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Child food security status, 12-month

Codes and Frequencies

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FSSTATUSC identifies the food security status of the children in the household in the past year. Households are classified as food secure, low food secure or very low food secure among children. See FSSTATUS for the USDA definitions of food insecurity in the U.S.

Food security is based on the number of affirmative answers to each of the 8 child food security food security questions. These questions are only asked in households with children.

Food secure households include those who give no affirmative answers or do not pass the screener (those with high food security among children), and household reporting one food insecure condition (marginal food insecurity). Low food security among children is defined as 2-4 food insecure conditions, while very low food security includes households reporting 5-8 responses, including extreme hardships among children such as skipping meals and going to bed hungry.

This variable is part of the Food Security Supplement.


This variable is comparable across all years.

The categories and labels changed with the release of the 2005 sample. Before 2005, household were categorized as either "no evidence of hunger" or "food insecurity with hunger". The first category was subsequently split into two groups, "food secure" and "low food secure". The category "food insecure with hunger" was relabeled "very low food secure". These changes were recommended by a National Academy of Science panel. For consistent analysis over time, we apply the current definitions for years before 2005.

In 1998, 1999, and 2007, food security data are not available for all rotation groups. The food security status weight FSHWTSCALE should be used when analyzing the food security scales.


  • 2000-2006, 2008+: All households with children.
  • Apr 2001: All households with children and that are in months-in-sample 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8.
  • Dec 2007: All with screener households in month-in-sample 1, 2, 4-7.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 - - - - - - - - X - - -
2001 - - - X - - - - - - - X
2002 – 2022 - - - - - - - - - - - X


This variable has no flags.

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