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As the following tables will show, Chautauqua County is among the poorer counties in the state to an extent that is at odds with the self-conception of many of its residents and visitors.
A) 1999 Household Income
Median income in 1999 for Chautauqua County's 54,488 households is $33,458, which ranks 51st of New York's 62 counties. At 10.8% Chautauqua, ranks 19th among New York counties in the percentage of households with incomes less than $10,000, 7th in percentage of households with incomes between $10,000 and $14,999, and 10th in households with incomes from $15,000 to $19,000. Over one-third of the county's households, 37%, have incomes under $25,000, and 52% have incomes under $35,000.
B) 1999 Income by Age and Sex
Median income increases by age group from a low of $16,360 for those under 25 to a high of $47,950 for those in the 45-54 age group, and declines thereafter. Chautauqua ranks 45th of all counties in the state in the state in median income for those 65-74, and 51st for those 75 and over.
Chautauqua ranks 56th in earnings for those 16 and over with earnings, with a median of $18,576. The median earnings of females is 48% of earnings of males. Median earnings of males rank 40th of all counties in the state, and female earnings rank 56th.
C) 1999 Household Income Ranges by Family Type
The table below shows differences in income range by household type. It depicts differences in the distribution of median incomes among households, families, married couple families, female householders with no husband present, and non-family households (a householder living alone or with non-relatives only). The ranges for female householders with no husband present and for non-family households are quite striking. For the former, 23% earn less than $10,000, 38.7% less than $14,999, and 52.2% less than $20,000, and the figures are almost the same for the latter group.
The same data for each Chautauqua county location are also available (CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY INCOME DISTRIBUTION IN 1999).
D) 1999 Income by Selected Characteristics
The next table shows differences in income by selected household, family, and individual characteristics that may be relevant to health-related issues and services. It is noteworthy that comparisons between males and females who are full-time, year-round workers reveal a substantial disparity in the median income of females. The median income for females householders with no husband present with children under 18 is $15,030, while the median income for married couples with children under 18 is $48,644, over three times greater, and the median for female householders with no husband present and no children is $30,105, or twice as great. For individual 65 and over living alone, median income is $16,786 for males compared to $13,403 for females.
The same data for each Chautauqua county location are also available (CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY INCOME BY SELECTED HOUSEHOLD CHARACTERISTICS).
Additional economic facts about Chautauqua County are available as well (CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY ECONOMIC CHARACTERISTICS).
Socio-economic status is linked to a number of health risks and chronic diseases examined in Sections II and III of this assessment. On a variety of income and economic measures, Chautauqua County ranks low relative to other New York counties. Of particular concern for health risk behavior and service delivery is the economic status of women relative to men, particularly women with children and those 65 and over living alone.