Food insecurity among older adults is a critical social issue that requires immediate attention from policy and other decision makers. This report updates the data used in a 2011 report by James Ziliak and Craig Gundersen on the state of food security among older adults. Using the most up-to-date data available from the Current Population Survey (CPS) Food Security Supplement (2005–2012) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) (six waves from 2001–2012), this report details the key demographic characteristics of those older adults most at risk of experiencing food insecurity.
Efforts to replicate and extend the analyses of Ziliak and Gundersen (2013, 2011) reveal that relatively little has changed. The overall rate of food insecurity remains above 18%—higher than the 2007 nadir—but the correlation and consequences of food insecurity remain largely the same: those at greatest risk are the poor and near-poor, people of color, the unemployed and the disabled, and those residing in the South. Multivariate analyses confirm that all of these are independent effects that do not diminish with statistical controls.