NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Whites Leaving Welfare Faster Than Minorities

March 31, 1999

An Associated Press survey has established that the proportion of whites on welfare has dropped since 1994, while the proportion of minorities receiving assistance has grown -- in some cases dramatically.

  • Of the 16 states which are home to 76 percent of the welfare population, 14 have had white leave welfare faster than blacks or Hispanics.
  • Census statistics for 1997 indicate that 30 percent of whites on welfare lacked a high school diploma -- compared to 43 percent of blacks and 64 percent of Hispanics.
  • About half of whites and blacks worked at some time during the year -- but only one-third of Hispanics
  • Just 29 percent of whites on welfare lived in a central city or an area in which at least one in five were poor -- compared to about 68 percent of blacks and 60 percent of Hispanics.

As welfare rolls become increasingly black and Hispanic, those on welfare also are more concentrated in rundown central cities -- where experts say it is more difficult to locate employment than in suburbs.

Source: Associated Press, "Welfare's Racial Disparity Grows," Washington Times, March 31, 1999.


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