Reinvestment Fund recently released its Limited Supermarket Access (LSA) analysis. According to the 2018 update, 17.6 million people – 5.6% of the population – live in LSA areas.
The analysis goes beyond identifying areas with limited access; it also measures the extent to which LSA areas can support new or expanded food retail. The analysis also identifies states and metro regions where LSA areas are disproportionately inhabited by low-income residents and people of color.
Among the “top ten” states where food access has improved, the number of people living in LSA Areas declined by more than 30% from 2010 to 2016. North Dakota, Idaho and Iowa saw significant declines in underserved populations. On the other hand, Maine and Nevada had substantial increases in their LSA populations from 2010 to 2016. While most states had declining LSA populations, many lagged the national decrease of 15%, including states that had substantial population growth like Florida and Arizona.
The data will also be accessible through the PolicyMap platform.