Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2006. Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Food Insecurity

08/30/2006

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2004

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2004

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004.


  • A large majority (88 percent) of American households was food secure in 2004 – 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 2004 was estimated to be 3.9 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2004, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and hunger at times during the year as a result of financial constraints. An additional 8 percent of households experienced food insecurity, but were without hunger, during the twelve months ending in December 2004. Food insecurity would be lower if measured over a monthly basis.
  • Poor households and persons in female-headed households have higher rates of food insecurity with hunger (13.6 and 9.2 percent, respectively) than the 3.9 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 7a.
  • After decreasing between 1998 and 1999, the percentage of households with food insecurity has increased slightly between 1999 and 2004 (10.1 and 11.9 percent, respectively), as shown in Table ECON 7b.

 

Table ECON 7a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2004

  Food Secure Food Insecure Total Food Insecure without Hunger Food Insecure with Hunger
All Households 88.1 11.9 8.0 3.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories        
Non-Hispanic White 91.4 8.6 5.7 2.9
Non-Hispanic Black 76.3 23.7 15.6 8.1
Hispanic 78.3 21.7 15.8 5.9
Households, by Age        
Households with Children under 6 81.5 18.5 14.4 4.1
Households with Children under 18 82.4 17.6 13.3 4.3
Households with Elderly 93.5 6.5 4.7 1.8
Household Categories        
Married-Couple Households 88.4 11.6 9.3 2.3
Female-Headed Households 67.0 33.0 23.8 9.2
Male-Headed Households 77.8 22 2 15.9 6.3
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio        
Under 1.00 63.2 36.8 23.2 13.6
Under 1.30 66.0 34.0 21.7 12.3
Under 1.85 70.2 29.8 19.4 10.5
1.85 and over 94.6 5.4 3.8 1.6

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. Spouses are not present in the Female-Headed and Male-Headed household categories.

Race and ethnicity categories for households are determined by the race and ethnicity of the reference person for the household. Persons of Hispanic ethnicity may be of any race. Beginning in 2002, estimates for Whites and Blacks are for persons reporting a single race only. Persons who reported more than one race are included in the total for all persons but are not shown under any race category. Due to small sample size, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians and Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders are included in the total for all persons but are not shown separately.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004. Data are from the Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement.

 

Table ECON 7b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1998-2004

  Food Secure Food Insecure Total Food Insecure without Hunger Food Insecure with Hunger
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
2002 88.9 11.1 7.6 3.5
2003 88.8 11.2 7.7 3.5
2004 88.1 11.9 8.0 3.9

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2004.

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