BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Interactives: Watch SNAP Respond to the Economy, as Designed
As the economy has improved, SNAP participation and spending have started to fall — trends that are expected to continue.The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) responds to changes in the economy, growing to help those in need during recessions and then shrinking when the economy improves. Our two new interactive graphics illustrate how SNAP has responded to the economy, as designed, in recent years.
SNAP participation grew during the recent recession to meet need. As the economy has improved, SNAP participation and spending have started to fall — trends that are expected to continue.
Almost every state follows the same general pattern: SNAP increased over the recession years, beginning in 2008, growth began slowing by 2012, and subsequently caseloads began to fall. Our state-by-state interactive shows the differences across the states in the timing and the magnitude of SNAP caseload change.
For more on these trends, see our paper, SNAP Caseload and Spending Declines Accelerated in 2016.