Hunger Facts & Stats: US

How Many People Lived in Food-Insecure Households?

In 2015:

  • 42.2 million people lived in food-insecure households
  • 10.9 million adults lived in households with very low food security
  • 6.4 million children lived in food-insecure households in which children, along with adults, were food insecure
  • 541,000 children (0.7 percent of the Nation's children) lived in households in which one or more child experienced very low food security

For more information, see Food Insecurity in the U.S.: Frequency of Food Insecurity.


Food Insecurity by Household Characteristics

The prevalence of food insecurity varied considerably among household types. Rates of food insecurity were higher than the national average (12.7 percent) for the following groups:

  • All households with children (16.6 percent),
  • Households with children under age 6 (16.9 percent),
  • Households with children headed by a single woman (30.3 percent),
  • Households with children headed by a single man (22.4 percent),
  • Women living alone (14.7 percent),
  • Men living alone (14.0 percent),
  • Black, non-Hispanic households (21.5 percent),
  • Hispanic households (19.1 percent), and
  • Low-income households with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty threshold (32.8 percent; the Federal poverty line was $24,036 for a family of four in 2015).

The Hunger Study

Hunger in America is a series of quadrennial studies that provide comprehensive demographic profiles of people seeking food assistance through the charitable sector and an in-depth analysis of the partner agencies in the Feeding America network (the nation’s Food Bank Network) that provide this assistance. It is the largest study of its kind undertaken.

Hunger in America 2014 is the sixth and most comprehensive study undertaken. The 2014 study reveals that each year, the Feeding America network of food banks provides service to 46.5 million people in need across the United States, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Through a network of 58,000 pantries, meal service programs, and other charitable food programs, the Feeding America network reaches people in need in every community across the U.S.  To review Hunger in America 2014, please click on the graphic below.  

Food Hardship

The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) has been issuing reports for several years that analyze the answers to a survey question asked by Gallup about food hardship, which is the inability of American households to afford adequate food. Most recently, in June 2016, FRAC published an analysis (pdf) of answers to Gallup’s survey in 2015 reporting national, state, and metropolitan statistical area (MSA) rates of food hardship. 


To learn more about hunger within specific populations, click on a button below.