Reaching Those in Need: Estimates of State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2012

Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service
Feb 10, 2015
Authors
Karen E. Cunnyngham

Key Findings:

  • In fiscal year 2012, 22 states had SNAP participation rates that were significantly higher than the national rate of 83 percent, and 15 states had rates that were significantly lower.
  • In fiscal year 2012, 22 states’ participation rates among the working poor were significantly higher than the 72 percent national rate among the working poor, and 7 states had rates that were significantly lower.
  • In 33 states, the 2012 participation rate among the working poor was—similar to the national rate for the working poor—significantly lower than the rate for all eligible people. 

This report presents estimates that measure the need for SNAP by state and the program’s effectiveness in fiscal years 2010–2012. The estimated numbers of people eligible for SNAP measure the need for the program, and the estimated SNAP participation rates measure the program’s performance in reaching its target population. In addition to the participation rates that pertain to all eligible people, the report presents estimates of participation rates for the working poor, that is, people who were eligible for SNAP and lived in households in which someone earned income from a job.