Attached are estimates of the number of infants and children (ages 1-4) in each State at or below 185 percent of poverty in 2017. The 2017 estimates are provided for use in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) funding formula to determine States’ fair shares of WIC food funds for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The 2017 estimates are recommended for use in FY 2020 funding allocations because they reflect the most recent data available. These estimates are directly estimated from the American Community Survey (ACS). Estimates for Puerto Rico are based on the 2017 Puerto Rico Community Survey. Estimates for the other territories are based on data from the 2010 Census. (Note: the estimates for the States presented in this memo were produced using direct estimates from the ACS. These estimates are not comparable to the more comprehensive WIC eligibility estimates produced by Insight Policy Research under contract with FNS and to be published sometime this fall/winter.)
Nationwide, the estimated number of infants and children (ages 1-4) at or below 185 percent of poverty decreased by 3 percent from 2016 to 2017.1 It is important to note that we do not know how much of this decrease is real and how much is due to sampling variation in the ACS. The State-level estimates provided here are consistent with the national number of infants and children at or below 185 percent of poverty. Because the 2017 data will be updating 2016 data for funding formula purposes, comparisons are shown between these two years.
Attached is a brief summary of the estimates and the methodology used to develop them. We recommend releasing these materials to the States and other interested organizations on request.