U.S. Child Support Program Caseloads Fall

RAND State Statistics recently updated its Child Support Programs database containing statistical and financial information on state Child Support Enforcement (CSE) programs reported to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Enforcement Program locates absent parents, establishes paternity of children born out of wedlock, and establishes and enforces support orders.


From 2019 to 2020, child support programs caseloads in the United States decreased overall by 2.9% (See Table 1). Arkansas had the largest child support program caseload growth during this one-year period (21.6%), followed by Florida (3.1%), and North Dakota (1.3%). New Jersey caseloads fell by 9.1%, followed by New Hampshire, (-8.7%) and Alaska (-7.7%) (See Figure 1).


Table 1—Child Support Programs, 2019 - 2020


Figure 1—Child Support Programs, 2019 - 2020


Child support program caseloads showed similar trends from 2015 to 2020, with United States caseloads falling by 10.5% (See Table 2). Arkansas had an increase of 13.9% of child program support caseloads, followed by Florida (1.0%), and Texas (-1.2%), while the biggest decreases in caseloads were New Jersey (-26.8%), Hawaii (-25.3%), and Connecticut (24.7%) (See Figure 2).


Table 2—Child Support Programs, 2015 - 2020


Figure 2—Child Support Programs, 2015 - 2020

Over a longer period, from 2009 to 2020, United States child support program caseloads fell from 15,797,768 to 13,203,628, a decrease of 16.4% (See Table 3). Texas had the largest increase in caseloads during this twelve-year period (28.2%), followed by Delaware (6.4%), and Utah (5.9%), while the largest decreases of caseloads during this time were Maine (-37.8%), Vermont (-36.5%), and California (-33.2%) (See Figure 3).


Table 3—Child Support Programs, 2009 - 2020


Figure 3—Child Support Programs, 2009 - 2020


For state-by-state child support program caseload comparisons between 2009 and 2020 (see Figures 4 and 5).


Figure 4—Child Support Programs, 2009


Figure 5—Child Support Programs, 2020


Category: Poverty & Social Services