State Fact Sheets: How States Spend Funds Under the TANF Block Grant

States have broad flexibility over the use of state and federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. Many have used that flexibility to divert funds away from income support for families and toward other state budget areas often unrelated to TANF’s goals. In 2020, states spent only about a fifth of the funds on basic assistance to meet essential needs of families with children. Investments in cash assistance can improve academic, health, and economic outcomes for children in families in poverty, research shows.

These national TANF spending trends also mask great variation across states; some 14 states spent less than 10 percent of TANF funds on basic assistance. In the map below, click on a state for a fact sheet detailing how it spends its state and federal TANF funds.

Click on the state abbreviation (above) or name (below) to jump to its fact sheets.