State Fact Sheets: Trends in State Caseloads and TANF-to-Poverty Ratios
October 27, 2015
After rising modestly in response to the economic downturn, the national caseload for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is below its pre-recession level in spite of continued high unemployment. In December 2013, 1.7 million families received TANF, 7 percent fewer than in December 2006. TANF caseloads peaked in December 2010 at 2 million families, 10 percent more than in December 2006.
Both during and after the recession, national TANF caseload trends mask wide variation in the states. Caseloads grew substantially in some states during the recession but changed little in many others. More recently, some states made significant policy or programmatic changes that led to substantial caseload declines. By December 2013, caseloads in about half the states were below December 2006 levels.
One factor is that the economic recovery has been uneven across the states. However, the most significant caseload declines have resulted not from a substantially improved economy but rather from significant policy changes that have reduced access to cash benefits.
In the map below, click on a state for a fact sheet detailing trends in its TANF caseload.
Click on the state abbreviation (above) or name (below) to jump to its fact sheets.