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Food Spending Declined and Food Insecurity Increased for Middle-Income and Low-Income Households from 2000 to 2007
Mark Nord (au)
From 2000 to 2007, median spending on food by U.S. households declined by 12% relative to the (rising) cost of USDA’s Thrifty Food Plan, and by 6% relative to the (rising) Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Food and Beverages. Over the same period, the national prevalence of very low food security increased by about one-third, from 3.1% of households in 2000 to 4.1% in 2007. The deterioration in food securitywas greatest in the second-lowest income quintile, in which the prevalence of very low food security increased by about half. These estimates, based on data from the nationally representative Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement, are corroboratedby corresponding declines in food expenditures by middle- and low-income households in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’(BLS) Consumer Expenditure Survey. The decline was largest in the second-lowest income quintile, in which average CPI-inflation-adjustedspending for food declined by 16%. The declines in food spending by middle- and low-income households were accompanied by increases in spending for housing and, in the two lowest income quintiles, by declines in income and total spending. Tables and graphs.
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