Change Indicator

Children in families that receive public assistance in United States

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Why This Indicator Matters

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Definition and Source



Population of children under age 18 in families that receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), cash public assistance income, or Food Stamps/SNAP in the previous 12 months.

Data Source

Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2013-2021 American Community Survey (ACS).

These were derived from ACS table B09010.

The data for this measure come from the 2005, 2008, 2010, 2013-2021 American Community Survey (ACS). Use caution when interpreting estimates for less populous states or indicators representing small sub-populations, where the sample size is relatively small. Beginning in January 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau expanded the ACS sample to 3 million households (full implementation), and in January 2006 the ACS included group quarters. The ACS, fully implemented, is designed to provide annually updated social, economic, and housing data for states and communities. (Such local-area data have traditionally been collected once every ten years in the long form of the decennial census.)


Updated October 2022.
S - Estimates suppressed when the confidence interval around the percentage is greater than or equal to 10 percentage points.
N.A. – Data not available.
A 90 percent confidence interval for each estimate can be found at
Children in families that receive public assistance.

Last Updated

October 2022