Q&A: finding state information and TANF data
Question: I need help locating some data that we are hunting. Specifically, I am interested in finding out the following information for a selected years between 1987 and 2000: The composition of state legislatures (in terms of political parties); Party affiliation of state governors; Maximum welfare or TANF rates for families of 3 by state. I’ve found some of the TANF data in various editions of the Green Book put out by the House Ways and Means Committee, but have not been able to locate TANF data for 1987, 1991 or 1993. Would you mind pointing me to any potential sources of this data?
Answer: Below are some resources in which you'll find the necessary information.
- Book of the states. Print ONLY. Published since 1935, the Book of States is key source for finding constitutional, legislative, electoral, judicial information for all 50 states.
- State Legislatures. Online and Print available. Published by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
- Almanac of the 50 States. Print Only. Provides basic data profiles across all the states.
- Census of Governments. every 5 years. online since 1992.
Lastly, you should be able to find Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) data in the annual TANF report hosted on the US Deptartment of health and human services web site. However, TANF only began in 1997, succeeding the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. I found annual data for TANF in one of our subscription databases called "Proquest Statistical Insight" which can be accessed via http://databases.stanford.edu. You should be able to find data on AFDC as well. Don't forget to look at the citations for the data tables. You may not find exactly the variable for which you're looking, but you'll find the agency that published the data (a very important bit of information for tracking down data from the government!)
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need further information or help.