Household Food Security in the United States in 2017
From USDA Economic Research Service Economic Research Report Number 256 September, 2018
Abstract: An estimated 88.2 percent of U.S. households were food secure throughout the entire year in 2017, meaning they had access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. The remaining households (11.8 percent) were food insecure at least some time during the year, including 4.5 percent with very low food security, meaning that at times the food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted because the household lacked money and other resources for obtaining food.
Declines from 2016 in food insecurity overall and in very low food security were statistically significant. The rate of food insecurity declined from 12.3 percent in 2016, and very low food security declined from 4.9 percent, continuing downward trends.
Among children, changes from 2016 in food insecurity and very low food security were not statistically significant. Children and adults were food insecure in 7.7 percent of U.S. households with children in 2017, versus 8.0 percent in 2016. Very low food security among children was 0.7 percent in 2017, essentially unchanged from 2016.
In 2017, the typical food-secure household spent 23 percent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition.
About 58 percent of food-insecure households participated in one or more of the three largest Federal food and nutrition assistance programs (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps); Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); and the National School Lunch Program) during the month prior to the 2017 survey….
Prevalence of Food Insecurity by State (pg 16)
The prevalence of food insecurity varies considerably from State to State. In addition to household level characteristics such as income, employment, and household structure, the prevalence of food insecurity is also affected by State-level characteristics such as average wages, cost of housing, unemployment and State-level policies that affect access to unemployment insurance, the State Earned Income Tax Credit, and access to/participation in nutrition assistance programs. Prevalence rates for 3 years, 2015-17, were averaged to provide more reliable statistics at the State level (table 4). Estimated prevalence rates of food insecurity during this 3-year period ranged from 7.4 percent in Hawaii to 17.9 percent in New Mexico; estimated prevalence rates of very low food security ranged from 2.9 percent in Hawaii to 7.1 percent in Alabama and Louisiana.2
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HNN: Report: More than 35,000 Hawaii households 'food insecure'