States Where Welfare Supports the Fewest Poor Families

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To determine the states where welfare supports the fewest (and the most) poor families, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the TANF-to-poverty ratio — the number of TANF cases relative to the number of families with children living below the poverty line — from the nonpartisan research institute Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) for the years 2016 and 2017. Data on maximum income for initial eligibility and the maximum monthly benefit for single-parent families of three is also from the CBPP and are two-year averages for 2016-2017. Data on state category spending is from the CBPP and is as of 2017. Asset limits and work requirements are from the Welfare Rules Databook of the nonprofit think tank Urban Institute and are as of July 2017. Data on median household income, the percentage of individuals living in poverty, the percentage of households receiving SNAP, or food stamps, benefits, the percentage of individuals without health insurance, and racial composition comes from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey. Regional price parity for goods and services figures are from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and are as of 2017. Data on the partisan composition of the state legislature is from the National Conference of State Legislatures and are as of 2017. All data are for the most recent period available.