Skip to main content
Select Source:

Children, Teens, and Money

Chapter 2: Children, Teens, and Money

FAMILY INCOME
CHILDREN IN POVERTY
CHILD SUPPORT
TEENS AND MONEY

FAMILY INCOME

Almost all children are financially dependent on their parents, with their financial condition directly dependent on how much their parents earn. Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith of the U.S. Census Bureau report in Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007 (August 2008, http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf) that real income rose throughout the 1990s and then declined in the early twenty-first century. The median (half were higher and half were lower) household income in 2007 was $50,233, up 1.3% from the previous year. (See Table 2.1.) For married-couple families, the median household income was $72,785, up 1.5% from the previous year.

DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith find that single-parent families, particularly those headed by single mothers, fared worse than other households in 2007. Families with female heads-of-household and no husband present had a median income of $33,370, up 2% from the previous year, whereas male-headed households with no wife present had a median income of $49,839, 2.9% higher than the year before. (See Table 2.1.)

According to DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith, the median income varied greatly by race and ethnic group. Asian-American households had the highest median income, at $66,103, followed by non-Hispanic white households at $54,920. (See Table 2.1.) The median income for Hispanic households was $38,679, and the median income for African-American households, at $33,916, was the lowest of any reported race or ethnic group, even though it had risen 3.2% over the previous year, the largest increase of any group.

The Cost of Raising a Child

Since the 1960s the Family Economics Research Group of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates on the cost of rearing a child to adulthood. The estimates are calculated per child in a household with two children and are categorized by the age of the child using different family income levels. Attorneys and judges use these estimates in determining child-support awards in divorce cases as well as in cases involving the wrongful death of a parent. Public officials use the estimates to determine payments for the support of children in foster care and for subsidies to adoptive families. Financial planners and consumer educators use them in helping people determine their life insurance needs.

INCOME LEVELS . Estimated annual family expenditures for a child vary widely depending on the income level of the household. The estimated amount a family spends on a child also tends to increase as the child ages. The USDA estimates that in 2007 married-couple households that earned less than $45,800 per year spent amounts ranging from $7,830 for very young children to $8,830 for 12- to 14-year-olds. (See Table 2.2.) Estimates for middle-income, married-couple families ranged from $10,930 for 9-to 11-year-olds to $12,030 for 15- to 17-year-olds. Estimates for married-couple families with incomes above $77,100 ranged from $15,980 to $17,500, depending on the age of the child.

Estimated annual expenditures for single-parent families that earned less than $45,800 per year spent slightly less than those of two-parent families, most likely because their average incomes were lower ($19,700 for single-parent families and $28,600 for two-parent families). (See Table 2.3 and Table 2.2.) The USDA estimates that in 2007 these single parents spent an annual average of $6,490 to $8,960, depending on the age of the child. Single-parent families that earned $45,800 or more spent $14,940 to $17,760 per child, slightly more than the middle-income, two-parent families.

Even though the USDA estimates that in 2007 the highest-income households spent about twice the amount on their children than the lowest-income households, this difference varied by the type of expense. For example, the estimated food expenditure for children aged 15 to 17 in the

 
TABLE 2.1 Median income by type of household and race and Hispanic origin of householder, 200607
[Income in 2007 dollars. Households and people as of March of the following year.]
Characteristic 2006 2007 Percentage change in real median income (2007 less 2006)
Number (thousands) Median income (dollars) Number (thousands) Median income (dollars)
Estimate Estimate Estimate
Represents or rounds to zero.
*Federal surveys now give respondents the option of reporting more than one race. Therefore, two basic ways of defining a race group are possible. A group such as Asian may be defined as those who reported Asian and no other race (the race-alone or single-race concept) or as those who reported Asian regardless of whether they also reported another race (the race-alone-or-in-combination concept). This table shows data using the first approach (race alone). The use of the single-race population does not imply that it is the preferred method of presenting or analyzing data. The Census Bureau uses a variety of approaches.
About 2.6 percent of people reported more than one race in Census 2000. Data for American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, and those reporting two or more races are not shown separately in this table.
SOURCE: Adapted from Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith, Table 1. Income and Earnings Summary Measures by Selected Characteristics: 2006 and 2007, in Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2007, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2008, http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf (accessed September 21, 2008)
Households 116,011 49,568 116,783 50,233 1.3
All households          
Type of household          
Family households 78,425 61,593 77,873 62,359 1.2
        Married-couple 58,945 71,694 58,370 72,785 1.5
        Female householder, no husband present 14,416 32,721 14,404 33,370 2
        Male householder, no wife present 5,063 48,414 5,100 49,839 2.9
Nonfamily households 37,587 29,908 38,910 30,176 0.9
        Female householder 20,249 24,553 21,038 24,294 1.1
        Male householder 17,338 36,624 17,872 36,767 0.4
Race* and Hispanic origin of householder          
White 94,705 52,111 95,112 52,115
        White, not Hispanic 82,675 53,910 82,765 54,920 1.9
Black 14,354 32,876 14,551 33,916 3.2
Asian 4,454 66,060 4,494 66,103 0.1
Hispanic (any race) 12,973 38,853 13,339 38,679 0.4

highest-income husband-wife families was $2,970, compared to $2,080 in the lowest-income group. (See Table 2.2.) The estimated annual expense for education and child care for children aged 15 to 17 in these high-income families ($2,120) was nearly four times that for a child the same age in the lowest-income families ($580). These variations among income groups by type of expense held true for single-parent households as well. (See Table 2.3.)

AGE OF CHILD. The 2007 estimates of family expenditures on a child generally increased with the child's age, except for housing, education, and child care. (See Table 2.2 and Table 2.3.) Households with young children are more likely to have recently purchased homes at higher prices and with higher interest rates, which helps explain the higher housing estimates for young children. Estimates for education, child care, and related expenses were also highest for preschoolers (under the age of six) in all income groups. Many women with children this age are in the labor force and must pay for child care. Once children enter school, the child care costs decrease. As school-age children grow up, the need for after-school and summer care also decreases. The estimates do not include expenses related to college attendance, which typically do not occur until the child is at least 18.

FUTURE COSTS . The USDA also estimates the total cost of raising a child born in 2007 who will reach the age of seventeen in 2024, incorporating an average annual inflation rate of 3.1% (the average annual inflation rate over the previous twenty years). The total family expenses for raising a child born in 2007 were estimated to be $196,010 for the lowest-income group, $269,040 for the middle-income group, and $393,230 for the highest-income group. (See Table 2.4.)

CHILDREN IN POVERTY

Children are the largest group of poor in the United States. In 1975 they replaced the elderly as the poorest age group. (See Figure 2.1.) DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith state that in 2007 the poverty rate for all children younger than 18 years of age was 18%, or 13.3 million children, which was up from 17.4%, or 12.8 million children, in 2006. Children under 18 years old made up a quarter (24.8%) of the population of the United States, but they made up over one-third (35.7%) of the people living below the poverty line. (For population estimates for July 1, 2007, by age, see the Census Bureau's National Population EstimatesCharacteristics [April 30, 2008, http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2007-sa.html.]) Children under the age of six are particularly vulnerable to poverty. According

 
TABLE 2.2 Estimated annual expenditures on a child by husband-wife families, 2007
Age of child Total Housing Food Transportation Clothing Health care Child care and education Miscellaneous*
Notes: Estimates are based on 199092 Consumer Expenditure Survey data updated to 2007 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. For each age category, the expense estimates represent average child-rearing expenditures for each age (e.g., the expense for the 35 age category, on average, applies to the 3-year-old, the 4-year-old, or the 5-year-old). The figures represent estimated expenses on the younger child in a two-child family. Estimates are about the same for the older child, so to calculate expenses for two children, figures should be summed for the appropriate age categories. To estimate expenses for an only child, multiply the total expense for the appropriate age category by 1.24. To estimate expenses for each child in a family with three or more children, multiply the total expense for each appropriate age category by 0.77. For expenses on all children in a family, these totals should be summed.
*Miscellaneous expenses include personal care items, entertainment, and reading materials.
SOURCE: Mark Lino, Table ES1. Estimated Annual Expenditures on a Child by Husband-Wife Families, Overall United States, 2007, in Expenditures on Children by Families, 2007, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, March 2008, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2007.pdf (accessed November 2, 2008)
Before-tax income: less than $45,800 (average = $28,600)
02 $7,830 $2,970 $1,070 $930 $340 $600 $1,220 $700
35 8,020 2,930 1,190 900 340 570 1,370 720
68 8,000 2,830 1,530 1,050 370 650 810 760
911 7,950 2,560 1,830 1,140 420 710 490 800
1214 8,830 2,850 1,930 1,290 700 720 340 1,000
1517 8,810 2,300 2,080 1,730 620 770 580 730
Total $148,320 $49,320 $28,890 $21,120 $8,370 $12,060 $14,430 $14,130
Before-tax income: $45,800 to $77,100 (average = $61,000)
02 $10,960 $4,010 $1,280 $1,390 $410 $780 $2,000 $1,090
35 11,280 3,980 1,470 1,360 400 750 2,210 1,110
68 11,130 3,880 1,880 1,510 440 850 1,420 1,150
911 10,930 3,600 2,210 1,600 480 920 930 1,190
1214 11,690 3,900 2,230 1,740 820 930 680 1,390
1517 12,030 3,350 2,480 2,200 730 980 1,170 1,120
Total $204,060 $68,160 $34,650 $29,400 $9,840 $15,630 $25,230 $21,150
Before-tax income: more than $77,100 (average = $115,400)
02 $16,290 $6,380 $1,690 $1,950 $530 $900 $3,020 $1,820
35 16,670 6,340 1,910 1,910 520 860 3,290 1,840
68 16,310 6,240 2,310 2,060 570 990 2,260 1,880
911 15,980 5,970 2,680 2,150 620 1,060 1,580 1,920
1214 16,810 6,260 2,820 2,300 1,030 1,070 1,210 2,120
1517 17,500 5,710 2,970 2,780 940 1,120 2,120 1,860
Total $298,680 $110,700 $43,140 $39,450 $12,630 $18,000 $40,440 $34,320

to DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Smith, in 2007 the poverty rate for families with children under the age of six was 20.8%, which was higher than the overall rate of child poverty. In addition, over half (54%) of children younger than the age of six living with a single mother were in poverty, which was more than five times the rate of poverty for children younger than the age of six living in married-couple families (9.5%).

