A Nation of Dependents? Breaking Down the NumbersPosted: September 18, 2012
Since the topic of dependency has been in the news in the last 24 hours, I thought I would post this chart I made a few months ago showing that 49 percent of Americans live in a household that receives government benefits.
The data (from the third quarter of 2010, which is the latest available) comes from the Census Bureau. The red bar represents the percentage of the population living in a household receiving benefits from one or more federal and state programs. The green bar represents the share of the population receiving benefits from at least one means-tested program (a program that targets low-income people with non-welfare income) for food, housing, or children’s aid, etc. The blue bars give a breakdown of the population living in households receiving benefits from various federal programs. (Note that the bars do not add up to 100 percent because it is common for people to receive benefits from more than one program.)
Not surprisingly, spending on entitlement programs is one of the main drivers of U.S. debt as such programs have the most recipients. Specifically, 16 percent of the population lived in a household receiving Social Security benefits, and 15 percent in a household receiving Medicare benefits. Medicaid benefits had the largest share of dependents, with 26 percent of the population living in a household receiving such benefits…
Keep reading this post . . .