chapter  8
The Impact of Welfare Reform
Pages 35

Regardless of the decisions that states have made about how to design their new welfare plans, the debates and changes that have taken place since the early 1990s in state welfare systems have resulted in significant declines in welfare rolls in all states, and truly major declines in most states. In 1993 the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) rolls contained 14.2 million recipients, or 4.5 percent of the population. By March of 2002 Temporary Assistance to Needy Children (TANF) enrollment had shrunk to 5.2 million recipients, or about 1.8 percent of the population. This represented a decline in recipients between 1993 and March 2002 of about 64 percent. As Figure 8.1 shows, the percentage of the population receiving TANF in 2002 was as low as the rates in the early 1960s, and far below the rates during the 1970s, 1980s, and almost all of the 1990s (Bell, 2001; Blank, 2001; Bartik and Eberts, 1999).