The child poverty rate declined between 1995 and 2000, but the rate of children living in poverty (100% of the poverty line or below) and in low-income families (100% to 200% of the poverty line) began to rise again in 2000. By 2007, 39.1% of children lived in low-income or poor families. (See Figure 2.2.) In Basic Facts about Low-Income Children: Birth to Age 18 (October 2008, http://www.nccp.org/publications/pdf/text_845.pdf), Ayana Douglas-Hall and Michelle Chau of the National Center for Children in Poverty note that even though the largest group of low-income children in 2007 were white (38%), Hispanic and African-American children were disproportionately poor. (See Figure 2.3.) The majority of both African-American children (60%) and Hispanic children (61%) lived in low-income or poor families. Preschoolers were particularly likely to live in low-income families (43%), including poor families (21%). (See Figure 2.4.) Another trend in child poverty emerged in the twenty-first century. The Children's Defense Fund notes in The State of America's Children 2005 (2005, http://www.childrensdefense.org/site/DocServer/Greenbook_2005.pdf?docID=1741) that the number of children living in extreme poverty (below one-half of the poverty level) increased by 20% between 2000 and 2004, almost twice as fast as the number of children in poverty overall. According to Kathy R. Thornburg, Jacqueline L. Scott, and Hailey Stout of the Center for Family Policy and Research, in The State of Children and Families: 2008 (February 2008, http://mucenter.missouri.edu/MOchildfam08.pdf), approximately 5.5 million children lived in extreme poverty in 2006.

Government Aid to Children

Many programs exist in the United States to assist families and children living with economic hardship. Some of these programs are federally run, and others are run at the state level. In many cases the programs are mandated at the federal level and administered by the states, which can make tracking them complicated.

 
TABLE 2.3 Estimated annual expenditures on a child by single-parent families, 2007
Age of child Total Housing Food Transportation Clothing Health care Child care and education Miscellaneous*
Notes: Estimates are based on 199092 Consumer Expenditure Survey data updated to 2007 dollars using the Consumer Price Index. For each age category, the expense estimates represent average child-rearing expenditures for each age (e.g., the expense for the 35 age category, on average, applies to the 3-year-old, the 4-year-old, or the 5-year-old). The figures represent estimated expenses on the younger child in a single-parent, two-child family. For estimated expenses on the older child, multiply the total expense for the appropriate age category by 0.93. To estimate expenses for two children, the expenses on the younger child and older child after adjusting the expense on the older child downward should be summed for the appropriate age categories. To estimate expenses for an only child, multiply the total expense for the appropriate age category by 1.35. To estimate expenses for each child in a family with three or more children, multiply the total expense for each appropriate age category by 0.7 2 after adjusting the expenses on the older children downward. For expenses on all children in a family, these totals should be summed.
*Miscellaneous expenses include personal care items, entertainment, and reading materials.
SOURCE: Mark Lino, Table 7. Estimated Annual Expenditures on a Child by Single-Parent Families, Overall United States, 2007, in Expenditures on Children by Families, 2007, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, March 2008, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC\crc2007.pdf (accessed November 2, 2008)
Before-tax income: less than $45,800 (average = $19,200)
02 $6,490 $2,660 $1,180 $870 $310 $290 $760 $420
35 7,380 3,030 1,240 760 330 420 1,040 560
68 8,260 3,220 1,570 890 390 500 940 750
911 7,620 3,090 1,820 640 390 630 450 600
1214 8,130 3,090 1,820 740 660 670 570 580
1517 8,960 3,280 1,980 1,160 770 660 440 670
Total $140,520 $55,110 $28,830 $15,180 $8,550 $9,510 $12,600 $10,740
Before-tax income: $45,800 or more (average = $69,600)
02 $14,940 $5,730 $1,820 $2,660 $440 $660 $1,870 $1,760
35 16,140 6,090 1,930 2,550 460 880 2,340 1,890
68 17,100 6,280 2,320 2,680 530 1,010 2,190 2,090
911 16,360 6,160 2,790 2,430 540 1,220 1,280 1,940
1214 17,320 6,160 2,730 2,530 890 1,280 1,820 1,910
1517 17,760 6,350 2,890 2,740 1,020 1,270 1,480 2,010
Total $298,860 $110,310 $43,440 $46,770 $11,640 $18,960 $32,940 $34,800
 
TABLE 2.4 Estimated annual expenditures on children born in 2007, by income group
    Income group
Year Age Lowest Middle Highest
Note: Estimates are for the younger child in husband-wife families with two children.
SOURCE: Mark Lino, Table 12. Estimated Annual Expenditures on Children Born in 2007, by Income Group, Overall United States, in Expenditures on Children by Families, 2007, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, March 2008, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2007.pdf (accessed November 2, 2008)
2007 <1 $7,830 $10,960 $16,290
2008 1 8,070 11,300 16,790
2009 2 8,320 11,650 17,320
2010 3 8,790 12,360 18,270
2011 4 9,060 12,750 18,840
2012 5 9,340 13,140 19,420
2013 6 9,610 13,370 19,590
2014 7 9,910 13,780 20,200
2015 8 10,210 14,210 20,820
2016 9 10,460 14,390 21,030
2017 10 10,790 14,830 21,690
2018 11 11,120 15,290 22,360
2019 12 12,740 16,860 24,250
2020 13 13,130 17,390 25,000
2021 14 13,540 17,920 25,770
2022 15 13,930 19,020 27,660
2023 16 14,360 19,610 28,520
2024 17 14,800 20,210 29,410
Total   $196,010 $269,040 $393,230

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES . Under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, states receive a fixed amount from the federal government to provide welfare to residents with few federal constraints on how they manage the funds. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department

   

of Health and Human Services (January 8, 2009, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/data/2006/tableA_spending_2006.html) indicates that the total federal funds spent on TANF expenditures for fiscal year (FY) 2006 were $20.5 billion.

Under TANF each state decides what categories of children receive aid. TANF requires that an adult recipient work in exchange for time-limited assistance. In Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF): Seventh Annual Report to Congress (December 2006, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/data-reports/annualreport7/TANF_7th_Report_Final_101006.pdf), the ACF notes that in FY 2003, the latest year for which detailed data are available, 22.9% of adult TANF recipients were employed, down from 25.3% the year before.

The size of families receiving public assistance was decreasing in 2003. According to the ACF, the average number of people in a TANF family was 2.5 in 2003, down from an average of 2.8 in 1996. Half of TANF families in 2003 included only one child recipient, whereas only 10% had four or more children. More than one-third (38.6%) of TANF families were child-only cases, including no adult recipients.

The amount of government assistance provided to individuals and families was down sharply in the first years of the twenty-first century. The average monthly benefit per

 

TANF recipient in 2005 was $157, down from a high of $228 (in 2005 dollars) in 1978 under the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children program. (See Figure 2.5.) Benefits included cash and work-based assistance, child care, and transportation assistance. In addition, the number of families receiving income assistance continued to decline in 2006. (See Figure 2.6.) In response to the economic recession that began in 2008, Congress allocated additional contingency funds of $5 billion to help states that see increases in families needing TANF assistance. Liz Schott of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains in An Introduction to TANF (March 19, 2009, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=936) that when TANF comes up for reauthorization in 2010, Congress will likely examine the extent to which TANF assistance programs responded to increased need during the recession and have questions about how well the program prepares families to overcome employment barriers.

Reductions in welfare rolls and expenditures may actually harm poor children. Olivia Golden (1955), the assistant secretary for children and families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton (1946), states in Welfare Reform Mostly Worked (Orlando Sentinel, July 24, 2005) that she believes the welfare-to-work model mostly worked in the sense that welfare caseloads had dropped and that most low-income parents began working to support their families. However, this very success brought about additional problems. She notes, In less than a decade, welfare has faded as a means of support for impoverished families. Many of these families are working long hours despite low wages, shrinking health-insurance coverage and serious trade-offs between work and decent care for their children. Yet, neither our politics nor our policies have adjusted to our success at bringing more of these parents into the labor force.

THE SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM . The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known previously as the food stamp program, which is administered by the USDA, provides low-income households with electronic benefit cards that can be used at most grocery stores, much like debit cards, in place of cash. This assistance is intended to ensure that recipients have access to a nutritious diet. It is available to households that have a gross monthly income of no more than 130% of the poverty line and a net monthly income at or below the poverty line. According to the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), in Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2007Summary (September 2008, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Published/snap/FILES/Participation/2007CharacteristicsSummary.pdf), almost nine out of ten (87%) households that received food stamp benefits in 2007 lived in poverty.

