Means-Tested Spending

Anti-poverty spending gives benefits to low-income individuals and families in the form of income, health aid, food stamps, and housing assistance. Spending on these benefits has grown nearly 49 percent in the last decade.

Note: Total means-tested welfare spending includes over 80 government programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for poor and low-income Americans. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and veterans’ benefits are not included in the total.

floor chart

Source: Heritage Foundation research and data from the Office of Management and Budget

Related Charts
Take the Quiz!