Public Assistance Records: A Source of Neighborhood Indicators

Report by Claudia J. Coulton, Lillian F. Harris
September 1, 1999

Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development   (Cleveland)

This National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP) guide describes how public assistance records can be used as a source of data for neighborhood indicators.  The data are maintained by government agencies that administer cash assistance (i.e., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), food stamps, and medical assistance. Indicators of public assistance participation rates, case demographics, persistence of poverty, welfare to work and residential churning are described in detail, including a discussion of methodological issues and problems in interpretation.