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A Comparison of Household Food Security in Canada and the United States


  • Nord, Mark
  • Hopwood, Heather


Food security—consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life—is essential for health and good nutrition. The extent to which a nation’s population achieves food security is an indication of its material and social well-being. Differences in the prevalence of household level food insecurity between Canada and the United States are described at the national level and for selected economic and demographic subpopulations. Associations of food security with economic and demographic characteristics are examined in multivariate analyses that hold other characteristics constant. Comparable measures of household food security were calculated from the nationally representative Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2 (2004) and the U.S. Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (2003-05). Based on the standard U.S. methodology, the percentage of the population living in households classified as food insecure was lower in Canada (7.0 percent) than in the United States (12.6 percent). The difference was greater for the percentage of children living in food-insecure households (8.3 percent vs. 17.9 percent) than for adults (6.6 percent vs. 10.8 percent). These differences primarily refl ected different prevalence rates of food insecurity for Canadian and U.S. households with similar demographic and economic characteristics. Differences in population composition on measured economic and demographic characteristics account for only about 15 to 30 percent of the overall Canada-U.S. difference.

Suggested Citation

  • Nord, Mark & Hopwood, Heather, 2008. "A Comparison of Household Food Security in Canada and the United States," Economic Research Report 56488, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:56488

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrews, Margaret S. & Nord, Mark, 2001. "Food Security Is Improving in the United States," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33641, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Nord, Mark & Andrews, Margaret S. & Carlson, Steven, 2002. "Household Food Security In The United States, 2001," Food Assistance and Nutrition Research Reports 33865, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karen Cunnyngham, 2010. "State Trends in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Eligibility and Participation Among Elderly Individuals," Mathematica Policy Research Reports e7d1f48339374239a6cbcedcc, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Lloyd Grieger & Sheldon Danziger, 2011. "Who Receives Food Stamps During Adulthood? Analyzing Repeatable Events With Incomplete Event Histories," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1601-1614, November.
    3. Rania Antonopoulos & Kijong Kim & Thomas Masterson & Andajit Zacharias, 2010. "Why President Obama Should Care About 'Care': An Effective and Equitable Investment Strategy for Job Creation," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_108, Levy Economics Institute.


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