Food and Agriculture Statistics

Food security and nutrition statistics

FAO’s work on food security and nutrition statistics focuses on producing key indicators for tracking progress on efforts to eliminate hunger and food insecurity, and promote better nutrition. FAO Statistics Division develops standards, methodologies and tools for generating and disseminating food security indicators and food and nutrient consumption statistics to enhance the capacity of national governments, and global and regional partners working closely with national governments to gather valuable evidence on food security and nutrition trends.

FAO is custodian agency of two SDG indicators:  the prevalence of undernourishment (PoU), which is FAO’s traditional indicator of chronic hunger (SDG indicator 2.1.1); and the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity, based on the Food Insecurity Experience Scale (FIES), which reflects FAO’s new approach to measuring different levels of food insecurity (SDG indicator 2.1.2). These indicators are updated yearly and published in The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, the most authoritative global report on progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition, produced jointly by FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The report provides the most up-to-date food security and nutrition indicators, with a focus on those that relate to SDG 2, “End hunger and achieve food security and improved nutrition.” The indicators are also publicly disseminated through such digital platforms as FAOSTAT and the United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals database.

An important component of FAO’s work on food security statistics is the Voices of the Hungry Project. The project builds on more than 20 years of international research and practice with experience-based food security measurement, and is responsible for the development of the FIES methodology, which is the set of statistical methods needed to produce estimates of the prevalence of moderate or severe food insecurity that are comparable across countries.