Research & Data
WIC Program Participant Information
The WIC Program serves five categories of participants: pregnant women, breastfeeding women up to 12 months postpartum, non-breastfeeding women up to 6 months postpartum, infants, and children up to age 5. In addition to the categorical eligibility requirement, participants must be at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level (equivalent to an annual income of $29,637 for a family size of two through June 30, 2017). Various reports and data sets are available describing program participants, outreach strategies, and redemption patterns.
This report provides information on WIC maternal experiences and behaviors before, during and shortly after pregnancy based on data collected from the MIHA survey in 2013-14. Key indicators include: women’s health status, nutrition, perinatal depression, food insecurity, intimate partner violence, health insurance, infant sleep, breastfeeding and demographics. Statewide results are available for subgroups of women who participate in WIC during pregnancy based on: age, race/ethnicity, education, income, prenatal health insurance, neighborhood poverty, geographic area (urban and rural/frontier) and total live births. Statewide results are also shown by WIC status during pregnancy, categorizing women as prenatal WIC participants, eligible nonparticipants, or ineligible for WIC. County level data are available for the top 35 birthing counties; the remaining 23 counties are included in regional snapshots.
In the Fiscal Year 2017, the CDPH/WIC Division funded 9 Local Agencies to identify, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies and methods that will improve the recruitment, re-engagement, and retention of eligible WIC applicants and participants.
Using 2010-2012 data from the Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (MIHA) survey, this report identifies reasons why eligible women do not enroll in WIC during pregnancy and the characteristics of women reporting each reason. Approximately 53,600 women per year were eligible for WIC but did not enroll during pregnancy. The two leading reasons statewide for not enrolling in WIC during pregnancy were not thinking they would qualify (40%) and not thinking they needed WIC (35%). The percent of women reporting each reason is also shown by race/ethnicity and other characteristics.
WIC Eligibility and Program Reach Report (2016)
This report provides county and regional-level estimates of pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children eligible for WIC services in California as well as the WIC coverage rate (count of WIC participants divided by the total eligible for WIC) for each of these groups. Estimates of WIC eligibility and participation are provided for 34 counties and 6 regions (grouped counties) within California. These results are reported in tables, scatter plots and GIS maps enabling you to compare your county or region with other areas in the state. A detailed explanation of the methodology and adjustments used to determine the estimates is included the second document.
Located on the Center for Health and Human Services Open Data Portal, this file contains data on the WIC program, specifically the number of participants who redeemed food vouchers by participant category both by county and statewide. In addition, it provides the number of food vouchers redeemed and dollar value of the food vouchers redeemed monthly in 2010 - 2015.
The USDA maintains state and national level participation reports including both recent and historical participant data.
Reaching the Millennial Generation Online (2012)
This report and its appendices discuss the results of a collaborative project intended to discover innovative ways to support and enhance WIC services with electronic technologies.
Additional WIC participant information can be found in various USDA reports; see the Additional Resources page.