Approximately 842 million people worldwide had insufficient food to meet their nutritional needs in 2014. This was approximately one out of every eight people. In the United States, 14.5 percent of households were food insecure. Households are considered food insecure when they do not have consistent and reliable access to nutritionally sufficient food sources.
Developing countries in Southern Asia are the most impacted by hunger, with large concentrations of malnourished people living in sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Asia as well. The number of people worldwide suffering from hunger has declined by 17 percent since 1990 to 1992. This progress falls just short of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The organization attributes some of this decline in hunger to economic growth and argues for additional aid efforts for those that are not benefited by this growth.
Malnourishment is a contributing cause to approximately one third of all deaths in developing countries for children under age 5. One in four children in developing countries has physical or mental growth impairments caused by malnutrition.
Food insecurity rates were steady around 14.5 percent from 2008 to 2014 in the United States. Approximately 55 percent of households, or 47.6 million people, received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program payments in 2014 to cover food costs.