Like all biennial WIC PC reports since 1992, the 2012 report (PC2012) employs the prototype reporting system developed by FNS that uses participant information compiled from State WIC agencies. The reports, including PC2012, contain information on a census of WIC participants in April of the reporting year.
For this report, 90 State WIC agencies submitted MDS data on a census of WIC participants. The State-maintained automated information systems from which PC2012 data were drawn do not always contain complete information on every variable for every individual enrolled in WIC, though overall reporting has improved substantially over time. Unreported PC2012 data may be unavailable for a variety of reasons, some of which may indicate that participants in the not-reported category may be different from those individuals with data reported. Assumptions regarding missing data vary by the nature of the variable and by category of WIC participant. To account for these anomalies, a uniform strategy has been adopted for preparing all tables in this report. Data not reported are included in the calculation of percentage distributions for each characteristic. While including missing data in the denominators for all calculations tends to place estimates for each characteristic at a lower bound, this approach has allowed consistent presentation of tabulations throughout the report. Further, it assures that all information needed to calculate upper-bound estimates is readily available in every table. Caution should be used in comparing results across groups or over time. Missing data must always be considered in gauging differences among groups or categories of WIC participants or in analyzing trends across years. For PC2012, reporting approached 100 percent on all but a few variables; unreported data were more prevalent in earlier reports.