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Census data out this week shows the poverty rate in the Town of Greece jumped 75 percent from 2010 to 2011. The poverty rate went from 7.6 percent in 2010 to 13.3 percent in 2011.

What happened?

The rich got richer and the poor got poorer, as seen in Monroe County as a whole. Twenty percent of Greece households earned less than $25,000 a year in 2010, up a full percentage point from 2010. There were fewer households in the middle incomes, with a 4 percent drop in households earning between $35,000 and $75,000. There were more households earning above $100,000, up 4 percent to 21 percent. That could explain why the median income in Greece jumped in one year from $51,934 in 2010 to $57,541 in 2011.

The town’s demographics didn’t changed much over the one-year period. The population increased by fewer than 200 people to 96,239. The proportion of people over 65 years old in 2011 was relatively flat – down .4 percent to 16.5 percent of the population. The racial makeup is the same. The unemployment rate is the same at 6 percent.

The only big changes were a 3 percent jump in 25 to 34 year-olds, to 13.8 percent and a 2.8 percent increase in single mother-headed households to 8.1 percent.

The data shows a big increase of families in poverty. The rate of families in poverty went from 5.3 percent in 2010 to 9.2 percent in 2011. There was a giant increase in the rate of single mothers in poverty, jumping from 18.4 percent in 2010 to 47.2 percent in 2011.

Data was not available for Monroe County’s other suburbs. The census showed poverty increased to 16.7 percent, with one in four children living in poverty. Clearly, the suburbs are included in this problem.

Update: Sean Lahman, data specialist at the Democrat and Chronicle, posted on my Facebook page: 

You have to use caution when comparing ACS data from one year to another. The margin of error on the 2011 numbers is +/- 7.0, which means the poverty rate in Greece might have actually dropped. The fact that the MOE is so high makes me dubious about whether the number rose at all. The Census Bureau folks themselves say “comparing the 2011 ACS 1-year with the 2010 ACS 1-year estimates is not an exact comparison of the economic conditions in 2011 with those in 2010.” As a hard core number cruncher, I’d say this is more about noise in their survey than a sudden dramatic shift.

Links of the Day:

 – Monroe County’s infant mortality rate would rank near the bottom of industrialized nations, and some neighborhoods rival the infant mortality rates of Lebanon and Syria.

– Lt. Governor Bob Duffy is very involved in talks over a new Bills stadium lease. The big question is the penalty a new owner would pay if the team is moved out of town.

– In Albany, local owners are moving into spaces formerly occupied by chain restaurants.

5 Responses to Greece Poverty Rate Way Up

  1. There are many more rental properties in our neighborhood – by the new WalMart on Dewey Ave. This has always been a Kodak town – now people are out of work or working for much less income.

  2. September 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm Edward Richards responds:

    $20 is the new $10, $50 is the new $25 and $100 is the new $50. You have to be careful. $$$ even dictates wether you have a social life.


  3. There are many rental properties in Greece and they have two subsidized housing projects where low income people can live. There are other complexes as well. This is boon for the poor and Greece has done pretty well by them. Even if parents’ income doesn’t rise, the families live in safe neighborhoods and good schools for their kids. I’ve known several families who live there and their children have been able to get scholarships to good colleges and are aiming for PhDs. Other kids go the sports route but solid schooling and good safe schools have made their lives more comfortable and happier.

  4. Discover The Promise “WAS” their Motto 🙂

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