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Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors: 23rd Report to Congress

Publication Date
Gilbert Crouse, Robin Ghertner, Suzanne Macartney, and Kendall Swenson

The Welfare Indicators Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-432) requires the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to prepare an annual report to Congress on indicators and predictors of “welfare dependence.” That Act requires the report to include three programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (which replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program), the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program).

Key Findings

  • The share of the population receiving more than half of their income from the TANF, SNAP and SSI programs remained steady between 2020 and 2021, at 3.6 percent. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the percent of the total population who lived in households receiving more than half of their total annual income from TANF, SNAP and/or SSI had been decreasing steadily since 2010.
  • TANF participation rates among eligible people rose slightly in 2021 while SSI declined. Participation in the TANF program among eligible families declined 13.2 percentage points, from 33.9 in 2011 to 20.7 percent in 2021. The SNAP participation rate by eligible households decreased to 81.0 percent in 2020 (the latest year for which data is available); this is 9.1 percentage points below the historic peak in 2013 of 90.1 percent. SSI participation by eligible adults fell to 54.3 percent in 2021 from 57.1 percent in 2020; this is 13 percentage points below the 67.3 percent level in 2011.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Gilbert Crouse, Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

Related Products:

Product Type
Report to Congress | Visualization
Children | Men | Mothers | Women | Black & African American People | Hispanic, Latino, Latina, & Latinx People | White People | Families with Children | High-Need, High-Cost Populations | Low-Income Populations | Underserved Populations
Location- & Geography-Based Data
National Data
Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) | Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) | Supplemental Security Income (SSI) | Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)