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Participation in USDA’s Food Stamp Program varies by State

An average of 25.6 million people, or 8.7 percent of the U.S. population, received food stamps each month during fiscal year 2005, an increase from 8.1 percent in 2004. Hurricane-ravaged Louisiana had the largest share of its residents receiving food stamps in 2005—17.9 percent, displacing the District of Columbia, which had led the Nation in participation during 2001-04. Participation shares increased in most States from 2004, despite small declines in Rhode Island, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming. Average participation shares were lowest in New Hampshire at 4.0 percent, followed by New Jersey, Wyoming, and Nevada.