Indicators of Welfare Dependence: Annual Report to Congress, 2007. Economic Security Risk Factor 7. Food Insecurity

07/31/2007

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2005

Figure ECON 7. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 2005

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2005.


  • Many American households (89 percent) were food secure in 2005 – that is, showed little or no evidence of concern about food supply or reduction in food intake.
  • The prevalence of very low food security in 2005 was estimated to be 3.9 percent. During the twelve months ending in December 2005, one or more members of these households experienced reduced food intake and normal eating patterns disrupted as a result of financial constraints. An additional 7 percent of households experienced food insecurity, during the twelve months ending in December 2004. Food insecurity would be lower if measured over a monthly basis.
  • Poor households and female-headed households have higher rates of very low food security (13.5 and 8.7 percent, respectively) than the 3.9 percent rate among the general population, as shown in Table ECON 7a.
  • The percentage of households with food insecurity has decreased between 2004 and 2005 (11.9 and 11.0 percent, respectively). This reverses a five year trend, as shown in Table ECON 7b.

Table ECON 7a. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status and Selected Characteristics: 2005

    Food Insecurity
  Food Secure All Low Very Low

Note: Food secure households had consistent access to enough food for active, healthy lives for all household members at all times during the year. Households with very low food security reported reduced food intake of some household members and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because of the lack of money and other resources. Households with low food security obtained enough food to avoid substantial disruptions in eating patterns and food intake, using a variety of coping strategies, such as eating less varied diets, participating in Federal food assistance programs, or getting emergency food from community food pantries or emergency kitchens. 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, 2005. Data are from the Current Population Survey, Food Security Supplement.

All Households 89.0 11.0 7.0 3.9
Racial/Ethnic Categories
Non-Hispanic White 91.8 8.2 5.2 2.9
Non-Hispanic Black 77.6 22.4 13.8 8.6
Hispanic 82.1 17.9 12.6 5.3
Households, by Age
Households with Children under 6 83.3 16.7 12.9 3.9
Households with Children under 18 84.4 15.6 11.6 4.1
Households with Elderly 94.0 6.0 4.2 1.8
Household Categories      
Married-Couple Households 90.1 9.9 7.6 2.3
Female-Headed Households 69.2 30.8 22.2 8.7
Male-Headed Households 82.1 17.9 12.4 5.5
Household Income-to-Poverty Ratio
Under 1.00 64.0 36.0 22.4 13.5
Under 1.30 66.8 33.2 20.6 12.6
Under 1.85 71.7 28.3 17.7 10.6
1.85 and over 94.8 5.2 3.6 1.7

Table ECON 7b. Percentage of Households Classified by Food Security Status: 1998-2005

    Food Insecurity
  Food Secure All Low Very Low
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Household Food Security in the United States, 2005.
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
2005 89.0 11.0 7.0 3.9

 

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