Children in Poverty
What does this measure?
The estimated number of children under 18 living below the federally defined poverty line, expressed as a percentage of all children under 18. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2011, a family of four with two children and annual income less than $22,800 was considered poor.
Why is this important?
Children raised in impoverished environments are at higher risk for a wide variety of health and social problems, including poor performance in school. The challenges they face in childhood can diminish their chances for successful adult lives.
How are Cayuga and Seneca counties performing?
The estimated child poverty rate in 2007-11 was 19% in Cayuga and 16% in Seneca, below the 20% in the nation but higher than the 15% in the state (excluding NYC). Poverty was up 4 points in Cayuga from 2000 levels and remained flat in Seneca. The rates were similar to those in Onondaga, Oswego, and Wayne but higher than in Ontario. Auburn's estimated rate was especially high at 28%.
Notes about the data
The 2007-11 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.