What percentage of people in US are on welfare?
If you use those who are supported by Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)--best described as a federal largess to indigent families with dependent children--as stated by the Dept. of Health the data suggests 1.7% of the total population that derive over 50% of their income from Welfare supports.
The number stated that receive any portion of their support from from welfare assistance--including food stamps--it is 29,900,000 or roughly 800% of the total population in the United States.
This breaks down to:
39% white 11,661,000 of 29,900,000 recipients
38% black 11,362,000 of 29,900,000
17% Hispanic 5,083,000 of 29,900,000
The strictest sense of the term though would be those getting income directly from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services which is about 8% of the total population that receives some form of assistance and 1.7% that receive most of their income (50% or more) from these programs.
Programs like unemployment insurance or social security payments can technically be counted as "welfare" in some instances though they are differentiated from federal programs like TANF or food stamps.