households classified by food security status by selected demographic characteristics.
  • For households by age categories, households with elderly were more food secure (94.0 percent) than were households with children under six (83.3 percent) or households with children under 18 (84.4 percent).
  • There is a relationship between poverty and food security.  Sixty-four (63.7) percent of poor households were food secure compared to 66.9 percent of households below 130 percent of the poverty level, 72.7 percent of households below 185 percent of the poverty level, and 92.9 percent of households at or above 185 percent of the poverty level.
  • Married-couple households were less likely to experience food insecurity than female-headed households.  Ten (10.1) percent of married-couple households were food insecure in 2006 compared to 30.4 percent of female-headed households.
  • Table ECON 7b shows the percentage of households classified by food security status between 1998 and 2006.  The percentage of households with food insecurity (both low and very low food insecurity) has fluctuated over time from a low of 10.1 percent in 1999 to a high of 11.9 percent in 2004.

Table ECON 7a.
Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2006

 Food SecureFood Insecurity
AllLowVery 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 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.  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.  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 households 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 households but are not shown separately.

Source:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006.  Data are from the Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement.

All Households89.110.96.94.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White92.27.84.83.1
Non-Hispanic Black78.221.813.88.0
Hispanic80.519.513.85.7
Age Categories
Households with children under 683.316.712.54.2
Households with children under 1884.415.611.44.3
Households with elderly94.06.04.11.8
Family Categories    
Married-couple households89.910.18.02.1
Female-headed households69.930.420.110.3
Male-headed households83.017.012.74.2
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio    
Under 1.0063.736.321.514.8
Under 1.3066.933.120.013.1
Under 1.8572.727.316.610.7
1.85 and over92.97.14.62.6

Table ECON 7b.
Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1998-2006

 Food SecureFood Insecurity
AllLowVery 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 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.  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.

Source:  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2006.

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
200689.110.96.94.0

Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Lack of Health Insurance

Figure ECON 8.
Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance by Poverty Status: 2006

Figure ECON 8

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 persons of Hispanic origin.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007.


  • Figure ECON 8 shows the percentage of persons without health insurance by race and ethnicity, educational attainment, and poverty status for 2006.  Thirty-two (31.6) percent of poor persons were without health insurance as compared to 13.6 percent of non-poor persons. 
  • Among race and ethnic groups, poor Hispanics of any race had higher rates of being uninsured (42.9 percent) than did poor Non-Hispanic Whites (27.0 percent) and poor Non-Hispanic Blacks (28.1 percent).
  • For non-poor persons, as education increases, the rate of being uninsured decreases.  Twenty-nine (28.5) percent of the non-poor who were not high school graduates were uninsured compared to 17.6 percent of high school graduates, and 6.6 percent of college graduates.
  • Among the poor, 41.5 percent of persons who were not high school graduates, 39.9 percent of high school graduates, and 32.5 percent of college graduates were uninsured.
  • Table ECON 8 shows the percentage of persons without health insurance by poverty status and demographic characteristics.  Across all demographic categories, poor persons were more likely than non-poor persons to be uninsured regardless of race and ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, age, or family category.
  • For poor persons, 19.3 percent of children 17 years of age or less were without health insurance as compared to 51.3 percent of poor adults 25 to 34 years of age. The 25 to 34 year age category had the highest percentage of uninsured among poor persons.
  • For non-poor persons, 10.0 percent of the children 17 years of age or less were without health insurance as compared to 26.2 percent of adults 18 to 24 years of age. The 18 to 24 year age category had the highest percentage of uninsured among non-poor persons.

Table ECON 8.
Percentage of Persons without Health Insurance by Poverty Status and Selected Characteristics:  2006

 All PersonsPoor PersonsNon-Poor 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 persons of Hispanic origin.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007.

All Persons15.831.613.6
Men17.534.715.4
Women14.229.211.8
Race and Ethnicity Categories
Non-Hispanic White10.827.09.3
Non-Hispanic Black20.128.117.6
Hispanic34.142.931.8
Educational Attainment Categories
Not a high school graduate31.541.528.5
High school graduate, no college20.339.917.6
College graduate7.732.56.6
Age Categories
5 and under11.317.09.7
6-1111.119.09.3
12-1712.722.610.8
17 and under11.719.310.0
18-2429.343.526.2
25-3426.951.323.4
35-4418.847.115.8
45-5415.340.613.1
55-6412.730.811.0
Under 65 years17.834.315.4
65 years and over1.55.11.1
Family Categories
Persons in married-couple families11.833.210.5
Persons in female-headed families21.726.120.1
Persons in male-headed families26.929.825.8
Unrelated persons20.735.417.0

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 Persons in Families with Labor Force Participants by Race and Ethnicity: 2006

Figure WORK 1

Note:  Full-time, full-year workers (FT/FY) 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, 2007.


  • Figure WORK 1 shows the percentage of persons in families with labor force participants by race and ethnicity.  In 2006, Hispanics of any race were more likely to live in families with at least one full-time, full-year labor force participant (77.8 percent) than were Non-Hispanic Whites (72.3 percent) or Non-Hispanic Blacks (66.8 percent). 
  • Table WORK 1a shows the percentage of persons in families with labor force participants by demographic characteristics.   In 2006, children ages 6 to 15 were more likely to live in families with at least one full- time, full-year labor force participant (80.7 percent) than were children from birth to 5 years of age (78.5 percent).   
  • Among family types, persons living in married-couple families were more likely than persons living in other family types to live in families with at least one full-time, full-year labor force participant. 
  • Table WORK 1b shows the percentage of persons in families with labor force participants for select years between 1990 and 2006.  The percentage of persons living in families with at least one full-time, full-year labor force participant has fluctuated over time.  The percentage increased from a low of 67.6 percent in 1992 to a high of 73.3 percent in 2000.  In 2006, 72.8 percent of persons lived in families with at least one full-time, full-year worker. 

Table WORK 1a.
Percentage of Persons in Families with Labor Force Participants by Selected Characteristics: 2006

 No One in LF
During Year
At Least One in LF
No One FT/FY
At Least One
FT/FY Worker
Note:  Full-time, full-year (FT/FY) 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, 2007.

All Persons13.613.772.8
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White14.713.072.3
Non-Hispanic Black16.217.066.8
Hispanic8.413.877.8
Age Categories
Children ages 0-56.215.478.5
Children ages 6-106.013.380.7
Children ages 11-155.913.480.7
Women ages 16-648.014.377.7
Men ages 16-646.012.481.6
Adults ages 65 and over62.914.622.5
Family Categories
Persons in married families9.39.681.1
Persons in female-headed families15.323.561.2
Persons in male-headed families14.624.860.7
Unrelated persons29.417.852.8

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

 No One in LF
During Year
At Least One in LF
No One FT/FY
At Least One
FT/FY Worker
200613.613.772.8
Note:  Full-time, full-year workers (FT/FY) are defined as those who usually worked for 35 or more hours per week, for at least 50 weeks in a given year.  Part-time and part-year labor force participation includes part-time workers and individuals who are unemployed, laid off, and/or looking for work for part or all of the year.  This indicator represents annual measures of labor force participation, and thus cannot be compared to monthly measures of labor force participation in Indicator 2.

Source:  Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 1991-2007.

199013.717.668.7
199214.418.167.6
199414.117.168.8
199613.616.170.3
199813.314.672.1
199912.614.473.1
200012.813.873.3
200113.314.472.4
200213.414.672.0
200313.815.071.2
200413.914.471.7
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 and Ethnicity: 1968-2006

Figure WORK 2

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, 1969-2007.


  • Figure WORK 2 shows the employment rate of low-skilled workers ages 18 to 65 (those with a high school education or less) by gender and race and ethnicity between 1968 and 2006.  This measure of low skill is based only on educational attainment and does not take other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials into account.1
  • In 1968, 65.8 percent of Non-Hispanic Black women and 55.8 percent of Non-Hispanic White women with a high school education or less were employed.  In the 1970s, however, Non-Hispanic White women reached parity with their Non-Hispanic Black counterparts and then surpassed them. 
  • Employment rates for women with a high school education or less increased during the 1980s and 1990s.  By the 2000s, however, the employment rate for women with a high school education or less peaked and in 2006, the rate declined to 66.5 percent for Non-Hispanic White women, 63.2 percent for Non-Hispanic Black women, and 56.8 percent for Hispanic women of any race.
  • In 1968, 92.8 percent of Non-Hispanic White men and 89.9 percent of Non-Hispanic Black men with a high school education or less were employed. 
  • Beginning in the 1970s, the employment rates for men with a high school education or less declined and the employment rates between Non-Hispanic White and Non-Hispanic Black men with a high school education or less began to diverge.  In 2006, 80.6 percent of Non-Hispanic White men as compared to 65.6 percent of Non-Hispanic Black men with a high school education or less were employed.
  • Over the time period, Hispanic men with a high school education or less have had employment rates similar to Non-Hispanic White men.  In 1998, among men with a high school education or less, the employment rate for Hispanic men surpassed the rate for Non-Hispanic White men.  In 2006, 86.4 percent of Hispanic men with a high school education or less were employed compared to 80.6 percent of Non-Hispanic White men.

Table WORK 2.
Percentage of Persons Ages 18 to 65 with No More than a High School Education Who Were Employed by Race and Ethnicity: 1968-2006

 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, 1969-2007.

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
200666.563.256.880.665.686.4

1 This education–based measure of low skill is from the work of Rebecca Blank in “It Takes a Nation: A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty,” 1998.

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 and Ethnicity (2006 Dollars): 1980-2006

Figure WORK 3

Note:  Last data point is 2006.  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, 1981-2007.


  • Figure WORK 3 shows the mean weekly wages in 2006 dollars of low-skilled women and men (those with a high school education or less) working full-time, full-year by race and ethnicity for selected years.  This measure of low skill is based only on educational attainment and does not take other skills based on work experience, training or other credentials into account.1
  • In 2006, Non-Hispanic White women with a high school education or less working full-time, full-year earned $574 in an average week compared to $503 for similar Non-Hispanic Black women and $447 for similar Hispanic women of any race.  Among men working full-time, full-year with a high school education or less, Non-Hispanic White men earned $821 in an average week, compared to $639 for Non-Hispanic Black men and $578 for Hispanic men of any race.
  • Table WORK 3 provides the detailed estimates used for Figure WORK 3.  In 2006, Non-Hispanic White women had the highest average weekly wages among women working full-time, full-year with a high school education or less at $574.  This represents a 17.4 percent increase in their mean weekly wages between 1980 and 2006.  Over the same time period, similar Non-Hispanic Black women experienced a 12.5 percent increase in their mean weekly wages while similar Hispanic women of any race experienced a 6.9 percent increase.
  • Among men working full-time, full-year with a high school education or less, average weekly wages increased 1.5 percent among Non-Hispanic White men and 6.1 percent among Non-Hispanic Black men between 1980 and 2006.  Hispanic men working full-time, full-year with a high school education or less experienced a 5.2 percent decrease in average weekly wages over the same time period.

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 and Ethnicity (2006 Dollars):  1980-2006

 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, 1981-2007.

1980489447418809602610
1982490445428789584583
1983491445424781562591
1984495462431799562595
1985510462425792587584
1986517465448811590569
1987524483433808600566
1988526467433806631571
1989523492445790589554
1990524480420758585540
1991520470422749587522
1992531474439759578537
1993528460427745571523
1994537476431758586520
1995542476418784594522
1996547504433805620520
1997555474444819621560
1998578481448801628557
1999554483439823671555
2000573487428844665565
2001583514449837643571
2002593528453835648595
2003615508461839663560
2004601496451832622569
2005589493444822617548
2006574503447821639578

1 This education-based measure of low skill is from the work of Rebecca Blank in “It Takes a Nation:  A New Agenda for Fighting Poverty,” 1998.

Employment and Work-related Risk Factor 4. Educational Attainment

Figure WORK 4.
Percentage of Adults Ages 25 and over by Level of Educational Attainment: 1960-2006

Figure WORK 4

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 “High school graduate, 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, 2006,” Current Population Reports and earlier reports.


  • Figure WORK 4 shows educational attainment for adults 25 years and older between 1960 and 2006.  Table WORK 4 shows the corresponding point estimates for select years. 
  • The percentage of the population without at least a high school education has declined over the past 45 years, from 59.0 percent in 1960 to 14.5 percent in 2006.
  • The percentage of the population receiving a high school education (with no post secondary education) was 24.6 percent in 1960 and rose to 38.9 percent in 1988.  Since 1988, this figure has fallen to 31.7 percent in 2006.
  • Between 1960 and 1990, the percentage of the population with some college (one to three years) doubled, from 8.8 percent to 17.9 percent.  The increase in 1992 is partially the result of a change in survey methodology, but the trend continued upward reaching 25.7 percent in 2006.
  • The percentage of the population completing four or more years of college has more than tripled between 1960 and 2006, rising from 7.7 percent to 28.0 percent.

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

YearNot a High
School Graduate
High School Graduate,
No College
One to Three
Years of College
Four or More
Years of College
Note:  Completing the GED is not considered completing high school for this table.  Beginning with data for 1992, a new survey question results in different categories than for prior years.  Data shown as “High school graduate, 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: 2006,” http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/educ-attn.html and earlier reports.

194075.914.15.44.6
195066.720.17.16.0
196059.024.68.87.7
196551.030.78.99.4
197044.834.010.211.0
197537.536.212.413.9
198031.436.814.917.0
198130.337.615.117.1
198229.037.915.317.7
198327.937.715.618.8
198426.738.415.819.1
198526.138.216.319.4
198625.338.416.919.4
198724.438.717.119.9
198823.838.917.020.3
198923.138.517.321.1
199022.438.417.921.3
199121.638.618.421.4
199220.636.022.121.4
199319.835.423.021.9
199419.134.424.322.2
199518.333.924.823.0
199618.333.624.623.6
199717.933.824.523.9
199817.233.824.724.4
199916.633.324.825.2
200015.933.125.425.6
200115.932.325.726.2
200215.932.125.326.7
200315.432.025.327.2
200414.832.025.527.7
200514.832.225.427.7
200614.531.725.728.0

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 and Ethnicity: 1995-2005

Figure WORK 5

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 Current Population Survey (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: 2005 and earlier years (based on Current Population Survey data from the October supplement).


  • Figure WORK 5 shows the percentage of students who were enrolled in grades 10 through 12 in the previous year but were not enrolled and had not graduated in the survey year by race and ethnicity for the time period 1995 to 2005.  With the exception of Non-Hispanic Blacks, there has been a general downward trend in dropout rates.
  • In 2005, the dropout rate was 5.0 percent for Hispanic students of any race, 7.3 percent for Non-Hispanic Black students, and 2.8 percent for Non-Hispanic White students.
  • Between 2003 and 2005, Non-Hispanic Blacks experienced an increase in the percentage of students dropping out of school, from 4.8 percent in 2003 to 7.3 percent in 2005.
  • Table WORK 5 provides trend data on dropout rates beginning in 1972.  The dropout rate for all races was highest in 1978 and 1979 (6.7 percent) and then declined to 3.6 percent in 2002, a 30-year low.  Since 2002, the dropout rate for students of all races has risen somewhat to 3.8 percent in 2005. 
  • Dropout rates among Hispanic students of any race have fluctuated since 1972.  Despite this fluctuation, Hispanic dropout rates were higher than rates for Non-Hispanic White students in all years since 1972 and higher than rates for Non-Hispanic Black students in all reported years except 2005.

