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Statistical Brief: Support Networks Among American Families: Who's Helping Out and Who's Being Helped: 1988

Report Number SB/92-5

Not every household is economically self-sufficient. Many need financial help from friends, relatives, and others living elsewhere in order to make ends meet. In 1988, Americans gave $24 billion in financial support to persons living in other households or in group quarters. These payments included court-ordered alimony and child support payments, as well as voluntary regular and lump-sum payments for living expenses.

Eight million persons (4.5 percent of adults age 18 and over) provided support to 12.4 million persons who didn't live in the same household. Incidentally, children living away at college—even those over age 21—aren't considered members of another household and therefore aren't included in this figure.

This Brief examines characteristics of both providers and recipients of this assistance. Data come from a supplement to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), conducted between October 1988 and January 1989.


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