UPDATE 4:30 p.m.: Twitter user @MetricMaps kindly made and allowed us to post the following animated map from the Census data.
The share of households on food stamps has more than doubled since 2000, a new Census Bureau report finds.
From 2000 to 2013, the share of households receiving aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has grown from 6.2 percent to 13.5 percent nationally. What was once a program providing aid to 1 in 16 Americans is now helping 1 in 8.
To be counted, only one individual per household has to be receiving SNAP benefits over the year prior to being surveyed. Here’s a look at what the report’s data show:
Yesterday’s high is close to today’s low
In the year 2000, 10.9 percent of West Virginian households received food stamps—more than any other state. Today, 37 states boast rates above that level.
Four states—Wisconsin, Nevada, Michigan and Massachusetts—saw SNAP reliance more than triple by 2013. Another 26 saw rates more than double.
Michigan and Oregon posted the largest percentage point increases, with rates up 11.7 points in each. Wyoming has seen food stamp use rise the least, with a mere 0.5 percentage point rise, the only one lacking statistical significance. The rate in Washington, D.C. rose from 8.8 percent in 2000 to 15.7 percent, a 6.9 point rise.
In some states, food stamp reliance is approaching 1 in 5
Today, the share of households on food stamps is as high as 19.8 percent in Oregon and 19.4 percent in Mississippi and as little as 5.9 percent in Wyoming.
Southern states are home to some of the highest rates of food stamp reliance, as the Census Bureau notes. States in the Midwest and West have some of the lowest rates.
In 2000, rates were as low as 1 in 25 in several states
Nearly half the states in 2000 had SNAP rates below today’s minimum 5.9 percent, with Colorado boasting the lowest rate of 3.3 percent back then.
Another 14 states had rates below 5 percent. Just three states—West Virginia, Kentucky and Louisiana—had rates above 10 percent in 2000. Today, 40 states do.