The amount of money a family receives on its benefit card is based on the USDA's estimate of how much it costs to provide households with nutritious, low-cost meals, called the thrifty food plan. This estimate changes yearly to reflect inflation. In FY 2007 the FNS indicates that the maximum monthly benefit for a family of four was $506. The average monthly benefit for all households in FY 2007 was $212. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households containing children received an average of $312 in benefits per month, in part because households with children tended to be larger (3.3 people) than households in general (2.2 people). (See Table 2.5.) Because funds provided to nutritional assistance programs are extremely likely to be spent, such funds are considered economic stimulus. On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama (1961) signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law in response to the severe economic recession that began in 2008. The legislation provided an additional $500 million to support participation in the State Nutrition Action Plan and to increase benefits up to 113.6% of the value of the thrifty food plan.

According to Kari Wolkwitz and Joshua Leftin, in Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2007 (September 2008, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Published/snap/FILES/Participation/2007Characteristics.pdf), the majority of households that received supplemental nutrition assistance in FY 2007 contained children51.3%, or 5.9 million households. One-third (32.1%) of all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program households were single-parent households, most of them headed by single mothers.

 

THE SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN . The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides food assistance and nutritional screening for low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their infants and children under the age of five. This program can help women and young children with household incomes that are too high to receive food stamps. In Frequently Asked Questions about WIC (October 2008, http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/FAQs/FAQ.HTM), the FNS explains that income eligibility guidelines for the period July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008, required applicants to have an income at or below 185% of the poverty level and be nutritionally at risk, meaning that to be eligible an individual must have medically or diet-based risks. The income eligibility guidelines state that a family of one (in other words, a single, pregnant woman) could earn up to $1,604 per month and still qualify for WIC. A family of four could earn $3,269 per month and participate in WIC. The FNS states in WIC Participant and Program Characteristics, 2006 Summary (December 2007, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Published/WIC/FILES/PC2006Summary.pdf) that two-thirds (67.4%) of WIC participants in 2006 had household incomes below the poverty line.

According to the FNS, in April 2006 nearly 8.8 million women and children participated in WIC, an increase of 2.2% since April 2004. Twenty-six percent of WIC participants were infants, 49% were children aged one to four years old, and 25% were pregnant, postpartum, or breast-feeding women. Recipients receive food items or vouchers for purchases of certain items in retail stores. The WIC program is federally funded but administered by state and local health agencies. In WIC Program Participation and Costs (December 30, 2008, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/wisummary.htm), the FNS states that in FY 2008 the WIC program's estimated food cost was $4.5 billion and its estimated administrative costs were $1.6 billion, for a total cost of $6.2 billion.

SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS . School nutrition programs offer food assistance to school-age children. The programs provide millions of children with nutritious food each day. Children whose families earn no more than 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced-price school meals; children whose families earn no more than 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free school meals. The FNS reports in Federal Cost of School Food Programs (December 30, 2008, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/cncosts.htm) that in FY 2007 the U.S. government spent $10.9 billion on school nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program. In that year 30.5 million children took part in the school lunch program. (See Table 2.6.)

CHILD SUPPORT

Children living in single-parent families are far more likely to be poor than children living in two-parent households, and the number of children living with only one

 

parentusually the motheris increasing. According to Timothy S. Grall of the Census Bureau, in Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005 (August 2007, http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/p60-234.pdf), in the spring of 2006, 13.6 million parents had custody of 21.2 million children under the age of 21 whose other parent lived elsewhere. Mothers accounted for 83.8% of all custodial parents; 16.2% of custodial parents were fathers. These proportions have not changed significantly since 1994.

Grall indicates that 7.8 million (57.3%) of the 13.6 million custodial parents in 2006 had a child support agreement with the other parent. Most of these agreements required child support payments from the noncustodial parent. In 2005, 77.2% of custodial parents due support received at least some payments. (See Figure 2.7.) Almost half (46.9%) received all the payments they were due, up from only a little more than a third (36.9%) in 1993. Grall also notes that noncustodial parents who had either joint custody agreements or visitation rights to their children were more likely to pay child support (84.6% and 77.6%, respectively) than parents who did not have any visitation rights at all (61.5%).

Differences existed in the child support arrangements for custodial mothers and custodial fathers. In 2005 custodial mothers were much more likely than custodial fathers to be awarded child support (61.4% and 36.4%, respectively). (See Table 2.7.) On average, custodial mothers were due $5,660 in child support in 2005, and received $3,660. Custodial fathers were due, on average, $4,895 and actually received $3,491. As noted earlier, fewer than half of all custodial parents actually received the full child support due them; only 47.3% of custodial mothers and 46.2% of custodial fathers received the total amount due.

Grall explains that receipt of child support payments made a significant difference in the household incomes of single-parent families. In 2005 the average family income of custodial parents who received at least some of the child support due them was $29,500, and the child support represented 10.7% of the total household income. Child support represented 18.8% of the total household income for those parents who received all of the child support due them. In contrast, custodial parents who had child support agreements but received none of the child support due had an average income of only $26,000.

Government Assistance in Obtaining Child Support

As demonstrated earlier, inadequate financial support from noncustodial parents contributes to the high incidence

 

of poverty among children living in single-parent families. When custodial parents are not paid the child support due them, their families suffer financially and often must turn to public welfare. Therefore, government agencies have an interest in recovering child support from delinquent parents.

In 1975 Congress established the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program, a collaborative effort among local, state, and federal agencies, to ensure that children received financial support from both parents. Under the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, noncustodial parents delinquent on child support due in another state can be prosecuted. CSE services are automatically provided to families receiving assistance under TANF; any support collected usually reimburses the state and federal governments for TANF payments made to the family. Child support services are also available for a small application fee to families not receiving TANF.

Provisions in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 strengthened and improved child support collection activities. The law established a National Directory of New Hires to track parents across state lines, made the process for establishing paternity faster and easier, and enacted tough new penalties for delinquent parents, including expanded wage garnishment and suspension or revocation of driver's licenses. The law also required single-mother TANF applicants to disclose the paternity of their children and to assign any child support payments to the state. According to the ACF, in Child Support Enforcement FY 2006 Preliminary Report (March 2007, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pubs/2007/preliminary_report/), these efforts have paid off; in FY 2006 CSE handled 15.8 million cases and collected nearly $24 billion.

TEENS AND MONEY

Teen Employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in the press release The Employment Situation: November 2008 (December 5, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf) that in November 2008, 6.5 million (38.3%) people aged 16 to 19 were employed or looking for work.

 
TABLE 2.5 Income, monthly food stamp benefits, and household size by household composition, fiscal year 2007
  Average values
Households with: Gross monthly countable income (dollars) Net monthly countable income (dollars) a Monthly FSP benefit (dollars) Household size (persons) Monthly FSP benefit per person (dollars)
a Because net income is not used in their benefit determination, 29,916 households participating in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and 321,492 households participating in an SSI Combined Application Project (SSI-CAP) in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, P ennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas or Virginia are excluded from this column.
b Due to changes in the FSPQC data, the definition of disabled changed in 2003. Beginning with the 2003 report, we are only able to identify households that contain a disabled person. In previous reports, we had additional information that helped to identify which household member was disabled.
c Households not containing children, elderly individuals, or disabled individuals.
SOURCE: Kari Wolkwitz and Joshua Leftin, Table 3.4. Average Values of Selected Characteristics by Household Composition, Fiscal Year 2007, in Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2007, Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., September 2008, http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/pdfs/characteristics2007.pdf (accessed November 2,2008)
Total 691 330 212 2.2 97
Children 826 415 312 3.3 99
Single-adult household 736 361 303 3.1 100
        Male adult 688 343 274 2.8 101
        Female adult 739 362 305 3.1 100
Multiple-adult household 1,154 645 362 4.4 85
        Married head household 1,214 677 365 4.5 83
        Other multiple-adult household 1,046 590 355 4.1 88
Children only 551 168 244 2.1 123
Elderly individuals 735 367 90 1.3 71
Living alone 676 310 72 1.0 72
Not living alone 975 569 163 2.4 68
Disabled nonelderly individuals b 859 456 148 2.0 75
Living alone 695 297 76 1.0 76
Not living alone 1,080 655 244 3.3 74
Other households c 222 68 150 1.1 139
Single-person household 188 52 142 1.0 142
Multi-person household 588 247 227 2.1 108
Single-person households 504 202 100 1.0 100
 

The unemployment rate in this age group was 20.4%, up from 16.4% from the year before. Job loss continued to be heavy in early 2009 due to the global financial crisis. In the press release The Employment Situation: February 2009 (March 6, 2009, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/emp sit.pdf), the BLS indicates that by February 2009 the rate of unemployment among teenagers had increased to 21.6%; the overall rate for all workers was 8.1%. Employment rates among young people are highest during the summer months, when many full-time students are out of school. For example, in the press release Employment and Unemployment among YouthSummer 2008 (August 28, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/youth.pdf), the BLS states that the employment of youth between the ages of 16 and 24 increased by 1.9 million between April and July 2008.

