1 in 5 Children Receives Food Stamps

In 2014, an estimated 16 million children, or approximately 1 in 5, received food-​stamp assistance compared with the roughly 9 million children, or 1 in 8, that received this form of assistance prior to the recession, the Census Bureau Reports.

These statistics come from the 2014 Current Population Survey‰Ûªs Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which has collected statistics on families and living arrangements for more than 60 years. It delves into the characteristics of households, including the marital status of the householders and their relationship to the children residing in the household.

Other highlights:


  • Of the 73.7 million children younger than 18 in the United States: 
    • 10% live with a grandparent (7.4 million).
    • 79% live with at least 1 sibling (58.5 million).
    • 15% have a stay-​at-​home mother (10.8 million), and 0.6% have a stay-​at-​home father (420,000).
    • 38% have at least 1 foreign-​born parent (28.3 million).
  • The share of children who live with 1 parent only has tripled since 1960, from 9% to 27%.

Marriage and family

  • Less than half of households today are married couples, down from 76% in 1940.
  • The median age when adults first marry continues to rise. In 2014, it was 29 for men and 27 for women, up from 24 and 21, respectively, in 1947.
  • 36% of 30- to 34-​year-​olds have never been married.
  • Married couples have more children in the household, on average, than either single mothers or single fathers.
  • Married couples make up the majority (72%) of the 86.4 million family groups, which are defined as 2 or more people who live together and are related by birth, marriage or adoption. Unmarried mothers and unmarried fathers make up 12% and 2% of family groups, respectively.
  • 24% of married families with children younger than 15 have a stay-​at-​home mother, and 1% have a stay-​at-​home father.

Unmarried couples

  • 7.9 million opposite-​sex unmarried couples live together.
  • 39% of opposite-​sex unmarried couples have a child younger than 18.

Older adults

  • There are 13 million more householders 65 or older than there are householders younger than 30. In 1960, the difference was just 2.5 million.
  • 1/​4 of all adults 65 or older are widowed; fewer than 5% have never been married.
  • 12.5 million older adults live alone, representing 28% of adults 65 or older.


  • The share of single-​person households has more than doubled since 1960, from 13% to 28% (34.2 million households) today.
  • More than two-​thirds of white households own their home, compared with less than half of black (43%) or Hispanic (46%) households.

AudienceSCAN finds that 25% of lower-​income adults are aged 18 to 24, and another 20% are aged 25 to 34. AudienceSCAN defines lower income as anyone earning less than $30,000 annually. 54% of this audience is single and divorced, and 24% have never been married.

Lower-​income adults enjoy: Playing video games (37.5%); crafts or scrapbooking (25%); and playing the lottery (23%). The best way to advertise to this audience is through TV. However, 25% started an online search based on Internet advertising in the past year. 50% will shop at a different store to support an important cause/​charity.

When this group is not shopping for basic needs, they are spending money on: Hi-​def TVs and used cars/​trucks (23%); eye-​doctor and dental appointments (24%). Laptops or desktop computers rank high on their purchase priority list, with 35% planning to get one this year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.