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USDA Report Outlines Characteristics and Influential Factors of Food Deserts

September 5, 2012 |

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) previously identified approximately 6,500 food desert tracts in the United States based on 2000 Census and 2006 data on locations of supermarkets, super- centers, and large grocery stores. These food deserts are areas where people have limited access to a variety of healthy and affordable food. As policymakers consider interventions to increase food access, it is important to understand the characteristics associated with these areas, such as income, vehicle availability, and access to public transportation. In the report entitled Characteristics and Influential Factors of Food Deserts, ERS examines the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of these census tracts and also examines which of these characteristics distinguish food desert tracts from other low-income census tracts. The full report is available here:

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