Most teens are employed as hourly workers, and they make low wages compared to other age groups. The BLS reports in Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2007 (May 7, 2008, http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2007tbls.htm) that in 2007, 6.9% of 16- to 19-year-olds earned the federal minimum hourly wage ($5.15 before July 24, 2007, and $5.85 thereafter), compared to only 1.5% of workers aged 25 years and older.

HOW DOES WORKING AFFECT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT? In Employment during High School and Student Achievement (Journal of Educational Research, vol. 95, no. 1, 2001), Kimberly J. Quirk, Timothy Z. Keith, and Jeffrey T. Quirk present the results of a longitudinal study examining the effects of high school student employment on academic achievement. The researchers conclude that working displayed a moderate, significant, and negative effect on high school grades. However, smaller amounts of work (12 hours or less per week) seemed to slightly improve grades. Quirk, Keith, and Quirk also find that the lower a student's grades were, the more likely he or she was to get a job. Nancy F. Weller et al. note in School-Year Employment among High School Students: Effects on Academic, Social, and Physical Functioning (Adolescence, vol. 38, no. 151, 2003) that students who worked longer hours had lower grade-point averages. The researchers state that in light of our findings and those of other studies, we believe that parents and professionals involved with youth should supervise the number of weekly hours that adolescents work while attending school.

 
TABLE 2.6 National School Lunch Program, total participation, 200307
State/territory FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 Preliminary
Participation data are nine-month averages; summer months (June-August) are excluded.
Participation is based on average daily meals divided by an attendance factor of 0.927.
Department of Defense activity represents children of armed forces personnel attending schools overseas.
Data are subject to revision .
FY = Fiscal Year.
SOURCE: National School Lunch Program: Total Participation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, October 29, 2008, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/01slfypart.htm (accessed November 2, 2008)
Alabama 549,241 558,455 565,932 574,060 577,931
Alaska 52,962 52,069 52,091 53,363 53,233
Arizona 517,837 545,033 579,435 607,905 633,312
Arkansas 317,843 322,753 335,891 345,909 347,752
California 2,732,303 2,798,852 2,866,247 2,896,209 2,988,383
Colorado 327,775 335,266 336,565 347,945 364,749
Connecticut 283,625 291,886 301,773 307,389 316,382
Delaware 75,377 78,045 81,032 83,648 85,672
District of Columbia 47,961 46,536 46,976 45,229 41,501
Florida 1,397,558 1,463,971 1,523,765 1,523,315 1,536,860
Georgia 1,129,503 1,170,116 1,205,372 1,252,790 1,272,122
Guam 17,408 15,951 17,055 20,190 19,052
Hawaii 131,954 123,721 121,189 112,822 101,584
Idaho 148,798 152,570 155,700 161,257 165,308
Illinois 1,097,467 1,079,949 1,104,595 1,104,942 1,121,027
Indiana 663,592 679,283 700,890 723,568 744,055
Iowa 380,864 385,111 385,011 390,385 392,976
Kansas 317,481 323,008 326,805 336,461 344,187
Kentucky 511,470 528,271 534,807 542,971 548,586
Louisiana 626,152 629,519 615,879 571,269 583,224
Maine 103,840 106,064 107,685 109,152 108,738
Maryland 435,790 426,182 438,302 444,058 439,590
Massachusetts 541,767 548,522 558,107 559,612 561,853
Michigan 842,678 858,209 869,217 884,793 896,908
Minnesota 577,644 583,455 590,260 597,113 607,542
Mississippi 395,089 399,474 398,951 404,503 405,056
Missouri 603,434 610,807 624,385 634,351 639,003
Montana 77,464 78,651 79,664 83,073 83,844
Nebraska 222,865 225,506 228,691 232,823 237,410
Nevada 136,856 145,963 172,292 181,940 193,461
New Hampshire 109,815 111,863 113,074 112,654 113,628
New Jersey 604,595 616,759 629,815 638,688 654,779
New Mexico 201,272 208,483 211,792 213,111 221,055
New York 1,788,136 1,803,687 1,823,454 1,820,880 1,821,469
North Carolina 863,716 886,274 915,560 945,601 962,768
North Dakota 77,230 77,924 78,418 78,388 78,909
Ohio 1,028,227 1,046,400 1,060,938 1,085,362 1,100,214
Oklahoma 382,577 389,245 402,917 413,003 421,624
Oregon 275,713 284,467 291,326 301,199 304,241
Pennsylvania 1,057,774 1,086,661 1,121,383 1,136,502 1,141,571
Puerto Rico 392,900 379,940 369,889 362,119 384,531
Rhode Island 82,161 83,188 84,080 83,806 85,009
South Carolina 466,847 473,208 482,820 491,154 496,534
South Dakota 103,592 103,809 103,986 105,036 106,222
Tennessee 635,613 648,215 660,282 685,621 584,437
Texas 2,671,975 2,776,775 2,892,593 3,007,594 3,079,947
Utah 283,627 289,402 297,669 304,678 312,438
Vermont 54,356 54,808 55,363 55,431 55,451
Virginia 687,945 705,401 730,970 745,038 749,911
Virgin Islands 15,450 14,286 13,474 11,064 10,552
Washington 495,468 505,999 513,488 522,978 526,724
West Virginia 204,626 201,002 202,574 207,594 208,846
Wisconsin 561,150 569,642 583,338 591,223 598,369
Wyoming 49,485 49,449 51,187 52,305 53,564
Dept. of Defense 33,489 31,534 31,237 28,866 28,824
Total 28,392,337 28,961,618 29,646,190 30,132,941 30,512,921

The BLS finds in The Relationship of Youth Employment to Future Educational Attainment and Labor Market Experience (Report on the Youth Labor Force, November 2000) a correlation between teen employment and future college education. Adults who had worked one to 20 hours per week as 16- and 17-year-olds were more likely than other adults to have completed at least some college education by age 30. In contrast, less than half of adults who had not worked at all or who had worked more than 20 hours per week had completed some college education.

 

These findings suggest that working a limited number of hours during the junior and senior years of high school has a positive effect on educational attainment.

Teens as Consumers

By the last decades of the twentieth century, teens had a big influence on the economyfrom affecting major family purchases to buying groceries. In Spending Power of the Teen Consumer (September 2006, http://www.marketresearch.com), the Mintel International Group indicates that teens had an estimated spending power of $153 billion in 2006. However, the spending power of teens had declined 12% from 2003 to 2006, probably reflecting the economic downturn of the early twenty-first century. The report also examines teens' spending habits. Even though teens were attracted to the youthful image of retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, they actually spent their money in more affordable stores such as Old Navy and Target.

 
TABLE 2.7 Comparison of custodial parents and those with child support awarded, due, and received, selected years 19932005
[Numbers in thousands as of spring of the following year. Parents living with own children under 21 years of age whose other parent is not living in the home. Amounts in 2005 dollars.]
Item 1993 Number 1995 Number 1997 Number 1999 Number 2001 Number 2003 Number 2005 Number
SOURCE: Timothy S. Grall, Table 1. Comparison of Custodial Parent Population and Those with Child Support Awarded, Due, and Received: 19932005, in Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2005, U. S. Census Bureau, August 2007, http://www.census.gov/prod/2007pubs/p60-234.pdf (accessed November 2, 2008)
All custodial parents
Total
Awarded child support 7,800 7,967 7,876 7,945 7,916 8,376 7,802
      Percent 57.0 58.1 56.5 58.7 59.1 60.0 57.3
      Due child support 6,688 6,958 7,018 6,791 6,924 7,256 6,809
        Average child support due $4,764 $5,173 $5,031 $5,570 $5,562 $5,416 $5,584
        Average child support received $3,101 $3,409 $3,352 $3,269 $3,485 $3,713 $3,643
        Received any child support 5,070 5,269 5,282 5,005 5,119 5,548 5,259
              Percent 75.8 75.7 75.3 73.7 73.9 76.5 77.2
        Received full amount of child support 2,466 2,945 3,240 3,066 3,093 3,290 3,192
              Percent 36.9 42.3 46.2 45.1 44.7 45.3 46.9
Not awarded child support 5,889 5,747 6,074 5,584 5,466 5,576 5,803
Custodial mothers 11,505 11,607 11,872 11,499 11,291 11,587 11,406
        Total
Awarded child support 6,878 7,123 7,080 7,150 7110 7,436 7,002
      Percent 59.8 61.4 59.6 62.2 63.0 64.2 61.4
      Due child support 5,913 6,224 6,342 6,133 6,212 6,516 6,131
        Average child support due $4,827 $5,261 $5,054 $5,625 $6,385 $5,176 $5,660
        Average child support received $3,166 $3,451 $3,373 $3,361 $3,708 $3,579 $3,660
        Received any child support 4,501 4,742 4,802 4,578 4,639 5,018 4,754
              Percent 76.1 76.2 75.7 74.6 74.7 77.0 77.5
        Received full amount of child support 2,178 2,674 2,945 2,818 2,815 2,948 2,900
              Percent 36.8 43.0 46.4 45.9 45.3 45.2 47.3
Not awarded child support 4,627 4,484 4,792 4,349 4,181 4,151 4,404
Custodial fathers 2,184 2,108 2,077 2,030 2,092 2,364 2,199
        Total
Awarded child support 922 844 796 795 807 940 800
      Percent 42.2 40.0 38.3 39.2 38.6 39.8 36.4
      Due child support 775 733 676 658 712 740 678
        Average child support due $4,290 $4,423 $4,808 $5,055 $4,655 $4,471 $4,895
        Average child support received $2,689 $3,059 $3,169 $2,415 $3,177 $2,797 $3,491
        Received any child support 569 527 479 427 480 530 505
              Percent 73.4 71.9 70.9 64.9 67.4 71.6 74.5
Received full amount of child support 288 270 295 248 278 342 292
              Percent 37.2 36.8 43.6 37.7 39.0 39.0 46.2
Not awarded child support 1,262 1,263 1,281 1,235 1,285 1,424 1,399

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Children, Teens, and Money." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Children, Teens, and Money." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/children-teens-and-money

"Children, Teens, and Money." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/children-teens-and-money

Children, Teens, and Money

Chapter 2
Children, Teens, and Money

FAMILY INCOME

Almost all children are financially dependent on their parents, with their financial condition directly dependent on how much their parents earn. In Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005 (August 2006, http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf), Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Cheryl Hill Lee report that real income rose throughout the 1990s and then declined in the early twenty-first century. The median (half were higher and half were lower) household income in 2005 was $46,326, up 1.1% from the previous year. For married-couple families the median household income was $66,067, not statistically different from the previous year.

DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Hill Lee find that single-parent families, particularly those headed by single mothers, fare worse than other households. Families with female heads-of-household and no husband present had a 2005 median income of $30,650, slightly down from the previous year, whereas male-headed households with no wife present had a median income of $46,756, slightly higher than the year before.

DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Hill Lee also find that median income varied greatly by race and ethnic group. They used three-year average medians to compare income between groups. Asians had the highest median income, at $59,877, followed by non-Hispanic whites, at $50,677. (See Table 2.1.) The median income for Hispanics was $35,467, whereas the median income for African-Americans, at $31,140, was the lowest of any race or ethnic group.

Cost of Raising a Child

Since the 1960s the Family Economics Research Group of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has provided estimates on the cost of rearing a child to adulthood. The estimates are calculated per child in a household with two children and are categorized by the age of the child using different family income levels. Attorneys and judges use these estimates in determining child-support awards in divorce cases as well as in cases involving the wrongful death of a parent. Public officials use these estimates to determine payments for the support of children in foster care and for subsidies to adoptive families. Financial planners and consumer educators use them in helping people determine their life insurance needs.

INCOME LEVELS

Estimated annual family expenditures for a child vary widely depending on the income level of the household. The estimated amount a family spends on a child also tends to increase as the child ages. The USDA estimates that in 2005 married-couple households that earned less than $43,200 per year spent amounts ranging from $7,300 for young children to $8,290 for fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds. (See Table 2.2.) Estimates for middle-income, married-couple families ranged from $10,220 for infants and young toddlers to $11,290 for fifteen- to seventeen-year-olds. Estimates for married-couple families with incomes above $72,600 ranged from $15,190 to $16,390, depending on the age of the child.

Estimated annual expenditures for single-parent families that earned less than $43,200 per year were slightly less than those of two-parent families, most likely because their average incomes were lower ($18,100 for single-parent families and $26,900 for two-parent families). The USDA estimates that in 2005 these single parents spent an annual average of $6,080 to $8,440, depending on the age of the child. (See Table 2.3.) The single-parent families that earned $43,200 or more spent $14,000 to $16,670 per child, slightly more than the middle-income, two-parent families.

Although the USDA estimates that in 2005 the highest-income households spent about twice the amount on their children than the lowest-income households, this difference varied by the type of expense. For example, the estimated food expenditure for children aged fifteen to seventeen in the highest-income husband-wife families was $2,790, compared with $1,960 in the lowest-income group. (See Table 2.2.) However, the estimated annual expense for education and child care for children aged fifteen to seventeen in these high-income families ($1,890) was nearly four times that for a child the same age in the lowest-income families ($510). These variations among income groups by type of expense hold true for single-parent households as well. (See Table 2.3.)

TABLE 2.1
Median household income by race and Hispanic origin, using 3-year average medians, 2003–05
[Income in 2005 dollars]
Racea and Hispanic origin 3-year-average median incomeb 2003–2005c (dollars)
Estimate
aFederal surveys now give respondents the option of reporting more than one race. Therefore, two basic ways of defining a race group are possible. A group such as Asian may be defined as those who reported Asian and no other race (the race-alone or single-race concept) or as those who reported Asian regardless of whether they also reported another race (the race-alone-or-in-combination concept). This table shows data using the first approach (race alone). The use of the single-race population does not imply that it is the preferred method of presenting or analyzing data. The Census Bureau uses a variety of approaches. About 2.6 percent of people reported more than one race in Census 2000.
bThe 3-year-average median is the sum of three inflation-adjusted single-year medians divided by 3.
cThe 2004 data have been revised to reflect a correction to the weights in the 2005 ASEC.
Source: Carmen DeNavas-Walt, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Cheryl Hill Lee, "Table 2. Income of Households by Race and Hispanic Origin Using 3-Year-Average Medians: 2003 to 2005," in Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005, U.S. Census Bureau, August 2006, http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-231.pdf (accessed February 1, 2007)
All races
White48,399
   White, not Hispanic50,677
Black31,140
American Indian and Alaska Native33,627
Asian59,877
Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander54,318
Hispanic origin (any race)35,467

AGE OF CHILD

The 2005 estimates of family expenditures on a child generally increased with the child's age, except for housing, education, and child care. (See Table 2.2 and Table 2.3.) Households with young children are more likely to have recently purchased homes at higher prices and, until recently, with higher interest rates, explaining the higher housing estimates for young children. Estimates for education, child care, and related expenses were also highest for preschoolers (under the age of six) in all income groups. Many women with children this age are in the labor force and must pay for child care. Once children enter school, the child care costs decrease. As school-age children grow up, the need for after-school and summer care also decreases. The estimates do not include expenses related to college attendance, which typically do not occur until the child is at least eighteen.

FUTURE COSTS

The USDA also estimates the total cost of raising a child born in 2005 who will reach the age of seventeen in 2022, incorporating an average annual inflation rate of 3.04% (the average annual inflation rate over the previous twenty years). Total family expenses for raising a child born in 2005 were estimated to be $182,920 for the lowest-income group, $250,530 for the middle-income group, and $366,020 for the highest-income group. (See Table 2.4.)

CHILDREN IN POVERTY

Children are the largest group of poor in the United States. In 1975 they replaced the elderly as the poorest age group. (See Figure 2.1.) In 2005 the poverty rate for all children younger than eighteen years of age was 17.6%, or about 12.9 million children, which was statistically unchanged from the previous year. In that year children under eighteen years old made up one-quarter (24.8%) of the population of the United States, but they made up over one-third (34.9%) of the people living below the poverty line. (For population estimates for July 1, 2005, by age, see the Census Bureau's National Population Estimates—Characteristics [May 10, 2006, http://www.census.gov/popest/national/asrh/NC-EST2005-sa. html]). DeNavas-Walt, Proctor, and Hill Lee note that children under the age of six are particularly vulnerable to poverty. In 2005 the poverty rate for families with children under age six was 20%, which was higher than the overall rate of child poverty. In addition, over half (52.9%) of children younger than the age of six living with a single mother were in poverty, over five times the rate of poverty for children younger than age six living in married-couple families (9.9%).

Overall, the child poverty rate declined between 1995 and 2000; however, the rate of children living in poverty (100% of the poverty line or below) and in low-income families (100% to 200% of the poverty line) began to rise again in 2000. (See Figure 2.2.) Even though Figure 2.3 shows that the largest group of low-income children in 2005 was white (39%), Hispanic and African-American children were disproportionately poor. Ayana Douglas-Hall, Michelle Chau, and Heather Koball of the National Center for Children in Poverty report in Basic Facts about Low-Income Children: Birth to Age 18 (September 2006, http://www.nccp.org/media/lic06b_text.pdf) that the majority of both African-American children (61%) and Hispanic children (61%) lived in low-income or poor families in 2005. Another trend in child poverty emerged in the twenty-first century. The Children's Defense Fund notes in The State of America's Children 2005 (2005, http://www.childrensdefense.org/site/DocServer/Green book_2005.pdf?docID=1741) that the number of children living in extreme poverty—below one-half of the poverty level—increased by 20% between 2000 and 2004, almost twice as fast as the number of children in poverty overall.

