Older adults make up more of the SNAP caseload than a decade ago

Older adults make up more of the SNAP caseload than a decade ago

In an average month in fiscal 2018, USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided 40.3 million low-income Americans with benefits to purchase food at authorized food stores. In fiscal 2017 (the latest year for which demographic data are available), adults aged 18–59 accounted for 43.4 percent of participants, children younger than age 5 accounted for 13.4 percent of participants, school-age children accounted for 30.0 percent of participants, and adults aged 60 and older accounted for 13.1 percent of participants. The composition of SNAP participants can be affected by changing economic conditions, modifications to program requirements, and demographic trends. Over the last decade, children’s share of the SNAP caseload has fallen from 49.1 percent in fiscal 2007 to 43.4 percent in fiscal 2017. The share of SNAP participants who are age 60 or older has risen from 8.7 to 13.1 percent over this period. The second chart appears in the Food Security and Nutrition Assistance section of the ERS data product, Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials.


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