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Statistical Brief: Who's Helping Out? Support Networks Among American Families

Report Number SB-3-88

In 1985, Americans gave almost $19 bllllon in regular support payments to persons living in other households.

About 7 million children and 3 million adults were the recipients of these regular cash payments, which were provided mainly by relatives. The payments included court-ordered alimony and child support payments, regular voluntary cash payments, and lump-sum payments for living expenses to persons living outside the provider's household.

Excluded are cash gifts, cash to pay for the educational expenses of children living temporarily away from home at school, and noncash items such as food, clothing, and other types of help. The data presented here were collected in the Survey of Income and Program Participation for the first time in 1985.

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