TABLE 2.2
Estimated annual expenditures on a child by husband-wife families, 2005
Age of child Total Housing Food Transportation Clothing Health care Child care and education Miscellaneous*
Notes: Estimates are based on 1990–92 consumer expenditure survey data updated to 2005 dollars using the consumer price index. For each age category, the expense estimates represent average child-rearing expenditures for each age (e.g., the expense for the 3-5 age category, on average, applies to the 3-year-old, the 4-year-old, or the 5-year-old). The figures represent estimated expenses on the younger child in a two-child family. Estimates are about the same for the older child, so to calculate expenses for two children, figures should be summed for the appropriate age categories. To estimate expenses for an only child, multiply the total expense for the appropriate age category by 1.24. To estimate expenses for each child in a family with three or more children, multiply the total expense for each appropriate age category by 0.77. For expenses on all children in a family, these totals should be summed.
*Miscellaneous expenses include personal care items, entertainment, and reading materials.
Source: Mark Lino, "Table ES1. Estimated Annual Expenditures on a Child by Husband-Wife Families, Overall United States, 2005," in Expenditures on Children by Families, 2005, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2006, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2005.pdf (accessed February 16, 2007)
Before-tax income: less than $43,200 (average=$26,900)
0-2$7,300$2,770$1,000$880$350$550$1,080$670
3-57,4802,7401,1208503405201,220690
6-87,5102,6401,440990380600730730
9-117,4802,3901,7201,080420660440770
12-148,3102,6601,8101,210700660310960
15-178,2902,1501,9601,630620710510710
   Total $139,110 $46,050 $27,150 $19,920 $8,430 $11,100 $12,870 $13,590
Before-tax income: $43,200 to $72,600 (average=$57,400)
0-2$10,220$3,750$1,200$1,310$410$720$1,780$1,050
3-510,5003,7101,3901,2804006901,9701,060
6-810,4103,6201,7701,4204407901,2701,100
9-1110,2503,3602,0801,5004908508301,140
12-1410,9903,6402,0901,6408208606101,330
15-1711,2903,1202,3302,0807309101,0401,080
   Total $190,980 $63,600 $32,580 $27,690 $9,870 $14,460 $22,500 $20,280
Before-tax income: more than $72,600 (average=$108,700)
0-2$15,190$5,960$1,590$1,830$540$830$2,690$1,750
3-515,5505,9201,8001,8005308002,9301,770
6-815,2505,8302,1701,9405709102,0201,810
9-1114,9705,5702,5202,0306209801,4001,850
12-1415,8005,8502,6502,1601,0409801,0802,040
15-1716,3905,3302,7902,6209401,0401,8901,780
   Total $279,450 $103,380 $40,560 $37,140 $12,720 $16,620 $36,030 $33,000

Government Aid to Children

Many programs exist in the United States to assist families and children living with economic hardship. Some of these programs are federally run, and others are run at the state level. In many cases the programs are mandated at the federal level and administered by the states, which can make tracking them complicated.

TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES

In 1996 Congress enacted the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act to reform the country's welfare system. The primary goal of the legislation was to get as many people as possible into the paid labor force and off welfare rolls. The law set limits on how long welfare recipients could receive assistance, encouraging them to seek gainful employment. Under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), states receive a fixed amount from the federal government with few federal constraints on how they manage the funds. According to the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in TANF Financial Data (January 2007, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofs/data/2005/tableA_ spending_2005.html), the total federal funds spent on TANF expenditures for fiscal year (FY) 2005 were $20.7 billion.

Under TANF each state decides what categories of children receive aid. TANF requires that an adult recipient work in exchange for time-limited assistance. In Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF): Seventh Annual Report to Congress (December 2006, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ofa/annualreport7/TANF_7th_Report_Final_101006.pdf), the HHS reports that in FY 2003, 22.9% of adult TANF recipients were employed, down from 25.3% the year before.

The size of families receiving public assistance is decreasing. According to the HHS report, the average number of people in a TANF family was 2.5 in 2003, down from an average of 2.8 in 1996. Half of TANF families in 2003 included only one child recipient, whereas only 10% had four or more children. More than a third (38.6%) of TANF families were child-only cases, including no adult recipients.

TABLE 2.3
Estimated annual expenditures on a child by single-parent families, 2005
Age of child Total Housing Food Transportation Clothing Health care Child care and education Miscellaneous*
Notes: Estimates are based on 1990–92 consumer expenditure survey data updated to 2005 dollars using the consumer price index. For each age category, the expense estimates represent average child-rearing expenditures for each age (e.g., the expense for the 3-5 age category, on average, applies to the 3-year-old, the 4-year-old, or the 5-year-old). The figures represent estimated expenses on the younger child in a two-child family. For estimated expenses on the older child, multiply the total expense for the appropriate age category by 0.93. To estimate expenses for two children, the expenses on the younger child and older child after adjusting the expense on the older child downward should be summed for the appropriate age categories. To estimate expenses for an only child, multiply the total expense for the appropriate age category by 1.35. To estimate expenses for each child in a family with three or more children, multiply the total expense for each appropriate age category by 0.72 after adjusting the expenses on the older children downward. For expenses on all children in a family, these totals should be summed.
*Miscellaneous expenses include personal care items, entertainment, and reading materials.
Source: Mark Lino, "Table 7. Estimated Annual Expenditures on a Child by Single-Parent Families, Overall United States, 2005," in Expenditures on Children by Families, 2005, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2006, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2005.pdf (accessed February 16, 2007)
Before-tax income: less than $43,200 (average=$18,100)
0-2$6,080$2,480$1,110$820$310$270$680$410
3-56,8802,8201,170720330390920530
6-87,7203,0001,470840390460840720
9-117,1402,8801,710600390580400580
12-147,6502,8901,710690670620510560
15-178,4403,0601,8601,090780610390650
   Total $131,730 $51,390 $27,090 $14,280 $8,610 $8,790 $11,220 $10,350
Before-tax income: $43,200 or more (average=$65,500)
0-2$14,000$5,350$1,720$2,510$450$610$1,670$1,690
3-515,1005,6901,8202,4004708102,0901,820
6-815,9905,8702,1802,5205409301,9502,000
9-1115,3205,7502,6202,2905401,1201,1401,860
12-1416,2305,7502,5702,3808901,1801,6201,840
15-1716,6705,9302,7202,5801,0201,1701,3201,930
   Total $279,930 $103,020 $40,890 $44,040 $11,730 $17,460 $29,370 $33,420

The amount of government assistance provided to individuals and families under current welfare regulations is down sharply. The average monthly benefit per TANF recipient in 2004 was $150, down from a high of $221 (in 2004 dollars) in 1978 under the AFDC program. (See Table 2.5.) The average monthly benefit per family was $360, down from a high of $793 (in 2004 dollars) in 1969. Benefits included cash and work-based assistance, child care, and transportation assistance.

The reduction in the welfare roles and expenditures may actually harm poor children. Olivia Golden, the assistant secretary for children and families in the HHS under President Bill Clinton, states in "Welfare Reform Mostly Worked" (Orlando Sentinel, July 24, 2005) that she believes the welfare-to-work model "mostly worked" in the sense that welfare caseloads had dropped and that most low-income parents were now working to support their families. However, this success brought about additional problems. She notes, "In less than a decade, welfare has faded as a means of support for impoverished families. Many of these families are working long hours despite low wages, shrinking health-insurance coverage and serious trade-offs between work and decent care for their children. Yet, neither our politics nor our policies have adjusted to our success at bringing more of these parents into the labor force."

FOOD STAMP PROGRAM

The Food Stamp Program, which is administered by the USDA, provides low-income households with electronic benefit cards that can be used at most grocery stores, much like debit cards, in place of cash. Food stamps are intended to ensure that recipients have access to a nutritious diet. They are available to households that have a gross monthly income of no more than 130% of the poverty line and a net monthly income at or below the poverty line. In Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2005 (September 2006, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Published/FSP/FILES/Participation/2005Characteristics.pdf), Allison Barrett indicates that almost nine out of ten (88%) of all households that received food stamp benefits in 2005 lived in poverty.

The amount of money a family receives on its benefit card is based on the USDA's estimate of how much it costs to provide households with nutritious, low-cost meals. This estimate changes yearly to reflect inflation. According to the USDA, in Food Stamps Make America Stronger (September 2006, http://www.fns.usda.gov/fsp/outreach/Translations/English/313Brochure-06.pdf), between October 1, 2006, and September 30, 2007, the maximum monthly benefit for a family of four was $518. The average monthly benefit for all households in FY 2005 was $209. (See Table 2.6.) Food stamp households containing children received an average of $300 in benefits per month, in part because households with children tended to be larger (3.3 people) than households in general (2.3 people).

TABLE 2.4
Estimated annual expenditures on children born in 2005, by income group
Year Age Income group
Lowest Middle Highest
Note: Estimates are for the younger child in husband-wife families with two children.
Source: Mark Lino, "Table 12. Estimated Annual Expenditures on Children Born in 2005, by Income Group, Overall United States," in Expenditures on Children by Families, 2005, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, 2006, http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2005.pdf (accessed February 16, 2007)
2005<1$7,300$10,220$15,190
200617,52010,53015,650
200727,75010,85016,130
200838,18011,49017,010
200948,43011,84017,530
201058,69012,20018,060
201168,99012,46018,250
201279,26012,84018,810
201389,54013,23019,380
201499,79013,42019,600
20151010,09013,83020,200
20161110,40014,25020,810
20171211,90015,74022,630
20181312,27016,22023,320
20191412,64016,71024,030
20201512,99017,69025,680
20211613,39018,23026,470
20221713,79018,78027,270
   Total $182,920 $250,530 $366,020

Barrett mentions that most households that received food stamps in 2005 contained children—53.8%, or 5.8 million households. A third of all food stamp households (33.5%) were single-parent households, most of them headed by single mothers.

SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides food assistance and nutritional screening for low-income pregnant and postpartum women and their infants and children under the age of five. This program can help women and young children with household incomes that are too high to receive food stamps. In "Frequently Asked Questions about WIC" (March 13, 2007, http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/FAQs/FAQ.HTM), the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service reports that income eligibility guidelines for the period July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007, required applicants to have an income at or below 185% of the poverty level and be nutritionally "at risk," meaning that to be eligible, an individual must have diet- or medically based risks. The income eligibility guidelines stated that a family of one (in other words, a single, pregnant woman) could earn up to $1,511 per month and still qualify for WIC. A family of four could earn $3,084 per month and participate in WIC. Furthermore, Susan Bartlett et al., in WIC Participant and Program Characteristics, 2004 (March 2006, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/WIC/FILES/pc2004.pdf), note that two-thirds (66.9%) of WIC participants in 2004 had household incomes below the poverty line.

