Hunger in America

2015 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts

Statistics gathered from FeedingAmerica.org

Poverty Statistics in the United States

In 2015:

  • 43.1 million people (13.5 percent) were in poverty.
  • 24.4 million (12.4 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
  • 14.5 million (19.7 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • 4.2 million (8.8 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.
  • The overall poverty rate according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure is 14.3 percent, significantly higher than the official poverty rate of 13.5 percent.[ii]
  • Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, there are 45.7 million people living in poverty, 2.6 million more than are represented by the official poverty measure (43.1 million).[iii]

Food Insecurity and Very Low Food Security

In 2015:

  • 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
  • 13 percent of households (15.8 million households) were food insecure.
  • 5 percent of households (6.3 million households) experienced very low food security.
  • Households with children reported food insecurity at a significantly higher rate than those without children, 17 percent compared to 11 percent.
  • Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (17%), especially households with children headed by single women (30%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (22%) and Hispanic households (19%).

In 2015, 59 percent of food-insecure households participated in at least one of the three major federal food assistance programs –Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-formerly Food Stamp Program), The National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) — in the prior month.