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More black people are on welfare than white people

The following charts are from an article in the June 2005 issue of Perspectives in Politics. The article is about racial disparities in welfare dependency. It is published as course material on the Indiana University website.

The liberal mantra on welfare is “There are more white people on welfare than black people.” This argument only works on people who can’t do simple math, because blacks only make up 13% of the population. However, the statement is not even true.


  1. Blacks receive welfare is extreme disproportion to whites.
  2. This disproportion is so great that more blacks are on welfare than whites, despite being only 13% of the population.
  3. White families living in poverty are dramatically less likely to be receiving benefits than blacks. A black family living in poverty is nearly 3 times more likely to live in subsidized housing than a white family living in poverty. They are also nearly twice as likely to be receiving food stamps.

Between 1992 and 2002, blacks received an average of 37.7% of TANF/AFDC benefits. Whites received an average of 34.7%. Welfare reform saw white people leave the welfare roles at dramatically higher rates than blacks.











White people living in poverty are significantly less likely to be receiving benefits than blacks or Hispanics. Black are the most likely to be receiving benefits of any racial group.