Way too many Americans received welfare.
That’s the conclusion to be drawn from the Census Bureau’s latest data on poverty and government assistance.
As Terry Jeffrey reported for the Conservative News Service, “Americans under 18 years of age [are] growing up in a country where the majority of their peers live in households that take ‘means-tested assistance’ from the government.”
It’s a slim majority, but a majority nonetheless.
In 2016, he noted, the population of Americans under 18 was about 73.6 million. Some 38.4 million of them, or 52.1 percent, lived in homes in which someone received welfare: i.e., “benefits from a means-tested program.”
Continued Jeffrey, “These included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.”
And of the total population, 319.9 million Americans, 114.8 million, or about 36 percent, lived in a home in which someone collected welfare.
But the bad thing is this: If you’re under 18, you’re probably living in a home that collects some form of taxpayer-financed largesse. “When examined by age bracket,” Jeffrey wrote, “persons under 18 were the most likely to live in a household receiving means-tested government assistance (52.1 percent), while those 75 and older were least likely (18.8 percent).”
But Americans in all the age brackets up to age 44 analyzed by the Census Bureau were more likely to be living in a household that received means-tested government assistance than the overall national rate of 35.9 percent.
For those 18 to 24 years old, the rate was 40.1 percent; for those 25 to 34, it was 36.8 percent; and for those 35 to 44, it was 37.4 percent. ...
But even when the Census Bureau excluded the school lunch program from its calculations, the percentage of those under 18 who lived in a household receiving means-tested assistance (44.8 percent) exceeded the percentage in any other age bracket.
Welfare Tied To Single-parent Homes
Another of Jeffrey’s shocking numbers is that four straight years elapsed — 2013 through 2016 — during which “a majority of those under 18 lived in a household taking means-tested benefits.”
But now, to the obvious. Stable families are less likely to live on the dole: “The Census Bureau data indicate that people living in intact families are less likely to be on government assistance than people living in broken families. Nonetheless, the government-dependency rate is still high for intact families that have children under 18.”
Of the 192.8 million Americans living in married-couple families, about 56.7 million, or 29.4 percent, received welfare.
But for kids under 18, a broken home almost certainly meant the family was on welfare, Jeffrey reported. Of the kids under 18 where “a male householder was living without a spouse,” almost 65 percent percent were in households that received welfare. The figure was 78 percent where the mother was in charge. And for kids under age six in that latter situation, almost 82 percent were in a home getting assistance.
Jeffrey rightly concluded that stable families and a strong culture will mean fewer Americans on welfare.
The Census data also show another sad but all-too-familiar trend: Blacks and Hispanics and their kids, victimized by decades of urban crime and imprudent government policies, are most likely to live in conditions that require a check from the government.
For instance, 25.7 percent of whites, or 50.2 million of 195.2 million, live in a home where someone collects welfare. The figure is higher, as Jeffrey’s data predict, for homes with a child under 18. That figure is 38.5 percent, meaning 14.4 million of the 37.4 million whites under 18 live in a welfare household.
For blacks, however, the figures are much worse, particularly for black kids under 18. While 53.7 percent of American blacks, 22.5 million of 42 million, are in a household receiving welfare, a whopping 7.9 million of the 11.1 million black kids under 18, or 71.5 percent, live in a home receiving welfare.
The data on Hispanics are similar: 33.4 million of the nation’s 57.6 million Hispanics, or 58 percent, live in a household receiving welfare. But the figure was nearly 72 percent for Hispanics under 18: 13.2 million of 18.3 million.
Asians are the least likely minority to live in a welfare household. Only six million of the nation’s 18.9 million Asians, or about 32 percent, lived in a household where someone collected welfare, and only 1.4 million of the 3.9 million Asians under 18, or about 37.3 percent, live in such a home.
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