Data highlight

New Hampshire has the lowest rates of food insecurity at 5.4%, while Mississippi has the highest at 15.3%. Oklahoma ranks 46 out of 50 states for the level of food insecurity present across the state. 


Percentage of households unable to provide adequate food for one or more household members due to lack of resources.

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Distinct from hunger, food insecurity is an economic and social condition where one’s consistent access to food is limited or uncertain. 

Why we care:

Food insecurity has broad effects on health due to the mental and physical stress it places on the body.  

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that food insecure adults had annual health care expenditures $1,834 higher than food secure adults.  

The issue of food insecurity is intricate and is intertwined with other challenges faced by low-income families. Many food-insecure families also struggle with issues resulting from structural biases, lack of affordable housing, high medical costs, and low wages.

Black and Hispanic households are hit hardest, experiencing food insecurity at a rate twice that of white households.

Households with children, particularly those with kids ages 0-5, and households headed by single women also experience food insecurity at a higher rate than those without children and with multiple adults.

Factors contributing to food insecurity and inconsistent access to food can include lack of grocery stores in the part of town (or nearby) in which you live, lack of transportation, and lack of financial resources.

Individuals living in food insecure homes can have anxiety about food as eating patterns can be irregular due to inconsistent access to food.

When women are pregnant, food insecurity can cause a myriad of health problems from iron deficiency to gestational diabetes and low birthweight.

What we can do:

This issue brief was written by Metriarch staff as part of our Data Lookbook.

Suggested citation
 Metriarch. “Economic Factors,” Data Lookbook (2024). URL:

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