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 and Ethnicity: 1972 - 2005

 All
Races
Non-Hispanic
White
Non-Hispanic
Black
Hispanic
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 Current Population Survey (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: 2005 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
20044.73.75.78.9
20053.82.87.35.0

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: 2006

Figure WORK 6

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, 2007.


  • Figure WORK 6 shows the percentage of adults who used cocaine, the percentage who used marijuana, and the percentage who abused alcohol by age group in 2006.  Adults 18 to 25 years of age were more likely than older adults to report cocaine, marijuana, binge alcohol or heavy alcohol use in the prior month.  For example, 16.3 percent reported using marijuana in the past month during 2006, compared with 8.5 percent of adults 26 to 34 years of age and 3.2 percent of adults 35 years and over.
  • The percentage of adults reporting binge alcohol use was larger than the percentages for all other reported behaviors across all age groups.  Among those reporting binge alcohol use, however, this behavior was more prevalent among adults 18 to 25 years of age than among adults in other age categories.
  • Table WORK 6 shows trend data for cocaine, marijuana, binge alcohol and heavy alcohol use for the years 1999 to 2006.
  • For adults in all age groups, alcohol abuse increased between 2005 and 2006.  Cocaine use increased for adults 26 to 34 years of age, and marijuana use increased for adults ages 35 and over during the same two-year period.

Table WORK 6.
Percentage of Adults Who Used Cocaine or Marijuana or Abused Alcohol by Age:  1999-2006

 19992000200120022003200420052006
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, 2000-2007.

Cocaine
Ages 18-251.71.41.92.02.22.12.62.2
Ages 26-341.20.81.11.21.51.41.31.7
Ages 35 and over0.40.30.50.60.60.50.60.6
Marijuana
Ages 18-2514.213.616.017.317.016.116.616.3
Ages 26-345.45.96.87.78.48.38.68.5
Ages 35 and over2.22.32.43.13.03.13.03.2
Binge Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2537.937.838.740.941.641.241.942.2
Ages 26-3429.330.330.133.132.932.232.934.2
Ages 35 and over16.016.416.218.618.118.518.318.4
Heavy Alcohol Use
Ages 18-2513.312.813.614.915.115.115.315.6
Ages 26-347.57.67.89.09.49.49.610.0
Ages 35 and over4.24.14.25.25.15.34.75.1

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 Selected Characteristics: 2006

Figure WORK 7

Note:  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.

Respondents were defined as having an activity limitation if they answered positively to any of the questions regarding:  (1) work disability (see definition above; (2) long-term care needs (see definition above); (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.

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, 2007.


  • Figure WORK 7 shows the percentage of non-elderly adults and children reporting an activity limitation by race and ethnicity in 2006.  Non-elderly adults were more likely than children to have an activity limitation, 10.9 percent compared to 7.6 percent.
  • Table WORK 7 shows the percentage of the non-elderly population reporting a disability by selected demographic characteristics.  While non-elderly adults were more likely than children to report an activity limitation, a higher percentage of children (6.5 percent) than adults (4.9 percent) were actually recipients of disability program benefits in 2006.
  • 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.
  • Among non-elderly adults, rates of work disability and long-term care needs were lower for Hispanics (5.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively) than for Non-Hispanic Whites (8.9 and 2.3 percent, respectively) and Non-Hispanic Blacks (10.4 and 2.9 percent, respectively).

Table WORK 7.
Percentage of the Non-Elderly Population Reporting a Disability by Selected Characteristics: 2006

 Activity
Limitation
Work
Disability
Long-Term
Care Needs
Disability Program
Recipient
Note:  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.

Respondents were defined as having an activity limitation if they answered positively to any of the questions regarding: (1) work disability (see definition above); (2) long-term care needs (see definition above); (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.

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, 2007.

All Persons
Adults ages 18-6410.98.42.24.9
Children ages 0-177.6NANA6.5
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Adults Ages 18-64)
Non-Hispanic White11.58.92.35.0
Non-Hispanic Black13.310.42.97.0
Hispanic7.35.41.33.0
Racial/Ethnic Categories (Children Ages 0-17)
Non-Hispanic White8.2NANA7.0
Non-Hispanic Black8.4NANA6.8
Hispanic6.1NANA5.2

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: 1975-2006

Figure WORK 8

Note:  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, 1976-2007.


  • Figure WORK 8 shows the labor force participation rates for mothers with children under 18 years of age by marital status between 1975 and 2006.  In 2006, regardless of marital status, the majority of mothers in the U.S. were engaged in the labor force. 
  • Historically, divorced, widowed and separated mothers have had the highest rates of labor force participation among mothers.  In 1975, 62.8 percent of divorced, widowed or separated mothers were in the labor force as compared to 44.9 percent of married mothers with spouses present and 42.2 percent of never-married mothers.  In 2006, divorced, widowed and separated mothers remained more likely than other mothers to participate in the labor force.
  • Between 1992 and 2002, labor force participation rates for never-married mothers with children under 18 markedly increased—rising from 52.5 percent in 1992 to 75.3 percent in 2002.  Since 1998, labor force participation rates for never-married mothers have exceeded the rates for married mothers.
  • The labor force participation rate of married mothers with children under 18 followed an upward trend from 1975 until 1997 when it peaked at 71.1 percent.  In 2006, 68.4 percent of married mothers with spouses present were in the labor force.
  • Table WORK 1 shows both the labor force participation rate and the employment rate of mothers with children under 18 years of age between 1975 and 2006.
  • The employment rate for all mothers increased over the time period.  The employment rate for married mothers with a spouse present was 40.5 percent in 1975; in 2006 the employment rate was 66.2 percent.  The employment rate for divorced, widowed and separated mothers was 54.9 percent in 1975; in 2006 the employment rate was 75.4 percent.  The employment rate for never- married mothers was to 32.1 percent in 1975; in 2006 the rate climbed to 62.5 percent.

Table WORK 8.
Employment Status of Women with Children under 18 Years of Age: 1975-2006

 Labor Force Participation Rate
(percent of population)
Employment Rate
(percent of population)
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, 1976-2007.

Married, Spouse PresentDivorced, Separated or WidowedNever MarriedMarried, Spouse PresentDivorced, Separated or WidowedNever Married
197544.962.842.240.554.932.1
197646.164.346.242.456.936.3
197748.266.443.444.658.729.6
197850.268.151.147.061.238.9
197951.967.854.448.661.442.6
198054.169.952.050.963.439.9
198155.770.552.352.163.038.3
198256.371.150.451.662.336.2
198357.270.149.852.458.534.5
198458.872.750.754.963.436.3
198560.872.951.656.864.039.3
198661.374.152.957.666.337.8
198763.874.054.160.466.540.2
198865.072.851.661.966.940.0
198965.672.054.763.166.043.1
199066.374.255.363.567.945.1
199166.872.753.663.266.144.0
199267.873.252.563.965.343.4
199367.572.154.464.265.944.0
199469.073.156.965.665.945.8
199570.275.357.567.169.147.9
199670.077.060.567.672.149.3
199771.179.168.168.672.056.6
199870.679.772.568.074.361.5
199970.180.473.468.075.464.8
200070.682.773.968.578.565.8
200170.483.173.568.078.764.6
200269.682.175.366.775.665.8
200369.282.073.166.374.763.2
200468.280.772.665.475.063.1
200568.179.872.966.074.462.0
200668.480.471.566.275.462.5

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factors (BIRTH)

The final group of risk factors addresses nonmarital childbearing. The tables and figures in this subsection are labeled with the BIRTH prefix.  This category includes long-term time trends in nonmarital births (BIRTH 1), nonmarital teen births (BIRTH 2 and BIRTH 3), and children living in families with never-married parents (BIRTH 4).  Children living in families with never-married mothers are at high risk of becoming dependent as adults, and it is therefore important to track changes in the size of this vulnerable population.

As noted above, the predictors/risk factors included in this chapter do not represent an exhaustive list of measures.  They are merely a sampling of available data that address in some way the question of how a family is faring on the scale of deprivation and well-being.  Such questions are a necessary part of the 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: 1940-2006

Figure BIRTH 1

Note:   Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported.

Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Preliminary Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (7), December 2007, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_07.pdf.


  • Figure BIRTH 1 shows the percentage of births that were nonmarital by age group from 1940 to 2006 and Table BIRTH 1 shows corresponding estimates for selected years.  Changes in nonmarital births reflect changes in 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 to women of all ages has increased over the past 60 years.  In 1940, 3.8 percent of births were to unmarried women.  In 2006, the percentage increased to 38.5 percent.
  • Teen births, as shown in Figure BIRTH 1 and Table BIRTH 1, show nonmarital teen births as a percentage of all teen births.  In 1940, 14.0 percent of births to teens were nonmarital.  While the percentage of all teen births that are nonmarital has increased since the mid-1960s, growth in the percentage slowed in the mid- to late- 1990s before rising to 84.4 percent in 2006.
  • Over the past 10 years, the percentage of nonmarital births among all births to women 20 to 24 years of age increased by 27.0 percent from 45.6 percent in 1996 to 57.9 percent in 2006. This compares to an increase of 10.6 percent in the percentage of nonmarital births among teen births over the same period. 
  • Since 1994, the percentage of births that are nonmarital remains steady 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: Selected Years

YearUnder 1515-17 Years18-19 YearsAll Teens20-24 YearsAll Women
Note:  Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported.

Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Nonmarital Childbearing in the United States, 1940-1999,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 48 (16), 2000; “Births: Preliminary Data for 2006,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (7), December 2007, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_07.pdf.

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
200598.090.979.783.556.236.9
200698.391.980.584.457.938.5

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 2. Nonmarital Teen Births

Figure BIRTH 2.
Percentage of All Births to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19 by Race and Ethnicity: 1940-2005

Figure BIRTH 2

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.

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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2007 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_06.pdf.


  • Figure BIRTH 2 shows the percentage of all births to unmarried teens 15 to 19 years of age by race and ethnicity, and Table BIRTH 2 shows corresponding estimates for selected years between 1940 and 2005.  Unlike BIRTH 1, which showed nonmarital teen births as a percentage of all teen births, BIRTH 2 shows births to unmarried teens as a percentage of births to all women.  This percentage is affected by several factors: the age distribution of women, the marriage rate among teens, the birth rate among unmarried teens and the birth rate among all other women.
  • The percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens fell over the last eight years, from 9.7 in 1997 to 8.3 percent in 2005.   
  • Among Black women, the percentage of all births that were nonmarital teen births fell to 15.8 percent in 2005.  This is the lowest percentage since 1969, the first year in which data on Black women were collected.
  • Among White women, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried White teens ages 15 to 19 remained virtually unchanged between 2002 and 2005 at approximately 7.2 percent.
  • Among Hispanic women, the percentage of all births that were to unmarried teens increased from a low of 9.8 percent in 1990 to a high of 12.1 percent in 1998 before declining to 11.0 percent in 2005.

Table BIRTH 2.
Percentage of All Births to Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 19 by Race and 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.

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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2007 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr56/nvsr56_06.pdf.

19401.70.8NANA
19451.80.8NANA
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
20058.37.215.811.0

Nonmarital Birth Risk Factor 3. Nonmarital Teen Birth Rates

Figure BIRTH 3a.
Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 15 to 17 by Race: 1960-2005

Figure BIRTH 3a

Figure BIRTH 3b.
Births per 1,000 Unmarried Teens Ages 18 and 19 by Race: 1960-2005

Figure BIRTH 3b

Note:  Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported.  Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother.  Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child.

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.

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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2006.  Birthrates for 1950 to 1965 computed by ASPE staff from NCHS birth and Census population estimates.


  • Figures BIRTH 3a and 3b show births per thousand unmarried teens between the ages of 15 to 17 and 18 to 19 from 1960 to 2005.  Table BIRTH 3 shows corresponding estimates for selected years between 1950 and 2005.  The birth rate per thousand unmarried teens ages 15 to 17 fell in 2005 for both Black and White teens.  The rate for Black teens ages 15 to 17 has been cut by more than half from 79.9 per thousand in 1991 to 35.4 per thousand in 2005.  This 2005 rate of 35.4 per thousand is lower than in any other year since 1969, the first year in which data on Black women were collected.
  • The birth rates of unmarried teens in the older age group (18 and 19 years) showed a slight increase between 2002 and 2005.  For Black teens ages 18 and 19, the birth rate fell from a high of 147.7 per thousand in 1991 to a low of 100.4 per thousand in 2003 before increasing to 101.6 births per thousand in 2005.
  • Prior to 1994, birth rates among unmarried White teens in both age groups rose steadily for over four decades.  For White teens 15 to 17 years of age, the birth rate increased from 3.4 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1950 to 23.9 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1994. For the 18 to 19 year olds, the rate increased from 8.5 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1950 to 55.7 births per thousand unmarried teens in 1994.  Since 1994, rates for both age groups have generally followed a downward trend.
  • While birth rates among unmarried Black teens remain high compared to rates for unmarried White teens, the gap between Black and White teens narrowed during the 1990s and 2000s.

Table BIRTH 3.
Births per Thousand Unmarried Teen Women by Age and Race: 1950-2005

YearAges 15 to 17Ages 18 and 19
All RacesWhiteBlackAll RacesWhiteBlack
Note:  Rates are per 1,000 unmarried women in specified group. Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. Beginning in 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the mother.  Prior to 1980, data are tabulated by the race of the child.

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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 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
200519.716.835.458.450.9101.6

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 and Ethnicity: 1982-2007

Figure BIRTH 4

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) data.

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.

Source:  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 2007.


  • Figure BIRTH 4 shows the percentage of all children living in families with a never-married female head of household by race and ethnicity from 1982 to 2007.  Table BIRTH 4 shows corresponding estimates for selected years between 1960 and 2007.  The percentage of children living in families with never-married female heads increased from 4.6 percent in 1982 to 11.0 percent in 2007.
  • The percentage of White children living in families headed by never-married women has increased fourfold over the past 25 years, from 1.6 percent in 1982 to 6.6 percent in 2007. 
  • Among Hispanics of all races, the percentage of children living with a never-married female head of household tripled over the past 25 years, from 5.7 percent in 1982 to 12.9 percent in 2007.
  • The percentage of Black children living in families with a never-married female head of household has been higher than the percentages for other groups throughout the time period.  In 2007, 34.6 percent of Black children lived in families with a never-married female head of household compared to 6.6 percent for White children and 12.9 percent for Hispanic children.

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

YearNumber of Children (thousands)Percentage
All 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).  Some of the increase between 1981 and 1982 is a result of this data collection and processing change, and thus comparisons of estimates prior to 1982 with estimates from 1982 and later years should be made with caution.

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 2007.

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
1971773133632NA1.10.27.1NA
1972632123500NA0.90.25.8NA
1973892194685NA1.40.37.9NA
1974966223740NA1.50.48.6NA
19751,166296864NA1.80.59.9NA
19761,139292836NA1.80.59.7NA
19771,335325988NA2.20.611.7NA
19781,6333941,220NA2.70.814.8NA
19791,5443981,109NA2.60.813.7NA
19801,7455011,1932102.91.014.54.0
19811,8075271,2452023.01.015.04.0
19822,7687931,9472914.61.622.75.7
19833,2129582,2033575.31.924.96.7
19843,1319592,1093575.21.923.96.5
19853,4961,0862,3553915.82.226.66.7
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
20077,8353,5853,6461,87411.06.634.612.9

Appendices

Appendix A. Program Data

Contents

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)
  • Food Stamp Program (FSP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

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 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program authorized under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (which replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program in 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.

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

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 fathers or mothers were 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.

Public Law 104-193, 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)1 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 FY 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.

