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Characteristics of SNAP Households: FY 2018

Resource type
Research type
Participation Characteristics
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (319.20 KB)
PDF Icon Full Report (3.03 MB)
PDF Icon Revised Appendix B (634.29 KB)

This report, the latest in an annual series dating back to 1976, provides information about the demographic and economic circumstances of SNAP households. Using a sample of SNAP Quality Control (QC) data that is representative at both the state and national level, this report summarizes the characteristics of households and individuals who participated in SNAP in fiscal year (FY) 2018. Key findings include:

  • One-third of SNAP participants were non-disabled, non-elderly, adults, including parents and caregivers. Seven percent of all participants were able-bodied adults age 18-49 in childless households. Forty-four percent of participants were under age 18; 14 percent were age 60 or older; and 9 percent were non-elderly adults with a disability.
  • Only 30 percent of SNAP households had earnings in FY2018. More than half (54 percent) of households with children had earnings, while 19 percent of SNAP households had no cash income of any kind in the month the data were collected.
  • The percentage of households with elderly individuals has increased by 10 percentage points in the past 25 years, from 16 percent in 1993 to 26 percent in 2018.

Note: The FY 2018 SNAP QC data file was reweighted in May 2020 to incorporate revised FNS Program Operations data. The Characteristics of SNAP Households: Fiscal Year 2018 report and the Technical Documentation for the Fiscal Year 2018 SNAP QC Database and the QC Mini-model were published before the data were reweighted. The addendum to the Characteristics of SNAP Households: Fiscal Year 2018 report contains revised tables for Appendix B: Detailed tables of SNAP households by state.

Annual SNAP Quality Control Data

Page updated: November 24, 2021