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Reaching Those in Need: Estimates of State SNAP Participation Rates in 2018

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Participation Rates

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) 2018 and in the 2 previous fiscal years. SNAP eligibility criteria include income and resource guidelines and certain nonfinancial criteria.

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, the working poor have participated at rates substantially below those for all eligible persons.  

Nationally, 82 percent of eligible people received SNAP benefits in FY 2018. The participation rate for individuals in eligible working poor households was significantly lower, at 74 percent.  Rates varied widely across states in FY 2018.

Page updated: May 24, 2021