Share Of Idahoans Receiving Welfare Declines, Rate Still Higher Than Most

Sep 2, 2014

Idaho is one of only six states that saw a decrease in the number of people on public assistance, or welfare, in 2012, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The government agency looked at cash payments to the poor through programs like TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), not in-kind programs like SNAP (food stamps).

Screengrab from Census report.
Credit census.gov

Nationally there was little change in the rate of public assistance between 2011 and 2012. But that year, Idaho went from 3.5 percent of families receiving help with government cash to 3 percent.

The decline is perhaps good news, still, more Idahoans are getting welfare payments than residents of most other states.

In 2000, fewer than 2 percent of Idaho households got public assistance. Idaho’s increase over those 12 years was one of the largest in the country.  

Among Idaho’s neighbors, Washington, Oregon and Nevada have a higher percentage of people receiving cash support.

Find reporter Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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