Recent WIC Participation

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) regularly publishes data on WIC eligibility, participation, and coverage. Because of data sources used to estimate coverage rates, the most recent data available is from 2021, whereas the most recent participation data are available from 2023.


In 2023, an average of 6.6 million participants were served by WIC every month. WIC is a critical community support; redemption of WIC foods infused $3.8 billion into local economies in 2022. Despite an overall modest increase in participation since the beginning of the pandemic, WIC is still reaching too few eligible people. The WIC CIAO Project aims to ensure that WIC reaches all eligible families.

Trends in Rate of Participation Among
Eligible Individuals (Coverage Rates)

Chart showing WIC participation by millions of people in 2021

In an average month of 2021, an estimated 12.1 million people were eligible to participate in WIC. Explore how WIC eligibility and coverage rates have evolved from 2016 to 2021.

Trends in Eligibility and Participation Over Time

Graph showing rates of WIC eligibility from 2016 to 2021

The overall WIC eligibility rate declined from 52 percent in 2016 to 48 percent in 2021. Understand the national trends in WIC eligibility and participation from 2016 to 2021 by participant category.  

Demographic Characteristics of Eligible Infants and Children

Graph showing family structure of WIC-eligible children and infants

Dive into the demographic breakdown of infants and children eligible for WIC in 2021. See trends in race and ethnicity, family size and structure, gender, and other programs like SNAP and Medicaid among infants and children eligible for WIC. 

WIC Coverage Rates by State and Participation Category

WIC Eligibility and Participation Map 2021

The WIC coverage rate varied substantially across states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in 2021. State rates ranged from a high of 72 percent in Vermont to a low of 35 percent in Arkansas and New Mexico. Analyze WIC coverage rates across different states. 

To explore more data on WIC eligibility and coverage rates in 2021, visit the USDA's interactive graphics and the full report on National and State Level Estimates of WIC Eligibility and Program Reach in 2021.

See FRAC’s WIC During COVID-19 webpage for more information on how WIC participation in your area compares to others.

What WIC Means to Me

happy father and daughter eating healthy food

Increasing WIC Participation

The WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project (WIC CIAO) was created to support WIC State agencies, which include 50 geographic State agencies, the District of Columbia, 33 Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs), and five U.S. Territories that administer the Program; local WIC agencies; and nonprofit entities and organizations as they work to increase WIC awareness and participation.