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WIC Participant and Program Characteristics

Data Sampling and Sample Size: WIC participants; dataset consists of a census of WIC participants with active certifications from all 89 WIC state agencies during April 2020.

Dataset Description: WIC participant and program characteristics (PC) are collected for use in program monitoring and managing WIC information needs. The data for this report are based on WIC administrative records collected from all 89 WIC state agencies (50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and 33 Indian Tribal Organizations). PC 2020 represents information on a census of WIC participants with active certifications during April 2020. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FNS replicated the PC 2020 data collection methods to capture active certifications in November 2020 among a convenience sample of nine large state agencies across the FNS regions.

WIC Measures in Dataset: A variety of data is collected related to demographics, income, and health-related characteristics of participants. Report is at the aggregate level; a smaller subset of the data is available at the individual level.

NWA notes on this dataset: This data is a great resource for researchers to understand the demographics of current WIC participants. Graphics on the website are interactive and can be compared across years and geographies. While reports and graphics on the FNS website are helpful background, NWA also encourages researchers to take advantage of the downloadable versions of the dataset, which can be used for additional analysis. 

Years available and frequency of data collection: Report is released every two years on even years (e.g., 2018, 2020). Data collection began in 1988, and reports are available on the FNS website from 1992 to 2020.

Sample publication using dataset: This dataset is most commonly used as background data, so there are not independent studies exploring this dataset. However, the main report released by FNS can be found here

Accessibility: Reports and interactive graphics are publicly available on USDA FNS website. Datasets at the aggregate level area available on Ag Data Commons here (2018 is the most recent year available as a downloadable dataset). While only aggregate level and a subset of the individual data is available for download, researchers may be able to access additional components of the dataset by contacting FNS at  fnsstudies@usda.gov.

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Date Added
August 31, 2023