Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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How generous are each state’s safety net programs?

Government-funded food assistance and cash transfers serve as crucial tools for alleviating poverty and inequality, with millions of families across the U.S. relying on social safety net programs to help meet their basic needs. State and federal policies interact to determine eligibility and benefit levels, resulting in 51 distinct safety nets in each of the states and District of Columbia. Here we characterize the evolution of the safety net for single-parent families over time—from 2001 through 2022—and across states. To see the data for yourself, visit our new State Safety Net Interactive.

Data on safety net expenditures conflate need and program design. If we see high per-capita spending in a state, it might be because its safety net... Read More