Legislative Changes

The current legislative authority for the TANF block grant is from the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Public Law 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.2 In addition, new regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services create consistent definitions of the activities that count toward federal work requirements and provide new flexibility for states to count adults who miss scheduled hours due to holidays and excused absences.  The new regulations also provide more detailed instructions to states as to which families they are to include in their work participation rate calculations.  In some circumstances states are required to include adults that have been removed from the assistance unit because of failing to comply with program rules.  In addition, the new regulations allow states to include adults receiving federal disability benefits on a case by case basis, and to exclude parents caring for disabled family members.

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”3are, 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 not subject to federal time limits.  States did not have to include them in the calculation of their work participation rates.  As of October 2006, such families are included in the work participation rate calculation, but may still be excluded from the application of the federal time limits on receipt of assistance.  Starting with the 2004 edition, this Indicators report adds recipients in SSPs into the caseload totals4 (the split between TANF and SSP caseloads is shown in Table TANF 3, nationally, and in Table TANF 15, by state).  Native Americans served through state TANF and SSP programs are included in these caseload counts, but families served through TANF programs operated by Tribal governments are excluded. Expenditures for SSPs 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)5 and a series of tables presenting state-by-state data on trends in the AFDC/TANF program (Tables TANF 8 through 15).  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 FY 2006, the average monthly number of TANF recipients was 4.7 million persons, down 7 percent from FY 2005.  Moreover, this was 62 percent lower than the average monthly AFDC caseload in FY 1996 and the smallest number of people on welfare since 1967. From the peak of 14.2 million in FY 1994, the number of AFDC/TANF recipients dropped by 67 percent to 4.7 million in FY 2007.6 Over four-fifths of the reduction in the caseload since FY 1994 has occurred following the passage of PRWORA in FY 1996.  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).

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 2006 the average monthly benefit per recipient had declined to 65 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 2006, 22 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 30 percent in FY 20067 (data not shown).  Similar trends are shown in data on income from earnings. These trends likely reflect the effects of expanded earnings disregards, welfare-to-work programs, and the 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 15 percent of the caseload in FY 1992 to 47 percent in FY 2006.8 This dramatic growth has been due to an increase in the number of cases without recipient adults during the early 1990s, followed by a decline in the number of cases that included adults in the assistance unit.  The number of cases without an adult in the assistance unit has fallen by about 127,000 since 1996 — between 1996 and 1998 they decreased by 254,000 but subsequently increased by 127,000.

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 decrease 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 15).  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 the 1990s, the percentage change between the state’s caseload peak and March 2007 ranges from 96 percent (Wyoming) to 44 percent (Nebraska).  Sixteen 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.  Thirty-two states (including DC) had such programs.


Figure TANF 1.
AFDC/TANF Families Receiving Income Assistance

Figure TANF 1

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 March 2007.

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 2006 Dollars

Figure TANF 2

Note: See Table TANF 6 for underlying data.  Comparison of trends in the average monthly AFDC/TANF benefit per recipient in constant 2006 dollars with the weighted average maximum benefit in constant 2006 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.  This is due to the fact that the current value of the maximum benefits has increased less than the cost of living in most states since the late1980s.

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 1.
Trends in AFDC/TANF Caseloads: 1962-2006

Fiscal YearAverage Monthly Number
(thousands)
Children as a Percent of Total RecipientsAverage1 Number
of Children per Family
Total
Families1
AFDC UP2
Two-Parent Families
TANF
Two-Parent Families
Total RecipientsChild Recipients
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.hhs.gov/).
196292448NA3,5932,77877.33.0
196498460NA4,0593,04375.03.1
19651,03769NA4,3233,24275.03.1
19661,07462NA4,4723,36975.33.1
19671,14158NA4,7183,56075.53.1
19681,31067NA5,3494,01375.03.1
19691,53966NA6,1464,59174.73.0
19701,90678NA7,4155,48474.02.9
19712,531143NA9,5576,96372.92.8
19722,918134NA10,6327,69872.42.6
19733,123120NA11,0387,96772.22.6
19743,17093NA10,8457,82572.22.5
19753,357100NA11,0677,95271.92.4
19763,575135NA11,3868,05470.72.3
19773,593149NA11,1307,84670.52.2
19783,539128NA10,6727,49270.22.1
19793,496114NA10,3187,19769.82.1
19803,642141NA10,5977,32069.12.0
19813,871209NA11,1607,61568.22.0
19823,569232NA10,4316,97566.92.0
19833,651272NA10,6597,05166.11.9
19843,725287NA10,8667,15365.81.9
19853,692261NA10,8137,16566.31.9
19863,748254NA10,9977,30066.41.9
19873,784236NA11,0657,38166.72.0
19883,748210NA10,9207,32567.12.0
19893,771193NA10,9347,37067.42.0
19903,974204NA11,4607,75567.72.0
19914,374268NA12,5928,51367.61.9
19924,768322NA13,6259,22667.71.9
19934,981359NA14,1439,56067.61.9
19945,046363NA14,2269,61167.61.9
19954,871335NA13,6609,28067.91.9
19964,543301NA12,6458,67268.61.9
1997 23,937256NA10,9357,781 371.2 32.0 3
19983,200NA1628,7906,27371.42.0
19992,674NA1257,1885,31974.02.0
20002,356NA1326,3244,59872.72.0
20012,200NA1195,7614,22773.41.9
20022,195NA1185,6564,14973.31.9
20032,181NA1165,5184,07573.91.9
20042,160NA1135,3763,99374.31.8
20052,090NA1085,1183,81974.61.8
20061, 962NA984,7463,56175.01.8

Table TANF 2.
Number of AFDC/TANF Recipients, and Recipients as a Percentage of Various Population Groups: 1970-2006

Calendar Year 1Total Recipients in the States & DC
(thousands)
Child Recipients in the States & DC
(thousands)
Recipients as a Percent of Total Population 2Recipients as a Percent of Poverty Population 3Child Recipients as a Percent of Total Child Population 2Child Recipients as a Percent of Children in Poverty 3
1 Total recipients are calculated here as the monthly average for the calendar year in order to compare with the calendar year counts of the poverty populations used to compute the recipiency rates. 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: 2006,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-233 (available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).
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
20025,5344,0731.916.05.633.6
20035,4244,0241.915.15.531.3
20045,2823,9361.814.35.430.2
20054,9753,7271.713.55.128.9
20064,5423,4301.512.54.726.7

Table TANF 3.
TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2000-2006

[In thousands]

Fiscal YearTANFSSPTotal
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/).
Families
20002,265912,356
20012,117822,200
20022,0651292,195
20032,0321492,181
20041,9871732,160
20051,9211702,090
20061,8071551,962
All Recipients
20005,9433806,324
20015,4233385,761
20025,1495085,656
20034,9675515,518
20044,7845925,376
20054,5495695,118
20064,2295174,749
Child Recipients
20004,3702284,598
20014,0252024,227
20023,8413084,149
20033,7313444,075
20043,6173763,993
20053,4593603,819
20063,2343263,561

Table TANF 4.
Total AFDC/TANF Expenditures on Cash Benefits and Administration: 1970 – 2006

[In millions of dollars]

Fiscal
Year
Federal Funds
(Current Dollars)
State Funds
(Current Dollars)
Total
(Current Dollars)
Total
(Constant 2006 Dollars1)
BenefitsAdminBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdminBenefitsAdmin
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 2006 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.
1970$2,187$572 2$1,895$309$4,082$881 219,2484,154
19713,0082712,4692545,47752524,7242,370
19723,612240 32,9422416,554481 328,5712,097
19733,8653133,1382967,00361029,3202,554
19744,0713793,3003627,37174028,4242,854
19754,6255523,7875298,4121,08229,5663,803
19765,2585414,4185279,6761,06931,8353,517
19775,6265954,76258310,3881,17731,8153,605
19785,7246314,89861710,6211,24830,5173,586
19795,8256834,95466810,7791,35028,4803,567
19806,4487505,50872911,9561,47928,4283,517
19816,9288355,91781412,8451,64827,7633,562
19826,9228785,93487812,8571,75625,9963,551
19837,3329156,27591513,6071,83026,3033,538
19847,7078766,66482214,3711,69826,6773,152
19857,8178906,76388914,5801,77926,1273,188
19868,2399936,99696715,2351,96026,6843,433
19878,9141,0817,4091,05216,3232,13327,8453,639
19889,1251,1947,5381,15916,6632,35327,4093,870
19899,4331,2117,8071,20617,2402,41727,2043,814
199010,1491,3588,3901,30318,5392,66127,9794,016
199111,1651,3739,1911,30020,3562,67329,3963,860
199212,2581,4599,9931,37822,2502,83731,3633,999
199312,2701,51810,0161,43822,2862,95630,6374,064
199412,5121,68010,2851,62122,7973,30130,6804,443
199512,0191,77010,0141,75122,0323,52128,9634,629
199611,0651,6339,3461,63320,4113,26626,1774,189
1997 49,7481,2737,7991,09817,5472,37121,9602,967
19987,5181,2317,0961,02814,6142,25918,0212,786
19996,4751,4076,97588413,4492,29116,2922,775
20005,4441,5705,7361,03211,1802,30213,1333,057
20014,7721,5985,3901,04210,1632,63911,5693,005
20024,5541,6334,8549839,4082,61710,5512,935
20035,8201,5924,39885910,2192,45111,1952,685
20044,7171,4715,65282810,3682,30011,1032,463
20055,1931,5075,54687010,7392,37711,1362,464
20064,9261,5254,9808869,9062,4119,9062,411

Table TANF 5.
Federal and State TANF Program and Other Related Spending: 1997 – 2006

[In millions of dollars]

Fiscal YearCash & Work-Based AssistanceWork ActivitiesChild CareTranspor-
tation
Adminis-
tration
SystemsTransitional ServicesOther ExpendituresTotal Expenditures
Note: Administration and Systems, shown separately here in Table TANF 5, can be combined to show total administrative costs, as in Table TANF 3.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Financial Services (available online at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/data/index.html).
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
20064,9261,6811,2383411,2942313,85913,570
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
20064,1056302,120102793411,3239,114
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
20068755318429511.31,7162,910
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
20069,9062,3643,5424722,1382736,89825,594

Table TANF 6.
Trends in AFDC/TANF Average Monthly Payments: 1962 – 2006

Fiscal
Year
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)
Current Dollars2006 DollarsCurrent Dollars2006 DollarsCurrent Dollars2006 Dollars
Note: AFDC benefit amounts have not been reduced by child support collections.  Constant dollar adjustments to 2006 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/TANF + SSP families.
2 Estimated based on the weighted average benefit for a 4-person family.
3 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  Beginning in 1997, average monthly benefits are calculated from case-level data rather than by dividing aggregate expenditures on cash assistance by aggregate caseloads, as in the past.  This change was necessary due to uncertainty about the extent to which states may be reporting non-cash basic assistance as well as cash assistance in the expenditure data formerly used to calculate average cash benefits.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Quarterly Public Assistance Statistics, 1992 & 1993 and earlier years along with unpublished data.
1962$31$1813.9$121$705NANA
1963311804.0126725NANA
1964321814.1131746NANA
1965341884.2140784NANA
1966351924.2146798NANA
1967361934.1150799NANA
1968402034.1162832NANA
1969432144.0173855$186 2$923
1970462163.9178840194 2916
1971482163.8180814201 2908
1972512243.6187816205 2895
1973532213.5187782213 2891
1974572183.4194747229 2882
1975632223.3209734243854
1976712333.2226742257845
1977782383.1241738271830
1978832383.0250719284817
1979872303.0257679301795
1980942242.9274650320761
1981962072.9277598326704
19821032082.9300607331668
19831062062.9311600336650
19841102052.9322597352653
19851122012.9329590369661
19861152022.9339593383671
19871232102.9359613393671
19881272092.9370609403663
19891312072.9381601413651
19901352032.9389587420634
19911351952.9388560424613
19921361922.9389548419590
19931311812.8373513414570
19941341802.8376507416559
19951341772.8376496418550
19961351732.8374480419538
1997 31301632.8362453418524
19981301612.7358441429529
19991331612.7357432450545
20001301532.7349410446524
20011341532.6351400448510
20021411582.6364408452507
20031401532.5354388455498
20041451552.5360386462495
20051511572.4370383468485
20061541542.4372372495495

Table TANF 7.
Characteristics of AFDC/TANF Families: Selected Years 1969 – 2006

 MayMayMarchFiscal year 1
1969197519791983198819921996200020032006
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 Adults that live in TANF families with children are sometimes excluded from the assistance unit because they have been sanctioned, receive disability income from Supplemental Security Income (SSI), have been time-limited, do not qualify based on citizenship requirements, or are non-parental caretakers such as relatives or other adults taking responsibility for the children.
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.
Avg. Family Size (persons)4.03.23.03.03.02.92.82.62.52.3
Number of Child Recipients
    One26.637.942.343.442.542.543.944.247.950.2
    Two23.026.028.129.830.230.229.928.427.827.2
    Three17.716.115.615.215.815.515.015.313.813.2
    Four or More32.520.013.910.19.910.19.210.18.67.5
    UnknownNANANA1.51.70.71.32.01.92.0
Families with No Adult in Asst. Unit 210.112.514.68.39.614.821.534.440.947.2
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 Housing12.814.6NA10.09.69.28.817.719.117.2
    Participating in Food Stamp or Donated Food Program52.975.175.183.084.687.389.379.980.980.7
Presence of Income
    With EarningsNA14.612.85.78.47.411.123.6 319.5 318.4 3
    No Non-AFDC/TANF Income56.071.180.686.879.678.976.071.6 374.4 376.6 3
Adult Employment Status (percent of adults)
    Employed6.611.326.422.921.6
    Unemployed49.249.054.8
    Not in Labor Force24.328.123.6
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)
    Single65.367.369.9
    Married12.410.710.5
    Separated13.112.811.4
    Widowed0.70.50.6
    Divorced8.58.77.9
Basis for Child's Eligibility (percent children):
    Incapacitated 11.7 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 Separation 43.3 548.344.738.534.630.024.3
    Absent, No Marriage Tie 27.9 531.037.844.351.953.158.6
    Absent, Other Reason3.5 54.05.91.41.62.02.4
    Unknown1.70.90.6

Table TANF 8.
AFDC/TANF Benefits by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1978 – 2006

[In millions of dollars]

State1978198419861988199019941998200020032006
United States$10,621$14,371$15,236$16,663$18,543$22,798$14,614$11,180$10,219$9,906
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.
Alabama$78$74$68$62$62$92$44$36$46$35
Alaska173746546011377555036
Arizona306779103138266145107175137
Arkansas51394853575726342215
California1,8133,2073,5744,0914,9556,0884,1283,6433,1193,480
Colorado7410710712513715880485163
Connecticut168226223218295397305166133124
Delaware28282524294024202018
Dist. of Columbia917577768412697726862
Florida145251261318418806357234251170
Georgia10314922326632142831318016996
Hawaii83837377991631531419185
Idaho2121191920306367
Illinois699845886815839914771269115124
Indiana11815314816717022810487139109
Iowa107159170155152169104798174
Kansas7387919710512341435563
Kentucky122135104143179198147104102101
Louisiana97145162182188168103586745
Maine5169848010110880736665
Maryland16622925025029631419219632106
Massachusetts476406471558630730442336339320
Michigan7801,2141,2481,2311,2111,132589386390422
Minnesota164287322338355379276193193129
Mississippi33587485868260183622
Missouri152196209215228287180139130122
Montana15273741404930213117
Nebraska38566256596241415963
Nevada8101620274839284833
New Hampshire21162021326239323935
New Jersey48948550945945153137222222278
New Mexico32495156611441041137874
New York1,6891,9162,0992,1402,2592,9132,1491,5541,6051,624
North Carolina13814913820624735321114013394
North Dakota14162022242622121810
Ohio4417258048058771,016546368304331
Oklahoma748510011913216572785828
Oregon148101120128145197141348289
Pennsylvania726724389747798935523573324393
Rhode Island59717982991361171058365
South Carolina5275103919611552914939
South Dakota18171521222514101112
Tennessee7783100125168215108146138104
Texas122229281344416544315248323139
Utah41525561647750404437
Vermont21404040486547393435
Virginia136165179169177253123186129136
Washington175294375401438610450312269284
West Virginia537510910711012652496837
Wisconsin2605194445064404251457109111
Wyoming61316191921791510

