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Funding and Program Data

WIC Program

Racial/Ethnic Group Enrollment by Categories

April 2008

Racial/Ethnic Data Used in the Report
(published May 2011)

Racial/ethnic data reported on Abt Associates, Inc. for PC2008 was by 90 WIC State agencies and based on reports submitted by 1,870 WIC local agencies.

The State-maintained automated system of racial/ethnicity from the PC 2008 data set contained WIC enrollment information from six (6) categories, which made up 98.48 percent of enrollment. The 6 categories were: American Indian, Asian, Black, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, White, and Multiple Race. The remaining 1.52 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 2008 totaled 9,537,897 1/. Of this total, Whites accounted for 5,753,002 (60.30%), Blacks 1,868,090 (19.58%), American Indian 1,090,454 (11.43%), Multiple Race 346,819 (3.64%), Asian 256,506 (2.67%), Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 79,738 (.84%). The Race Not Reported category accounted for the remaining 145,288 (1.52%) of enrollment. Total Women enrolled in the WIC Program were 2,381,610 (24.97%), Infants 2,432,006 (25.50%), and Children 4,726,869 (49.56%).

TABLE 1 - Composition of Racial/Ethnic Participant Enrollment

TABLE II - Total Racial/Ethnic Participant Enrollment

TABLE III Composition of Ethnic Participant Enrollment

TABLE IV Total Ethnic Enrollment by Region and State

Pie Chart of Racial/Ethnic Participant Enrollment

1/ These data represent nearly complete counts of all Women, Infants, and Children participating in the WIC Program as of April 2008. 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 2006 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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