Texas Sees Greater Declines in Welfare than Nation, California Numbers Rise
The number of food stamp recipients (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) fell in Texas in 2013, dropping 4.6 percent from a year earlier to 3.9 million recipients in December 2013. Nationally, SNAP caseload declined by 2.1 percent from December 2012 to December 2013 as the job market gradually warmed up.
California’s SNAP caseload bucked the national trend, increasing 4.1 percent to 4.3 million recipients, the second-largest percentage increase in the nation behind Maryland. Eleven states saw an increase in their SNAP rolls, Maryland, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Nebraska and Rhode Island , while 40 states and D.C. registered a decline in those getting federal food assistance.
For detailed SNAP data, click here.
As for another large federally-funded assistance program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the national caseload for all recipients dropped by 7.7 percent in calendar year 2013 to 4.1 million while the number of adults on the program declined by 9.7 percent to 1.1 million.
The strength of the Texas economy shows up in the TANF statistics too with the Lone Star State’s TANF caseload dropping 12.7 percent in 2013 to 88,158 while the caseload among adults only dropped 19.1 percent to 11,007.
Compared to the nation, Texas went from 2.3 percent of the national caseload for all TANF recipients in 2012 to 2.2 percent in 2013. Among adults, Texas slipped from 1.2 percent of the national caseload in 2012 to 1.1 percent in 2013. By comparison, 8 percent of Americans call Texas home.
California, as one might expect, shows a different trend. California’s TANF caseload declined 2.5 percent in 2013, only one-third of the national rate of decline, to 1,349,956. In fact, California went from having 31.5 percent of the total U.S. TANF caseload in calendar year 2012 to 33.2 percent in 2013. Among adult recipients of TANF, California’s share of the national caseload went from 26.4 percent in 2012 to 27.7 percent in 2013. By comparison, 12 percent of Americans live in California.
Proportionately, an adult in California is 17 times more likely to be on TANF than an adult in Texas.
For detailed TANF data, click here.
The Hon. Chuck DeVore is the Vice President of Policy at Texas Public Policy Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @chuckdevore