Table TANF 9.
Comparison of Federal Funding for AFDC and Related Programs and 2006 Family Assistance Grants Awarded under PRWORA

[In millions of dollars]

StateFY 1996
Grants for AFDC, EA,
& JOBS 1
FY 2006
Family Assistance Grants
& Supplemental 2
FY 2006
Bonus
Awards 3
FY 2006
Total
Awards
Increase
of FY 2006
over
FY 1996 Level
Percent Increase
from FY 1996 Level
United States$15,067$16,647$19.2$16,657$1,59011
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 2006 Family Assistance Grants and Supplemental is net of the Tribal Grants amounts.
3 FY 2006 Bonus Awards include 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.
Alabama$79.0$104.4$0.0$104.4$25.432
Alaska60.754.80.054.8-5.8-10
Arizona200.6226.10.0226.125.513
Arkansas54.363.00.063.08.716
California3,545.63,669.90.03,669.9124.34
Colorado138.9149.60.0149.610.78
Connecticut221.1266.80.0264.443.320
Delaware30.232.30.031.41.24
Dist. of Columbia77.192.60.090.513.417
Florida504.7622.70.0622.7118.023
Georgia301.2368.00.0368.066.822
Hawaii98.498.90.098.90.51
Idaho31.333.90.033.92.68
Illinois593.8585.10.0585.1-8.8-1
Indiana121.4206.80.0206.885.470
Iowa129.3131.50.0131.52.22
Kansas86.9101.90.0101.915.017
Kentucky171.6181.30.0181.39.66
Louisiana122.4181.00.0181.058.648
Maine73.278.10.078.14.97
Maryland207.6229.10.0227.519.910
Massachusetts372.0459.40.0459.487.323
Michigan581.5775.40.0775.4193.933
Minnesota239.3263.40.0263.424.110
Mississippi68.695.80.095.827.240
Missouri207.9217.10.0217.19.24
Montana39.239.20.039.20.00
Nebraska56.257.80.057.81.63
Nevada41.247.70.046.45.112
New Hampshire36.038.50.038.52.57
New Jersey353.4404.00.0404.050.714
New Mexico129.9117.10.0117.1-12.8-10
New York2,332.72,442.90.02,442.9110.25
North Carolina311.9338.30.0338.326.58
North Dakota24.526.40.026.41.98
Ohio564.5728.00.0728.0163.529
Oklahoma125.1147.60.0147.622.518
Oregon146.4166.80.0166.820.414
Pennsylvania780.1719.50.0719.5-60.6-8
Rhode Island82.995.00.095.012.215
South Carolina99.4100.00.0100.00.51
South Dakota19.721.30.021.31.58
Tennessee178.9213.119.2232.253.330
Texas437.1539.00.0539.0101.923
Utah68.084.30.084.316.424
Vermont42.447.40.047.45.012
Virginia134.6158.30.0158.323.618
Washington393.2382.90.0382.9-10.3-3
West Virginia95.1110.20.0109.214.015
Wisconsin241.6314.50.0314.572.930
Wyoming14.418.40.018.44.028

Table TANF 10.
AFDC/TANF Caseload by State: October 1989 to March 2007 Peak

[In thousands]

StatePeak Caseload Oct ‘89 to June ’06Date Peak Occurred Oct ’89 to June ’06Sept ’96
AFDC
Caseload
March ’07 TANF & SSP CaseloadPercent Decline 1 Sept ’96 to March ’07Percent Decline Peak to
March ’07
United States5,098Mar-944,3461,7356066
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.
1Negative values denote percent increase.
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance, Division of Data Collection and Analysis.
Alabama52.3Mar-9340.718.05666
Alaska13.4Apr-9412.33.47375
Arizona72.8Dec-9361.835.74251
Arkansas27.1Mar-9222.18.66168
California933.1Mar-95870.3471.84649
Colorado43.7Dec-9333.611.16775
Connecticut61.9Mar-9557.120.76467
Delaware11.8Apr-9410.54.65661
Dist. of Columbia27.5Apr-9425.15.37981
Florida259.9Nov-92200.347.37682
Georgia142.8Nov-93120.924.87983
Hawaii23.4Jun-9721.98.56164
Idaho9.5Mar-958.41.78083
Illinois243.1Aug-94217.831.38687
Indiana76.1Sep-9349.741.21746
Iowa40.7Apr-9431.116.64659
Kansas30.8Aug-9323.414.63853
Kentucky84.0Mar-9370.429.85865
Louisiana94.7May-9066.510.78489
Maine24.4Aug-9319.711.04455
Maryland81.8May-9568.919.17277
Massachusetts115.7Aug-9384.344.64761
Michigan233.6Apr-91167.575.25568
Minnesota66.2Jun-9257.226.55460
Mississippi61.8Nov-9145.211.27582
Missouri93.7Mar-9479.142.84654
Montana12.3Mar-949.83.26874
Nebraska17.2Mar-9314.49.53444
Nevada16.3Mar-9513.26.45161
New Hampshire11.8Apr-948.95.14256
New Jersey132.6Nov-92100.834.96574
New Mexico34.9Nov-9433.014.05760
New York463.7Dec-94412.7159.46166
North Carolina134.1Mar-94107.525.57681
North Dakota6.6Apr-934.72.05770
Ohio269.8Mar-92201.977.66271
Oklahoma51.3Mar-9335.39.07482
Oregon43.8Apr-9328.518.93457
Pennsylvania212.5Sep-94180.159.96772
Rhode Island22.9Apr-9420.510.94752
South Carolina54.6Jan-9342.915.76471
South Dakota7.4Apr-935.72.85062
Tennessee112.6Nov-9396.262.43545
Texas287.5Dec-93238.861.67479
Utah18.7Mar-9314.05.06473
Vermont10.3Apr-928.74.54957
Virginia76.0Apr-9460.531.34859
Washington104.8Feb-9596.852.34650
West Virginia41.9Apr-9337.69.87477
Wisconsin82.9Jan-9249.917.26679
Wyoming7.1Aug-924.30.39496

Table TANF 11.
Average Monthly AFDC/TANF Recipients by State: Selected Fiscal Years

[In thousands]

 19651970198019901994199620002006Percent Change
1996-002000-06
United States4,3237,41510,59711,46014,22612,6456,3244,746-50-25
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).
Alabama781231801301321054646-56-1
Alaska58152038362210-38-56
Arizona4051511242011728787-490
Arkansas3045857169582918-50-39
California5281,1481,3871,9022,6392,6261,5741,198-40-24
Colorado426677102119992937-7130
Connecticut59831391201661627348-55-33
Delaware1220322127231313-43-5
Dist. of Columbia2040854974704740-33-15
Florida10620425637066956115890-72-43
Georgia7119822129339335312963-64-51
Guam1254781011269
Hawaii142560446267752612-64
Idaho10162117232323-9032
Illinois26236867263671265525692-61-64
Indiana4873157154216148103130-3026
Iowa446410498110895449-39-10
Kansas3653687787683245-5442
Kentucky811291671752081758970-49-21
Louisiana1042022132822482367527-68-64
Maine1936605664563232-42-2
Maryland801312121862222047754-62-30
Massachusetts9420835026330723710298-57-3
Michigan162253685655666527207220-616
Minnesota517613517118717111680-32-31
Mississippi831151731791591293428-74-18
Missouri107140199211263232131113-44-14
Montana713192935311310-58-23
Nebraska1630354345402833-3020
Nevada512122338381617-588
New Hampshire49221630241414-422
New Jersey104286459309335288138109-52-21
New Mexico305153571021017243-28-41
New York5171,0521,1009811,2551,184724455-39-37
North Carolina11112419822333327810059-64-41
North Dakota8111316161387-44-9
Ohio183266513632685546245170-55-31
Oklahoma7395891121311053623-66-37
Oregon317510289114873942-557
Pennsylvania303426629521620544250245-54-2
Puerto Rico2022231681901831559239-40-58
Rhode Island2438524663585031-15-37
South Carolina30521531111401194142-653
South Dakota11162019191676-59-10
Tennessee76129162211300260147185-4325
Texas91214308611788684342169-50-51
Utah2233374550402318-44-19
Vermont512232228251612-36-26
Virgin Islands12334531-35-61
Virginia46871661511951627582-539
Washington71109154228292274168136-39-19
West Virginia1169377111114953226-66-18
Wisconsin45792132372261704041-761
Wyoming45714161311-91-53

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

[In percent]

 19651970198019901994199620002006Percent Change
1996-002000-06
United States2.13.54.64.55.34.62.21.6-52 -29
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/).
Alabama2.23.64.63.23.12.41.01.0-57-4
Alaska1.82.63.73.76.35.93.61.5-40-59
Arizona2.62.91.93.44.73.71.71.4-55-16
Arkansas1.52.33.73.02.82.31.10.6-52-42
California2.95.75.86.38.48.24.63.3-44-29
Colorado2.23.02.63.13.22.50.70.8-7318
Connecticut2.12.74.53.65.04.82.11.4-56-35
Delaware2.43.65.43.23.83.21.71.5-46-12
Dist. of Columbia2.55.313.38.112.612.38.26.8-33-17
Florida1.83.02.62.84.73.81.00.5-74-50
Georgia1.64.34.04.55.54.71.60.7-67-57
Hawaii1.93.26.23.95.25.56.12.111-66
Idaho1.42.22.21.62.01.90.20.2-9117
Illinois2.53.35.95.66.05.42.10.7-62-65
Indiana1.01.42.92.83.72.51.72.1-3221
Iowa1.62.33.63.53.93.11.91.7-40-11
Kansas1.62.42.93.13.42.61.21.6-5539
Kentucky2.54.04.64.75.44.52.21.7-51-24
Louisiana2.95.65.06.75.75.41.70.6-69-62
Maine1.93.65.44.55.24.52.52.4-43-5
Maryland2.23.35.03.94.44.01.51.0-64-34
Massachusetts1.83.76.14.45.03.81.61.5-58-4
Michigan2.02.97.47.06.95.42.12.2-625
Minnesota1.42.03.33.94.13.62.31.6-35-34
Mississippi3.65.26.96.95.94.71.21.0-75-19
Missouri2.43.04.04.14.94.32.31.9-45-17
Montana1.01.92.43.64.03.51.41.0-59-27
Nebraska1.12.02.22.72.82.41.61.9-3116
Nevada1.22.41.51.92.52.30.80.7-65-12
New Hampshire0.71.22.41.52.72.11.11.1-45-3
New Jersey1.54.06.24.04.23.51.61.3-54-23
New Mexico3.05.04.13.86.15.84.02.2-31-44
New York2.95.86.35.46.86.43.82.4-40-38
North Carolina2.22.43.43.44.63.71.20.7-67-46
North Dakota1.21.72.02.42.62.11.21.1-43-9
Ohio1.82.54.85.86.14.92.21.5-56-31
Oklahoma3.03.72.93.64.03.11.00.6-67-39
Oregon1.63.63.93.13.72.71.11.1-58-0
Pennsylvania2.63.65.34.45.14.42.02.0-54-3
Rhode Island2.74.05.54.66.25.74.73.0-17-37
South Carolina1.22.04.93.23.83.11.01.0-67-5
South Dakota1.62.42.92.72.62.20.90.8-59-14
Tennessee2.03.33.54.35.74.82.63.0-4618
Texas0.91.92.13.64.23.51.60.7-54-56
Utah2.23.12.52.62.52.01.00.7-48-29
Vermont1.42.64.43.94.84.32.71.9-38-28
Virginia1.01.93.12.43.02.41.11.1-562
Washington2.43.23.74.75.44.92.82.1-42-25
West Virginia6.45.34.06.26.35.21.81.5-66-18
Wisconsin1.11.84.54.84.43.30.80.7-77-2
Wyoming1.11.51.43.13.42.60.20.1-91-55

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

[In thousands]

 19651970198019901994199620002006Percent Change
1996-002000-06
United States3,2425,4837,3207,7559,6118,6724,5983,561-47-23
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).
Alabama62961299396793735-53-5
Alaska4610132423157-35-55
Arizona313938871361186666-44-1
Arkansas2334625149422214-48-38
California3918169321,2941,8041,8051,163961-36-17
Colorado3350536980682227-6824
Connecticut436297811111085033-53-34
Delaware91522141916910-412
Dist. of Columbia1631593451483430-29-12
Florida8516018426446339512475-68-40
Georgia5415016120627425110155-60-45
Guam114356NANANANA
Hawaii101840294144501814-64
Idaho7111411161623-8840
Illinois20228347343648645619373-58-62
Indiana36551111051451047499-2933
Iowa3246696472593632-39-12
Kansas2841495259482331-5335
Kentucky58931181171371206453-47-17
Louisiana791571561991801625923-64-61
Maine1426403540352221-38-2
Maryland611001451241511405640-60-29
Massachusetts711532281681971537367-53-7
Michigan119190460427439354153160-574
Minnesota3958911101241168157-30-30
Mississippi6693128129116962721-72-20
Missouri821061351391761629477-42-18
Montana6101319232197-58-21
Nebraska1223252931282023-2918
Nevada4981627271213-569
New Hampshire37151119161010-392
New Jersey7920931821322819510277-48-25
New Mexico2339353766655131-23-39
New York380759759658813771491321-36-35
North Carolina83941411522231917647-60-38
North Dakota6891011955-39-12
Ohio136198348414455382180130-53-28
Oklahoma5571657790742819-63-33
Oregon2352656076602931-528
Pennsylvania217307432345417368184173-50-6
Puerto Rico1611661181301241056427-39-57
Rhode Island1827363041393422-14-33
South Carolina244010980102893231-64-1
South Dakota8121513141255-54-7
Tennessee5899115144203181107132-4123
Texas68162225428549484252139-48-45
Utah1623243133271614-40-16
Vermont4814141716108-34-25
Virgin Islands12223421-38-58
Virginia35661161041341145558-525
Washington50769714818717711595-35-17
West Virginia8065586872622219-64-14
Wisconsin34601421581531233434-720
Wyoming345911910-90-49

Table TANF 14.
AFDC/TANF Recipiency Rates for Children by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1965 – 2006

[In percent]

