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Reaching Those in Need: Estimates of USDA's SNAP Program Participation Rates in 2019

Resource type
Research, Analysis & Background
Research type
Participation Characteristics
Participation Rates
Program Access
SNAP Benefit Use
Resource materials
PDF Icon Summary (257.99 KB)
PDF Icon Full Report (957.96 KB)
PDF Icon Technical Report (2.00 MB)

This report–part of an annual series–presents estimates of the percentage of eligible persons, by state, who participated in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during an average month in fiscal year (FY) 2019 and in the two previous fiscal years. SNAP eligibility criteria include maximum income and resource thresholds, as well as certain nonfinancial criteria, such as age and disability status.

This report also presents estimates of state participation rates for individuals in eligible working-poor households (households with earnings) over the same period. Although SNAP provides important support for working families, historically, working-poor households have participated at rates substantially below those for all eligible households.

Key Findings

  • FNS estimates that 82% of eligible people received SNAP benefits in FY 2019, while the participation rate was 72% of eligible working-poor households.
  • Illinois, Oregon, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin are all estimated to have 100% SNAP participation rates.
  • The rate for households with earnings was significantly lower than for all eligible people in all states.
  • In FY 2019, the USDA FNS Northeast Region had the highest overall SNAP participation rate.​
Updated: 02/14/2023