Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2002. Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Food Insecurity

03/01/2002

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2000

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2000

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2000.

  • A large majority (90 percent) of American households was food secure in 2000 – that is, showed little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • Approximately 10 percent of households experienced food insecurity (not being able to afford enough food) at some level during the twelve months ending in September 2000. More than two-thirds of the food insecure households were without hunger, meaning that although food insecurity was evident in their concerns and in adjustments to household food management, little or no reduction in food intake was reported.
  • The prevalence of food insecurity with hunger in 2000 was estimated to be 3 percent. One or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and hunger as a result of financial constraints.
  • Poor households have a higher rate of food insecurity (37 percent) than the 10 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 8a. Only 5 percent of families with incomes at or above 185 percent of the poverty level showed evidence of food insecurity.
  • Changes in survey administration make it difficult to examine time trends in food security. In general, there was a downward trend in food insecurity from 1995-1999, followed by a slight upward tick in 2000. Higher food insecurity in even years may reflect the difference between data collection in the spring (odd years) and fall (even years).

Table ECON 8a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2000

 

Food Secure

Food Insecure Total Food Insecure Without Hunger Food Insecure With Hunger
All Households 89.5 10.4 7.3 3.1
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 92.4 7.6 5.2 2.4
Non-Hispanic Black 79.5 20.5 14.1 6.5
Hispanic 78.6 21.4 16.5 4.8
Other Non-Hispanic 90.5 9.5 6.7 2.8
Households, by Age
Households with Children Under 6 83.8 16.2 12.5 3.7
Households with Children Under 18 82.4 17.6 13.9 3.7
Households with Elderly but No Children 94.1 5.9 4.4 1.5
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio
Under 1.00 63.2 36.8 24.0 12.7
Under 1.30 67.0 33.0 22.1 10.9
Under 1.85 72.7 27.3 18.7 8.6
1.85 and over 95.4 4.6 3.4 1.2

Table ECON 8b.Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1995-2000

 

Food Secure

Food Insecure 
Total
Food Insecure 
Without Hunger
Food Insecure
With Hunger

Old Series

1995 89.7 10.3 6.4 3.9
1996 89.6 10.4 6.3 4.1
1997 91.3 8.7 5.6 3.1
1998 89.8 10.2 6.6 3.6
1999 91.3 8.7 5.9 2.8

New Series

1998 88.2 11.8 8.1 3.7
1999 89.9 10.1 7.1 3.0
2000 89.5 10.5 7.3 3.1

Note: Food secure households show little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake. Households classified as food insecure without hunger report food-related concerns, adjustments to household food management, and reduced variety and desirability of diet but report little or no reduction in food intake. Households classified as food insecure with hunger report reduced food intake and hunger. Because of changes in survey administration, food insecurity statistics in Table ECON 8b are shown in two separate series. The “new series” (1998-2000) provides the best estimates of food security for 1998 and 1999; in the “old series” (1995-1999), data for 1998 and 1999 were adjusted to be comparable to 1995-1997.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2000.

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