What’s Connecticut’s food system look like?

To change the food system, we have to understand the current status. Data about Connecticut’s food system reveal that access to food is disproportionately lower for communities of color, and that while farms tend to be small, a handful of very large farms make up the majority of agricultural production.

Scroll on to learn more, or download our Connecticut food system snapshot here.

Food Access

Connecticut ranks 25th in food security in the country. Food security exists when people have access to appropriate, nutritious, affordable food at all times.

food security

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

In the United States, people of color are far more likely to experience food insecurity than white people. Households with children and households headed by single women are also more likely to experience food insecurity, meaning that people of color, women, and children are disproportionately affected by food insecurity.

food security by race

Source: USDA Economic Research Service

In Connecticut, inequitable food access is similar to national trends: white Connecticut residents are more likely to be food secure than their neighbors of color. Suburban/rural people are more likely to be food secure than urban counterparts.

ct food security race

Source: DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey

White people in Connecticut are more likely to report that their access to healthy, high quality food is excellent or good than neighbors of color.

food access rating

Source: DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey

Agriculture

agriculture

Source: USDA Agricultural Census (2012)

Nursery and greenhouse products make up the most agricultural sales in Connecticut, and dairy is among the most productive in sales.

ag categories

Source: USDA Agricultural Census (2012)

Food System Jobs and Retail Food Sales

jobs

Sources: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Census Bureau Nonemployer Statistics, USDA Agricultural Census.

As a more densely populated state, Connecticut has some of the highest retail food sales in the region.

retail

Sources: US Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census; direct sales data from USDA Census of Agriculture

Data Sources and More Information

You can also explore some of the sources used on this page and on our snapshot as well as some other recommended sources:

DataHaven serves Greater New Haven and Connecticut by surveying communities on many types of issues ranging from food and health to housing and public safety.

The USDA Agricultural Census is released every 5 years and is a complete count of farmers and ranchers in the US, including urban agriculture. The most recent agricultural census can be found here.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics collects and releases data about employment, sectors, and wages.

The US Census Bureau collects population, demographic, health, food security, and housing data across the United States. You can explore it here.

The CDC reports on health issues, including food-related illness.

Vermont Farm to Plate offers incredible data on Vermont and New England agriculture and food ranging from total local consumption to food education.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization collects and shares information about the state of the global food system.


A special thank you to Scott Sawyer for compiling and designing the graphics used here and to the John Merck Fund for supporting the CFSA to build our capacity in sharing food system data.

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