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 (24.8%) or Latino (23.0%) populations over White (16.5%), but for the population consisting of Two or More Races that rate is far higher at 38.3%. Additionally, Erie County's population of Two or More Races is much higher than the U.S. equivalent, which reported 18.4% below the poverty line in 2017. Erie County's White (16.5%) populations are the lowest of the demogrpahic groups, but compared to the U.S. equivalent population at 12.0% in 2017, was still higher.


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+ which 8.7% in Erie County are slightly lower than the U.S. 9.3%.

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 (8.6%) is nearly double the U.S. rate of 4.5%. 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 high education institutions. 

Over Time

Poverty in Erie County incrementally rose from 2010 to 2013 and has remained at an average of 16.7% over the last 5 years. The Erie County average has remained higher than U.S. poverty rate at 14.6%. Notably, the U.S. poverty rate dropped a percentage from 15.5% in 2015 whereas Erie County's has stagnated.

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 up and worse in 2017, with a reported decrease of +0.1% within the County. There were a reported 44,492 individuals living in poverty in Erie County in 2017.

How does Erie compare to its Peers?

How does Erie compare to Pennsylvania?

About this Data

Data from the Census ACS as of 2017. Population 25 years and older used for Education category.