ERS Celebrates World Statistics Day 2020

Connecting the world with data we can trust

Every five years, the United Nations designates October 20 as World Statistics Day to celebrate the importance of official statistics.

This year’s World Statistics Day theme of “Connecting the world with data we can trust,” reflects on the importance of trust, authoritative data, innovation, and the public good in national statistical systems. As one of the principal federal statistical agencies, ERS must adhere to rigorous data quality standards. Every employee is mandated to follow these standards, ensuring our agency will continue producing timely, accurate, unbiased, and trustworthy statistics.

ERS economists and social scientists develop and disseminate a broad range of science-based economic and statistical information to the public. ERS research informs decisions on agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America, and therefore, affects everyone in the U.S.

ERS Celebrates World Statistics Day

ERS Counts Down to World Statistics Day. Connecting the world with data we can trust! 10-20-2020

98% of U.S. farms are family farms and they account for 88% of production

Food manufacturing is the largest subsector of rural manufacturing, accounting for around one-fifth of rural manufacturing employment.

Top five ag-producing states in terms of cash receipts. California, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas and Minnesota are highlighted on the map

The U.S. account for less than 2 % of global rice production, but more than 6% of global exports. About 45% of annual U.S. rice industry sales are for export.

Introduced in 2011, drought-tolerant corn made up 22% of total planted corn acres by 2016

U.S. industrial hemp acreage reported by State pilot programs increased from zero in 2013 t over 90,000 acres in 2018, the highest acreage since 1943, when 146,200 acres were planted.

44% of all potatoes grown in the United States become frozen products, 85% of which are french fries used mostly by the food service industry.

America's fresh fruit imports grew by $8.9 billion between 2009 and 2019 to meet rising demand.

Food-at-home Prices most forecast to rise in 2020. (Eggs 60% to 7.0%; meat 6.0% tp 7.0%; sugar and sweets 3.0% to 4.0%;fresh vegetables 1.5% to 2.5%; fresh fruit 0.5% to 1.5%).

Small farms produce 56% of U.S. poultry and egg output and 50% of hay. Much of the poultry production is done under production contracts, with a contractor paying a fee to a farmer who raises poultry to maturity.

Availability of fresh and processed fruit for consumption after adjusting for losses totaled1109 pounds per person in 2018, down from a high of 144.4 pounds in 1998.

Child food insufficiency grew from a national average of 17.4 percent of U.S. households during June 4-9, 2020 to 19.9 percent during July 16-21,2020

54% of households without a vehicle lived within a 1/2 mile of a food store, but over 2 million households with vehicles lived more than 1 mile from the nearest food store.

A study of 76 low- and middle-income countries found that the number of people that do not have access to 2,100 calories a day - the food insecure - is estimated at 844 million in 2020. Of those, about 50 percent live in Sub-Saharan African countries, and 44 percent live in Asian countries.

Spending at food-away-from-home establishments rebounded to $62 billion in August 2020, but remained below its August 2019 level of $75 billion. To the left of the infographic is an image of a couple sitting down in front of a café, and an image of a shopping cart filled with fruits and vegetables.

Imports made up 88% of avocados available to consumers in the U.S. 2018/19 season. To the right is an image of 7 avocados.

Skipping a meal reduced daily caloric intake between 252 calories (breakfast) and 350 calories (dinner). However, skipping breakfast or lunch decreased diet quality by about 4.3 percent, while skipping dinner lowered diet quality by 2.6 percent. Source: USDA, Economic Research Service using National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data for 2007-2016.

Economic activity generated by agricultural exports, 2018

ERS International Data You Can Use on World Statistics Day

ERS Charts, Articles, Reports, and More

  • Amber Waves online magazine showcases the full range of ERS research and analysis.
  • Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials provides 70 charts and maps highlighting the basics on food, farming, and rural America.
  • ERS Charts of Note highlight our current and past research.
  • ERS State Fact Sheets include data by state on population, income, poverty, food security, education, employment/unemployment, farm characteristics, farm financial indicators, top commodities, and agricultural exports.
  • Rural America at a Glance, 2019 Edition highlights the most recent indicators of social and economic conditions in rural areas, focusing on county-level population trends, employment, income, and poverty.
  • Household Food Security in the United States in 2019 estimated 10.5 percent of U.S. households were food insecure at least some time during the year in 2019, meaning they lacked access to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members.
  • ERS Food Price Outlook provides monthly food price forecasts, including for both food purchased for consumption at home and away from home.
  • ERS Insights Webinars are available on topics such as Household Food Security in the United States, Farm Income and Financial Forecasts, and Rural America at a Glance.
  • Subscribe to ERS e-newsletter.

ERS Interactive Tools

  • Food Access Research Atlas presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility.
  • Food Environment Atlas assembles statistics on over 275 food environment indicators at the county or State level that can influence food choices and diet quality. 
  • Atlas of Rural and Small Town America provides county-level statistics by broad categories of socioeconomic factors, including demographic and economic data and county classifications.

Learn More About ERS

  • The ERS mission is to anticipate trends and emerging issues in agriculture, food, the environment, and rural America and to conduct high-quality, objective economic research to inform and enhance public and private decision making.
  • ERS Data Product Quality Standards describe the principles that ERS will follow to make certain these quality standards are embedded in data products provided to key stakeholders and the public.
  • USDA’s Scientific Integrity Policies ensure the flow of objective, credible statistics to support the decisions of governments, businesses, households, and other organizations.