Discover the history of Universal Basic Income in the United States of America.​

A timeline by the Gerald Huff Fund For Humanity

by SCOTT SANTENS & GISELE HUFF

A Timeline of Basic Income Projects in the United States

3

Types of
UBI
Projects

1968-1972

The New Jersey Income Maintenance Experiment

The New Jersey Income Maintenance Experiment had a sample size of 1,357 households, consisting of low-income couples from declining urban areas. Conditional.

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1968-1972
1969-1973

The Rural Income Maintenance Experiments

The Rural Income Maintenance Experiments in North Carolina and Iowa included 809 low-income rural families. Conditional.

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1969-1973
1971-1974

The Gary, Indiana Experiment

The Gary, Indiana Experiment was composed of 1,780 black households, 59% of which were headed by single females. Conditional.

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1971-1974
1971-1982

Seattle and Denver Income Maintenance Experiments

Seattle and Denver Income Maintenance Experiments included 4,800 families.  It not only offered recipients more generous plans that the other experiments but also extended the duration from three to five years for a quarter of the participants. Conditional.

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1971-1982
1982 – Present

The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend distributes a share of the state’s oil revenues, typically between $1000 and $2000 per year to each of the state residents, including children. Universal.

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1982 – Present
1997 – Present

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Casino

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened a casino and shared a part of the profits with every member of the tribe, some 15,000 people.  The first stipend was $595 and has grown to $12,000 by 2011. Universal.

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1997 – Present
2002 – Present

The Sherman County Experiment

Every head of household who has lived in the county at least a year now receives $590 annually, generated from real estate taxes collected from the big wind generators. Universal.

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2002 – Present
2016 – One Time

Dolly Parton UBI in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

My People Fund checks would be given with absolutely no directives regarding how to spend the cash. And every household deemed eligible would receive the exact same amount: $6,000. Universal.

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2016 – One Time
2019 - Present

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED)

The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED) gives 125 residents an unconditional basic income of $500 per month. Research will focus on a variety of outcomes, including financial security, civic engagement, health and wellness. Unconditional.

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2019 - Present
2019 - Present

Springboard to Opportunity project in Jackson, Mississippi

Springboard to Opportunity project in Jackson, Mississippi gives 20 African American single mothers living in public housing $1,000 each month for a year. Unconditional.

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2019 - Present
April 21, 2020

Santa Clara County UBI for Transitioning Foster Youth

Santa Clara County UBI for transitioning foster youth was approved by the Board of Supervisors and will be launched this summer. Unconditional.

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April 21, 2020
In Process

Privately funded experiment

This is a privately funded experiment that includes 21 recipients of UBI over a period of two years as participants in a docu-series that follows the effect this has on their lives.

In Process
In Process

Y Combinator Research Randomized Controlled Basic Income Trial

The Silicon Valley research firm proposes to compare a group of people who receive a basic income to an otherwise identical group of people who do not. In this way, the effects of a basic income can be isolated and quantified. The research will randomly select individuals across two US states to participate in the study. Roughly half will receive $1,000 a month for up to five years; the rest will serve as a control group for comparison.

In Process

And many, many more to come.

Scott Santens

EDITOR, BIT

Writer and unconditional basic income advocate who believes our civilization is better than this.