Financial Self-Sufficiency
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance


Households Receiving Temporary Assistance

What does this measure?

The number of households that received any public assistance or welfare payments in the past 12 months, expressed as a percentage of total households.

Why is this important?

This measure represents the number of households which rely upon government support to meet their basic needs.

How is our county doing?

In 2013-17, 3.5% of Essex County households received public assistance income. This was little changed from 2000, and similar to the state rate (2.8%) and the nation (2.6%). While the state rate also was flat since 2000, the national rate declined 0.8 percentage points. The cities of Lawrence (8.9%) and Lynn (5.9%) had the highest rates in Essex County in 2013-17.

How do we compare to similar counties?

Essex County's 2013-17 rate was higher than Lake, IL (2.0%), Westchester, NY (2.0%) and Middlesex, MA (1.8%). Westchester's rate declined 0.7 percentage points since 2000.

Notes about the data

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally funded program administered at the state level, meaning that eligibility requirements vary from state to state. ACS does not ask specifically which program provides the income, although TANF is the primary source of public assistance funds. Families are eligible for TANF benefits for up to 60 months, although most receive assistance for shorter periods of time.

Studies have found that national survey estimates (including the ACS) of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate due to underreporting by participants, when compared with state-level administrative data. Underreporting can occur for a variety of reasons, including the social stigma of program participation and participants' confusion about the source of the services they receive. For these reasons, the estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate.

Households Receiving Temporary Assistance
20002008-122013-17
Essex County, MA3.1%2.9%3.5%
Amesbury1.5%2.3%
Beverly2.7%2.5%2.4%
Gloucester2.5%3.0%2.8%
Haverhill3.0%2.4%4.1%
Lawrence9.0%6.7%8.9%
Lynn6.3%4.8%5.9%
Methuen2.8%2.0%4.3%
Newburyport2.1%2.0%2.1%
Peabody1.5%2.2%3.6%
Salem2.9%3.3%3.6%
Andover1.3%2.2%1.4%
Boxford0.3%1.0%0.0%
Danvers0.9%1.7%1.2%
Essex1.2%0.4%0.8%
Georgetown0.2%0.7%0.3%
Groveland0.8%0.0%2.0%
Hamilton0.5%0.9%1.3%
Ipswich1.2%1.0%1.0%
Lynnfield0.0%1.9%0.9%
Manchester0.9%0.6%2.3%
Marblehead0.7%0.8%1.5%
Merrimac0.8%5.5%2.1%
Middleton1.8%0.4%5.5%
Nahant0.9%0.7%0.6%
Newbury1.2%1.0%0.0%
North Andover1.4%1.6%1.0%
Rockport1.3%4.4%2.9%
Rowley0.4%1.3%2.4%
Salisbury2.4%2.3%5.7%
Saugus1.4%3.2%2.0%
Swampscott1.3%2.1%1.5%
Topsfield0.4%0.5%2.1%
Wenham2.3%0.4%1.0%
West Newbury0.8%3.7%0.0%
Middlesex County, MA1.9%2.0%1.8%
Lake County, IL1.6%1.8%2.0%
Westchester County, NY2.7%1.9%2.0%
Massachusetts2.9%2.9%2.8%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of Households Receiving Temporary Assistance
20002008-122013-17
Essex County, MA8,4248,15310,200
Amesbury101159
Beverly431389387
Gloucester319359367
Haverhill693572982
Lawrence2,2041,7732,292
Lynn2,1261,6071,939
Methuen464349756
Newburyport156149165
Peabody274458775
Salem508584667
Andover151262176
Boxford8260
Danvers82180126
Essex16511
Georgetown6219
Groveland16046
Hamilton142335
Ipswich665456
Lynnfield07740
Manchester191148
Marblehead5961121
Merrimac1713356
Middleton4311166
Nahant141110
Newbury30260
North Andover132160115
Rockport4613693
Rowley73053
Salisbury7579206
Saugus141319203
Swampscott7211781
Topsfield81146
Wenham30514
West Newbury11540
Middlesex County, MA10,48611,78810,929
Lake County, IL3,3914,2184,816
Westchester County, NY9,2746,6376,806
Massachusetts70,18374,36572,498

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND | ESSEX COUNTY