Economy
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17


People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17

What does this measure?

The proportion of people in various racial and ethnic groups with incomes below the poverty line. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2017, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $24,858.

Why is this important?

The percentage of people in poverty in various race and ethnic groups is a measure of the overall economic health of these groups. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports.

How is our county doing?

In 2013-17, 44% of Hispanic residents and 37% of African American residents had incomes below the poverty line, compared to 14% among white residents. Since 2000, the Hispanic poverty rate went up by 9 percentage points in comparison to increases of 4 points for whites and 2 points for African Americans. Erie County's rates were higher than the state and national levels for all groups, but the difference in rates for Hispanics and African Americans was much larger (13-22 percentage points for Hispanics and 9-12 percentage points for African Americans) than for whites (a 4 point gap from the state and a 2 point gap from the nation).

Erie City had higher poverty rates than the county for all groups, and its white poverty rate (23%) in particular was much higher than for the county as a whole. The disparity between African American and white poverty rates was smaller than that at the county level, while the disparity between Hispanics and whites was larger.

How do we compare to similar counties?

Comparable counties had the same basic disparities among racial and ethnic groups, though Luzerne County, PA had an even larger difference between African American and white poverty rates. Erie County had the highest Hispanic poverty rate among the comparable counties and a lower African American poverty rate than both Broome County, NY and Luzerne County, PA. White poverty rates were very similar across comparable counties.

Notes about the data

Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with 3 asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are expected to be released annually in December.

People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States12%25%22%12%
Pennsylvania15%28%31%10%
Erie County, PA22%**37%44%14%
Luzerne County, PA18%****46%37%13%
Broome County, NY36%43%40%14%
Stark County, OH8%******35%26%**11%
Erie City26%**37%55%23%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2013-17
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States2,011,2179,807,00912,269,45227,607,156
Pennsylvania61,638368,064259,0201,036,506
Erie County, PA911**6,5754,61833,118
Luzerne County, PA680****5,16311,51834,454
Broome County, NY2,4764,4512,72621,802
Stark County, OH256******8,9231,854**36,999
Erie City717**5,7523,93016,074

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2000
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States13%25%23%9%
Pennsylvania17%27%31%8%
Erie County, PA19%35%35%10%
Stark County, OH11%28%15%7%
Broome County, NY32%41%41%11%
Luzerne County, PA9%39%32%11%
Erie City29%37%39%14%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2000
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
United States1,257,2378,146,1467,797,87418,847,674
Pennsylvania34,806305,776117,412860,775
Erie County, PA3205,3072,02924,032
Stark County, OH2067,29950524,615
Broome County, NY1,3272,5481,52618,947
Luzerne County, PA1331,4271,12831,413
Erie City1545,1431,81311,258

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




INDICATORS TREND | ERIE COUNTY
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Employees Increasing
Tourism Spending Maintaining
Median Age Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Decreasing
Foreign Born Population Increasing
Household Types Not Applicable
Average Household Size Maintaining
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Median Household Income Maintaining
Public Assistance Maintaining
Change in Average Salary Decreasing
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty by Education Level Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Housing Affordability for Homeowners Maintaining
Median Rent Maintaining
Student Performance in Grade 3 Reading Increasing
Student Performance in Grade 3 Math Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Maintaining
Per Student Spending Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Education Level of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Air Quality Increasing
Water Quality Maintaining
Recycling Tons Per Capita Maintaining
Solid Waste Per Capita Maintaining
Vehicles by Fuel Type Not Applicable
Mortality Rate Decreasing
Death from Heart Disease Decreasing
Death from Cancer Decreasing
Death from Stroke Decreasing
Death from Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease Increasing
Hypertension Prevalance Increasing
Diabetes Prevalence Increasing
Asthma Increasing
People Without Healthcare Coverage Decreasing
People Without a Primary Care Physician Increasing
Routine Checkups Increasing
People Who Cannot Afford Healthcare Decreasing
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Children Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Teens Who are Overweight or Obese Increasing
Adult Smokers Decreasing
Physically Inactive Adults Decreasing
Binge Drinking Maintaining
Infant Mortality Decreasing
Low Birth Weight Babies Increasing
Live Births to Teen Mothers Decreasing
Non Smoking During Pregnancy Increasing
Early Prenatal Care Increasing