WIC Participation

King County 2002-2017


About one in three King County babies receive WIC services.


The Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program, also known as WIC, is a food assistance program for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, infants, and children under 5 years old. WIC also provides health screening, nutrition and health education, breastfeeding promotion and support, help getting other services and checks for nutritious foods. Eligibility for the program is based on income and nutritional need. In 2018, the maximum annual income to qualify for WIC is $46,435 for a family of four. WIC data is presented here as an indicator of food insecurity/economic need among young children and their families.

  • After rising for a decade between 2002 and 2011, the number of WIC participants declined from a high of 71,016 in 2011 to 57,175 in 2017. However, while the overall percent of King County infants who participated in WIC decreased from 35% to 29% from 2011-2016, it rose again to 32% in 2017.

  • Children make up the majority of WIC beneficiaries. For example, in 2017, 71% of all WIC recipients were children under five while 29% were women who were pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum.

  • WIC does more than provide access to healthy foods. In 2017, WIC provided 132,844 nutrition education sessions and 267,701 referrals to medical, social, and food assistance programs.


Notes & Sources

Source: Washington State Department of Health https://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/MaternalandChildHealth/WIC 

For more information about WIC at King County, see www.kingcounty.gov/wic.

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