According to Bartlett et al., in April 2004 about 8.6 million women and their children participated in WIC, an increase of 7% since April 2002. Twenty-six percent of WIC participants were infants, another 49% were children aged one to four years old, and 25% were pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding women. Recipients receive food items or vouchers for purchases of certain items in retail stores. The WIC program is federally funded but administered by state and local health agencies. In "WIC Program Participation and Costs" (March 27, 2007, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/wisummary.htm), the Food and Nutrition Service notes that in FY 2006 the WIC program's estimated food cost was $3.6 billion and estimated administrative costs were $1.4 billion, for a total cost of $5 billion.

SCHOOL NUTRITION PROGRAMS

School nutrition programs continue food assistance to school-age children. The programs provide millions of children with nutritious food each day. Children whose families earn no more than 185% of the poverty level are eligible for reduced price school meals; children whose families earn no more than 130% of the poverty level are eligible for free school meals. The Food and Nutrition Service reports in "Federal Cost of School Food Programs" (March 27, 2007, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/cncosts.htm) that in FY 2006 the U.S. government spent $10.2 billion on school nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program. In that year 30.1 million children took part in the school lunch program, up from 28 million in 2002. (See Table 2.7.)

CHILD SUPPORT

Children living in single-parent families are far more likely to be poor than children living in two-parent households, and the number of children living with only one parent—usually the mother—is increasing. According to Timothy S. Grall, in Custodial Mothers and Fathers andTheir Child Support: 2003 (July 2006, http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-230.pdf), in the spring of 2004, 14 million parents had custody of 21.6 million children under the age of twenty-one whose other parent lived elsewhere. Mothers accounted for 83.1% of all custodial parents; 16.9% of custodial parents were fathers. These proportions have not changed significantly since 1994.

Grall notes that six out of ten (60%) of the fourteen million custodial parents in 2003 had a child support agreement with the other parent. Most of these agreements required child support payments from the noncustodial parent. In 2003, 76.4% of custodial parents due support received at least some payments. (See Figure 2.4.) Almost half (45.3%) received all the payments they were due, up from only a little more than a third (36.9%) in 1993. Grall also mentions that noncustodial parents who had either joint custody agreements or visitation rights to their children were more likely to pay child support (85.9% and 76.2%, respectively) than parents who did not have any visitation rights at all (62.5%).

Differences existed in the child support arrangements for custodial mothers and custodial fathers. Custodial mothers were much more likely than custodial fathers to be awarded child support (64.2% and 39.8%, respectively). (See Table 2.8.) On average, custodial mothers were due $5,175 in child support in 2003 and received $3,579. Custodial fathers were due, on average, $4,471 and actually received $2,797. As noted earlier, fewer than half of all custodial parents actually receive the child support due them; in 2003 only 45.2% of custodial mothers and 46.2% of custodial fathers received the total amount due.

Grall notes that receipt of child support payments made a significant difference in the household incomes of single-parent families. In 2003 the average family income of custodial parents who received at least some of the child support due them was $28,600, and the child support represented 9.2% of the total household income. Child support represented 19.3% of the total household income for those parents who received all of the child support due them. In contrast, custodial parents who had child support agreements but received none of the child support due had an average income of only $23,400.

Government Assistance in Obtaining Child Support

As demonstrated earlier, inadequate financial support from noncustodial parents contributes to the high incidence of poverty among children living in single-parent families. When custodial parents are not paid the child support due them, their families suffer financially and often must turn to public welfare. Government agencies, therefore, have an interest in recovering child support from delinquent parents.

In 1975 Congress established the Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program, a collaborative effort among local, state, and federal agencies to ensure that children received financial support from both parents. Under the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992, noncustodial parents delinquent on child support due in another state can be prosecuted. CSE services are automatically provided to families receiving assistance under the TANF program; any support collected usually reimburses the state and federal governments for TANF payments made to the family. Child support services are also available for a small application fee to families not receiving TANF.

Provisions in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 strengthened and improved child support collection activities. The law established a National Directory of New Hires to track parents across state lines, made the process for establishing paternity faster and easier, and enacted tough new penalties for delinquent parents, including expanded wage garnishment and suspension or revocation of driver's licenses. The law also required single-mother TANF applicants to disclose the paternity of their children and to assign any child support payments to the state. According to the report Child Support Enforcement, FY 2005: Preliminary Report (May 2006, http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cse/pubs/2006/reports/preliminary_report/) by the HHS's Administration for Children and Families, these efforts have paid off; in FY 2005 the CSE Program handled 15.9 million cases and collected more than $23 billion, up 5.2% from the previous year.

TEENS AND MONEY

Teen Employment

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds in The Employment Situation: December 2006 (January 5, 2007, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/empsit_ 01052007.pdf) that in December 2006, 7.3 million people aged sixteen to nineteen, or a little less then half of the population that age (43.4%), were employed or looking for work. The unemployment rate in this age group was 15.2%. Employment rates among young people are highest during the summer months, when many full-time students are out of school. For example, in the press release "Employment and Unemployment among Youth—Summer 2006" (August 25, 2006, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/youth.pdf), the BLS reports that employment of youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four increased by 2.5 million between April and July 2006.

Studies find that the rate of teens in the labor force is correlated with family income; as a household's income rises, the likelihood that a teen within the household will work also rises. In March 2002 only 17% of teens aged fifteen to seventeen from families with a household income of less than $15,000 were in the labor force, compared with 28% of teens from families with a household income of more than $50,000. (See Figure 2.5.)

TABLE 2.5
Trends in average monthly payment for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), 1962–2004
Fiscal year Monthly benefit per recipient Average number of persons per family Monthly benefit per family (not reduced by child support) Weighted averagea maximum benefit (per 3-person family)
Current dollars 2004 dollars Current dollars 2004 dollars Current dollars 2004 dollars
Note: AFDC benefit amounts have not been reduced by child support collections. Constant dollar adjustments to 2004 level were made using a Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods (CPI-U-RS) fiscal-year price index.
aThe maximum benefit for a 3-person family in each state is weighted by that state's share of total AFDC families.
bEstimated based on the weighted average benefit for a 4-person family.
cThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 repealed the AFDC program as of July 1, 1997 and replaced it with the TANF program. Beginning in 1997, average monthly benefits are calculated from case-level data rather than by dividing aggregate expenditures on cash assistance by aggregate caseloads, as in the past. This change was necessary due to uncertainty about the extent to which states may be reporting non-cash basic assistance as well as cash assistance in the expenditure data formerly used to calculate average cash benefits.
Source: "Table TANF 6. Trends in AFDC/TANF Average Monthly Payments: 1962–2004," in Indicators of Welfare Dependence, Annual Report to Congress, 2006, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006, http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/indicators06/apa.pdf (accessed February 16, 2007)
1962$31$1683.9$121$654 NANA
1963311674.0126672 NANA
1964321684.1131692 NANA
1965341754.2140728 NANA
1966351784.2146741 NANA
1967361794.1150741 NANA
1968401894.1162772 NANA
1969431994.0173793$186b$856
1970462013.9178779 194b850
1971482003.8180755 201b842
1972512083.6187756 205b830
1973532053.5187726 213b827
1974572033.4194693 229b818
1975632063.3209681 243792
1976712163.2226688 257783
1977782213.1241685 271770
1978832213.0250667 284758
1979872133.0257630 301737
1980942082.9274604 320707
1981961932.9277556 326654
19821031932.9300565 331622
19831061922.9311559 336605
19841101912.9322557 352609
19851121882.9329551 369618
19861151892.9339554 383627
19871231962.9359573 393627
19881271952.9370569 403619
19891311942.9381561 413608
19901351902.9389548 420592
19911351822.9388523 424572
19921361792.9389512 419551
19931311692.8373479 414532
19941341682.8376473 416522
19951341652.8376463 418514
19961351612.8374448419502
1997c1301522.8362423 418489
19981301502.7358412 429494
19991331502.7357404 450509
20001331462.6349383 446489
20011371462.6351373 448476
20021461532.5364381 452474
20031401482.5354362 449460
20041501502.5360360 473473

Most teens are employed as hourly workers, and they make low wages compared with other age groups. The BLS reports in Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2005 (May 19, 2006, http://www.bls.gov/cps/minwage2005tbls.htm#1) that in 2005, 8.9% of sixteen- to nineteen-year-olds earned the minimum hourly wage of $5.15 or less, compared with only 1.5% of workers aged twenty-five years and older.

HOW DOES WORKING AFFECT ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT?

In "Employment during High School and Student Achievement" (Journal of Educational Research, September 2001), Kimberly J. Quirk, Timothy Z. Keith, and Jeffrey T. Quirk present the results of a longitudinal study examining the effects of high school student employment on academic achievement. The researchers conclude that "working displayed a moderate, significant, and negative effect on high school grades." However, smaller amounts of work (twelve hours or less per week) seemed to slightly improve grades. Quirk, Keith, and Quirk also find that the lower a student's grades were, the more likely he or she was to get a job.

