Half of US Gets Government Handouts

Saturday, 26 May 2012 11:39 PM

By Paul Scicchitano

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Roughly half of all people in the U.S. live in a household that is collecting at least one type of government benefit.

Many households probably receive more than one type of benefit, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing recent Census Bureau data.

The data reveals that 49.1 percent of the population was receiving at least one type of benefit as of the first quarter of last year — up from 30 percent in the early 1980s, and 44.4 percent as of the third quarter of 2008.

The Journal attributed the increase to the lingering effects of the recession, reporting that 15 percent of people lived in a household where someone received food stamps, 26 percent in a household where someone received Medicaid, but only 2 percent in a household where someone collected unemployment benefits.

Some 16 percent of the population lived in a household where someone collected Social Security and 15 percent in a household with someone who collected Medicare.

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