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Food Insecurity Rate by County, All Persons, New Mexico, 2018

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Why Is This Important?

Inconsistent access to adequate amounts of nutritious food can have a negative impact on the health of individuals of all ages. The USDA estimates that as of 2018, 326,000 people, including over 118,000 children, in New Mexico were food insecure. That means 1 in 6 individuals (15.1%) and 1 in 4 children (24%) lived in households without consistent access to adequate to adequate food. In the US, adults in food insecure households are much more likely than food secure adults to have hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health problems. Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children because they are more vulnerable to potential long-term consequences for their future physical and mental health and academic achievement.

Food Insecurity Rate by County, All Persons, New Mexico, 2018


Food insecurity refers to USDA's measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household's need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Data Sources

  • U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, modeled and presented in the Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report.
  • New Mexico Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program.

How the Measure is Calculated

Numerator:The number of persons living in food-insecure households.
Denominator:The number of persons in the population.

Data Issues

All population estimates apply to July 1 of the selected year. These estimates are considered the most accurate estimates for the state of New Mexico and should match those found on the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies website. Estimates include decimal fractions. Census tract population estimates were summed to produce County and Small Area population estimates. Population estimate totals may vary due to rounding. Population estimates for previous years are occasionally revised as new information becomes available. When publishing trend data, always be sure that your rates for earlier years match current rates on NM-IBIS that have been calculated with the most up-to-date population estimates.

Health Topic Pages Related to: Food Insecurity

Community Health Resources and Links

Medical literature can be queried at the PubMed website.

Indicator Data Last Updated On 04/15/2021, Published on 04/29/2021
Community Health Assessment Program, Epidemiology and Response Division, New Mexico Department of Health, 1190 S. Saint Francis Drive, P.O. Box 26110, Santa Fe, NM, 87502. Contact Rena Manning at