Welfare Spending by State

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report on welfare by state called the “Public Assistance Receipt in the Past 12 Months for Households: 2009 and 2010” (pdf) More specifically:

Public assistance income provides cash payments to poor families and includes General Assistance and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1997. Public assistance income does not include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), noncash benefits such as Food Stamps/SNAP, or separate payments received for hospital or other medical care. To qualify for public assistance benefits, the income and assets of an individual or family must fall below specified thresholds. However, unlike AFDC benefits, TANF benefits are time-limited, require most adult recipients to work, and give states increased flexibility in program design.

The top welfare providing states, aka, “hammock” states, are Maine, Vermont, Michigan, Alaska, Washington and California.

On the flip side, the least welfare providing states are Texas (Gov. Perry anyone?), Wyoming, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia.

Check out the map below to see where  your state falls on the “hammock” scale . . .

 Map Showing Percentage Receiving Public Assistance for Households by States 2010