 19651970198019901994199620002006Percent Change
1996-002000-06
United States4.47.611.311.914.012.46.34.8-49-18
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/).
Alabama4.67.711.18.88.97.33.33.2-55-5
Alaska3.15.08.07.412.812.47.93.7-36-53
Arizona4.86.04.88.612.19.74.74.0-52-14
Arkansas3.15.29.38.27.76.43.22.0-49-39
Colorado4.46.46.57.88.36.81.92.3-7220
Connecticut4.46.111.810.814.213.75.94.1-57-31
Delaware4.77.513.48.710.58.94.94.7-45-5
Dist. of Columbia6.013.840.930.744.544.131.426.5-29-16
Florida4.37.67.88.814.111.63.31.9-71-44
Georgia3.29.19.811.814.612.84.62.2-64-51
Hawaii3.66.514.510.513.614.517.26.019-65
Idaho2.74.24.73.64.64.60.50.7-8932
Illinois5.37.514.614.815.714.46.02.3-58-62
Indiana2.03.06.97.39.87.04.76.2-3334
Iowa3.24.78.48.89.98.25.04.5-38-12
Kansas3.55.47.57.98.57.03.24.4-5436
Kentucky4.98.310.912.414.112.46.75.3-46-21
Louisiana5.511.311.816.514.613.34.92.1-63-57
Maine3.97.712.511.513.111.87.57.6-361
Maryland4.67.312.410.612.011.14.12.9-63-29
Massachusetts3.88.115.312.413.910.64.94.7-53-6
Michigan3.75.816.717.417.413.95.96.4-579
Minnesota2.94.27.79.410.19.36.44.5-32-29
Mississippi7.011.115.717.615.312.73.52.8-72-20
Missouri5.26.99.910.612.911.66.65.4-43-18
Montana2.04.05.78.49.78.93.83.1-57-18
Nebraska2.34.45.56.87.06.14.45.2-2817
Nevada2.55.23.85.07.16.52.22.1-66-7
New Hampshire1.42.65.83.96.65.43.13.3-427
New Jersey3.48.816.011.711.79.94.93.7-51-24
New Mexico5.29.58.58.313.513.110.16.1-23-39
New York6.313.016.215.418.017.010.67.1-37-33
North Carolina4.45.38.59.312.610.43.82.2-63-42
North Dakota2.33.64.76.06.35.43.63.3-34-6
Ohio3.65.311.214.916.013.46.34.7-53-25
Oklahoma6.48.57.69.110.48.53.12.1-63-34
Oregon3.37.49.08.19.77.43.43.6-558
Pennsylvania5.58.013.812.314.412.86.36.2-50-3
Rhode Island5.99.114.713.417.516.513.89.4-16-32
South Carolina2.34.211.68.710.89.43.23.0-66-7
South Dakota3.15.07.16.76.65.92.72.6-53-5
Tennessee4.27.58.911.815.713.77.79.2-4419
Texas1.74.15.28.710.48.84.22.1-52-49
Utah3.75.44.44.94.94.02.31.7-42-25
Vermont2.75.49.99.511.710.87.25.8-33-20
Virginia2.24.17.96.88.47.03.13.2-562
Washington4.76.58.511.313.312.47.66.2-39-18
West Virginia12.211.210.415.716.814.65.54.9-62-12
Wisconsin2.23.810.512.111.49.12.52.6-733
Wyoming2.13.23.47.08.16.80.80.4-89-48

Table TANF 15.
TANF and Separate State Program (SSP) Families and Recipients: 2006

[In thousands]

 FamiliesAll RecipientsChild Recipients
TANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotalTANFSSPTotal
U.S. Total1,8071551,9624,2295174,7463,2343263,561
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).
Alabama19.20.319.444.71.045.734.80.535.4
Alaska3.63.69.89.86.86.8
Arizona39.639.687.487.465.765.7
Arkansas8.28.217.917.913.713.7
California449.338.4487.81,048.0150.41,198.3865.995.5961.3
Colorado14.514.537.437.427.027.0
Connecticut18.53.922.336.811.548.426.56.833.4
Delaware5.50.15.612.20.412.69.30.29.5
Dist. of Columbia15.70.516.238.71.340.029.70.830.5
Florida52.50.953.386.43.489.873.41.675.1
Georgia31.80.131.962.60.462.954.70.254.9
Guam3.13.110.810.80.0
Hawaii7.02.59.417.49.126.512.55.518.0
Idaho1.81.83.13.12.62.6
Illinois36.30.937.290.11.891.972.50.773.2
Indiana42.52.144.6119.310.4129.792.75.998.6
Iowa16.74.421.140.29.049.228.53.231.7
Kansas17.217.245.045.030.730.7
Kentucky33.133.169.969.953.153.1
Louisiana11.911.926.726.723.123.1
Maine9.31.911.224.87.131.917.04.521.4
Maryland20.42.823.246.97.254.035.34.840.1
Massachusetts46.61.347.993.44.998.265.02.567.5
Michigan83.083.0219.8219.8159.8159.8
Minnesota27.53.030.566.813.580.449.37.556.9
Mississippi13.413.427.827.821.321.3
Missouri38.75.644.393.719.2112.965.711.076.7
Montana3.83.89.99.96.86.8
Nebraska10.12.712.824.39.033.317.75.323.0
Nevada5.41.67.012.25.017.210.13.013.1
New Hampshire6.10.26.313.70.614.49.50.49.9
New Jersey40.82.042.8101.18.2109.272.44.376.7
New Mexico16.916.943.043.031.131.1
New York134.943.1178.0307.9147.2455.2225.196.1321.2
North Carolina30.230.258.858.847.547.5
North Dakota2.72.76.86.84.84.8
Ohio79.579.5170.2170.2130.0130.0
Oklahoma10.210.222.522.518.518.5
Oregon18.518.541.841.831.231.2
Pennsylvania94.794.7245.1245.1173.4173.4
Puerto Rico14.314.338.838.827.427.4
Rhode Island9.72.612.324.07.531.516.85.622.4
South Carolina15.72.418.135.56.942.427.24.131.3
South Dakota2.82.86.16.15.15.1
Tennessee68.11.269.4180.04.8184.8129.32.9132.2
Texas70.81.972.7160.88.2169.1134.54.4138.9
Utah7.50.07.518.20.118.413.50.113.6
Vermont4.40.34.810.91.011.97.10.67.7
Virgin Islands0.40.41.21.20.90.9
Virginia9.125.835.026.056.382.416.741.057.6
Washington54.21.956.1128.37.9136.290.54.795.2
West Virginia10.90.611.523.72.626.417.71.319.0
Wisconsin18.00.318.339.51.541.032.91.033.9
Wyoming0.30.00.30.50.00.60.50.00.5
Endnotes

1 Many states limit TANF assistance to less than the 60-month federal maximum.

2 Separate State Programs (SSP) refer to programs funded by state MOE contributions.  Some states have additional programs that are similar to TANF, but are not funded by TANF or MOE sources.  These programs are sometimes called Solely State Funded programs and are excluded from any federal work standards and the 60-month limit on assistance.  Since States do not report data on these programs they are not included in any of the tables in this report.

3 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, the definition also includes certain child care and transportation benefits when families are not employed.   It excludes, however, such things as:  non-recurrent, short-term benefits; services without a cash value, such as education and training, case management, job search, and counseling; and benefits such as child care and transportation when provided to employed families.

4 States began submitting caseload data on SSPs in FY 2000.

5 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.

6  Note that these figures include recipients in SSPs, who are sometimes omitted from TANF caseload statistics reported by the Department.

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

8 The percentages in this paragraph do not include cases served by SSP programs.  In FY 2006, 14.2 percent of SSP caseloads funded by MOE did not have an adult in the assistance unit compared to 47.2 percent of families served through the main TANF programs.

Food Stamp Program

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

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

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

In addition to the regular Food Stamp Program, the Food Stamp Act authorizes alternative programs in Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. The largest of these, the Nutrition Assistance Program in Puerto Rico, was funded under a federal block grant of nearly $1.6 billion in 2006.  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.

Certain households are categorically eligible for food stamps and therefore not subject to income or asset limits.  Households are categorically eligible if all of their members receive SSI, cash or in-kind TANF benefits, or General Assistance.

Monthly income is the most important determinant of household eligibility.  Except for categorically-eligible households, or households containing 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.  Non categorically-eligible households also must not have more than $2,000 in assets comprised of cash, savings, stocks and bonds, and in some states some vehicles; households with an elderly or disabled member can have up to $3,000 in countable assets.

All nonexempt adult applicants for food stamps must register for work.  To maintain eligibility, they must accept a suitable job, if offered one, and fulfill any work, job search, or training requirements established by the FSP office.  Nondisabled adults living in households without children can receive benefits for three months only, unless they work or participate in work-related activities.  Participation is restricted for certain groups, including students, strikers, and people who are institutionalized.  Legal immigrants who are disabled, under age 18, 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.

Legislative 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 (Public Law 104-193) 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 non-custodial 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 (Public Law 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 2002 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 2002 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 2002 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 2002 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 2002 Farm Bill also implemented a number of administrative reforms and program simplifications, including:

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

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

  • Tables FSP 1 and FSP 2 and Figure FSP 1 present national caseload and expenditure trend data on the Food Stamp Program as discussed below;
  • Table FSP 3 presents some demographic characteristics of the food stamp caseload; and
  • Tables FSP 4 through FSP 6 present some state-by-state trend data on the FSP through fiscal year 2006.

Food Stamp Caseload Trends (Table FSP 1).  Average monthly food stamp participation was 26.7 million persons in fiscal year 2006, 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, still 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.  Participation fell most rapidly among the following three groups: 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 five 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, the proportion of eligible households participating in the Food Stamp Program, increased from 50 percent in 2000 to 59 percent in 2005.  Between 2000 and 2005, food stamp participation increased by 3.6 million households (see Table IND 4b).  Part of this increase was associated with an increase in the number of eligible households and part was associated with an increased participation rate among those households that were eligible.  

Food Stamp Expenditures.  Total program costs, shown in Table FSP 2, were higher in 2005 and 2006 than in 2004, reflecting the increase in participation during that period as well as an increase in average benefits.  Total federal program costs were $32.8 billion in 2006, $32.2 billion in 2005, and $29.0 billion in 2004 (after adjusting for inflation).  Average monthly benefits per person, also shown in Table FSP 2, were $94.30 per person in 2006, $96.00 in 2005 and $92.10 in 2004 (after adjusting for inflation).  The personal monthly benefit decreased 1.8 percent between 2005 and 2006.

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 30 percent in 2006.  At the same time, the proportion of households with income from AFDC/TANF has declined, from 42 percent in 1990 to 13 percent in 2006, following the dramatic decline in AFDC/TANF caseloads.  Over half of all food stamp households have children, although the proportion has declined from over 60 percent in most of the 1980s and early 1990s to 52 percent in 2006.  The majority (87 percent in 2006) of households have incomes below the federal poverty guidelines.

 


Figure FSP 1.
Persons Receiving Food Stamps: 1962–2006
(In millions)

Figure FSP 1

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 1962–2006

Fiscal
Year
Food Stamp ParticipantsParticipants as a Percent of:Child Participants as a Percent of:
Including
Territories 1
(thousands)
Excluding
Territories (thousands)
Children
Excld. Terr.
(thousands)
Total
Population 2
All Poor
Persons 2
Total Child
Population 2
Children in
Poverty 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: 2006,” Current Population Reports, Series P60-233.
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
200423,85823,81911,7718.164.316.190.3
200525,71825,67712,4058.769.516.996.2
200626,67226,63112,5798.973.017.198.1

Table FSP 2.
Trends in Food Stamp Expenditures: Selected Years 1975–2006

Fiscal
Year
Total Federal Cost
 (Benefits + Administration)
Benefits
(Federal)
(millions)
Administration1Total Program Cost
(millions)
Average Monthly Benefit per Person
Current Dollars
(millions)
2006 Dollars2
(millions)
Federal
(millions)
State & Local
(millions)
Current Dollars2006 Dollars2
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 2006 level were made using a CPI-U-RS fiscal year average price index.
3 The fiscal year in which the food stamp purchase requirement was eliminated, on a phased-in basis.
4 Beginning 1984 USDA took over from DHHS the administrative cost of certifying public assistance households for food stamps.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service unpublished data (available at online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fssummar.htm); and the House Ways and Means Committee, 2004 Green Book (available online at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/wmprints/green/2004.html).
1975$4,619$16,263$4,386$233$175$4,794$21.30$75.00
19765,68618,7405,3273592705,95523.9078.80
19775,46116,7555,0673942955,75624.8076.10
19785,52015,8885,1393812855,80526.6076.60
197936,94018,3366,4804603887,32830.5080.60
19809,20621,8908,7214863759,58134.5082.00
198111,22524,26210,63059550411,72939.5085.40
198210,83721,91110,20862855711,39439.2078.00
198311,84722,90111,15269561212,45943.0083.10
1984411,57921,49410,696883580512,38442.7079.30
198511,70320,97210,74496087112,57445.0080.60
198611,63820,38410,6051,03393512,57345.5079.70
198711,60419,79510,5001,10499612,60045.8078.10
198812,31720,26011,1491,1681,08013,39749.8081.90
198912,90220,35811,6701,2321,10114,03351.7081.90
199015,44723,31314,1431,3051,17416,66458.8088.60
199118,77427,07317,3161,4321,24720,01863.8092.10
199222,46231,66220,9061,5571,37523,83768.6096.70
199323,65332,51622,0061,6471,57225,22568.0093.50
199424,49432,96422,7491,7451,64326,13669.0092.90
199524,62032,36522,7641,8561,74826,36871.3093.70
199624,33131,20622,4401,8911,84226,17373.2093.90
199721,50826,91619,5491,9591,90423,38971.3089.20
199818,98823,41516,8912.0981,98820,87671.1087.70
199917,82021,58715,7692,0521,87419,58472.3087.60
200017,05420,03214,9832,0712,08619,14072.6085.30
200117,79020,25015,5472,2422,23320,02374.8085.10
200220,63723,14318,2562,3812,39723,03479.7089.40
200323,81626,09221,4042,4122,43026,24683.9091.90
200427,09829,01824,6192,4792,50029,59886.0092.10
200531,07632,22528,5682,5092,55633,63392.6096.00
200632,76132,76130,1872,5742,86935,62694.3094.30

Table FSP 3.
Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Selected Years 1980–2006

 Year 1
1980198419881990199419961998200020032006
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 2006, Report No. FSP-07-CHAR (available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/participation.htm) and earlier reports.
With Gross Monthly Income: (In Percent)
   Below the Federal Poverty Levels87939292909190898887
   Between the Poverty Levels & 130 percent of the Poverty Levels10688989101111
   Above 130 Percent of Poverty21**111122
With Earnings19192019212326272830
With Public Assistance Income 2§§§§§§§§§§6159564741
   With AFDC/TANF IncomeNA424242383731261713
   With SSI Income18182019232428322827
With Children60616161616058545552
   And Female Heads of HouseholdNA475051515047444443
      With No Spouse PresentNANA3937434341383736
With Elderly Members 323221918161618211818
Average Household Size2.82.82.82.72.62.52.42.32.32.3

Table FSP 4.
Value of Food Stamps Issued by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1975–2006

[In millions]

