Economic Security

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The proportion of households broken out by race and ethnicity that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

Why is this important?

The SNAP program provides government funding for low-income people to buy food. It therefore is an indication of how many people in a region rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs.

How is our region performing?

In 2014-18, 42% of black or African Americans and 40% of Hispanic or Latinos in our region participated in the SNAP program, in comparison to 10% of whites and 12% of Asians. While white participation rates were on par with state and national levels, Hispanic or Latino and black or African American participation rates were roughly 1.6 that of state and national levels. Hispanic or Latino participation at the regional level increased by 3 percentage points from 2009-13 to 2014-18, a greater increase than Hispanic or Latino participation at the state or national level over the same time frame.

Within our region, Monroe County had a participation rate of 43% for blacks or African Americans and 41% for Hispanic or Latinos, compared to a rate of 10% for whites and a 12% for Asian residents. This is largely driven by the City of Rochester, which had a rate of 49% for black or African-Americans and 52% for Hispanic or Latinos, and a rate of 24% for whites.

Notes about the data

The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). Studies have found that ACS estimates of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate. The estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

Studies have found that national survey estimates (including the ACS) of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate due to underreporting by participants, when compared with state-level administrative data. Underreporting can occur for a variety of reasons, including the social stigma of program participation and participants' confusion about the source of the services they receive. For these reasons, the estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate.

Data for this indicator are expected to be released in December.

Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
United States7%26%21%10%
NYS13%27%30%10%
NYS (excluding NYC)7%28%20%9%
Region12%42%40%10%
Monroe12%43%41%10%
Surrounding Counties8%******35%**33%11%
Genesee10%******33%******24%******11%
Livingston14%******45%**32%****12%
Ontario8%******34%**47%**8%
Orleans4%******27%******32%******15%
Seneca9%******41%******29%******11%
Wayne3%******45%****24%****11%
WyomingN/A******12%******6%******11%
YatesN/A******N/A******48%******10%**
Rochester27%**49%52%24%
Batavia22%******37%******39%******20%
CanandaiguaN/A******59%******9%******11%**
Geneva50%******49%****53%**18%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
United States402,8723,835,4253,207,2508,783,139
NYS69,078295,890339,962507,972
NYS (excluding NYC)9,66294,19663,750324,403
Region1,04819,2289,62141,644
Monroe96818,0168,15722,964
Surrounding Counties80******1,212**1,46418,680
Genesee13******220******117******2,448
Livingston29******126**162****2,865
Ontario23******319**642**3,529
Orleans3******167******183******2,218
Seneca8******56******69******1,369
Wayne4******320****212****3,715
Wyoming0******4******15******1,684
Yates0******0******64******852**
Rochester497**15,5656,55111,224
Batavia10******138******58******1,080
Canandaigua0******47******5******500**
Geneva23******237****348**665

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-13
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
United States7%27%21%10%
NYS13%27%32%10%
NYS (excluding NYC)7%29%20%9%
Region8%**42%37%9%
Monroe8%**42%39%8%
Surrounding Counties5%******35%**26%10%
Genesee5%******44%****27%******9%
Livingston11%******44%******49%****11%
OntarioN/A******18%******32%**9%
Orleans5%******32%******16%******15%
Seneca25%******N/A******31%******10%
WayneN/A******46%**13%******10%
WyomingN/A******N/A******13%******9%
YatesN/A******38%******35%******14%
Rochester25%**48%49%20%
BataviaN/A******60%****54%******16%
CanandaiguaN/A******N/A******37%******15%**
GenevaN/A******35%******40%****14%**

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2009-13
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
United States333,2393,778,3862,919,4378,720,534
NYS59,019290,593329,118494,843
NYS (excluding NYC)7,57193,12656,940303,328
Region704**18,3907,51036,400
Monroe660**17,3636,68118,263
Surrounding Counties44******1,027**82918,137
Genesee4******242****92******2,096
Livingston22******75******171****2,515
Ontario0******124******321**3,672
Orleans4******170******52******2,274
Seneca14******0******55******1,314
Wayne0******401**104******3,570
Wyoming0******0******12******1,412
Yates0******15******22******1,284
Rochester512**15,3655,6229,126
Batavia0******222****80******918
Canandaigua0******0******13******711**
Geneva0******109******201****602**

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.







Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS


INDICATORS - Grouped by Topic REGIONAL VALUE YEAR NYS COMPARISON TREND | REGION
*No or multiple regional values for this indicator


Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS





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