Statistics in Yakima
Yakima is the poorest city in Washington, according to a study that looked at cities with populations over 25,000 residents.
In 2017, 20% of children in Yakima (around 15,200) had food insecurity, higher than the state average.
In 2019, around 18,600 of households (22.5% of all households in Yakima) received SNAP benefits (AKA, food stamps). This is twice the state average in Washington, which is 11% of families. To qualify for SNAP in 2019, a family had to be at or below 130% of the poverty line. For a family of four that’s under $34,450. That’s still at least $18,550 under the recommended income to meet a family’s basic needs. In Washington State, 79% of food stamp users are below the poverty line, and 35% are even below 50% the poverty line.
In 2021, SNAP benefits in Washington were increased to include anyone at or below 200% of the poverty line. For a family of four, that’s under $53,000 a year.
According to another 2019 study, 31,070 people in Yakima County are food insecure, and the food insecurity rate is at 12.4%.
While Washington is below the US average for poverty, Yakima is above the US average. 20.4% of Yakima City residents are in poverty. In Yakima County, the cities with the highest poverty rates are Buena (44.9%), Wapato (33.0%), Union Gap, Toppenish, and Granger (all at around 29%). The cities with the lowest poverty rates are Summitview (5.8%), Gleed (6.8%), Selah (9.3%), and Terrace Heights (10.6%). Many of these cities have very small populations, under 1,000.
In 2021, the Point in Time Survey estimated that there were at least 663 individuals without homes in Yakima, and at least 553 households without homes. The difference between individuals and households without homes suggests that many of these individuals are alone in their “households” and do not have families to support or to support them.
In 2020, family homelessness increased by 20% in Yakima, which was one of the largest such increases nationwide. Other homelessness increased 6.2% at the same time. Nationwide, homelessness increased by 2% in 2020.
Yakima is clearly in a unique position compared to elsewhere in Yakima. Services like food banks and clothing banks are even more essential here. With a poorer than average population, more people will need food and other services for free in order to spend the rest of their money on rent and other necessities.