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Funding and Program Data

Racial/Ethnic Group Enrollment by Categories

April 2002

Participant Characteristics (PC) Report

Racial/ethnic data reported to Abt Associates, Inc. for PC2002 was provided by 84 of the 88 WIC State agencies. The data are based on reports submitted by 2,170 WIC local agencies.

The state-maintained automated system from the PC2002 data set contained racial/ethnicity WIC enrollment information from five (5) categories, which made up 99.0 percent of enrollment. The 5 categories were—American Indian/Alaska Native; Asian/Pacific; Black; Hispanic; and White. The remaining 1.0 percent was found in the No Race Reported category. Caution should be used in comparing results across groups; missing data must always be considered in gauging differences between, among, or across groups or categories of WIC participants.

Please note that WIC enrollment differs from WIC participation. WIC enrollment is defined as individuals certified to receive WIC benefits for specific time periods, including individuals who did not claim or use the food instruments issued during those time periods. WIC participation is defined as the number of individuals who picked up food instruments during the designated time periods.


Enrollment for the WIC Program in April 2002 totaled 8,016,916 1/. Of this total, Hispanics accounted for 3,051,969 (38%), Whites 2,874,155 (36%), Blacks 1,621,914 (20%), Asian/Pacific Islanders 277,965 (4%), American Indian/Alaska Native 114,566 (1%). The No Race Reported category accounted for the remaining 76,347 (1%) of enrollment. Total Women enrolled in the WIC Program were 1,934,204 (24.2%), Infants 2,062,682 (25.7%), and Children 4,020,030 or (50.1%). A summary analysis and graph for the years of 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2002 (Table III) are included to show a difference of enrollment data.

Table I - Racial/Ethnic Participant Enrollment by Region/State

Table II - Composition of Racial/Ethnic Participant Enrollment -- Grouped by Women, Infants and Children by Region and State

Table III - (Summary) -- Difference/Percent Change in WIC Participant Enrollment -- Grouped by Racial/Ethnic Categories - Fiscal Years 1996, 1997, 2000, and 2002

Pie Chart of Racial/Ethnic Participant Enrollment Grouped by Categories

1/ These data represent nearly complete counts of all women, infants, and children participating in the WIC Program as of April 2002. In a small number of cases, analytic weights continue to be needed to achieve accurate representation of each State and local agency caseload. The use of weights may result in individual counts being reported with decimal places. The report only uses whole numbers of individuals. Minor differences (3-6 individuals, depending on the level of aggregation) between counts reported here and counts reported in the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics 2002 (FNS August 2003) are due to rounding. For a more complete discussion of the WIC reporting system and analytic methodology, please see the above report, which is available at: http://www.fns.usda.gov/ora/menu/published/wic/wic.htm

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