Economic Security

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The proportion of people in various racial and ethnic groups with incomes below the poverty line. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2020, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $26,246.

Why is this important?

The percentage of people in poverty in various racial and ethnic groups is a measure of the overall economic health of these groups and may reflect disparities in access to economic opportunity. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports.

How is our region performing?

Poverty rates were highest in the region in 2016-20 among African American and Hispanic residents, at 31% and 30% respectively, compared to Asian residents at 14% and white residents at 10%. African Americans and Hispanics in New York State also had higher poverty rates than their white and Asian counterparts. Our region's disparities were larger than the state's with a 21-point gap between African American and white residents, compared to a 10-point gap in the state and 11 points in the nation. Poverty rates were little changed across all groups compared to 2000.

For all groups, rates were higher in the City of Rochester: 36% for African American residents, 40% for Hispanic residents, 28% for Asian residents, and 23% of white residents. In the other counties in the region, populations of these groups were generally too small for reliable estimates of the poverty rate.

Why do these disparities exist?

These large and persistent disparities in poverty rates are the result of historic and current policies and practices that disadvantaged people of color. Research has connected slavery and the inability of black Americans even after emancipation to fully participate in economic life to the wealth and income gaps still present today. In addition, these differences are attributed to the complex interplay of conditions including gender, occupation, family structure, education, employment status, wages, incarceration, unemployment and discrimination. African American workers across industries tend to earn lower wages than their white and Asian American peers. While education, especially the absence of a high school diploma, increases the likelihood of poverty, education credentials do not eliminate racial disparities. African Americans experience unemployment at twice the rate of whites regardless of education level. Also, the disproportionate and systemic incarceration of Black and Latinx males decreases job prospects and increases the likelihood of poverty.

Notes about the data

The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. 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. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
NYS14%20%21%10%
NYS (excluding NYC)11%20%16%9%
Region14%31%30%10%
Monroe15%32%31%9%
Surrounding Counties11%*28%26%10%
Genesee13%**26%**20%**10%
Livingston23%***37%***33%**12%
Ontario2%***22%*23%*8%
Orleans4%***22%***38%**12%
Seneca44%*31%***37%***11%
Wayne14%***38%*21%**10%
Wyoming1%***18%***31%**8%
Yates0%***44%***31%***13%
Monroe County Local Areas
Rochester28%*36%40%23%
Churchville (V)0%***0%***0%***4%***
Spencerport (V)0%***80%***100%***5%***
Honeoye Falls (V)0%***0%***100%***9%***
Greece4%***26%***13%**8%
Perinton15%***8%***4%***5%*
Henrietta19%*26%***20%***10%*
Riga0%***0%***0%***6%***
Chili1%***14%***16%***5%*
Mendon0%***27%***39%***4%**
Sweden50%***30%***34%***15%*
East Rochester15%***0%***4%***9%**
Parma29%***65%***6%***7%**
Wheatland0%***54%***36%***13%**
Scottsville (V)0%***70%***44%***11%***
Fairport (V)0%***40%***0%***14%***
Webster (V)0%***75%***10%***10%**
Hilton (V)N/A***70%***14%***8%***
Pittsford (V)0%***0%***3%***1%***
Penfield1%***5%***3%***4%*
Hamlin0%***1%***17%***8%**
Pittsford2%***3%***7%***3%**
Brighton18%**33%***17%***8%*
Irondequoit14%***15%**29%**6%
Rush0%***18%***0%***4%**
Brockport (V)71%***43%***49%***16%**
Clarkson0%***0%***28%***12%***
Ogden7%***4%***49%***7%**
Webster2%***23%***5%***4%*
Gates8%***4%***19%***7%**
Regional Cities
Batavia22%***28%***31%**14%
Canandaigua0%***16%***16%***8%*
Geneva13%***33%**30%*14%*

