Change Indicator

Children with food insecurity in Michigan

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Why This Indicator Matters

Many Michiganders don’t have enough to eat and/or live in communities with few affordable healthy food options. This leads to incalculable costs in healthcare for diet-related diseases and unfulfilled potential among students and workers. In the state’s fight to end hunger and ensure proper nutrition among its residents, its robust agriculture industry is an invaluable asset. Increasing access to key nutrition programs centered on Michigan’s farm bounty will support families with low incomes in making dietary choices that reduce healthcare costs, promote academic achievement and worker productivity, and boost local economies.
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Definition and Source



The number and percentage of children ages birth to 17 determined to be food insecure or living in households that experienced food insecurity at some point during the year. Food insecurity refers to the United States Department of Agriculture’s measurement of a lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all members of a given household, and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. 

Data Source

Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, E. Engelhard, M. Strayer & L. Lapinski. Map the Meal Gap : A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States. Feeding America.


For 2018, Kids Count used food insecurity rates to calculate unrounded counts of children for each location based on 2018 population. Thus, counts may differ slightly from the data source. 2018 data were revised with unrounded counts on 6/8/2021.


According to the data source:

Please take caution as you compare county rates year-by-year. For each iteration of the study, there are very few statistically significant changes. Methodology has changed twice since the study’s inception.


Most recently, beginning in 2020, the food insecurity model was enhanced through the inclusion of a disability rate variable and refining our poverty measure to reflect non-undergraduate student poverty. The details surrounding this changed are discussed in a technical brief (pg. 4 – 5). Additionally, in 2013, we introduced homeownership as an independent variable to serve as a proxy for household assets. Because of these methodology changes, the estimates from Map the Meal Gap 2020 are not directly comparable to estimates from previous years. Additionally, studies prior to 2013 are not directly comparable to more recent publications.

Last Updated

June 2023