Welfare (disambiguation)

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Welfare is the provision of a safety net of minimal level of well-being and social support for all citizens, sometimes referred to as public aid. In most developed countries welfare is largely provided by the government, and to a lesser extent, charities, informal social groups, religious groups, and inter-governmental organizations.

The term may also refer to:


  • Economic welfare or Welfare definition of economics, an attempt by the neoclassical economist Alfred Marshall to expand the field of economic science to a larger study of humanity
  • Welfare or economic surplus, the sum of consumer and producer surplus, used by economists as a substitute for utility
  • Welfare economics, the microeconomic study of allocative efficiency and associated income distribution

General well-being[edit]

Examples of usage of the term to denote the general well-being of an individual or group of individuals include:

  • Animal welfare, the quality of life of animals, and concerns thereabout

Government-run public aid[edit]

In the United States, the term "welfare" has developed negative connotations due to its association with dependency, as in the terms:

  • Welfare fraud, intentional misuse of welfare programs by providing false information
  • Welfare queen, a pejorative term for a person accused of collecting excess welfare payments
  • Welfare state, the concept of government's inappropriately playing a key role in individual economic and social well-being
  • Corporate welfare, term describing the bestowal of benefits upon corporations by government

Other uses[edit]

See also[edit]