WASHINGTON — The increasing number of Americans getting some kind of public assistance from the U.S. government may be slowing down, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Government officials say 52.2 million Americans — or 21.3 percent — participated in one or more of six poverty assistance programs on average each month in 2012. Census officials say that number was not a statistically significant change from the 20.9 percent found in 2011.
The number of people participating in assistance programs had increased from 18.6 percent in 2009 to 20.2 percent in 2010 to the 20.9 percent in 2011.
The programs tracked were Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Housing Assistance, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and General Assistance.