The Current State Of The State Of Poverty

 

The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies released its State of Poverty 2016 report last week. The first part is a synopsis of sorts, the final pages are the statistics and tables for each category, area, etc. Of note:

The FPM [Federal Poverty Measure] is based on annual household income, and as such, fails to distinguish between longterm and short-term poverty. Using a monthly poverty threshold along with data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), a national household survey designed to track participants over multiple years, the Census Bureau estimates the number of Americans experiencing chronic and episodic poverty. The chronic poverty rate is defined as the percentage of the population in poverty every month in a 36-month period, whereas episodic poverty is defined as those in poverty for at least two consecutive months in a 36-month period. [Ohio has a] 16% official annual poverty rate, 32% episodic poverty rate. The episodic poverty rate in the United States is twice as high as the official annual poverty rate. Asset poverty is a measure of the financial cushion needed to withstand a financial crisis (i.e. medical emergency, job loss, etc.) and stay out of poverty for three months. Assets can be liquid or non-liquid. Liquid assets are those which can be easily exchanged for cash (e.g., gold, savings accounts, government bonds). Nonliquid assets typically must be sold (e.g., cars, homes, businesses). A household is considered asset poor if its combined assets are worth less than three months’ living expenses at the federal poverty level (FPL) threshold. Similarly, a household is considered liquid asset poor if its liquid assets alone are insufficient to meet those expenses. Nearly half of Ohio households lack the liquid assets needed to stay out of poverty for 3 months.

A family of two adults and two school-age children in Ohio needs an annual income of at least 146% of the federal poverty level to be self-sufficient. A single parent with 2 children must work 109 hours per week to reach self-sufficiency at minimum wage. A family of one adult, an infant, and a preschooler needs to earn at least $45,715 a year to be self-sufficient. Nearly one third of households led by a single female live in poverty; that rate increases to 43.1% among single women with children under 18. Married couple families where neither spouse works still have a lower poverty rate (9.3%) than single female householder families where the householder works full time.

Food insecurity, defined by the USDA as limited or uncertain access to adequate food, affects millions of people nationwide and hundreds of thousands of Ohioans. Children are particularly affected by food insecurity; nearly one-quarter of Ohio’s youth are food insecure and 20% of those children are likely ineligible for federal nutrition assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). However, college students are also affected. Twelve Ohio colleges and universities have food pantries on campus.

Grandparent caregivers often struggle financially since many already live on a fixed income that does not increase when they gain custody. Nearly one in three grandparent households live in poverty while less than one in five traditional parent households are in poverty. Ohio has nearly 40,000 grandparent-caregiver households. One in five grandparent caregivers live in poverty According to a national report, one in three grandparent caregivers who are solely responsible for their grandchildren, without parent involvement, live in poverty. The poverty rate for grandparents decreases in older grandparents (those 60 and older).

Over the last 15 years, the population of Ohio has grown by only 2.4% but the poor population has grown by 54.1% Urban areas have seen a decrease in population over the last 15 year period but a substantial increase in population in poverty Suburban areas have seen the largest increase in poor population between 2000-2015, at 76.0%

 

Some specifically Licking County Statistics:

From 2015:

Overall poverty rate of 12.6%

Children under 18   17.4%

Seniors 65 and older   5.1%

Family poverty rate   9.2%

Married couples with related children   7.4%

Single women with related children   41.9%

Childhood food insecurity rate 2014   21.8%

Children both food insecure and ineligible for food assistance in 2014   7.4%

K-12 students receiving free or reduced price lunch 2016   37.2%

Population receiving SNAP 2015   13%

Population enrolled in Medicaid December 2014   22%

Population having no health insurance 2015   9.1%

Unemployment rate in 2015   4.4%

 

 

 

 

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