SWS: Hunger recovers from 11.8% to 9.8%

The national Social Weather Survey (SWS) of March 26-29, 2023, found that 9.8% of families, or an estimated 2.7 million, experienced involuntary hunger – being hungry and not having anything to – at least once in the past three months.

The March SWS 2023 Hunger figure was down from 11.8% (estimated 3.0 million families) in December 2022 and 11.3% (estimated 2.9 million families) in October 2022. However, it was still higher than the 8.8% (estimated 2.1 million families) in December 2019, before the COVID-19 .


Hunger declines in all areas, especially in Balance Luzon and the Visayas

As per SWS survey of March 2023, the experience of hunger was highest in at 11.7% of families, followed by Metro Manila at 10.7%, the Visayas at 9.7%, and Balance Luzon (or Luzon outside Metro Manila) at 8.7%. It has been highest in Mindanao in 39 out of 101 surveys since July 1998.

The 2.0-point decline in Overall Hunger between December 2022 and March 2023 was due to decreases in all areas, more noticeable in Balance Luzon and the Visayas than in Metro Manila and Mindanao.


Compared to December 2022, the incidence of hunger fell by 2.6 points in Balance Luzon, from 11.3% (est. 1.3 million families) to 8.7% (est. 1.1 million families).

It fell by 2.3 points in the Visayas, from 12.0% (est. 576,000 families) to 9.7% (est. 499,000 families).

It fell by 1.0 points in Metro Manila, from 11.7% (est. 399,000 families) to 10.7% (est. 397,000 families).


It also fell by 1.0 points in Mindanao, from 12.7% (est. 738,000 families) to 11.7% (est. 721,000 families).

SWS: Moderate Hunger 8.6%, Severe Hunger 1.2%

The 9.8% Hunger rate in March 2023 was the sum of 8.6% (est. 2.3 million families) who experienced Moderate Hunger and 1.2% (est. 340,000 families) who experienced Severe Hunger.

Moderate Hunger refers to those who experienced hunger “Only Once” or “A Few Times” in the last three months. Meanwhile, Severe Hunger refers to those who experienced it “Often” or “Always” in the previous three months.

Compared to December 2022, Moderate Hunger fell from 9.5% (est. 2.4 million families), while Severe Hunger fell from 2.3% (est. 599,000 families).

In Metro Manila, Moderate Hunger hardly moved from 9.3% in December 2022 to 9.7% in March 2023, while Severe Hunger fell by 1.3 points from 2.3% to 1.0%.

In Balance Luzon, Moderate Hunger fell by 1.6 points from 9.3% to 7.7%, while Severe Hunger fell by 1.0 points from 2.0% to 1.0%.

In the Visayas, Moderate Hunger fell by 1.0 points from 10.0% to 9.0%, while Severe Hunger fell by 1.3 points from 2.0% to 0.7%.

In Mindanao, Moderate Hunger stayed at 9.3% from December 2022 to March 2023, while Severe Hunger fell by 1.0 points from 3.3% to 2.3%.

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