Poor Thinking

Not a black and white matter

Children who grow up in welfare families are likely to end up on welfare themselves as adults. Correct? Not according to a University of Michigan study of 1,391 young welfare-dependent Americans during a 14-year period beginning in 1968. Says Economist Martha S. Hill, the study's primary researcher: "The results certainly make you question the stereotype."

Hill and nine other social scientists analyzed the generational effects of poverty and discovered that 57% of children from poor families, both black and white, did not remain impoverished after leaving home. Although some do end up on the welfare rolls later,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!