Food Insecurity Rates Differ Across States

USDA’s Economic Research Service Monday released data showing the variations of food insecurity across the nation. Food insecurity rates vary across States because of household-level characteristics, State-level characteristics, and State-level policies. The estimated prevalence rates of food insecurity during 2019-21 ranged from 5.4 percent in New Hampshire to 15.3 percent in Mississippi. The estimated national average was 10.4 percent. The prevalence of food insecurity was significantly higher than the national average in nine States and lower than the national average in the District of Columbia and 14 States. In the remaining 27 States, differences from the national average were not statistically significant. USDA monitors the extent of food insecurity in U.S. households at the national and State levels through an annual U.S. Census Bureau survey. State-level estimates are obtained by averaging three years of data. Food-insecure households are those that had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all members of the house due to a lack of resources.