15% of Americans Use Food Stamps Mississippi leads the way, with 21% of residents on the rolls By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff Posted Nov 2, 2011 10:52 AM CDT 85 comments Comments Saad Hopkins, entering the University of Washington as a junior in the fall, gets groceries at the University District Food Bank Tuesday, July 15, 2008, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) (Newser) – A record 45.8 million people—that's a staggering 15% of Americans—sustained themselves via food stamps in August, reports the Wall Street Journal. That number was up 1.1% over July, notes Business Week, and 8.1% over the year prior. In terms of sheer numbers, Texas and California had the most residents on the rolls, with 4.12 million and 3.82 million, respectively; but percentage-wise, Mississippi led the way with more than 21% of its population. Louisiana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Tennessee all had 20% of their populations on food stamps.