Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Women Who Work Full-Time

By Terence P. Jeffrey | April 14, 2014 | 10:52am EDT

President Barack Obama in the White House on Equal Pay Day, April 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) - People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.

In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau’s report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

For each woman who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, there was slightly more than 1 other person collecting food stamps.

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In 2013, the average number of people on food stamps increased to 47,636,000. The Census Bureau will not publish its report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage for 2013, which includes the data on women working full-time, until September.

The Department of Agriculture’s website lists the annual average number of food stamps participants going back to 1969. That year, there were only 2,878,000 people on food stamps. Since then, food stamps participants have increased by 44,758,000—or about 1,552 percent.

In 1969, there were 15,678,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States. Through 2012, their numbers had increased by 28,381,000—or about 181 percent.

Since 1969, there have been three years when the number of Americans taking food stamps outnumbered the women who worked full time, year-round. In 1976, there were 18,549,000 food stamps participants, and only 18,372,000 women working full-time. Then, in 2011, there were 44,709,000 food stamp participants and 43,702,000 women who worked full-time. (The Census Bureau has not published data for the number of women who worked full-time, year-round in 1974.)

So far, 2011 and 2012 are the only back-to-back years on record when the number of Americans taking food stamps outnumbered the women working full-time year-round.

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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