Financial Self-Sufficiency
Households Receiving SNAP


Households Receiving SNAP

What does this measure?

The share of households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, formerly called food stamps.

Why is this important?

SNAP provides restricted government funding for low-income people that can only be used to buy food. It therefore is an indication of how many people in a region rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs.

How is our county doing?

In 2013-17, 14% of Essex County households received SNAP benefits, up from 12% in 2008-12. The rate in Essex was a bit higher than the state (12%) and nation (13%). Rates were especially high in Lawrence (42%) and Lynn (29%) in 2013-17.

How do we compare to similar counties?

Essex households participated in SNAP at a higher rate than households in Middlesex, MA (8%) and Lake, IL and Westchester, NY (both 9%) in 2013-17.

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

Studies have found that national survey estimates (including the ACS) of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate due to underreporting by participants, when compared with state-level administrative data. Underreporting can occur for a variety of reasons, including the social stigma of program participation and participants' confusion about the source of the services they receive. For these reasons, the estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate.

Households Receiving SNAP
2008-122013-17
Essex County, MA12%14%
Amesbury4%*7%*
Beverly8%*11%
Gloucester8%*9%
Haverhill12%16%
Lawrence35%42%
Lynn25%29%
Methuen8%13%
Newburyport5%**5%**
Peabody9%13%
Salem15%16%
Andover4%*3%**
Boxford1%***1%***
Danvers5%*5%*
Essex3%***4%***
Georgetown2%***3%**
Groveland2%***3%***
Hamilton2%***3%***
Ipswich1%***5%**
Lynnfield1%***2%***
Manchester3%***5%***
Marblehead3%**3%**
Merrimac4%***4%***
Middleton3%***7%***
Nahant2%***8%**
Newbury1%***2%***
North Andover4%**5%*
Rockport6%**7%**
Rowley3%***5%***
Salisbury8%**9%*
Saugus8%*9%
Swampscott3%***10%*
Topsfield2%***3%***
Wenham3%***3%***
West Newbury4%***
Middlesex County, MA6%8%
Lake County, IL7%9%
Westchester County, NY7%9%
Massachusetts11%12%
United States11%13%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of Households Receiving SNAP
2008-122013-17
Essex County, MA33,37841,226
Amesbury240*525*
Beverly1,204*1,802
Gloucester965*1,218
Haverhill2,9303,754
Lawrence9,33410,852
Lynn8,5449,497
Methuen1,3862,218
Newburyport344**388**
Peabody1,8382,698
Salem2,6962,908
Andover512*397**
Boxford37***16***
Danvers506*558*
Essex49***51***
Georgetown59***109**
Groveland51***59***
Hamilton49***93***
Ipswich80***311**
Lynnfield42***81***
Manchester56***107***
Marblehead265**272**
Merrimac95***106***
Middleton76***213***
Nahant32***123**
Newbury22***43***
North Andover359**569*
Rockport198**214**
Rowley57***106***
Salisbury265**339*
Saugus792*966
Swampscott146***522*
Topsfield50***70***
Wenham34***41***
West Newbury65***
Middlesex County, MA36,10545,511
Lake County, IL16,26121,654
Westchester County, NY24,40829,876
Massachusetts269,178317,260
United States13,180,71015,029,498

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND | ESSEX COUNTY
Bachelor's Degree or Higher by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Preterm Births Increasing
Infant Mortality Rate Maintaining
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels Decreasing
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Child Abuse and Neglect Increasing
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Youth Arrests Decreasing
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employment Maintaining
Tourism Spending Increasing
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Charitable Contributions Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Days with Good Air Quality Increasing
Beach Contamination Decreasing
Daily Water Use per Resident Decreasing
Crimes Against People Increasing
Crimes Against Property Increasing
Drug-Related Arrests Maintaining
Reports of Domestic Violence Increasing
Incarceration Rates Decreasing
Recidivism Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Traffic Injuries and Fatalities Maintaining
Households With Internet Access Increasing
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
People 65 or Older Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Increasing
Households by Type Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Gender Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Total Jobs Increasing
Change in Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Increasing
Change in Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Median Earnings by Occupation by Gender Not Applicable
People Entering/Leaving County for Work Not Applicable
Employer Size Not Applicable
Self-Employment Revenue Decreasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Female Enrollment in School Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
Per-Student Spending Increasing
Bullying Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 Reading Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 English Language Arts Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 10 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Income in Relation to Poverty Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Decreasing
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Living Wage Rate by Household Type Not Applicable
Households Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Households Receiving Federal Food Assistance Increasing
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Earned Income Tax Credit Participation Maintaining
Economically Disadvantaged Students Increasing
Median Home Value Increasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Increasing
Housing Affordability for Renters Increasing
Homeownership Rates Maintaining
Homeownership Rates by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeless Persons Increasing
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Medical Care Expenses Increasing
Prevalence of Children with Asthma Maintaining
Prevalence of Overweight Children Decreasing
Prevalence of Overweight Adults Not Applicable
Diabetes Incidence Decreasing
Chronic Disease Among Older Adults Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Cancer Mortality Rate Decreasing
Heart Disease Mortality Rate Decreasing
Mortality Rate Decreasing
People who Smoke Not Applicable
Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Youth Use of Illegal Drugs Not Applicable
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions Not Applicable
Drug Overdose Mortality Rate Increasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Suicide Rate Maintaining