1. Social Security numbers

Did 7 million American children suddenly disappear in 1987? On paper, it seemed so. That's the year the <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORGOV000010" title="Internal Revenue Service" href="/topic/business/internal-revenue-service-ORGOV000010.topic">IRS</a> began requiring Social Security numbers for dependent children, and the number dropped dramatically.

( Kuni Takahashi/Chicago Tribune )

Did 7 million American children suddenly disappear in 1987? On paper, it seemed so. That's the year the IRS began requiring Social Security numbers for dependent children, and the number dropped dramatically.

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