Data Snapshot: SNAP Declines Continue in 2016, but Not for Rural Places

November 9, 2017
 

Download the Brief

Endnotes are available in the pdf version. Download

Key Findings

Image of SNAP Logo
The Food and Nutrition Service reports that the average monthly SNAP benefit in 2016 was $255 per household.

Summary

In 2016, 12.4 percent of households reported Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) receipt, down 0.4 percentage point from 2015. Similar declines in suburbs and cities drove the national decrease, but the 14.8 percent of rural households receiving SNAP did not significantly change between 2015 and 2016.

Median income in rural SNAP households, at $17,884, was lower than in cities ($19,873) and suburbs ($24,583). Overall, SNAP receipt remains higher than before the Great Recession, though rates are slowly declining (see Figure 1). The share of SNAP households containing at least one worker increased between 2015 and 2016 (to 79.1 percent) as working families continue to struggle to make ends meet.

figure 1.
 

Download the Brief

Endnotes are available in the pdf version. Download

About the Author(s)

Jessica Carson
Jess Carson is a Research Assistant Professor with the Vulnerable Families Research Program at the Carsey School of Public Policy. Since joining Carsey in 2010, she has studied poverty, work, and the social safety net, including policies and programs that support low-income workers like affordable health insurance, food assistance programs, and quality child care. Her other interests include health within and across families, and the intersection of health and employment across the income spectrum. Jess is also working on a long-term project around the challenges and opportunities facing people who live and work in rural communities, with the goal of highlighting the strategies that work best to support them. She has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of New Hampshire. Read More...

Acknowledgements

This analysis was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Wellspring Philanthropic Fund.