Economic Well-Being

See how poverty, income, and wealth are connected to family structure and religious practice in our society.

Economic Well-Being Charts

 
  • Total welfare spending, by program type Since the Total federal and state welfare spending has increased more than 16-fold since 1964. Even since the 1996 welfare reform replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, spending has increased by 76 percent and by more than 20 percent since 2008.
  • Individual poverty rate, by race The official poverty rate has declined minimally since the late 1960s One in seven Americans lives at or below the official federal poverty line. The rate is higher for blacks and Hispanics but has dropped appreciably for both groups since the early 1990s. However, the overall poverty rate has not changed much over this time period.
  • Poverty rates of unwed-female households Single-mother families make up half of all households in poverty Among all families, nearly one in five is headed by an unmarried woman, compared to one in two among poor families. One in three families headed by unmarried women is poor, compared to one in 10 of all families. One in four children lives in a single-mother family, but one in two children living in such families is poor.
  • Family poverty rates, by marital status Two in five single-mother families are poor Single-mother families are more than four times more likely to be in poverty than married-couple families. Fewer than one in 10 married-couple families with children live at or below the federal poverty level.
  • Family poverty rates, by marital status and race Poverty rates are higher among single-mother families, regardless of race Among whites, single-mother families are more than six times more likely to be poor than married-couple families. The ratio is also high among African-Americans, Asian-Americans (four times more likely), and Hispanics (more than twice as likely).
  • Child poverty rates, by race Minority children are more likely to live in poverty Poverty rates for minority children have dropped significantly since the 1990s, although they have risen slightly in recent years. More than one in three African-American and Hispanic children live in poverty.
  • Male median income, by marital status Married men have higher incomes than single men The median income of married men living with their spouses is 64 percent greater than that of married men whose spouses are absent, 109 percent greater than never-married men, and 33 percent greater than divorced men.
  • Female median income, by marital status Married women have higher incomes than never-married women The median income of married women living with their spouses is 21 percent more than that of married women whose spouses are absent and 36 percent more than that of never-married women. However, their median income is 10 percent less than that of divorced women.
  • White male median income, by marital status Among whites, married men have higher incomes than never-married men The median income of white men living with their spouses is 41 percent more than that of married men whose spouses are absent, 113 percent more than that of never-married men, and 35 percent more than that of divorced men.
  • Black male median income, by marital status Among African-Americans, married men have higher incomes than never-married men Among African-Americans, the median income of married men living with their spouses is 34 percent more than that of those whose spouses are absent, 134 percent more than that of men who never married, and 28percent more than that of divorced men.
  • Black female median income, by marital status Among African-Americans, married women generally have higher incomes than never-married women Among African-Americans, the median income of married women living with their spouses is 35 percent more than that of peers whose spouses are absent, 60 percent more than that of those who never married, and 9 percent more than that of divorced women.
  • Hispanic male median income, by marital status Among Hispanics, married men have higher incomes than never-married men The median income of Hispanic men living with their spouses is 65 percent more than that of married men whose spouses are absent, 67 percent more than that of never-married men, and 3 percent more than that of divorced men.
  • Hispanic female median income, by marital status Among Hispanics, married women generally have higher incomes than never-married women Among Hispanics, the median income of married women living with their spouses is 19 percent more than that of peers whose spouses are absent and 24 percent more than that of those who never married. However, they earn 16 percent less than divorced women.
  • Median black family income, by family type Married African-American families have higher incomes Among African-Americans, the median family income of single men is one-half that of the median married-family income; for single women, it’s two-fifths. Even among single-income married African-American families, the median family income is still higher than that of unmarried individuals.
  • Median Hispanic family income, by family type Married Hispanic families have higher incomes Among Hispanics, the median family income of single men is four-fifths that of the median married-family income; for single women, it’s more than two-fifths.
  • Median family income, by family type Married-couple families have higher incomes The median family income of single men is three-fifths of the median married-family income; for single women, it’s two-fifths. Even among single-income married families, the median family income is still higher than that of unmarried individuals.
  • Median white family income, by family type Married white families have higher incomes Among whites, the median family income of single men is more than three-fifths of the median married-family income; for single women, it’s more than two-fifths. Even among single-income married families, the median family income is still higher than that of unmarried individuals.
  • Welfare caseloads and recipients Welfare caseloads have declined since the 1996 welfare reform Since the 1996 welfare reform, the total number of welfare recipients has declined by over 63 percent, and the total number of households on welfare has declined by nearly 56 percent.
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