iIndicator Details

% Residents Living within a Food Swamp (Low Income & Low Access)

Short Definition: % residents living in low income and low food access tracts that live within a food swamp

Long Definition:

Percent of residents living in low income low food access tracts* who are also living in census tracts that are among the highest 25% of tracts in terms of convenience stores and fast food restaurants per square mile.

*Census tracts are identified as low access if one-third of its population or 500 residents live at least one mile from the nearest supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store for urban tracts or 10 miles for rural tracts. Low-income low-access tracts represent a subset of low access tracts. Tracts are defined as low income if they have a poverty rate of 20 percent or more, or a median family income less than 80 percent of the state-wide median family income; or a tract in a metropolitan area with a median family income less than 80 percent of the surrounding metropolitan area median family income.

Restaurant data are from the Rhode Island food licensing data. Food access data come from the US Department of Agriculture Food Access Research Atlas.

Agency Source: Health USDA

Time Period(s):
Calendar Year 2013

Geographies: RI Municipalities

Data Type: Numeric


This indicator allows us to assess the percentage of residents that live within a food swamp as part of the Rhode Island Healthy Communities Plan Performance Measures.


Geocoding food establishments yielded a 94% match rate. Some could not be geocoded due to incomplete address information. This will result in a suppression of fast food and convenience store densities in some places.

Universe: All Rhode Island census tracts (2010)

Tags: Healthy Communities, Health

Related Reports:

Related Datastories: No related datastories.

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