  Percent Change
197519801985199019962000200320061996-002000-06
United States$4,386$8,721$10,744$14,186$22,441$14,983$21,404$30,187-33 101
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 2006 data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fsfybft.htm) and unpublished data from the Food Stamp National Data Bank.
Alabama$103$246$318$328$440$344$466$594-2273
Alaska627252554466686-1588
Arizona4197121239372240498626-35161
Arkansas78122126155224206304414-8101
California3615306399682,5551,6391,8062,377-3645
Colorado447194156210127203321-40154
Connecticut36596272175138165239-2173
Delaware621222547314870-34125
Dist. of Columbia31414043957790104-1936
Florida2074213686091,2967719881,684-40118
Georgia1292642903827034897821,098-30125
Guam2151815273653553452
Hawaii23609381196166156148-15-11
Idaho11293640614677100-25117
Illinois2383947138351,0347771,0531,503-2593
Indiana58154242226330268484648-19142
Iowa2854107109141100149244-29144
Kansas1238649613583140188-39128
Kentucky135211332334413337486645-1892
Louisiana1482433655495974486851,032-25130
Maine3160626311381124169-28108
Maryland76140171203362199257336-4569
Massachusetts75171173207295182254422-38132
Michigan1242635416637734577831,239-41171
Minnesota4062105165221165227282-2671
Mississippi110199264352376226335507-40124
Missouri82142212312480358568740-25107
Montana1118314158516990-1276
Nebraska11254459786189124-21104
Nevada101522419157113124-38120
New Hampshire1122152042284058-32106
New Jersey125226260289508304339456-4050
New Mexico488188117199140184253-3082
New York2097269381,0862,0541,3611,6772,240-3465
North Carolina122234237282547403645921-26128
North Dakota59162532253746-2283
Ohio2533826978619345208791,266-44143
Oklahoma3873134186308208362467-32124
Oregon5680142168259198381463-24134
Pennsylvania1753735476619816567851,182-3380
Rhode Island1831354278596981-2437
South Carolina121181194240299249443589-17136
South Dakota818263541375166-1080
Tennessee115282280372542415722976-23135
Texas3145147011,4292,1401,2151,8812,939-43142
Utah122240718768102140-21106
Vermont918202243323850-2657
Virgin Islands619231842211821-50-2
Virginia63158189247450263366526-42100
Washington7090140229426241394595-43146
West Virginia5687159192252185216266-2644
Wisconsin2968148180198129233347-35169
Wyoming36152128192426-3442

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

[In thousands]

  Percent Change
197519801985199019962000200320061996-002000-06
United States17,19221,08219,89920,04925,54317,19421,25926,672-33 55
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 2006 data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fsfypart.htm) and unpublished data from the National Data Bank.
Alabama365583588454509396472547-2238
Alaska1529222546385157-1952
Arizona143196206317427259466541-39109
Arkansas267301253235274247310385-1056
California1,4551,4931,6151,9373,1431,8301,7092,000-429
Colorado150163170221244156208251-3661
Connecticut155170145133223165181210-2627
Delaware2652403358324666-44104
Dist. of Columbia122103726293818289-1310
Florida6479126307811,3718821,0411,418-3661
Georgia498627567536793559750947-2969
Guam6222012182224282625
Hawaii75102997713011810088-9-25
Idaho3961595980588291-2757
Illinois9269031,1101,0131,1058179541,225-2650
Indiana392353406311390300470575-2391
Iowa115141203170177123154226-3083
Kansas5890119142172117161183-3257
Kentucky472468560458486403503589-1746
Louisiana510569644727670500655830-2566
Maine12613911494131102133160-2258
Maryland261324287255375219252305-4139
Massachusetts365453337347374232292432-3886
Michigan6198139859179356038381,134-3688
Minnesota167171228263295196235264-3335
Mississippi376496495499457276356448-4062
Missouri300335362431554423592796-2488
Montana3843585771597182-1637
Nebraska496694951028299120-1945
Nevada323232509761111118-3794
New Hampshire4450283153364556-3155
New Jersey490605464382540345339406-3618
New Mexico157185157157235169195245-2844
New York1,2911,7591,8341,5482,0991,4391,4361,786-3124
North Carolina466582474419631488649854-2375
North Dakota1925333940324043-2034
Ohio8548651,1331,0891,0456108551,064-4274
Oklahoma171209263267354253380436-2872
Oregon201197228216288234398434-1985
Pennsylvania8489801,0329521,1247778231,092-3141
Rhode Island8687696491747473-18-1
South Carolina410426373299358295451534-1881
South Dakota3343485049435158-1236
Tennessee397624518527638496728870-2275
Texas1,1331,1671,2631,8802,3721,3331,8722,623-4497
Utah4654759911082106132-2661
Vermont4446443856414147-2816
Virgin Islands1634321831161313-49-15
Virginia257384360346538336393507-3751
Washington253248281340478295404536-3882
West Virginia242209278262300227247268-2418
Wisconsin148215363286283193297368-3291
Wyoming1014272833222524-328

Table FSP 6.
Food Stamp Recipiency Rates by State: Selected Fiscal Years

[In percent]

  Percent Change
197519801985199019962000200320061996-002000-06
United States7.68.58.38.09.56.17.38.9-36 47
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 2006 data published online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/fsfypart.htm and unpublished data from the National Data Bank; U.S. Census Bureau (population by state available online at http://www.census.gov).
Alabama9.914.914.811.211.88.910.511.9-2434
Alaska4.07.14.14.57.66.07.88.4-2141
Arizona6.37.16.58.69.35.08.48.8-4675
Arkansas12.413.110.910.010.69.211.413.7-1449
California6.86.36.16.59.85.44.85.5-452
Colorado5.85.65.36.76.23.64.65.3-4246
Connecticut5.05.54.54.06.74.85.26.0-2824
Delaware4.58.76.55.07.84.15.67.7-4888
Dist. of Columbia17.216.111.410.316.214.114.215.2-138
Florida7.69.35.56.09.25.56.17.9-4043
Georgia9.811.49.58.210.66.88.610.1-3649
Hawaii8.410.69.56.910.89.78.16.9-10-29
Idaho4.66.45.95.86.64.56.06.2-3339
Illinois8.27.99.78.89.16.67.69.6-2846
Indiana7.36.47.45.66.64.97.69.1-2585
Iowa4.04.87.26.16.24.25.27.6-3280
Kansas2.53.84.95.76.64.35.96.6-3454
Kentucky13.612.815.212.412.410.012.214.0-2041
Louisiana13.113.514.617.215.211.214.619.6-2775
Maine11.812.39.87.610.58.010.212.2-2453
Maryland6.37.76.55.37.34.14.65.5-4432
Massachusetts6.37.95.75.86.03.64.56.7-4084
Michigan6.88.810.89.89.66.18.311.2-3785
Minnesota4.24.25.56.06.34.04.65.1-3629
Mississippi15.719.619.119.416.69.712.415.4-4259
Missouri6.26.87.28.410.27.610.413.6-2681
Montana5.15.57.17.18.06.67.88.6-1831
Nebraska3.24.25.96.06.14.85.76.8-2141
Nevada5.24.03.44.15.83.05.04.7-4857
New Hampshire5.35.42.82.74.52.93.54.3-3547
New Jersey6.78.26.14.96.64.13.94.7-3815
New Mexico13.514.110.910.313.49.310.412.6-3135
New York7.210.010.38.611.37.67.59.3-3322
North Carolina8.49.97.66.38.46.07.79.6-2859
North Dakota2.93.94.96.16.15.06.36.7-1935
Ohio7.98.010.610.09.35.47.59.3-4273
Oklahoma6.26.98.08.510.67.310.912.2-3166
Oregon8.67.58.57.68.96.811.211.8-2372
Pennsylvania7.18.38.88.09.26.36.78.8-3139
Rhode Island9.29.17.26.48.97.16.96.9-21-2
South Carolina14.113.611.38.59.47.310.912.3-2268
South Dakota4.86.26.97.26.65.76.77.4-1431
Tennessee9.313.611.010.811.88.712.414.3-2665
Texas9.08.17.811.012.36.48.511.2-4876
Utah3.73.74.65.75.33.74.55.1-3140
Vermont9.18.98.26.89.56.76.77.6-3014
Virginia5.17.26.35.68.04.75.36.6-4140
Washington7.06.06.46.98.65.06.68.4-4268
West Virginia13.110.714.614.616.412.613.714.8-2418
Wisconsin3.24.67.65.85.43.65.46.6-3484
Wyoming2.73.05.46.26.84.55.14.7-334

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 $623 for an individual and $934 for a married couple (if both are eligible) in fiscal year 2007.  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 (DA&A) 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) for children which it had implemented in 1991 following the Supreme Court's decision in Sullivan v Zebley, 493 U.S. 521 (1990).1 Third, references to “maladaptive behaviors” in certain sections of the Listing of Impairments (among medical criteria for evaluation of mental and emotional disorders in the domain of personal/behavioral function) were eliminated.  The latter two provisions were effective for all new and pending applications upon enactment (August 22, 1996).  Beneficiaries who were receiving benefits due to an IFA or under the Listings because of limitations resulting from maladaptive behaviors received notice no later than January 1, 1997, that their benefits might end when their case was redetermined. Additional provisions of PRWORA with impact on enrollment are the requirement that eligibility be redetermined when beneficiaries reach age 18, using the adult disability standard; that "continuing disability reviews" be done for children; and that children who were eligible due to low birth weight have their eligibility redetermined at age one.

Title IV of Public Law 104-193 (PRWORA) also made significant changes in the eligibility of noncitizens for SSI benefits.  Some of the restrictions were subsequently moderated by Public Law 104-208, Public Law 106-169, and 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.”  In addition, Public Law 106-386, the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, provides that noncitizens who are victims of “severe forms of trafficking in persons in the United States” shall be treated as refugees for purposes of SSI and be eligible for SSI benefits for the first 7 years they are in the United States.

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 (Public Law 106-169). Other legislation enacted in 1999 (Public Law 106-170) provides additional work incentives for disabled beneficiaries of SSI (e.g., the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program).

The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (Public Law 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.  It also extended SSI eligibility to blind or disabled children living with a parent assigned to permanent U.S. military duty outside of the U.S. but who were not receiving SSI while in the U.S.  Furthermore, Public Law 109-163 provides that individuals who were made ineligible for SSI because of their spouses or parents being called to active military duty would not have to file a new application for SSI benefits if they again could be eligible for benefits before the end of 24 consecutive months of ineligibility.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (Public Law 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 2006.

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 2006, the caseload increased from 6.6 to 7.2 million beneficiaries, an average annual growth rate of 1.5 percent. Table SSI 1 presents information on the total number of persons receiving SSI payments in December of each year from 1974 through 2006, 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.

The composition of the SSI caseload has been shifting over time, as shown in Table SSI 1.  The number of beneficiaries eligible because of age has been declining steadily, from a high of 2.3 million persons in December 1975 to a low of 1.2 million persons in December 2004 and has since remained essentially unchanged.  At the same time, there has been strong growth in blind and disabled beneficiaries, from 1.7 million in December 1974 to 6.0 million in December 2006.  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 just under 1.1 million children in 2006.

Several factors have contributed to the growth of the Supplemental Security Income program. Expansions in disability eligibility (particularly for mentally impaired adults and for children), increased outreach, overall growth in immigration, and transfers from state programs were among the key factors identified in a 1995 study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  GAO concluded that three groups – adults with mental impairments, children, and non-citizens – accounted for nearly 90 percent of the SSI program’s growth in the early 1990s.  The growth in disabled children beneficiaries is generally believed to be due to outreach activities, the Supreme Court decision in the Zebley case, expansion of the medical impairment category, and reduction in reviews of continuing eligibility.2

SSI Expenditures (Tables SSI 3 through SSI 5). While down slightly from 2004, the total amount of federally administered SSI benefits has increased over the past 5 years from $35.6 billion (inflation adjusted) in 2001 to over $38.9 billion in 2006, as shown in Table SSI 3. Average monthly federally administered benefits per person were $455 in 2006, up (4.4 percent) from 2001 inflation adjusted benefit level of $436. 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 aged recipients has decreased dramatically, from 44 percent in 1980 to under 17 percent in 2006.  During the same period, the percentage of disabled recipients increased from 55 percent in 1980 to 82 percent in 2006.

 


Figure SSI 1.
SSI Recipients by Age: 1974 – 2006

Figure SSI 1

Source:  Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income, Annual Statistical Report, 2007 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2007/index.html).


Table SSI 1.
Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments: 1974 – 2006

[In thousands]

DateTotalEligibility CategoryType of Recipient
AgedBlind and DisabledChildrenAdults
TotalBlindDisabledAge 18-6465 or Older
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, 2007 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2007/index.html).
Dec19743,9962,2861,710751,63671 11,5032,422
Dec19754,3142,3072,007741,9331071,6992,508
Dec19764,2362,1482,088762,0121251,7142,397
Dec19774,2382,0512,187772,1091471,7382,353
Dec19784,2171,9682,249772,1721661,7472,304
Dec19794,1501,8722,278772,2011771,7272,246
Dec19804,1421,8082,334782,2561901,7312,221
Dec19814,0191,6782,341792,2621951,7032,121
Dec19823,8581,5492,309772,2311921,6552,011
Dec19833,9011,5152,386792,3071981,7002,003
Dec19844,0291,5302,499812,4192121,7802,037
Dec19854,1381,5042,634822,5512271,8792,031
Dec19864,2691,4732,796832,7132412,0102,018
Dec19874,3851,4552,930832,8462512,1192,015
Dec19884,4641,4333,030832,9482552,2032,006
Dec19894,5931,4393,154833,0712652,3022,026
Dec19904,8171,4543,363843,2793092,4502,059
Dec19915,1181,4653,654853,5693972,6422,080
Dec1992 25,5661,4714,095854,0105562,9102,100
Dec19935,9841,4754,509854,4247233,1482,113
Dec19946,2961,4664,830854,7458413,3352,119
Dec19956,5141,4465,068844,9849173,4822,115
Dec19966,6141,4135,201825,1199553,5682,090
Dec19976,4951,3625,133815,0528803,5622,054
Dec19986,5661,3325,234805,1548873,6462,033
Dec19996,5571,3085,249795,1698473,6912,019
Dec20006,6021,2895,312795,2348473,7442,011
Dec20016,6881,2645,424785,3468823,8111,995
Dec20026,7881,2525,537785,4599153,8781,995
Dec20036,9021,2335,670775,5939593,8781,990
Dec20046,9881,2115,777765,7019934,0171,978
Dec20057,1141,2145,900755,8251,0364,0831,995
Dec20067,2361,2126,024735,9511,0794,1522,004

Table SSI 2.
SSI Recipiency Rates: 1974 – 2006

DateAll Recipients
as a Percent of
Total Population 1
Adults 18-64
as a Percent of
18-64 Population 1
Child Recipients
as a Percent of
All Children 1
Elderly Recipients
(Persons 65 & Older)
as a Percent of
All Persons
65 & Older 1
All Elderly
Poor 2
1 Population numbers used for the denominators are Census Bureau resident population estimates adjusted to the December date by averaging the July 1 population of the current year with the July 1 population of the following year (resident population estimates by age are available online at http://www.census.gov).
 2 For the number of persons (65 years of age and older living in poverty) used as the denominator, see Current Population Reports, Series P60-233.
Note: Numerators for these ratios are from Table SSI 1. Rates computed by DHHS.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2006," Current Population Reports, Series P60-233 (available online at http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty.html).
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  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
Dec  20062.42.21.55.359.1

Table SSI 3.
Federally Administered SSI Benefits and Administration: 1974 – 2006
1
[In millions of dollars]

