What Is the Relationship Between Socioeconomic Deprivation and Child Supplemental Security Income Participation?
- We find that SSI participation often varies substantially within census tracts, even after controlling for measures of deprivation.
- Our quantitative measures provide a way to categorize areas that potentially deviate from these averages, which can be especially useful as an initial step in considering options for targeted outreach.
This article examines how socioeconomic deprivation relates to child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) participation in local areas. We construct a deprivation index that reflects a range of socioeconomic factors. We find that local areas with higher deprivation generally have higher levels of child SSI participation, but we also see substantial geographic variation. To explore this variation, we assess the demographic and economic factors associated with the deviation between observed child SSI participation and a level of participation predicted by the deprivation index. Local areas in which child SSI participation is substantially lower than the deprivation index predicts might be promising targets for outreach to better inform families about the SSI program. By measuring the deviation between predicted and actual SSI participation at the census tract level, outreach efforts can pinpoint the precise locations where they might plausibly have the greatest effect.