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Transfer of Payments to Persons

Summary: Payments to persons for which they do not render services, including Social Security, welfare, Medicare, SSI, food stamps, and unemployment insurance

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This database containts transfer payments, i.e., payments to persons for which they do not render services in the current period.  These payments include business payments, family assistance (Welfare or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)), food stamps, income maintenance benefit payments, Medicare, Medicaid, military medical insurance payments, Old age, Survivors, & Disability Insurance (Social Security), payments to nonprofit institutions, Supplemental Security income (SSI), unemployment compensation, veterans benefits, and worker's compensation.  Unless otherwise indicated, data are reported in thousands of dollars.  Per capita data are based on July 1st estimates provided by the Bureau of the Census.


Although most of transfer payments are made in cash, they also include Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. At the state level, approximately 90 percent of total transfer payments are estimated on the basis of directly reported data. The remaining 10 percent are estimated on the basis of indirect, but generally reliable, data.  Data are not available for all counties in Virginia since data there are aggregated by city-county combinations.  


In 2011, the Bureau of Economic Analysis deleted a number of categories it reports, and it added others.  For example, the category 'Railroad retirement and disability payments' was terminated and the category 'Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)' was added.  In addition, the BEA changed some category names. In order to preserve consistency among the data, this database has adopted the new category names as shown in this crosswalk.  The crosswalk also shows the current hierarchy of categories, e.g., the category 'Current transfer receipts of individuals from governments’ is a sub-category of 'Personal current transfer receipts.’  Similarly, ‘Medicare benefits’ is a sub-category of ‘Medical benefits.'



Geographic Coverage: U.S., States, Counties

Periodicity: Annually

Series Begins/Ends: 1969 - 2019

Data Source: The Bureau of Economic Analysis

Updated:  Jan. 15, 2020 Estimated next update: Jan. 02, 2022

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