A new census has revealed that nearly half of the U.S. population lives in a household that receives government benefits.
48.5 percent of people lived in households that were dependent on welfare in the first quarter of 2010.
The figure stood at 44.4 percent in the peak of the recession in 2008.
The increase in the number of dependents is thought to be from high unemployment, poor recession recovery and an increase in government programs.
President Obama spoke of his jobs plan today, urging Congress to pass his $447 billion bill quickly to “guard against another downturn” in the economy.
He called his plan an “insurance policy against a double-dip recession.”
He added: “There is no doubt the economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year.”'
The census data showed that 14.5 percent of people share a home with a person on Medicare, and 16 percent lived with someone reliant on Social Security.
32.4 percent of the U.S. population receives support with food stamps, subsidized housing and healthcare support.
Applications for state benefits have increased 50 percent in the past decade.
Also concerning is that as the number of people receiving state handouts has increased, as well as the number of people exempt from paying federal tax. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 46.4 percent of the population will not be paying federal income tax this year.