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Health Indicator Report of Food Insecurity

The food insecurity rate in New Mexico was 16% in 2015, and for children, the rate was 25%. This means that one in four New Mexico children had limited or uncertain access to adequate food during the year. 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, academic achievement, and economic productivity. The first 1,000 days of a child's life (from the start of the mother's pregnancy through the child's second birthday) is an important window for shaping a child's mental and physical health throughout their lifetime.

Data Sources

  • Feeding America, Map the Meal Gap Report. Downloaded from
  • Population Estimates: University of New Mexico, Geospatial and Population Studies (GPS) Program,

Data Interpretation Issues

Food insecurity is based on a series of questions on the U.S. Current Population Survey called the "Core Food Security Module." The module asks about a variety of food security conditions (e.g., worried food would run out, could not afford balanced meal, did not eat for a whole day because they could not afford enough food, etc.). Food insecurity was measured by the number of food insecure conditions experienced in the household and the frequency with which each condition was experienced in that household. "Food Insecurity" includes households with low and very low food security. for more information, visit the USDA Economic Research Service, [ Food Security in the United States] web page.


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.


The number of persons living in food-insecure households.


The number of persons in the population.

Other Objectives

New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

In 2015, 336,000 New Mexicans, including 125,000 children under age 18, lived in households that experienced food insecurity. McKinley, San Juan, and Luna Counties have the highest rates of food insecurity among all NM counties.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

In 2015, the top five states with the highest rate of food-insecure children under 18 were Mississippi, Arkansas, New Mexico, Alabama, and Arizona.
Page Content Updated On 10/03/2017, Published on 10/03/2017
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 18 February 2018 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 3 Oct 2017 09:20:07 MDT