Economic Security






The economic security of individuals and families is essential to achieving the values of American society. For complex reasons, this financial security is beyond the means of many in our community. 

While we know the coronavirus pandemic had major impacts on economic security, the available data don’t paint a clear picture. The latest release from Census for 2017-2021 understates the impact since it includes data for 4 pre-pandemic years. In addition, income losses due to job disruptions in 2020 were somewhat ameliorated by payments from the federal government for unemployment and COVID relief.

So the poverty rate for our region in 2017-21 was 13%, just a hair below the rate of 14% for 2012-16.  Poverty continues to be much higher in the City of Rochester, 29%, though that was down 4 percentage points from the previous 5-year period. And poverty continues to disproportionately impact people of color, with rates of 31% for African Americans and 28% for Latinos, compared to 9% for whites and 14% for Asians.

Poverty is the result of low incomes, and in our region the median household income  was $65,000 in 2017-21, a decrease of 8% from 2000. This was lower than the $75,200 in the state and $69,000 in the nation. The City of Rochester had the lowest median income in the region.

Household incomes varied greatly among our region's racial and ethnic groups, with African American and Hispanic residents earning less (median incomes of $36,700 and $40,300, respectively) and living in poverty at higher rates (31% and 28% respectively). Household incomes of whites were nearly twice as high as those of African Americans and Hispanics. Poverty rates were higher in the City of Rochester: 37% for Hispanics, 36% for African Americans, 27% for Asians and 22% for white residents.

The poverty rate was 13% in the region and 11% in the counties surrounding Monroe in 2017-21, similar to the state and national rate (both 13%). Since 2000, the poverty rate in the region increased by 3 points, while the state rate decreased 2 points.

As young people begin their transition to adulthood, their engagement in school or work is important to their future financial prospects. Yet in our region, 6% of youth ages 16 to 19 were not in school or working in 2017-21.

As the economy declined, the rate of people receiving public assistance in the region and state increased since 2008 but has been decreasing since 2015Monroe and Orleans counties had the highest rates in 2021 at 1.5% and 1.7%, but Monroe had the lowest rate of approving applications for assistance (17% in 2021). 

The share of regional households receiving federal food assistance has remained elevated since the 2008 recession, with 13% participating in SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program). Rates were higher among households headed by people of color, with 38% of black or African Americans and 34% of Hispanic or Latinos in our region participating in 2017-21, in comparison to 9% of white residents. 








