The USDA's Economic Research Service has released a map of our nation's food deserts. They classified census tracks as food deserts if they were both-low access--meaning "a significant number or share of individuals in the tract is far from a supermarket"--and low-income. They defined low income at the level of census tract using the following criteria:
The tract’s poverty rate is greater than 20 percent; orThe map lets you change layers so you can see just the low-income tracts if you want. You can also set the low-access threshold to 0.5 miles for urban residents which dramatically increases local food deserts:
The tract’s median family income is less than or equal to 80 percent of the State-wide median family income; or
The tract is in a metropolitan area and has a median family income less than or equal to 80 percent of the metropolitan area's median family income.
So what do you think gentle readers, is this an accurate way to assess the presence of food deserts?
Hat/Tip Sarah K.