Estimated prevalence of low and very low food security in households in the United Kingdom

This indicator contains some alternative data to those specified by the United Nations (UN). This indicator is the most suitable match currently available.

The data presented in the chart and table are from the Department for Work and Pension’s Family Resources Survey (FRS), which uses questions asked of the past 30 days. A new series of questions was added to the 2019/20 FRS on the topic of food security. This series of questions is asked of the person in the household who knows the most about food purchasing and preparation. There are a range of questions, asking about the household,adults within the household, and the person answering the questions. The questions do not directly ask about the food security status of children.

The question set is based on the Adult Food Security Survey Module from the United States Department of Agriculture. The 30 day time reference period has been used as it was more appropriate in the context of the Family Resources Survey, which focuses on respondent’s circumstances at the time of the interview and uses time reference period of a week or a month on other questions.

The FRS has a large sample size, and covers the whole of the UK. Other surveys in the UK also collect information on food security status, but due to differences in methodology, responses cannot be compared between the surveys.

- Food and You was previously used for this indicator. It is run by the Food Standards Agency. The Food and You Survey was replaced in 2020 by Food and You 2 At the time of writing this, food security data are available for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland for 2016 (wave 2), 2018 (wave 5) of Food and You, and 2020 for Food and You 2. The Food and You surveys use the same set of questions as the data presented here (from the FRS). However, questions are asked of the past 12 months.

- The Scottish Health Survey provides data on food insecurity for Scotland based on three questions asked of the past 12 months.


Choose categories from the dropdowns below to see different breakdowns of the data. Some will not be available until a higher level is chosen.

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Download source data for disaggregations (.csv)

Headline data

Source: Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

Geographical Area: United Kingdom

Unit of Measurement: Percentage (%)


1. Data for some disaggregations are not available for some years due to small sample sizes (less than 100 for 2019/20 data and less than 30 for 2020/21 and 2021/22 data).

2. For respondents in Great Britain, 'Gypsy or Irish traveller ' is included in the 'White' ethnic category. For Northern Ireland respondents, 'Irish traveller' is included in the 'Other ethnic group' category.

3. Although 2021/22 ethnicity data are displayed on this graph as a single year, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in smaller sample sizes. As such, the 2021/22 ethnicity data represent a 3-year average of 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22 and should not be compared to earlier years.

4. The State Pension age for men and women differs between 2019/20 and 2020/21 and so cannot be directly compared.

5. Please note the y axis does not go to 100% for ease of visualisation.

This table provides metadata for the actual indicator available from UK statistics closest to the corresponding global SDG indicator. Please note that even when the global SDG indicator is fully available from UK statistics, this table should be consulted for information on national methodology and other UK-specific metadata information.

This table provides information on metadata for SDG indicators as defined by the UN Statistical Commission. Complete global metadata is provided by the UN Statistics Division.

Source 1

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