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
Prenatal Care 78% 2019 3 1
Increasing
Prenatal Care, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable*
Babies Born with Low Birth Weights 8.4% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Babies Born with Low Birth Weights, Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable*
Infant Mortality Rate 6.9 2017-19 2 0
Maintaining
Infant Mortality Rate, Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable*
Children with Elevated Blood Lead Levels 0.8% 2019 2 -1
Decreasing
Children in Poverty 18% 2017-21 3 1
Increasing
Children in Poverty, Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Single-Parent Families 39% 2017-21 2 1
Increasing
Single-Parent Families, by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Rate of Child Abuse and Neglect 20 2020 2 1
Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions 1.8 2020 2 -1
Decreasing
Rate of Teen Pregnancy 1.3% 2019 3 -1
Decreasing
Rate of Teen Births 12 2019 2 -1
Decreasing
Tourism Spending $1,399 2021 1 0
Maintaining
Recreation Spending $83 2021 1 -1
Decreasing
Voter Registration Rate 84% 2021 2 1
Increasing
Voter Participation Rate 64% 2020 3 1
Increasing
Registered Library Borrowers 55% 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
Library Visits 2.5 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
Charitable Contributions as a Percentage of Income 0.8% 2020 2 -1
Decreasing
Households Without Vehicles 10% 2017-21 3 0
Maintaining
Total Population 1.4% 2021 2 1
Increasing
Means of Transportation to Work 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Population by Age 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Workers’ Commute Time, by Means of Transportation to Work 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Population by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Crashes Involving Pedestrians 2.6 2022 3 0
Maintaining
Population by Age and Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Crashes Involving Cyclists 1.4 2022 3 -1
Decreasing
Disengaged Youth, Ages 16 to 19 6% 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Vehicle Crashes Resulting in Injuries and Fatalities 60 2022 3 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income $64,995 2017-21 1 -1
Decreasing
Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) 24 2022 2 -1
Decreasing
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Miles of Dedicated Bike Infrastructure 2023 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living in Poverty 13% 2017-21 3 1
Increasing
RTS Ridership 8 2022 0 -1
Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living in Poverty, by Sex 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
RTS On-time Performance 0 10 Not Applicable*
Public Assistance Recipients 1.2% 2021 3 -1
Decreasing
Approval Rate for Public Assistance Applications 22% 2021 0 -1
Decreasing
Females Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Seniors Living in Poverty, by Sex 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Households Receiving SNAP 13% 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Female Seniors Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Tax Filers Receiving Earned Income Tax Credit 14% 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
EITC Dollars $153 2020 2 -1
Decreasing
Change in Total Jobs 2.3% 2021 2 1
Increasing
Change in Number of Business Establishments by Sector 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Jobs by Sector 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Sector Shares of Regional Total Employment 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Unemployment Rate 4.9% 2021 3 1
Increasing
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Average Salary by Sector 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 12% 2021 3 1
Increasing
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 by Sector 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Employment-to-Population Ratio 59% 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Prekindergarten Participation 41% 2021 2 1
Increasing
School Spending Per Student $23,561 2020 1 1
Increasing
Instructional Spending Per Student $16,983 2020 1 1
Increasing
Students Receiving Special Education Services 2021 0 -1
Decreasing
Grade 3 English 37% 2022 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup 2022 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 3 English by Race/Ethnicity 2022 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 3 Math 40% 2022 2 1
Increasing
Grade 3 Math by Student Subgroup 2022 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 3 Math by Race/Ethnicity 2022 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 8 English 39% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Grade 8 English by Student Subgroup 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 8 English by Race/Ethnicity 2019 0 10 Not Applicable*
Grade 8 Math 49% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Regents Algebra 1 73% 2019 3 1
Increasing
Regents English 83% 2019 2 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate 88% 2022 3 1
Increasing
Cohort Graduation Rate, Beyond Four Years 90% 2022 3 1
Increasing
Four-Year Cohort Graduation Rate by Race/Ethnicity 2022 0 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Without Health Insurance 5% 2020 3 -1
Decreasing
Supply of Doctors 35.3 2019 1 1
Increasing
Mortality Rate 693 2019 1 -1
Decreasing
Chlamydia Rate 53 2020 2 1
Increasing
Chlamydia Rates, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable*
Gonorrhea Rate 37 2020 1 1
Increasing
Maternal Health, by Race/Ethnicity 2018-20 0 10 Not Applicable*
Gonorrhea Rates, Race/Ethnicity, Monroe County 0 10 Not Applicable*
Early Syphilis Rates 2.8 2020 3 1
Increasing
Early Syphilis Rates within Monroe County, by Race/Ethnicity 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living with HIV 105 2021 0 1
Increasing
People Living with HIV by Race/Ethnicity 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
People Living with AIDS 124 2021 0 1
Increasing
People Living with AIDS by Race/Ethnicity 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality 0 10 Not Applicable*
Alcohol-related Crashes 2.7 2021 2 -1
Decreasing
Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment by Primary Substance 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Median Home Value $151,405 2017-21 1 1
Increasing
Median Rental Prices $936 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Homeowners 2.3 2017-21 3 0
Maintaining
Housing Affordability for Homeowners by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Overall Housing Cost Burden 28% 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Renters 32% 2017-21 3 10 Not Applicable*
Rent Burdened Households 48% 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Housing Affordability for Renters by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Homeownership Rate 68% 2017-21 3 -1
Decreasing
Homeownership Rate by Race/Ethnicity 2017-21 0 10 Not Applicable*
Vacant Housing Units 9% 2017-21 3 1
Increasing
Homeless Persons 0 10 Not Applicable*
Serious Crimes 165 2021 3 -1
Decreasing
Violent Crimes 25 2021 3 1
Increasing
Victims of Domestic Violence 59 2021 0 -1
Decreasing
Incarceration Rates 10.0 2021 0 -1
Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 2018 0 10 Not Applicable*
Arrest Rates 125.2 2021 3 -1
Decreasing
Arrest Rates, by Race/Ethnicity 2021 0 10 Not Applicable*
Per-Capita Spending for Local Government $3,731 2019 0 1
Increasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio 0.70 2017-21 3 0
Maintaining
*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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