A TANF Misery Index

The TANF “misery index” shows the sum of the percent of poor families (or children) not receiving TANF, and the percent gap between TANF benefits and the poverty level. This indicates how well or badly TANF is performing in alleviating family poverty. Our new report demonstrates the TANF misery index has increased substantially since TANF’s enactment to replace AFDC in 1996.