The Most Successful Program of the Welfare State: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the program you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 4, 2024 07:54
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate hub for polling enthusiasts! We're excited to present our latest ranking, "What is the most successful program of the Welfare State?" Dive into the heart of social policy and explore a wide array of programs that have transformed the lives of millions across the globe. From Social Security and Medicare to food assistance and unemployment benefits, which initiative do you think has made the most significant impact? Cast your vote for your top pick, or suggest a game-changing option we might have missed. Unleash your inner policy wonk, join the conversation, and find out where your favorite program stands in our ever-evolving ranking! Together, let's celebrate the power of the Welfare State to create a more just and equitable society.

What Is the Most Successful Program of the Welfare State?

  1. 1
    A program that provides retirement, disability, and survivor benefits to eligible individuals. It is one of the most successful programs of the welfare state in the United States.
    Social Security is a government-sponsored retirement income plan in the United States. It is a federal program that provides financial benefits to eligible individuals who have contributed to the system throughout their working years.
    • Eligibility: Be at least 62 years old and have earned enough credits through employment to qualify.
    • Benefits: Provides monthly income to retired workers, their spouses, and dependents.
    • Trust Fund: Funded by payroll taxes from current workers and invested in a trust fund.
    • Full Retirement Age: Currently set at 66 for those born between 1943-1954, gradually increasing to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
    • Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA): Social Security benefits are adjusted annually to account for inflation.
    Social Security in other rankings
  2. 2
    A federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. It has greatly expanded access to healthcare for the elderly and disabled.
    Medicare is a federal health insurance program in the United States that primarily provides coverage to individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities. It was established in 1965 as part of the Social Security Act.
    • Coverage: Provides health insurance coverage to eligible individuals.
    • Eligibility: Available to individuals aged 65 and older, as well as certain younger individuals with disabilities.
    • Parts: Consists of four parts: Part A for hospital insurance, Part B for medical insurance, Part C for Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D for prescription drug coverage.
    • Funding: Funded through payroll taxes, premiums, and general government revenue.
    • Enrollment: Enrollment is optional but recommended for eligible individuals.
  3. 3
    A joint federal and state program that provides healthcare coverage for low-income individuals and families. It has helped millions of people access healthcare who otherwise would not be able to afford it.
    Medicaid is a federal health insurance program in the United States that provides healthcare coverage to low-income individuals and families. It is a joint program between the federal government and individual states, with each state having its own Medicaid program. Medicaid is designed to help individuals who may not have access to affordable healthcare and covers a wide range of medical services.
    • Eligibility: Based on income level and other factors
    • Coverage: Includes hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and more
    • State Participation: Voluntary for states, but all states currently participate
    • Funding: Jointly funded by federal and state governments
    • Enrollment: Managed by individual states
  4. 4
    A program that provides assistance to low-income individuals and families to purchase food. It has helped to reduce food insecurity and improve nutrition for millions of people.
    Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a government assistance program in the United States that provides eligible low-income individuals and families with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards to purchase food. It aims to alleviate hunger and improve nutrition by offering individuals a means to access nutritious food.
    • Eligibility: Based on income, household size, assets, and other factors
    • Coverage: All 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories
    • Benefit Amount: Varies based on income and household size
    • EBT Card Usage: Accepted at authorized retailers, including grocery stores, supermarkets, and farmers markets
    • Eligible Food Items: Includes most food products, excluding non-food items like alcohol and tobacco
  5. 5
    A program that provides temporary financial assistance to workers who have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own. It has helped to stabilize the economy during times of recession and prevent widespread poverty.
    Unemployment Insurance is a social welfare program that provides financial assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs and are actively seeking employment. It is designed to help mitigate the financial hardship caused by unemployment and assist individuals in their transition to new employment.
    • Coverage: The program typically covers a majority of employed workers within a country, varying based on eligibility requirements.
    • Funding: Funding for Unemployment Insurance is typically generated through payroll taxes on employees and employers.
    • Eligibility: To be eligible for benefits, individuals must meet certain criteria including having been employed for a minimum period, actively seeking employment, and not being terminated due to misconduct.
    • Benefit Amount: The amount of benefits received is typically a percentage of the individual's previous earnings, capped at a certain maximum.
    • Duration: The length of time individuals can receive benefits varies by country, often ranging from a few months to a year or more.
  6. 6

