A new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture puts the number of Americans on food stamps at approximately 43.6 million. In state’s like Mississippi and Washington D.C. more than a fifth of all residents are on food stamps; these states have the highest rate of food stamp use than anywhere else in the country.
Food stamp use increased by 14.2% from 2009 to 2010, therefore 14% of the entire U.S. population is enrolled in the food stamp program. States like Idaho and New Mexico saw the biggest increase in food stamp use, up by over 3% from last year.
States with high unemployment tended to have a larger percentage of the population on food stamps. While Mississippi and Washington D.C. had ,20.7% and 21.9% of their population on food stamps, respectively, Michigan followed with 19.4%.
Wyoming has the fewest number of its residents in a food stamp program, approximately 6.4%, while North Dakota saw the smallest increase of people signing up for benefits at 0.4%.