Disparities in Food Insecurity

Hunger affects all Americans, but it does have a disproportionate impact on particular communities. Hispanic Americans, Black households, and rural households are especially hit hard by hunger and poverty.

Hispanic Americans

  • More than one in four (26.2 percent) Hispanic households experienced food insecurity in 2011, a significantly higher rate than the national average (14.5 percent). Among Hispanic households, 17.8 percent faced low food security and 8.4 percent faced very low food security, the most severe incidence of food insecurity.
  • Almost one-third (32.3 percent) of Hispanic households with children faced food insecurity, a much higher rate than the national average of 20.6 percent.
  • 25.3 percent of Hispanic households lived below the poverty line in 2011. Hispanics were the only ones to see a statistically significant decline in their poverty rate, dropping from 26.5 percent in 2010 to 25.3 percent in 2011.

Black Households

  • One in four (25.1 percent) Black non-Hispanic households experienced food insecurity in 2011, a significantly higher rate than the national average (14.5 percent).
  • Among Black households, 14.6 percent faced low food security and 10.5 percent faced very low food security, the most severe incidence of food insecurity.  29.9 percent of Black households with children faced food insecurity.
  • 27.6 percent of Black households lived below the poverty line in 2011.

Rural Households

  • In 2011, 15.4 percent of nonmetropolitan households experienced food insecurity, slightly below the rate of metropolitan areas (17.7 percent). The rates for households with children are even higher: twenty percent of rural households with children are food insecure.
  • The prevalence of food insecurity was higher in the South (16 percent) and West (15.8 percent) than the Midwest (13.5 percent) and Northeast (13.5 percent).