Almost twice as many welfare recipients moved to Minnesota as left, census data shows for the first time.
New analysis in Minnesota Planning's Line Item reveals that a total of 362,500 people moved to Minnesota between 1985 and 1990, of which 4 percent of 14,300 were welfare migrants. At the same time, 6,600 welfare recipients moved out of Minnesota, leaving the state with an added 7,700 welfare migrants.
"Minnesota is attracting people for many of the right reasons -- we have good jobs, educational opportunities and a high quality of life," Governor Arne H. Carlson said. "Unfortunately, some may also be coming to take advantage of our reputation as a compassionate state."
Contrary to the stereotype, about 40 percent of incoming welfare migrants had education beyond high school and about one-fourth were born in Minnesota.
Defined as recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Supplemental Social Security Income, and General Assistance, most welfare migrants were women, many had one or two children, and almost half were white. About half of interstate migrants came from Illinois, Texas, California and four neighboring states.
The Minnesota Planning report shows that the additional 7,700 welfare migrants cost taxpayers about $38 million, of which the state paid $17 million and the federal government paid $21 million. Welfare migrants represent about 8 percent of the state's share of public assistance.
Started by Governor Carlson in spring 1994, the Line Item series is part of a Minnesota Planning study that examines the driving forces behind government spending. The study will conclude with a final report in December 1994.