New Mexico outpaces nation on welfare recipients (and it’s not even close)

Sometimes statistics on New Mexico just blow you away. A report from World Population Review highlights states based on welfare recipients per population for 2022. The surprising thing isn’t that New Mexico is at the top of the list. What’s amazing is how big it’s lead is relative to states.

In fact, based on the data below New Mexico’s rate of welfare receipt is 23% higher than the next highest state. Rarely do such massive differences exist when comparing the 50 states, let alone on a critical issue like welfare.

If there is one statistic that highlights the difficulty Republicans face in gaining traction here in New Mexico, this might be it. With such an outsized proportion of the population receiving government handouts, who wants limited government?

As the report notes, the United States has six major welfare programs: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), Supplemental Security Income, Earned Income Tax Credit, Housing Assistance, and Medicaid. These six welfare programs are not to be confused with the four entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation.

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6 Replies to “New Mexico outpaces nation on welfare recipients (and it’s not even close)”

  1. It feels like a lot of New Mexicans have given up. Then there are those who grew up in the system and have never known anything else. Then you have the college-educated who make good money but act as gatekeepers because they are convinced the only way to help the poor is through welfare instead of initiative to work. The way our state is run essentially removes a middle class. We have the college-educated and the welfare class, with very few in between. Jobs that pay more than $15 an hour generally require a degree, case closed. There’s no working your way up in a company anymore, experience and hard work count for nothing. A few blue-collar jobs pay a decent wage for hard work and experience, but not enough. I’m not at all advocating a $15 minimum wage because it doesn’t fix the problem. It only makes the elite feel like they are doing something and prices will just go up to keep the status quo. We don’t want handouts, just fewer doors slammed shut in our faces. I finally have a blue-collar job that pays decently, but I and everyone else I know without a bachelor’s degree have had the same problem in this state. The median price of a home in Albuquerque is $316k, the median individual income is $30K (Household $54k), crime, homelessness, and drugs are rampant, leaders stay in their own little circle, they don’t care or want to know what the lower class want because they think they know better we are just uneducated…They just tell us we need more government programs and throw us to the wolves. Look at what happened to kids in school over the last few years. It’s hard to hold out any hope in this state and it’s easy to understand why so many have given up.

      1. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately. I work for a family-owned manufacturer in Albuquerque, and several of my fellow employees are single parents, all working full-time, all on Medicaid. I don’t know what they make per hour but am certain it’s above minimum wage. I don’t think it’s government’s role to tell companies what to pay, but it does give me insight into why the left pushes so hard for a $15 minimum wage. I promise you, though, that still won’t be a living wage. Depending on the number of children, it could disqualify them from Medicaid and they couldn’t afford the company’s insurance premiums. Half my wages go to insurance, but being able to buy that insurance is the primary reason I’m working since my husband is an independent contractor. I don’t have any suggestions for fixing this mess, just a growing awareness of how incredibly deep is the pit that is NM.

        1. It is pretty simple. New Mexico needs to reduce the generosity of welfare programs to encourage people to either work or to work more rather than being on government programs. It is not easy and it shouldn’t be the FIRST policy change undertaken, but it is essential to getting our workforce participation rate up which will ultimately improve the overall state economy and living standards of these people.

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