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Report Number P23-61
Component ID: #ti770561559

Introduction

This report focuses on the social and economic characteristics of households participating in the federal food stamp program. The data shown in this report were collected at five points in time (May 1973, July 1974, December 1974, March 1975, and July 1975) by supplementing the Current Population Survey (CPS) with questions covering household participation in the food stamp program.1 Special emphasis has been given to the data for July 1974 and July 1975 because information on total monthly income, public assistance income, and amount and value of food stamp purchases are available for these 2 months. Estimates of participation in the food stamp program by persons living below the poverty level are also included.

Since the CPS sample is restricted to households in the 50 States and the District of Columbia the information shown in this report does not include Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Virgin Islands even though the food stamp program is operating in these three areas. Any comparisons in this report involving CPS and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates of the number of food stamp households are based on the 50 States and the District of Columbia.

The counts of food stamp households shown in this report differ from figures derivable from data published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For example, estimates derived from the CPS show 3,519,000 households purchasing food stamps in July 1974 while estimates derived from USDA published figures show 4,318,000 households purchasing food stamps. The section in appendix A entitled "Comparability of Current Population Survey Food Stamp and Public Assistance Data with Administrative Data" gives a detailed description of these differences.

Particular care should be taken when interpreting the figures in this report since most are based on a relatively small number of sample cases (see the section in appendix A titled "Source and Reliability of the Estimates"). Detailed data for Spanish households have been included in this report because the number of sample cases for Spanish food stamp households is extremely small. Shown in table A are the number of White, Black, and Spanish households purchasing food stamps in July 1975 and the 95-percent confidence interval for these estimates.

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1 Collection of the information on household participation in the food stamp program was carried out by the Bureau of the Census under the sponsorship of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Component ID: #ti702095047

A Note on Language

Census statistics date back to 1790 and reflect the growth and change of the United States. Past census reports contain some terms that today’s readers may consider obsolete and inappropriate. As part of our goal to be open and transparent with the public, we are improving access to all Census Bureau original publications and statistics, which serve as a guide to the nation's history.

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