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Characteristics of Households and Persons Receiving Selected Noncash Benefits: 1981

Report Number P60-136


For the second consecutive year, a decrease in household money income after adjusting for inflation and an increase in the number of households with income below the poverty level/1 (measured solely in money terms) were accompanied by an increase in the number of households receiving noncash benefits.2

In 1981, 9 out of every 10 households in the United States received at least one of the types of noncash benefits covered by the survey. The 74.8 million households receiving at least one of these benefits in 1981 represented an increase of 900,000 over 1980. There was some evidence that the number of households receiving at least one means-tested noncash benefit (food stamps, free or reduced-price school lunches, publicly owned or subsidized housing, and Medicaid) increased from 14.3 million in 1980 to 14.6 million in 1981. In addition, the number of households receiving nonmeans-tested benefits from one or more of four sources (Medicare, regular-price school lunches, employer- or union-provided pension plans, and employer- or union-provided group health insurance plans) increased from 69.0 million to 69.8 million.

1 See appendix A for an explanation of the poverty concept. Data on the money income and poverty status of families and persons in 1981 were published in Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 134. For this report poverty status is shown for households rather than families and unrelated individuals.
2 Some of these data were released previously in an advance report (Current Population Reports, Series P-60, No. 135).

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.


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