New analysis from CNS News finds that the majority of Americans under 18 live in households that take “means-tested assistance” from the US government.
The study, based on the most recently available data from the Census Bureau, leads with the question: Will they be called The Welfare Generation?
The data presented by CNS editor Terrence Jeffrey shockingly reveals that in 2016 “there were approximately 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States, and 38,365,000 of them — or 52.1 percent — resided in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.”
It’s a slim majority, but a majority which nonetheless presents an extremely worrisome trend regarding the number of young Americans and possibly young families who’ve experienced some level of government dependency.
To put it in another, perhaps more alarming way, if you’re under 18 the data shows you are more likely that not to be living in a home that receives some form of taxpayer-financed largesse.
In terms of the country’s total population of 319.9 million Americans, the data finds that 114.8 million, or about 36 percent, lived as part of a household in which someone collected welfare.
Jeffrey continued, “When examined by age bracket 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).”
To break the numbers down further according to age bracket, 44 is the magic thresh-hold: all age categories studied up to 44 were more likely to be living in a house on a government assistance program than the overall national rate of 35.9 percent.
The brackets for welfare dependent groups over the age of 18 were presented by the Census Bureau were broken down into the following:
- For those 18 to 24 years old, the rate was 40.1 percent
- For those 25 to 34, it was 36.8 percent
- For those 35 to 44, it was 37.4 percent
Jeffrey observed again of the under 18 bracket: “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.”
Meanwhile, the study found that single parent households are more likely to be on means-tested assistance: “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.”
And out of an estimated 192.8 million Americans living in married-couple families, some 56.7 million of these, or 29.4 percent, received welfare.
However, Jeffrey’s analysis found that for kids under 18 a broken home consistently results in a much a greater likelihood a family is on welfare. Of young people under 18 where “a male householder was living without a spouse,” almost 65 percent percent were in households on some type of welfare.
And the figure was 78 percent where the mother was head of the house, with the father out of the picture. For kids under age six raised only by mom, a stunning 82% were in a home that received assistance.
Also shocking was that from 2013 through 2016 — four straight years — “a majority of those under 18 lived in a household taking means-tested benefits,” the study found.
Jeffrey concluded his study of the alarming trend of young Americans on welfare and the potential causes, “America’s prosperity is ultimately and inextricably tied to America’s culture. If we want to see the former flourish, the latter must also.”
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