The Census Bureau today released a brief on households in the US that rely on public assistance. Statistics were provided for the nation, states and the 25 largest metropolitan areas.

Florida, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon and South Dakota had increases in the number and percentage of households receiving public assistance between 2011 and 2012. But over a 12 year period (2000 to 2012) 26 states experienced an increase in both the number and percentage of households receiving public assistance.

Only four states experienced a decrease in the number and percentage over a 12 year period.

Five states (Arizona, Hawaii, Indiana, Virginia and Washington) had declines in the number and percentage of households receiving public assistance over the period.

Public assistance includes Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and General Assistance (GA). Although similar briefs have been published for each of the last several years, this is the first that provides comparisons back to 2000 and analyzes metro areas.