Tuesday, July 07, 2015
U.S. Census Bureau data: 1 in 5 Americans participates in government assistance programs
New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that 1 in 5 Americans participates in government assistance programs each month.
“Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012.
“Participation rates were highest for Medicaid (15.3 percent) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the food stamp program (13.4 percent).
“The largest share of participants (43.0 percent) in any of the public assistance programs stayed in the programs between 37 and 48 months.
“Additionally 31.2 percent of people participated between one and 12 months between January 2009 and December 2012,” according to the Census Bureau’s report.
“Participation in government programs is dynamic. The Survey of Income and Program Participation shows how individuals move in and out of government programs and how long they participate in them," Shelley Irving, an analyst with the Census Bureau’s Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, said.