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The national poverty rate went down in 2013, but not in Monroe County.

The 2013 poverty threshold for a family of four was $23,834.

Census data released Thursday shows the following about Monroe County’s poverty rate for all people:

  • 2013: 15.8%
  • 2012: 15%
  • 2011: 16.7%
  • 2010: 15.4%
  • 2009: 13.4%

In 2013 in Monroe County, 11.5 percent of families lived in poverty. One in five families with children lived in poverty. Nearly half of all single mothers with children under 18 – 46 percent – lived in poverty. (That’s up from 42 percent in 2012 and the same as 2011.) Among children under 18, 23.9 percent live in poverty. Among people 65 years and older, 6.7 percent live in poverty.

The City of Rochester’s poverty rate was 35.4 percent, up from 2012, but virtually the same as 2011. Rochester had the highest poverty rate among the state’s big cities.

Median household income has barely budged:

  • 2013: $51,665
  • 2012: $51,365
  • 2011: $51,562
  • 2010: $52,694
  • 2009: $54,491

Census data on health insurance was also released. In Monroe County, 7.1 percent of people have no health insurance, a figure that has remained relatively steady over the past five years.




Help Fight Poverty


If you’re disturbed by the above poverty statistics, there’s a way you can help. I am thrilled to be the honorary chairperson of the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley’s 5k Race and Walk on October 26. This organization helps women and girls become economically self-sufficient. Please consider joining my team. I bet we’ll have some great conversation walking through Genesee Valley Park! You can also make a donation large or small. Click here for my team page.


Links of the Day:


– The Syracuse mayor’s house was burglarized. Note to thieves: Even mayors have the “Find my iPad” app.

– Can’t we make the people who use the Tappan Zee Bridge pay for it? (I realize they do already, but it’s clearly not enough)

– The Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater, where Susan B. Anthony, Booker T. Washington and FDR spoke is about to be dismantled and modernized, rankling preservationists.

– The race for New York governor is now officially goofy.

– Los Angeles schools are returning a grenade launcher to the federal government. But they’re keeping the rifles and armored vehicle. Wait…what?

– CPS visited the home of an Austin woman. Why? Her kids were playing outside alone.

You know you’ve lived in Rochester too long when…

– A friend of mine communicated with Darien Lake via a cake. She actually got a response…via a cake.

4 Responses to Poverty Ticks Back Up

  1. Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusting for inflation, that’s three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

    The federal government currently runs more than 80 means-tested welfare programs. These programs provide cash, food, housing and medical care to low-income Americans. Federal and state spending on these programs last year was $943 billion.

    (These figures do not include Social Security, Medicare or unemployment insurance.)

    Over 100 million people, about a third of the U.S. population, received aid from at least one welfare program at an average cost of $9,000 per recipient in 2013. If converted to cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all poverty in the U.S.

    But the Census will almost certainly proclaim that around 14% of Americans are still poor. The present poverty rate is almost exactly the same as it was in 1967, a few years after the War on Poverty started. Census data actually show that poverty has gotten worse over the last 40 years.

    How is this possible? How can the taxpayers spend $22 trillion on welfare while poverty gets worse? The answer is that it isn’t possible. Census counts a family as poor if its income falls below specified thresholds. But in counting family “income,” Census ignores nearly the entire $943 billion welfare state.

    For most Americans, the word “poverty” means significant material deprivation, an inability to provide a family with adequate nutritious food, reasonable shelter and clothing. But only a small portion of the more than 40 million people labeled as poor by Census fit that description.

    The media frequently associate the idea of poverty with being homeless. But less than 2% of the poor are homeless. Only one in 10 live in mobile homes. The typical house or apartment of the poor is in good repair, uncrowded and actually larger than the average dwelling of non-poor French, Germans or English.

    According to government surveys, the typical family that Census identifies as poor has air-conditioning, cable or satellite TV, and a computer. Forty percent have a wide-screen HDTV, and another 40% have Internet access. Three quarters of the poor own a car and roughly a third have two or more cars.

    Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-perspective/091614-717643-johnson-war-on-poverty-still-hasnt-been-won.htm#ixzz3DgMU0WBi
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  2. I checked out the article on being in Rochester too long. SO TRUE. I want a garbage plate right now!!! Even the poor can afford a plate.

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