Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2003. Economic Security Risk Factor 8. Food Insecurity

03/01/2003

Figure ECON 8. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2001

Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2001

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2001.

  • A large majority (89 percent) of American households was food secure in 2001 – that is, showed little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • The prevalence of food insecurity with hunger in 2001 was estimated to be 3.3 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2001, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and hunger as a result of financial constraints. Food insecurity would be lower measured over a monthly basis.
  • An additional 7 percent of households experienced food insecurity, but were without hunger, during the twelve months ending in December 2001. Although these households showed signs of food insecurity in their concerns and in adjustments to household food management, little or no reduction in food intake was reported.
  • Poor households have a higher rate of food insecurity with hunger (12.9 percent) than the 3.3 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 8a. Only 1.3 percent of families with incomes at or above 185 percent of the poverty level showed evidence of food insecurity with hunger.
  • Changes in survey administration must be taken into account when assessing time trends. In general, there was a downward trend in food insecurity with hunger from 1995-1999, followed by a slight increase between 1999-2001. Higher food insecurity in even years may reflect seasonal differences in data collection between odd and even years.

Table ECON 8a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2001

  Food Secure Food Insecure Total Food Insecure Without Hunger Food Insecure With Hunger
See below for notes and source.
All Households 89.3 10.7 7.4 3.3
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 92.4 7.6 5.1 2.5
Non-Hispanic Black 78.7 21.3 15.1 6.2
Hispanic 78.2 21.8 16.4 5.4
Other Non-Hispanic 89.7 10.3 7.6 2.8
Households, by Age
Households with Children Under 6 82.6 17.4 13.7 3.8
Households with Children Under 18 83.9 16.1 12.4 3.8
Households with Elderly 94.5 5.5 4.0 1.5
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio
Under 1.00 63.5 36.5 23.6 12.9
Under 1.30 67.7 32.3 21.3 10.9
Under 1.85 72.1 27.9 18.9 8.9
1.85 and over 95.1 4.9 3.6 1.3

Table ECON 8b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1995-2001

  Food Secure Food Insecure Total Food InsecureWithout Hunger Food Insecure With Hunger
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 recurring reductions in food intake or hunger by one or more persons in the household. Because of changes in survey administration, food insecurity statistics in Table ECON 8b are shown in two separate series. The “new series” provides the best estimates of food security for 1998-2001; 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, 2001.
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
2001 89.3 10.7 7.4 3.3

 

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