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U.S.: Men Pay More Financial Support

Census Survey Shows Men Pay More Than Women When It Comes to Financial Support Outside Home

The Associated Press
July 12, 2002

WASHINGTON, July 12 — Three of four Americans who receive financial support from someone outside their homes are children. Typically, men pay about one-third more in support than women.

Overall, 7.2 million U.S. residents regularly provided someone outside their home with monetary help, according to results of a 1997 Census Bureau survey being released Friday.

While child support comprises a big part of the study, which covered financial arrangements between people living in different homes, the report also covered other common situations, like married parents helping a child living away from home, or a person helping an elderly parent.

Nationally, about 4 percent of the population 18 and older in 1997 gave money regularly to someone outside the home, down from 5 percent in 1988, the last time the study was conducted.

Twelve percent of all divorced people provided such support, down from 14 percent in 1988, while among those who were separated, it declined to 11 percent from 13 percent.

The 1997 data was the latest available. The survey was conducted just after states toughened child support enforcement as part of welfare reform.

As a result, any effect that changes in welfare had on the data will not be evident until 1999 figures are released, analysts have said.

Overall, the median amount of support given in 1997 was $2,940 a year. However, because many providers support more than one person, the average amount going to a single recipient will be much less, said Census Bureau analyst Wilfred Masumura.

The median amount from men was $3,000, while it was $1,800 from women.

Survey data from 1988 did not track the median amount of support payments.

The Census Bureau previously released a separate report focusing solely on child support in 1997. It found that nearly two million deadbeat fathers who owed support failed to make any payments that year.

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