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Population Profiles

  1. Child Beneficiaries
    & Poverty
  2. Marital Status
    & Poverty
  3. Never
  4. Taxable Maximum
  5. Veteran

Child Beneficiariesa & Poverty

Released: September 2011
  • At the end of 2009, 3.2 million children received Social Security benefits, about 6 percent of all beneficiaries.b
  • Social Security benefits lifted at least 1.3 million children out of poverty in 2005.c
  • Without Social Security benefits, more than twice as many children living in Social Security beneficiary families would be poor.
  • Social Security is a major source of income for children in beneficiary families.
Poverty Rates with and Without Social Security Benefits, 2004
Stacked bar chart showing the child beneficiary poverty rate without Social Security benefits would have been 39.9%. 16.7% of child beneficiaries were in poverty even with Social Security benefits, but excluding the value of child benefits (12.7%) and adult benefits (10.5%) an additional 23.2% would have been in poverty.
SOURCE: Tamborini, Christopher R., and Emily Cupito, Social Insurance and Children: The Impact of Social Security and Family Context on the Economic Security of Child Beneficiaries, paper presented at APPAM Conference, October 26, 2010.
Average Percentage of Family Income from Social Security, 2004
Bar chart linked to data in table format.
SOURCE: Tamborini, Christopher R., Emily Cupito, and Dave Shoffner. 2011 "A Profile of Social Security Child Beneficiaries and their Families: Sociodemographic and Economic Characteristics." Social Security Bulletin 71(1): 1–15.
a. Minor children of insured workers, excludes disabled adult children and students.
b. Social Security Administration, Annual Statistical Supplement, 2010, Table 5.A6.
c. Gabe, Thomas. 2008. Social Security's Effect on Child Poverty. CRS Report for Congress RL 33289.