Electronic Publications from the Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (EFAN-02016) 50 pp

September 2002

Food Insecurity in Higher Income Households

Twenty percent of U.S. households classified as food insecure had midrange or high incomes, according to responses to the 1995-97 Current Population Survey. This study investigates the extent to which these households were food insecure and what proportion of them may have been incorrectly identified as food insecure because of problems in the measurement methods. The study finds that a small proportion, at most, of measured food insecurity among middle- and high-income households appears to be due to misunderstanding of questions or erratic responses. Some households in these income groups are food insecure due to factors such as uneven incomes or changes in household composition during the year or to the existence of multiple economic units in the same household.

Keywords: Hunger, food security, food insecurity, food security measurement, welfare, income

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