Data for 2018 Challenge



Multiple agencies collect a wealth of data on a regular basis. A portion of this data has been compiled and provided. You are not required to use this data; that is, you may choose to use none, some, or all of this data and/or any additional data sources you may identify while working on this problem.  Be sure to cite all resources used.

MATLAB Users: If you are trying to use this data in MATLAB, you can double-click the files in MATLAB’s “Current Folder” browser or use the Import Data Button at the top of the Toolstrip. Here is a MATLAB video tutorial about importing spreadsheet data.


  • This data may be useful for Question 1.
  • The first tab has information about levels of food insecurity in TX.
  • The second tab has information about food losses and waste in North America.
  • The third tab has information about how much food is produced in TX.
  • Data in these sheets was pulled from multiple sources, references to original data is prominent in each spreadsheet.


  • This data may be helpful to gain insight on food choices that people make. These tabs provide total U.S. food expenditures, including purchases by consumers, governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in 2014. 
  • The first tab gives total dollar amount spent for food at home.
  • The second tab gives the dollar amounts spent for food at home by different outlets.
  • The third tab gives the total dollar amount spent for food away home.
  • The fourth tab gives the dollar amounts spent for food away from home by different outlets.
  • The fifth tab gives the food expenditures (at and away from home) by families and individuals as a share of disposable personal income .
  • These tables were taken from larger sets found here.


  • This data (from a survey of about 130,000 consumers) may be helpful to gain insight on choices (including those about food and many other expenditures) that people make.
  • Statistics are provided that describe the sample population.
  • The data is split among different income levels and provides average annual expenditures with standard deviations in a wide range of categories.
  • This data was taken from here.
  • You can generate similar tailored spreadsheets here. (Note:  You may need a Java-enabled internet browser to generate spreadsheets.  Do an internet search if you need assistance with finding a Java-enabled browser.)


  • This data (from 2007-10 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys of 18,117 persons 1 year of age and older) may be helpful to gain insight on the amount of different food types that people eat.
  • Food group types, as well as chosen units of measurement for each food type, are consistent with the USDA and US Health and Human Services publication, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.
  • This data was taken from here.