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Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Eligibility and Participation

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program Eligibility and Participation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides food, nutrition education, breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care and social services to nutritionally at-risk, low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants, and children up to age 5.

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) estimate what percentage of the eligible population is participating in WIC. A recent report found that about 57 percent of the eligible population is participating in WIC.

This visualization represents the joint efforts of the U.S. Census Bureau, USDA’s FNS, and the Economic Research Service to increase understanding of current WIC program participation and to inform future WIC program outreach. The visualization uses American Community Survey data linked to state administrative records to model estimates of WIC eligibility and participation rates at the state and county levels. Using linked data allows us to estimate eligibility and participation for a wide range of characteristics. For more information on the methodology used to link data sources, see Wagner and Layne (2014).

By default, the interactive maps and graphics show modeled WIC eligibility and participation rates for all infants and children under age 5. Rates often differ over time, between states, by age and race/ethnicity, as well as by the characteristics of the child's parent and the household in which they live. To explore these differences, use the menus above the maps to select among various states, year ranges, population characteristics, and population subgroups.

Wagner, Deborah and Mary Layne. 2014. “The Person Identification Validation System (PVS): Applying the Center for Administrative Records Research and Applications’ (CARRA) Record Linkage Software.” U.S. Census Bureau, CARRA Working Paper Series: WP #2014-01. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/working-papers/2014/adrm/carra-wp-2014-01.pdf


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