Calendar
Year
Total BenefitsFederal
Payments
State
Supplementation
Administrative
Costs (fiscal year)
2006 2 DollarsCurrent Dollars
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.
Note: This table differs from earlier versions because of variations across states in reported numbers of recipients and payment amounts of SSI state-administered state supplements, information on state-administered state supplements is no longer published by SSA.
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Supplement, 2006 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2006/index.html).
1974$18,388$5,097$3,833$1,264$285
197519,0455,7164,3141,403399
197618,5915,9004,5121,388500
197718,1696,1344,7031,431526
197818,2186,3724,8811,491539
197918,3306,8695,2791,590611
198018,9017,7155,8661,848668
198118,7248,3576,5181,839717
198218,1078,7056,9071,798780
198317,9889,1347,4231,711846
198418,89610,0738,2811,792864
198519,32110,7508,7771,973956
198620,29111,7419,4982,2431,023
198720,94212,59210,0292,563977
198821,43913,40510,7342,671976
198922,39314,56111,6062,9551,052
199023,72716,13312,8943,2391,075
199125,39517,99614,7653,2311,230
199229,67821,68218,2473,4351,426
199331,93823,99120,7223,2701,468
199432,90025,29122,1753,1161,780
199534,31227,03723,9193,1181,978
199635,00028,25225,2652,9881,953
199734,38428,37125,4572,9132,055
199834,88529,40826,4053,0032,304
199934,99830,10626,8053,3012,493
200034,83530,67227,2903,3812,321
200135,57732,16628,7063,4602,397
200236,46433,71929,8993,8202,522
200336,97834,69330,6884,0052,656
200437,76136,06531,8874,1792,806
200538,16437,23633,0584,1782,795
200638,88938,88934,7364,1532,850

Table SSI 4.
Average Monthly Federally Administered SSI Benefits: 1975 – 2006
1
[In millions of dollars]

Calendar
Year
Total BenefitsFederal
Payments
State
Supplementation
2006 2 DollarsCurrent Dollars
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.
Note:  This table differs from earlier versions because of variations across states in reported numbers of recipients and payment amounts of SSI state-administered state supplements, information on state-administered state supplements is no longer published by SSA.
Source:  Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSI Annual Statistical Supplement, 2006 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2007/index.html#table7.a5).
1975$354$106$91$62
19763521129665
197734611710167
197834912210767
1979398149119111
198039716213895
198139517615594
198239318916892
198340220418291
198439621118994
198539221819499
1986402233205109
1987397238208116
1988392245215114
1989395257224121
1990407276242128
1991412292260120
1992413302275105
1993420315290100
199442332530294
199542633531399
199642634432299
1997425351328102
1998426359336102
1999428369342111
2000430379351113
2001436394366114
2002441407377128
2003445417384138
2004448428395138
2005450439407156
2006455455423156

Table SSI 5.
Number of Persons Receiving Federally Administered SSI Payments by Eligibility Category

[In thousands]

Month and yearTotal 1Federal SSIFederally Administered State SupplementationState Supplementation Only
1 Total equals the sum of "Federal SSI" and "State supplementation only."
Source: Number of persons receiving payments obtained from Social Security Administration, Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, Social Security Bulletin, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2007 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2007/index.html).
Jan 19743,2162,9561,480260
Dec 19754,3143,8931,684421
Dec 19804,2363,7991,638437
Dec 19844,2383,7781,658460
Dec 19854,2173,7551,681462
Dec 19864,1503,6871,684462
Dec 19874,1423,6821,685460
Dec 19884,0193,5901,625429
Dec 19893,8583,4731,550384
Dec 19903,9013,5901,558312
Dec 19914,0293,6991,607331
Dec 19924,1383,7991,661339
Dec 19934,2693,9221,723348
Dec 19944,3854,0191,807366
Dec 19954,4644,0891,885375
Dec 19964,5934,2061,950387
Dec 19974,8174,4122,058405
Dec 19985,1184,7302,204389
Dec 19995,5665,2022,372364
Dec 20005,9845,6362,536348
Dec 20016,2965,9652,628331
Dec 20026,5146,1942,518320
Dec 20036,6146,3262,421288
Dec 20046,4956,2122,372283
Dec 20056,5666,2892,412277
Dec 20066,5576,2752,441282

Table SSI 6.
Characteristics of SSI Recipients by Selected Characteristics: Selected Years 1980-2006

 19801985199019941998200020032006
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, 2006 and prior years (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2007/).
 

Total

Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
   under 185.55.56.413.413.512.813.915.0
   18-6440.945.450.953.055.556.757.357.4
   65 or older53.649.142.733.731.030.528.827.7
Sex
   Male34.435.237.241.341.341.542.443.5
   Female65.564.862.858.758.758.557.656.5
Selected Sources of Income
   Earnings3.23.84.74.24.54.43.53.8
   Social Security51.049.445.939.136.536.135.135.0
   No other income34.834.536.443.647.354.455.455.4
NoncitizensNA5.19.011.710.210.510.19.3
Eligibility Category
   Aged43.636.430.223.320.319.517.916.7
   Blind1.92.01.71.41.21.21.11.0
   Disabled54.561.768.175.478.579.381.082.2
 

Aged

Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
   65-6914.014.919.420.517.617.615.215.1
   70-7951.545.641.344.348.448.448.246.1
   80 or older34.539.539.235.134.034.036.638.8
Sex
   Male27.325.525.126.827.827.830.331.8
   Female72.674.574.973.272.272.269.768.2
NoncitizensNA9.719.430.027.027.028.928.0
 

Blind and Disabled

Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
   18-6480.277.780.083.483.683.683.983.9
   65 or older19.822.320.016.616.416.416.116.0
Sex1
   Male39.840.842.441.841.141.145.041.5
   Female60.259.257.658.258.958.955.058.5
NoncitizensNA2.44.66.25.55.56.05.6
 

Children

Ages100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0100.0
   Under 511.7NANA15.815.815.816.215.3
   5-920.9NANA28.530.230.226.727.9
   10-1428.8NANA32.734.634.636.734.3
   15-1721.7NANA17.319.419.420.422.5
   18-21216.814.39.35.7
Sex
   MaleNANANA63.062.962.964.765.6
   FemaleNANANA37.037.137.135.334.4

Table SSI 7.
Total Federally Administered SSI Payments by State: Calendar Year 2006

[In thousands]

StateTotal FederalFederal SSIFederally administered state supplementation
Total$38,888,961$34,736,088$4,152,873
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, 2007 (available online at http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/).
Alabama805,370805,370
Alaska56,45556,455
Arizona506,119506,119
Arkansas433,035433,035
California8,300,3565,098,6513,201,705
Colorado278,569278,569
Connecticut271,916271,916
Delaware69,44868,3731,075
District of Columbia119,087114,9814,106
Florida2,128,0092,128,009
Georgia985,784985,784
Hawaii125,114111,09914,015
Idaho113,799113,799
Illinois1,394,8591,394,859
Indiana519,364519,364
Iowa203,150198,8734,277
Kansas194,365194,35015
Kentucky901,618901,618
Louisiana760,132760,132
Maine153,051153,051
Maryland505,655505,63718
Massachusetts952,569785,001167,568
Michigan1,206,4411,183,99822,443
Minnesota383,026383,026
Mississippi588,730588,730
Missouri598,130598,130
Montana74,29673,355941
Nebraska108,092108,092
Nevada171,488165,9195,569
New Hampshire72,06472,064
New Jersey799,587715,88683,701
New Mexico263,305263,305
New York3,713,7303,146,215567,515
North Carolina945,195945,195
North Dakota35,06635,066
Ohio1,346,6881,346,688
Oklahoma405,725405,725
Oregon314,433314,433
Pennsylvania1,757,1051,709,63047,475
Rhode Island166,179142,63923,540
South Carolina503,025503,025
South Dakota56,90056,8973
Tennessee783,747783,747
Texas2,416,5352,416,535
Utah117,489117,40980
Vermont66,52257,6958,827
Virginia666,913666,913
Washington656,188656,188
West Virginia396,292396,292
Wisconsin466,399466,399
Wyoming27,55727,557
Other: N. Mariana Islands4,2914,291

Table SSI 8.
SSI Recipiency Rates by State And Program Type:  1979 and 2006

[In percent]

 Total Recipiency RateRate for Adults 18-64Rate for Adults 65 & Over
 Percent Change Percent Change Percent Change
197920061979-06197920061979-06197920061979-06
   Total1.92.4301.32.2759.05.4-40
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, 2007 and U.S. Census Bureau (resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).
Alabama3.63.611.83.69721.05.5-74
Alaska0.81.71210.51.619614.06.7-52
Arizona1.11.6440.91.5695.03.0-40
Arkansas3.53.3-61.93.27117.14.7-72
California3.03.4132.12.62716.413.5-18
Colorado1.11.290.81.1436.73.0-55
Connecticut0.81.51000.61.51382.72.70
Delaware1.21.6340.91.5605.42.1-61
District of Columbia2.33.7621.93.3728.65.9-31
Florida1.82.4351.11.8586.24.7-24
Georgia2.92.2-231.92.0617.75.6-68
Hawaii1.11.8710.71.61327.64.8-37
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
Kentucky2.54.3691.84.515112.56.2-51
Louisiana3.43.7102.03.57220.16.5-68
Maine2.02.5281.42.81018.62.8-67
Maryland1.21.7480.91.6705.43.8-30
Massachusetts2.22.7211.32.610310.85.6-48
Michigan1.32.2751.12.41245.92.9-50
Minnesota0.81.5850.61.41553.72.7-27
Mississippi4.54.2-62.44.06526.08.2-68
Missouri1.82.1191.12.21007.92.5-68
Montana0.91.6800.71.81503.81.9-50
Nebraska0.91.3480.61.41193.41.7-50
Nevada0.81.4670.51.21265.93.4-42
New Hampshire0.61.1900.41.31952.51.1-57
New Jersey1.11.8580.91.5744.74.6-2
New Mexico2.02.8421.42.69012.46.5-47
New York2.13.3561.62.7708.39.110
North Carolina2.42.3-41.62.13313.64.4-68
North Dakota1.01.3310.61.31285.11.9-62
Ohio1.12.2981.02.41424.22.4-42
Oklahoma2.32.3-11.32.48011.63.3-72
Oregon0.91.7980.71.71433.32.8-15
Pennsylvania1.42.6861.12.61325.03.2-35
Rhode Island1.62.9821.12.81596.44.9-24
South Carolina2.72.4-111.82.32917.04.4-74
South Dakota1.11.6400.71.61225.02.7-46
Tennessee2.92.7-61.92.74414.84.5-70
Texas1.92.2161.01.88912.77.0-45
Utah0.60.9640.51.0963.01.8-41
Vermont1.82.1191.32.3768.13.0-63
Virginia1.51.8201.01.6578.53.9-54
Washington1.21.9641.01.9944.83.7-23
West Virginia2.14.31021.94.91638.04.3-46
Wisconsin1.41.7181.01.7776.52.2-66
Wyoming0.41.11620.31.23142.71.3-53

Table SSI 9.
SSI Recipiency Rates by State: Selected Fiscal Years 1975 – 2006

[In Percent]

 19751980198519901994 21998 22003 22006 2
      Total 12.01.81.71.92.42.42.42.4
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, 2007, and U.S. Census Bureau (resident population by state available online at http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/state/).
Alabama4.03.43.33.33.83.83.63.6
Alaska0.80.80.70.81.11.31.61.7
Arizona1.21.11.01.21.71.71.61.6
Arkansas4.13.43.13.23.83.53.23.3
California3.13.02.62.93.23.23.33.4
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 Columbia2.22.42.52.73.53.83.63.7
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
Idaho1.10.80.81.01.41.41.51.6
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
Louisiana3.93.22.93.24.14.03.73.7
Maine2.31.91.91.92.42.32.42.5
Maryland1.21.11.21.31.61.71.71.7
Massachusetts2.32.21.92.02.62.72.62.7
Michigan1.31.21.41.52.22.22.22.2
Minnesota1.00.80.80.91.31.31.41.5
Mississippi5.24.44.34.45.24.94.44.2
Missouri2.11.71.61.72.12.12.02.1
Montana1.10.90.91.31.61.61.61.6
Nebraska1.10.90.91.01.31.31.31.3
Nevada1.00.80.91.01.31.31.41.4
New Hampshire0.70.60.60.60.81.01.01.1
New Jersey1.11.21.21.41.81.81.71.8
New Mexico2.31.91.82.12.62.62.72.8
New York2.22.12.02.33.13.33.33.3
North Carolina2.72.42.22.22.62.62.32.3
North Dakota1.31.01.01.21.41.31.31.3
Ohio1.21.11.21.42.12.22.12.2
Oklahoma3.02.21.81.92.22.22.12.3
Oregon1.10.81.01.11.51.51.61.7
Pennsylvania1.21.41.41.62.12.32.52.6
Rhode Island1.71.61.61.72.32.62.72.9
South Carolina2.82.72.62.63.02.92.52.4
South Dakota1.31.21.21.51.81.81.61.6
Tennessee3.22.82.72.93.43.12.82.7
Texas2.21.81.61.72.12.12.12.2
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
Washington1.51.11.11.31.61.71.81.9
West Virginia2.42.12.22.63.53.94.24.3
Wisconsin1.41.41.51.82.21.71.61.7
Wyoming0.70.40.50.81.21.21.11.1
Endnotes
1 In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that the IFA (or a residual functional capacity assessment) that applied to adults whose condition did not meet or equal a listing of medical impairments to determine eligibility should also be applied to children whose condition did not meet or equal the medical listing of impairments.
2 The GAO study estimated that 87,000 children were added to the SSI caseload after the IFA for children was initiated.

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

As directed by the Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-432), this annual report on Indicators of Welfare Dependence focuses on dependence on three programs: the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, formerly the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program; 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 2.1 percent — in 2005 if based on income from TANF and food stamps, as opposed to 3.8 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, 0.2 percent, are dependent when the definition is limited to TANF and food stamps.  In contrast, children are primarily dependent on TANF and food stamps.

