Poverty in America
Poverty and hunger in America often go hand in hand, but poverty is not the ultimate determinant of food insecurity. People living above the poverty line are often at risk of hunger as well. Research demonstrates that unemployment, rather than poverty, is a better predictor of food insecurity among people living in the United States.
US Statistics on Poverty
The most recent government statistics on poverty collected show that in 2014,
- 46.7 million people (15 percent) were in poverty, including 15.5 million (21 percent) children under the age of 18.
- 48.1 million Americans lived in food-insecure households, including more than 15 million children.
- 15.3 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2014.
- Twenty percent or more of the child population in 38 states and D.C. lived in food-insecure households in 2013, according to the most recent data available. The District of Columbia (31%) and Mississippi (29%) had the highest rates of children in households without consistent access to food.[ii]
- In 2013, the top five states with the highest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were D.C., Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Georgia.
- In 2013, the top five states with the lowest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were North Dakota, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Virginia.