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. 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 People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2016-20
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
NYS235,557588,597759,8281,199,897
NYS (excluding NYC)49,547188,360197,737758,832
Region4,24136,69524,51891,647
Monroe3,79734,15220,19550,483
Surrounding Counties444*2,5434,32341,164
Genesee61**311**390**4,991
Livingston137***308***582**6,300
Ontario20***489*1,139*8,121
Orleans11***303***669**4,247
Seneca106*140***306***3,341
Wayne107***795*836**8,216
Wyoming2***130***246**2,996
Yates0***67***155***2,952
Monroe County Local Areas
Rochester1,636*28,73915,54020,664
Churchville (V)0***0***0***90***
Spencerport (V)0***4***7***173***
Honeoye Falls (V)0***0***1***238***
Greece103***1,873***835**6,269
Perinton219***88***74***2,258*
Henrietta850*970***393***2,898*
Riga0***0***0***343***
Chili6***334***150***1,149*
Mendon0***36***54***383**
Sweden62***109***221***1,613*
East Rochester3***0***13***534**
Parma15***232***42***976**
Wheatland0***99***61***548**
Scottsville (V)0***99***61***202***
Fairport (V)0***2***0***746***
Webster (V)0***192***37***509**
Hilton (V)0***230***27***431***
Pittsford (V)0***0***4***19***
Penfield7***41***38***1,452*
Hamlin0***1***14***662**
Pittsford49***18***60***697**
Brighton620**554***224***2,147*
Irondequoit130***678**1,291**2,485
Rush0***7***0***112**
Brockport (V)62***80***135***821**
Clarkson0***0***265***757***
Ogden8***14***494***1,318**
Webster23***210***79***1,749*
Gates66***149***347***1,469**
Regional Cities
Batavia37***224***238**1,659
Canandaigua0***15***129***779*
Geneva17***253**536*1,136*

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. 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.




People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2000
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
NYS17%25%28%10%
NYS (excluding NYC)10%23%19%8%
Region13%30%33%7%
Monroe12%30%34%7%
Surrounding Counties15%33%27%8%
Genesee14%36%34%7%
Livingston31%20%20%10%
Ontario5%30%30%6%
Orleans5%45%31%9%
Seneca26%35%29%11%
Wayne6%29%22%8%
Wyoming15%35%27%8%
Yates21%16%18%13%
Monroe County Local Areas
Rochester20%34%42%16%
Riga0%12%0%4%
Churchville (V)0%0%0%4%
East Rochester50%20%8%9%
Wheatland0%18%0%3%
Honeoye Falls (V)0%0%0%3%
Henrietta26%6%23%8%
Spencerport (V)0%N/A0%2%
Parma41%21%7%3%
Brighton13%13%30%5%
Rush0%0%0%1%
Fairport (V)0%0%0%3%
Gates7%9%3%5%
Pittsford (V)0%0%33%5%
Irondequoit2%18%24%5%
Brockport (V)6%11%41%19%
Webster (V)6%22%27%10%
Penfield4%1%13%3%
Chili7%2%9%3%
Sweden3%7%36%13%
Greece8%21%10%4%
Mendon0%0%0%3%
Perinton7%5%6%3%
Clarkson12%16%17%4%
Webster4%10%12%4%
Hilton (V)45%16%0%4%
Hamlin15%31%8%5%
Scottsville (V)0%0%0%2%
Ogden0%2%12%3%
Pittsford2%0%0%3%
Regional Cities
Batavia22%47%44%11%
Canandaigua13%0%28%9%
Geneva0%31%44%13%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. 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 People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2000
AsianBlack or African AmericanLatino or HispanicWhite
NYS178,217712,590782,3161,230,589
NYS (excluding NYC)25,543182,812127,600707,102
Region2,38031,39314,88171,366
Monroe2,03728,95812,96636,537
Surrounding Counties3432,4351,91534,829
Genesee293461973,853
Livingston144921435,534
Ontario345056075,874
Orleans46413113,421
Seneca811041003,236
Wayne226924366,809
Wyoming1941773,104
Yates1014442,998
Monroe County Local Areas
Rochester84027,29311,45116,398
Riga060200
Churchville (V)00076
East Rochester281414547
Wheatland0460126
Honeoye Falls (V)00064
Henrietta3731381802,292
Spencerport (V)00055
Parma37369500
Brighton3641322481,385
Rush00017
Fairport (V)000181
Gates61164241,351
Pittsford (V)00174
Irondequoit123353882,204
Brockport (V)425631,039
Webster (V)84530466
Penfield456631,086
Chili233037860
Sweden4291311,411
Greece885992403,596
Mendon000251
Perinton9833371,142
Clarkson72528228
Webster2850781,281
Hilton (V)37100204
Hamlin71617479
Scottsville (V)00048
Ogden0620478
Pittsford2201705
Regional Cities
Batavia262651001,467
Canandaigua21028884
Geneva03834911,218

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. 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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