Dependency on AFDC/TANF and food stamp receipt has declined since 1995, while dependency on 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 2005, the proportion had dropped to just over half (55 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 2005, dependency declined by 42 percent (3.6 percent to 2.1 percent) under the alternative definition, compared to a decline of 28 percent (5.3 percent to 3.8 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 Selected Characteristics: 2005

  TANF, SSI, & Food Stamps TANF & Food Stamps SSI Only
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, 2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
All Persons 3.8 2.1 1.4
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 2.2 1.1 .9
Non-Hispanic Black 10.2 5.7 3.2
Hispanic 5.6 3.5 1.7
Age Categories
Children ages 0-5 7.4 5.1 1.4
Children ages 6-10 6.1 4.4 1.1
Children ages 11-15 5.5 3.5 1.3
Women ages 16-64 4.0 2.2 1.5
Men ages 16-64 2.4 1.1 1.1
Adults ages 65 and over 2.2 0.2 1.7
Family Categories
Persons in married families 1.1 0.5 0.4
Persons in female-headed families 14.0 8.7 3.6
Persons in male-headed (no spouse) families 4.3 2.3 1.6
Unrelated persons 4.7 1.8 2.8

Table B-2.
Percentage of the Total Population with More than 50 Percent of Income
from Various Means-Tested Assistance Programs: 1995-2005

  TANF, SSI & Food Stamps TANF & Food Stamps SSI Only
Source: Unpublished tabulations from the Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement,
1996-2006, analyzed using the TRIM3 microsimulation model.
1995 5.3 3.6 1.1
1998 3.8 2.1 1.3
1999 3.3 1.7 1.2
2000 3.0 1.5 1.2
2001 3.1 1.4 1.3
2002 3.2 1.5 1.3
2003 3.6 1.9 1.3
2004 3.7 2.0 1.3
2005 3.8 2.1 1.4

 

Appendix C. Additional Nonmarital Birth Data

Table C-1.
Percentage of Births to Unmarried Women within Age Groups
by Race and Ethnicity: Selected Years 1940-2005

  White   Black1   Hispanic2
Total Age Age Total   Total Age Age Total   Total Age Age Total
Teens 3 15 - 17 18 - 19 Women   Teens 15 - 17 18 - 19 Women   Teens 15 - 17 18 - 19 Women
Note:  Trends in non-marital births may be affected by changes in the reporting of marital status on birth certificates and in procedures for inferring non-marital births when marital status is not reported. 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 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), and earlier reports.  Additional calculations by ASPE staff.
1940 7 2   36 17  
1945 10 2   41 18  
1950 6 10 5 2   37 48 28 18  
1955 7 10 5 2   42 52 33 20  
1960 7 12 5 2   43 54 34 22  
1965 12 17 9 4   51 63 39 26  
1970 17 25 14 6   64 76 52 38  
1975 23 33 17 7   78 87 68 49  
1980 34 45 27 11   86 93 80 56   42 51 36 24
1985 45 58 38 15   91 96 86 61   61 46 30
1990 57 68 51 20   92 96 89 67   62 68 54 37
1991 59 70 53 22   93 96 90 68   64 69 56 38
1992 61 71 55 23   93 96 90 68   65 69 57 39
1993 63 72 57 24   93 96 91 69   66 69 58 40
1994 68 78 62 25   95 98 93 70   73 77 65 43
1995 68 77 62 25   95 98 93 70   71 75 62 41
1996 69 79 63 26   96 98 94 70   71 75 63 41
1997 71 82 65 26   96 98 94 69   76 80 66 41
1998 72 83 67 26   96 98 94 69   77 82 67 42
1999 73 83 67 27   96 98 94 69   76 82 67 42
2000 73 83 68 27   96 99 94 68   76 82 67 43
2001 73 83 68 28   96 99 94 68   75 81 67 42
2002 75 85 70 28   96 99 94 68   77 83 69 44
2003 77 86 72 29   96 99 95 68   80 85 71 45
2004 78 87 74 31   96 99 95 69   81 86 73 46
2005 79 88 75 32   96 99 95 69   83 87 75 48

Table C-2.
Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women by State: Selected Years 1960-2005

  1960 1970 1980 1990 1992 1994 1996 2000 2005
United States 5 11 18 28 30 33 32 33 37
Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2007 and earlier reports.
Alabama 11 14 22 30 33 34 34 34 36
Alaska 5 9 16 26 27 29 31 33 36
Arizona NA 9 19 33 36 38 39 39 43
Arkansas NA 13 20 29 31 33 34 36 40
California NA NA 21 32 34 36 31 33 36
Colorado NA 9 13 21 24 25 25 25 27
Connecticut NA NA 18 27 29 30 31 29 32
Delaware 9 15 24 29 33 35 35 38 44
Dist of Columbia 20 38 56 65 67 69 66 60 56
Florida 9 14 23 32 34 36 36 38 43
Georgia NA NA 23 33 35 36 35 37 41
Hawaii 5 10 18 25 26 28 30 32 36
Idaho NA NA 8 17 18 19 21 22 23
Illinois 6 13 23 32 33 34 34 35 37
Indiana 4 8 16 26 29 32 32 35 40
Iowa 2 7 10 21 24 25 26 28 32
Kansas 3 7 12 22 24 26 27 29 34
Kentucky 5 8 15 24 26 28 30 31 36
Louisiana 9 15 23 37 40 43 43 46 48
Maine 3 7 14 23 25 28 29 31 35
Maryland NA NA 25 30 30 34 34 35 37
Massachusetts NA NA 16 25 26 27 25 27 30
Michigan 4 11 16 26 27 35 34 33 37
Minnesota 3 8 11 21 23 24 25 26 30
Mississippi 14 17 28 40 43 45 45 46 49
Missouri 6 11 18d> 29 32 33 33 35 38
Montana NA NA 13 24 26 26 28 31 35
Nebraska NA 8 12 21 23 25 25 27 31
Nevada 4 11 13 25 33 35 43 36 41
New Hampshire NA 6 11 17 19 22 23 25 27
New Jersey 4 10 21 24 26 28 28 29 31
New Mexico NA NA 16 35 39 42 42 46 51
New York NA NA 24 33 35 38 40 37 39
North Carolina 9 12 19 29 31 32 32 33 38
North Dakota 3 7 9 18 23 23 25 28 32
Ohio 4 NA 18 29 32 33 33 35 39
Oklahoma NA 8 14 25 28 30 31 34 39
Oregon 3 7 15 26 27 29 30 30 33
Pennsylvania 4 10 18 29 32 33 32 33 37
Rhode Island 3 7 16 26 30 32 33 35 39
South Carolina 12 15 23 33 35 37 37 40 43
South Dakota 3 7 13 23 27 28 30 33 36
Tennessee 9 12 20 30 33 33 33 35 40
Texas 5 9 13 18 17 29 30 31 38
Utah 2 4 6 14 15 16 16 17 18
Vermont NA NA 14 20 23 25 26 28 32
Virginia 8 11 19 26 28 29 29 30 32
Washington 3 9 14 24 25 26 27 28 31
West Virginia 6 6 13 25 28 30 31 32 37
Wisconsin 3 8 14 24 26 27 27 29 32
Wyoming 2 7 8 20 24 27 27 29 33

Table C-3.
Percentage of Births that are to Unmarried Women by Race and Ethnicity and State: 1994 and 2005

State All races Non-Hispanic Hispanic
White Black
1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005 1994 2005
United States 33 37 21 25 71 70 43 48
Women of Hispanic origin may be of any race.
Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2007 and earlier reports.
Alabama 35 36 16 21 71 70 19 22
Alaska 29 36 21 23 41 52 29 38
Arizona 38 43 25 27 65 61 51 54
Arkansas 33 40 20 30 74 77 31 45
California 36 36 23 21 63 64 46 46
Colorado 25 27 18 18 57 53 44 41
Connecticut 31 32 18 19 70 67 65 63
Delaware 35 44 22 30 74 71 50 62
Dist. of Columbia 69 56 10 6 81 77 59 68
Florida 36 43 24 32 69 68 34 45
Georgia 36 41 18 24 68 67 23 47
Hawaii 28 36 15 25 19 27 44 47
Idaho 19 23 17 20 42 27 25 38
Illinois 34 37 18 23 79 78 38 47
Indiana 32 40 26 34 78 78 42 54
Iowa 25 33 23 29 75 73 37 48
Kansas 26 34 21 28 67 72 39 49
Kentucky 28 36 23 31 73 74 25 50
Louisiana 43 48 21 29 73 77 30 38
Maine 28 35 28 35 45 36 23 43
Maryland 34 37 18 22 64 60 39 51
Massachusetts 27 30 19 22 63 58 62 64
Michigan 35 37 23 27 79 76 42 47
Minnesota 24 30 20 23 75 59 46 51
Mississippi 45 49 18 26 75 77 21 50
Missouri 33 38 24 30 79 77 34 49
Montana 26 35 20 28 29 43 30 44
Nebraska 25 31 20 24 74 70 39 47
Nevada 35 41 27 30 70 70 44 49
New Hampshire 22 27 21 27 33 37 37 47
New Jersey 28 31 13 15 68 66 48 56
New Mexico 42 51 23 30 60 58 49 57
New York 38 39 19 21 70 68 61 63
North Carolina 32 38 17 23 68 69 29 52
North Dakota 23 32 19 25 24 25 26 35
Ohio 33 39 25 31 78 76 50 56
Oklahoma 30 39 23 31 70 73 31 46
Oregon 29 33 27 30 72 65 35 46
Pennsylvania 33 37 23 27 80 76 63 61
Rhode Island 32 39 24 28 70 67 58 61
South Carolina 37 43 19 26 67 74 28 45
South Dakota 28 36 20 26 21 39 33 50
Tennessee 33 40 21 29 75 75 26 50
Texas 29 38 18 24 63 65 31 43
Utah 16 18 13 13 52 44 37 40
Vermont 25 32 25 32 32 41 34 35
Virginia 29 32 18 21 64 64 38 47
Washington 26 31 23 26 56 53 35 46
West Virginia 30 37 29 35 76 75 22 44
Wisconsin 27 33 20 25 82 82 46 49
Wyoming 28 33 25 29 42 62 45 48

Table C-4.
Birth Rates of Teens 15-19 Years by State: Selected Years 1960-2005

[Births per 1,000 women in specified group]

State 1960 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
United States 89 68 56 53 51 60 56 48 41
Source:  National Center for Health Statistics, “Births: Final Data for 2005,” National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 56 (6), December 2006
and earlier reports available online at (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/nvsr.htm).
Alabama 104 90 78 68 64 71 69 61 50
Alaska 128 103 60 64 56 65 55 49 37
Arizona 112 79 67 65 67 76 74 68 58
Arkansas 116 93 84 75 73 80 72 66 59
California 103 69 52 53 53 71 67 47 39
Colorado 97 67 51 50 48 55 52 51 43
Connecticut 54 44 32 31 31 39 39 31 23
Delaware 100 73 49 51 51 55 55 48 44
Dist. of Columbia 132 116 73 62 72 93 85 53 63
Florida 117 86 64 59 58 69 60 51 42
Georgia 117 101 78 72 68 76 70 63 53
Hawaii 77 66 52 51 48 61 49 46 36
Idaho 102 66 59 59 47 51 49 43 38
Illinois 63 63 56 56 51 63 58 48 39
Indiana 100 75 64 57 52 59 57 49 43
Iowa 73 53 46 43 35 41 38 34 33
Kansas 94 65 57 57 52 56 52 46 41
Kentucky 108 86 78 72 63 68 62 55 49
Louisiana 113 84 79 76 72 74 70 62 49
Maine 93 65 55 47 42 43 34 29 24
Maryland 100 69 46 43 46 53 47 41 32
Massachusetts 51 40 31 28 29 35 33 26 22
Michigan 80 69 52 45 43 59 49 40 33
Minnesota 64 44 36 35 31 36 33 30 26
Mississippi 121 103 92 84 76 81 79 70 61
Missouri 99 72 59 58 54 63 55 49 43
Montana 97 62 54 48 44 48 42 37 35
Nebraska 82 54 45 45 40 42 38 38 34
Nevada 118 94 60 59 55 73 73 63 50
New Hampshire 76 55 41 34 32 33 30 23 18
New Jersey 58 50 37 35 34 41 38 32 23
New Mexico 127 79 67 72 73 78 74 66 62
New York 57 51 38 35 36 44 42 33 27
North Carolina 104 88 72 58 57 68 63 59 49
North Dakota 68 44 43 42 36 35 33 27 30
Ohio 84 65 56 52 50 58 53 46 39
Oklahoma 112 83 76 75 69 67 64 60 54
Oregon 88 58 48 51 43 55 50 43 33
Pennsylvania 67 53 44 41 40 45 41 34 30
Rhode Island 56 43 35 33 36 44 40 34 31
South Carolina 109 89 73 65 63 71 63 58 51
South Dakota 83 49 51 53 46 47 41 38 38
Tennessee 103 88 74 64 61 72 67 60 55
Texas 115 85 74 74 72 75 76 69 62
Utah 86 56 54 65 50 49 41 38 33
Vermont 74 54 43 39 36 34 28 23 19
Virginia 103 76 53 48 46 53 48 41 34
Washington 88 60 46 47 45 53 48 39 31
West Virginia 87 72 73 68 54 57 53 47 43
Wisconsin 64 46 41 40 39 43 38 35 30
Wyoming 112 71 68 79 59 56 48 42 43

Table C-5.
Birth Rates of Teens 15-19 Years by Race and Ethnicity and State: Selected Years

[Births per 1,000 women in specified group]

  All races Non-Hispanic White Non-Hispanic Black Hispanic
State 1990 1996 2005 1990 1996 2005 1990 1996 2005 1990 1996 2005
United States 60 54 41 43 38 26 116 92 61 100 95 82
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; 2005 rates calculated by ASPE.
Alabama 71 67 50 55 53 39 106 95 62 34 76 183
Alaska 65 51 37 53 38 24 § 61 36 § 86 72
Arizona 76 72 58 51 45 26 124 81 53 123 120 102
Arkansas 80 74 59 66 63 49 132 107 80 § 106 121
California 71 61 39 43 32 15 109 81 39 112 99 67
Colorado 55 51 43 39 34 22 112 82 54 111 106 107
Connecticut 39 37 23 20 19 11 108 80 43 122 101 77
Delaware 55 54 44 35 33 25 121 109 67 § 106 149
Dist. of Columbia 93 79 63 11 7 § 123 115 91 89 78 136
Florida 69 57 42 51 43 29 138 96 63 60 60 60
Georgia 76 67 53 56 51 37 117 93 63 73 104 144
Hawaii 61 49 36 38 25 23 § 45 19 133 99 97
Idaho 51 47 38 46 41 30 § § § 119 103 96
Illinois 63 55 39 37 31 20 146 115 72 95 98 80
Indiana 59 55 43 52 49 36 124 107 75 65 81 104
Iowa 41 37 33 38 34 27 119 101 84 80 101 110
Kansas 56 49 41 49 41 32 135 106 70 86 101 100
Kentucky 68 61 49 64 58 46 116 98 63 § 70 143
Louisiana 74 67 49 53 48 36 113 97 68 21 44 44
Maine 43 32 24 43 32 24 § § 40 § § §
Maryland 53 46 32 36 30 18 97 78 49 46 54 87
Massachusetts 35 31 22 24 21 13 94 68 41 121 101 73
Michigan 59 46 33 41 35 22 132 95 62 94 84 75
Minnesota 36 32 26 30 25 17 156 112 67 79 107 102
Mississippi 81 74 61 56 51 45 113 101 77 § 28 90
Missouri 63 53 43 50 45 36 145 107 70 46 70 99
Montana 48 39 35 39 32 26 § § § § 85 53
Nebraska 42 39 34 35 31 23 137 102 76 82 110 120
Nevada 73 70 50 61 52 27 133 107 64 108 115 88
New Hampshire 33 28 18 na 27 17 na 44 31 na 66 41
New Jersey 41 35 23 19 15 8 105 82 46 80 71 63
New Mexico 78 71 62 51 45 30 100 65 48 97 90 85
New York 44 40 27 25 23 14 86 69 40 82 73 59
North Carolina 68 62 49 51 47 32 107 90 63 106 127 157
North Dakota 35 32 30 29 26 20 § § § § 83 81
Ohio 58 50 39 47 42 31 130 101 74 74 79 86
Oklahoma 67 63 54 na 56 44 na 91 68 na 88 106
Oregon 55 51 33 51 44 24 112 89 45 114 116 93
Pennsylvania 45 38 30 32 27 19 128 98 67 126 109 106
Rhode Island 44 39 31 32 26 15 137 87 60 130 104 91
South Carolina 71 60 51 54 46 38 101 83 64 67 64 157
South Dakota 47 40 38 35 30 25 § § 48 § 74 83
Tennessee 72 65 55 61 55 44 122 100 76 41 81 174
Texas 75 73 62 49 46 33 117 93 63 104 105 98
Utah 49 41 33 44 36 24 § 67 49 115 107 99
Vermont 34 30 19 35 30 18 § § § § § §
Virginia 53 45 34 40 35 24 100 77 54 56 62 89
Washington 53 46 31 47 38 22 98 72 35 113 105 95
West Virginia 57 51 43 57 50 43 74 77 57 § § 31
Wisconsin 43 37 30 30 25 19 177 132 94 90 97 89
Wyoming 56 45 43 51 40 36 § § § 94 77 106

 

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 Persons.

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 U.S. Census Bureau definition of family — all persons residing together that are related by birth, marriage, or adoption.

Populations
Children