    Pell Grants

    Senator Claiborne Pell
    A federal program that provides need-based financial aid to low-income college students. It has helped to increase access to higher education for disadvantaged students.
    Pell Grants are a form of financial aid provided by the United States government to help low-income undergraduate students pursue higher education. The grants are named after Senator Claiborne Pell, who was instrumental in their creation.
    • Funding: Pell Grants are funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
    • Eligibility: Available to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
    • Financial Need: Priority is given to students with exceptional financial need.
    • Grant Amount: The grant amount varies each year and is based on factors such as financial need, cost of attendance, and enrollment status.
    • Income Limit: There is an income limit to qualify for Pell Grants.
  7. 7
    A program that provides early childhood education, nutrition, and health services to low-income children and their families. It has helped to prepare disadvantaged children for success in school and life.
    Head Start is a comprehensive child development program in the United States that aims to give low-income children a head start in their education and development. It provides a range of services to children and their families, including early education, health screenings, nutrition assistance, and social services. The program focuses on children from birth to age five, with a particular emphasis on preparing them for school success.
    • Target Population: Low-income children and their families
    • Age Range: Birth to age five
    • Services Provided: Early education, health screenings, nutrition assistance, social services
    • School Readiness: Emphasis on preparing children for school success
    • Parental Involvement: Active involvement of parents in their child's education
  8. 8

    Section 8 Housing

    United States Congress
    A program that provides rental assistance to low-income families and individuals. It has helped to reduce homelessness and improve housing stability for millions of people.
    Section 8 Housing is a government program in the United States that provides rental assistance to low-income individuals and families. It is part of the Housing Act of 1937 and aims to ensure that eligible individuals have access to safe and affordable housing.
    • Eligibility: Low-income individuals and families
    • Rental Assistance: Provides subsidies to eligible participants, allowing them to rent privately owned housing
    • Housing Choice Voucher Program: Allows participants to choose their own housing, including apartments, townhouses, or single-family homes
    • Fair Market Rent: Rent subsidy amount determined based on the local fair market rent
    • Payment to Landlords: Assistance is paid directly to landlords by the local public housing agency
  9. 9
    A program that provides a tax credit to low-income workers. It has helped to reduce poverty and increase workforce participation.
    The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable tax credit program implemented by the United States government. It was created as a way to provide financial assistance to low-income working individuals and families.
    • Target population: Low-income working individuals and families.
    • Refundable tax credit: The EITC is a refundable tax credit, meaning that if the credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, the taxpayer receives the excess as a refund.
    • Income eligibility: Eligibility for the EITC is based on income, with lower income individuals and families receiving a larger credit.
    • Income limits: The income limits for the EITC vary depending on filing status and the number of qualifying children.
    • Qualifying children: Having qualifying children is a key factor in determining the amount of the credit.
  10. 10
    A federal program that provides cash assistance to low-income families with children. It has helped to provide a safety net for families in need.
    Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a welfare program in the United States that provides financial assistance and support services to low-income families with children. It is designed to help families achieve self-sufficiency by promoting work, job preparation, and marriage.
    • Target Audience: Low-income families with children
    • Financial Assistance: Provides cash assistance to eligible families
    • Work Requirements: Requires recipients to engage in work-related activities
    • Time-Limited Assistance: Provides assistance for a limited duration
    • Support Services: Offers services like job training, education, and childcare

Missing your favorite program?


Ranking factors for successful program

  1. Reduction of poverty
    The program should have a significant impact on reducing poverty rates among the population it serves.
  2. Accessibility
    The program should be accessible to all eligible individuals without discrimination or barriers to participation.
  3. Effectiveness
    The program should have a measurable impact on improving the wellbeing of individuals and families, such as health outcomes, educational attainment, and employment prospects.
  4. Cost-effectiveness
    The program should provide value for money, meaning that the benefits it provides should outweigh the costs of administering the program.
  5. Sustainability
    The program should be financially sustainable over the long-term, meaning that it should not lead to an unsustainable burden on taxpayers.
  6. Social and political acceptability
    The program should be socially and politically acceptable to the majority of citizens and policymakers, in order to maintain support for the program over time.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful program of the Welfare State. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or program is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 217 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each program once every 24 hours. The rank of each program is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most successful program of the welfare state

The Welfare State is a system in which the government takes responsibility for the well-being of its citizens by providing social services, such as healthcare, education, and financial assistance. This system was developed in response to the social and economic challenges faced by industrialized nations in the 20th century. The most successful program of the Welfare State varies depending on the country, but common examples include universal healthcare, public education, and social security programs. These programs have been instrumental in reducing poverty rates, increasing access to essential services, and improving overall quality of life for citizens. Despite criticism and debate surrounding the cost and effectiveness of these programs, the Welfare State remains a cornerstone of social policy in many countries around the world.

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