Poverty in erie county


Analysis Categories

What does this measure?

Poverty by Age Range, Sex, Employment Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Educational Attainment, by ZIP code.

Why is this important?

The percentage of people living in or near poverty is a measure of the overall economic health of a region. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports.

How is Erie County doing?


For populations of color, poverty remains higher for Black/African American (26.9%) and Latino (28.6%) populations, similarly for the population consisting of Two or More Races (28.5%), over White (14.5%) citizens. While Erie County's White populations are the lowest of the demographic groups, compared to the PA equivalent population at 10.0% in 2018, it is still high.


Poverty by age group followed a stepped decrease as the population ages. All age groups in Erie County are at a higher poverty rate than their U.S. counterparts, excepting for the demographic of residents 65 years and older, 8.0% in Erie County but slightly lower than the statewide 8.1%.

Educational Attainment

Poverty by educational attainment in Erie County closely matches trends in the U.S. for the demographics with less than high school educations, high school graduates, and some college or associates degree holders, but Erie's poverty rate for Bachelor's degree recipients (6.9%) is a third higher than the PA statewide rate of 4.0%. This could indicate that Erie's market is heavy with Bachelor's degree-holding job seekers, an unsurprising statistic due to Erie County's concentration of higher education institutions. 

Over Time

Poverty in Erie County incrementally rose from 2010 to 2013 and remained at an average of 16.7% over the last 5 years, but has fallen to 16.3% as of 2018. The Erie County average has remained higher than PA statewide poverty rate at 12.8%.

EVS Indicators

EVS analyzes the data in each topic category using indicators, which report a targeted and digestible number, rate, or amount to represent Erie County as a whole. While this does not cover every aspect of the topic, it assists in establishing Erie's performance relative to the prior year(s). The indicator for the Economy: Poverty topic is:


This indicator measures the percentage of the entire population of Erie County which fall below the poverty level for the latest data year. The trend for Poverty Rate is down and better from 2017 to 2018, with a reported decrease of -0.5% within the County. There were an estimated 42,812 individuals living in poverty in Erie County in 2018.

How does Erie compare to its Peers?

How does Erie compare to Pennsylvania?

About this Data

Data from the Census ACS as of 2018. Population 25 years and older used for Education category.