Participation in federal programs
Adults and children receiving welfare (TANF): 59,154
Children receiving food stamps (SNAP): 515,000
EITC recipients: 657,000
Families receiving child care subsidies: 11,300
Households receiving federal rental assistance: 107,000
Households receiving LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): 108,492
Number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP: N/A
Number of women and children receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program): 136,303
Participants in all Head Start programs: 17,260
Asset poverty rate: 26.0%
Average college graduate debt: $26,611
Unbanked households: 10.8%
Poverty by demographic
Child poverty rate: 22.4%
Number of Black and Hispanic children below 200% poverty: 285,000
Percent of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: 37%
Senior poverty rate: 9.2%
Women in poverty: 16.3%
Children in foster care: 8,333
Number of households with grandparents responsible for grandchildren under age 18 52,046
Percent of children in immigrant families: 12%
Percent of children living in single parent families: 37%
Teen birth rate per 1,000 population ages 15-19: 28
Economic well-being
Extreme poverty rate: 10.0%
Food insecurity: 14.5%
Minimum Wage: No state minimum wage law (federal applies)
Number of Black and Hispanic children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment: 174,000
Percent of individuals who are uninsured: 9.5%
Percent of jobs that are low-wage: 27.3%
Percent of working families under 200% of the poverty line: 36.6%
Poverty rate: 15.0%
Unemployment rate: 4.1%
High school graduation rate: 87.9%
Percent of adult population with at least a high school degree: 83.0%
Percent of college graduates with debt: 56%
Percent of population over age 25 with at least a four year college degree: 26.1%
Percent of teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working: 7%
Home foreclosure rate: 0.72%
Homeless people: 8,309
Households paying more than 50% of income on housing: 192,000
Percent renters: 34%
Total households: 2,588,655
Justice System
Incarcerated persons per 100,000 residents 437
Number of youth residing in juvenile justice and correctional facilities: 660

State governments play a significant role in developing policies that help support low-income families. Below is a list of some key Tennessee policies and a link to an organization that tracks the issue.

Tax & Asset-Building Policy

Family and Work Supports