Rising Food Prices: The Case of Childhood Poverty in a Developed Economy

Megdalynn S Fisher


According to the United States Census Bureau, around 15 million children in the U.S. live in families with incomes below the federal poverty line. Childhood poverty influences children’s ability to learn and impacts their physical, social, and mental development. The effects of childhood poverty extend throughout an individual’s life and into old-age. A substantial amount of research is being conducted on the relationship between food prices and poverty in developing nations; however, research rarely addresses this topic in developed. The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship of rising food prices with the incidence of childhood poverty in Utah, which features the highest number of children per capita in the US, and where around 120,000 children live in poverty. This study utilizes the Food Price Index (FPI) generated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to compare global food prices with poverty incidence through a chi-square test of contingency table and econometric panel analysis. Findings indicate a significant relationship between the FPI and these poverty rates. This paper concludes with policy recommendations for federal and state consideration.


Poverty, Childhood Poverty, Food Prices

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