TABLE 2.6
Average values of selected characteristics of food stamp households, 2005
Households with: Average values
Gross monthly countable income (dollars) Net monthly countable income (dollars)a Monthly food stamp benefit (dollars) Household size (persons)
aBecause net income is not used in their benefit determination, 36,040 households participating in the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) and 305,045 households participating in an Supplemental Security Income Combined Application Project (SSI-CAP) in Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Texas are excluded from this column.
bDue to changes in the food stamp program quality control (FSPQC) data, the definition of disabled changed in 2003. Beginning with the 2003 report, we are able to identify households that contain a disabled person. In previous reports, we had additional information that helped to identify which household member was disabled.
cHouseholds not containing children, elderly individuals, or disabled individuals.
Source: Allison Barrett, "Table 3.4. Average Values of Selected Characteristics by Household Composition, Fiscal Year 2005," in Characteristics of Food Stamp Households: Fiscal Year 2005, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation, September 2006, http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/menu/Published/FSP/FILES/Participation/2005Characteristics.pdf (accessed February 16, 2007)
    Total 648 319 209 2.3
Children 7683973003.3
Single-adult household6853412913.0
    Male adult6883342632.8
    Female adult6843412923.1
Multiple-adult household1,0686173494.4
    Married head household1,1206433494.4
    Other multiple-adult household9665643484.2
Children only5151852312.1
Elderly individuals 690359871.3
Living alone625292701.0
Not living alone9265691512.4
Disabled nonelderly individualsb 8024451452.0
Living alone639273751.0
Not living alone1,0046412313.3
Other householdsc 205601461.1
Single-person household174441381.0
Multi-person household5252272282.1
Single-person households 462185971.0

The U.S. Department of Labor, in "The Relationship of Youth Employment to Future Educational Attainment and Labor Market Experience" (Report on the Youth Labor Force, November 2000), finds a correlation between teen employment and future college education. Adults who had worked one to twenty hours per week as sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds were more likely than other adults to have completed at least some college education by age thirty. In contrast, less than half of adults who had not worked at all or who had worked more than twenty hours per week had completed some college education. The findings suggest that working a limited number of hours in the junior and senior years of high school has a positive effect on educational attainment.

Teens as Consumers

By the last decades of the twentieth century teens had a big influence on the economy—from affecting major family purchases to buying groceries. According to the Mintel International Group, in Spending Power of the Teen Consumer (September 2006, http://www.market research.com), teens had an estimated spending power of $153 billion in 2006. However, the spending power of teens had declined 12% from 2003 to 2006, probably reflecting the economic downturn of the early twenty-first century. The report also examines teens' spending habits; although teens were attracted to the youthful image of retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch, they actually spent their money in more affordable stores such as Old Navy and Target.

TABLE 2.7
Total participation by state/territory in the National School Lunch Program, fiscal years 2002–06
State/Territory Fiscal year 2002 Fiscal year 2003 Fiscal year 2004 Fiscal year 2005 Fiscal year 2006
Note: Participation data are nine-month averages; summer months (June-August) are excluded. Participation is based on average daily meals divided by an attendance factor of 0.927. Department of Defense activity represents children of armed forces personnel attending schools overseas. Data are subject to revision.
Source: "National School Lunch Program: Total Participation," U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, January 25, 2007, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/01slfypart.htm (accessed February 16, 2007)
Preliminary
Alabama545,726549,241558,455565,962570,741
Alaska52,80752,96252,06952,09152,908
Arizona490,039517,837545,033579,438607,537
Arkansas315,263317,843322,753335,891345,734
California2,658,7052,732,0262,798,8522,866,3472,895,262
Colorado325,715327,775335,266336,565348,066
Connecticut280,212283,625291,886301,665307,156
Delaware73,80375,37778,04581,03283,648
District of Columbia50,35047,96146,53646,97645,229
Florida1,369,0131,397,5581,463,9711,523,7541,523,536
Georgia1,112,3751,129,5031,170,1161,205,3721,252,706
Guam15,84917,40815,95116,93220,096
Hawaii135,219131,954123,721121,180112,801
Idaho147,115148,798152,570155,700160,644
Illinois1,090,0231,097,4671,079,9491,104,5951,104,958
Indiana643,464663,592679,283700,742723,583
Iowa380,099380,864385,111385,015389,721
Kansas316,260317,481323,008326,805332,884
Kentucky508,526511,470528,271534,807542,704
Louisiana632,139626,153629,541615,880571,269
Maine107,618103,847106,097107,743109,153
Maryland426,838435,790426,182438,302444,059
Massachusetts541,981541,767548,522558,107557,524
Michigan826,252842,678858,209869,217884,534
Minnesota572,720577,652583,459590,250596,893
Mississippi397,076395,089399,460398,951404,503
Missouri622,416603,434610,807624,385634,282
Montana77,64977,46478,65179,66482,879
Nebraska221,491222,865225,506228,681232,825
Nevada130,314136,856145,963172,292181,944
New Hampshire107,514109,815111,863113,074112,654
New Jersey599,548604,595616,759629,815638,688
New Mexico198,166201,272208,453211,793213,064
New York1,792,5861,788,1361,803,6871,823,4541,819,086
North Carolina843,699863,716886,274915,560945,480
North Dakota77,83377,23077,92478,41878,351
Ohio1,019,3611,028,2271,046,5931,059,9421,085,030
Oklahoma377,254382,606389,270402,962412,994
Oregon267,595275,713284,467291,326300,498
Pennsylvania1,041,1661,057,7741,086,6611,121,3831,135,239
Puerto Rico399,236392,900379,940369,889362,119
Rhode Island68,80282,16183,18884,08083,806
South Carolina469,481466,834473,208482,820491,090
South Dakota103,480103,592103,809103,986104,772
Tennessee636,692635,613648,215660,282670,620
Texas2,582,4612,672,0992,776,7752,892,5933,007,619
Utah278,500283,627289,402297,669304,856
Vermont53,71354,35654,80855,36355,363
Virginia678,369687,945705,401730,950745,036
Virgin Islands15,44015,45014,28614,11313,479
Washington488,212495,468505,999513,526522,950
West Virginia195,950204,626201,002202,574209,128
Wisconsin552,561561,155569,648583,358590,872
Wyoming49,88949,48549,44951,18752,274
Dept. of Defense36,99033,48931,53431,23728,872
   Total 28,001,553 28,392,222 28,961,857 29,645,694 30,103,719
TABLE 2.8
Award status and child support recipiency for custodial parents due child support, by sex of custodial parent, selected years 1993–2003
[Numbers in thousands as of spring of the following year. Parents living with own children under 21 years of age whose other parent is not living in the home. Amounts in 2003 dollars.]
Award status and child support recipiency 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003
*All child support income amounts are adjusted to reflect 2003 dollars using the Consumer Price Index Research Series Using Current Methods (CPI-U-RS).
Source: Timothy S. Grall, "Table 1. Award Status and Child Support Recipiency for Custodial Parents Due Child Support by Sex of Custodial Parent: 1993–2003," in Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2003, U. S. Census Bureau, July 2006, http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p60-230.pdf (accessed February 16, 2007)
All custodial parents Number Number Number Number Number Number
   Total 13,690 13,715 13,949 13,529 13,383 13,951
Awarded child support7,8007,9677,8767,9457,9168,376
   Percent57.058.156.558.759.160.0
   Due child support6,6886,9587,0186,7916,9247,256
      Average child support due*$4,489$4,875$4,741$5,249$5,242$5,104
       Average child support received*$2,922$3,212$3,159$3,081$3,284$3,499
      Received any child support5,0705,2695,2825,0055,1195,548
         Percent75.875.775.373.773.976.5
      Received full amount of child support2,4662,9453,2403,0663,0933,290
         Percent36.942.346.245.144.745.3
Not awarded child support5,8895,7476,0745,5845,4665,576
Custodial mothers
   Total 11,505 11,607 11,872 11,499 11291 11,587
Awarded child support6,8787,1237,0807,15071107,436
   Percent59.861.459.662.263.064.2
   Due child support5,9136,2246,3426,1336,2126,516
      Average child support due*$4,548$4,958$4,763$5,301$6,017$5,176
      Average child support received*$2,984$3,252$3,178$3,167$3,494$3,579
      Received any child support4,5014,7424,8024,5784,6395,018
         Percent76.176.275.774.674.777.0
      Received full amount of child support2,1782,6742,9452,8182,8152,948
         Percent36.843.046.445.945.345.2
Not awarded child support4,6274,4844,7924,3494,1814,151
Custodial fathers
   Total 2,184 2,108 2,077 2,030 2,092 2,364
Awarded child support922844796795807940
   Percent42.240.038.339.238.639.8
   Due child support775733676658712740
      Average child support due*$4,043$4,168$4,531$4,763$4,386$4,471
      Average child support received*$2,534$2,883$2,986$2,276$2,994$2,797
      Received any child support569527479427480530
         Percent73.471.970.964.967.471.6
      Received full amount of child support288270295248278342
         Percent37.236.843.637.739.046.2
Not awarded child support1,2621,2631,2811,2351,2851,424

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Children, Teens, and Money." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Children, Teens, and Money." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/children-teens-and-money-0

"Children, Teens, and Money." Growing Up: Issues Affecting America's Youth. . Retrieved August 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/children-teens-and-money-0