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Section I: Demographic Analysis
Population
Households
Cultural Diversity
Education
Employment
Income
Poverty
Births and Deaths

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Poverty

Of Chautauqua County's 133,871 residents for whom poverty status has been determined, 18,530, or 13.84%, are below the poverty level according to the 2000 census. Chautauqua ranks 15th highest of New York's 62 counties with respect to the percentage of population below the poverty level, and 20th with respect to the number of persons in poverty. (NEW YORK COUNTIES RANKED BY PERCENT OF POPULATION IN POVERTY)

A) 1999 Poverty in New York State

The percentage of New York State residents below 100% of the poverty level in 2003 was 14.3%, and 31.6% were below 200% of the poverty level, as the following graph and table show. These percentages have been generally consistent over the past three years.

NYS below poverty 1995-2003

B) 1999 Poverty in Chautauqua County

Of Chautauqua County's 133,871 residents for whom poverty status has been determined, 18,530, or 13.84%, are below the poverty level according to the 2000 census. Chautauqua ranks 15th highest of New York's 62 counties with respect to the percentage of population below the poverty level, and 20th with respect to the number of persons in poverty. (NEW YORK COUNTIES RANKED BY PERCENT OF POPULATION IN POVERTY)

NYS below poverty 1995-2003

Recent poverty thresholds used to determine poverty for various types and sizes of households are shown in the following table for purposes of illustration.


Poverty Thresholds for 2003 by Size of Family and Number of
Related Children Under 18 Years
(Dollars)

Poverty Thresholds for 2003 by Size of Family and Number of Related Children Under 18 Years

C) 1999 Poverty by Age Group

The following three tables deal with poverty status in Chautauqua County by age group. The table below shows the percentage of the 18,530 residents in poverty in each age group: 11% of those below poverty in Chautauqua County are under five years old, and a total of 24% are 17 or under. Just over 9% are 65 or older.

Chautauqua County poverty by age

The next table show the number of persons in each age group who are below the poverty level.

Chautauqua County poverty by age

The table below shows the percentage of persons in each age group who are below the poverty level. Note that the highest percentage (26%) in poverty of any age group are those under age 5, followed by those age 5 (20.6%), and those age 6-11 (20.3%). In other words, one out of four children under the age of 5 is in poverty, and one out of five of the next two age groups is in poverty. In general, a higher percentage of children than adults are in poverty in all age groups.

Chautauqua County poverty by age

The final table in this section lists the rank of Chautauqua County relative to other New York counties for those in poverty for each age group. Chautauqua ranks 23rd in overall population and also in terms of the size of the population for which poverty status is determined. It ranks 20th with respect to the number of persons below the poverty level, but, as the table shows, it ranks much higher for all age groups below 65.

Chautauqua County poverty by age

Taking all children 17 and under collectively, Chautauqua ranks 7th in the state in f the percentage of children below poverty level (20.29%). In other words, only six counties have a higher percentage of children in poverty. Chautauqua ranks below the New York City Burroughs and Yates County for those 5 and under, and below the three Burroughs, Yates, Sullivan, and St. Lawrence, for those 17 and under.

D) 1999 Poverty Ratio

The poverty ratios in the following table provide information about the degree of poverty by distinguishing incomes in terms of the proportion of the poverty level income they represent. Converting these numbers to percentages, 0f those below the poverty level, 41.3% have incomes under 50% of the poverty level,

Chautauqua County poverty by age

and thus constitute the poorest of the poor. An additional 27.3% have incomes between 50 and less than 75% of the poverty level. Chautauqua ranks 21st in the state for percentage below 50%. Poverty ratios for other New York counties are also available. (POVERTY RATIOS OF NEW YORK COUNTIES)

Poverty ratios for Chautauqua County locations are also listed.

Poverty ratios for Chautauqua County

E) 1999 Poverty Status by Family Types and Age Groups

For some purposes it is more helpful to think about poverty in terms of families and family types. As the table below indicates, rates of poverty are particularly striking for single females with children and no husband present. While the poverty rate is 9.6% in married couple families with children under 18, it is 49.6% (3563 persons) in families with a female householder and no husband present. The rate rises to 60.3% for female householders with children under 6.


Poverty data by family status


As shown below, rates are also high among a small number of non-citizens (24.7%), for unrelated individuals in general (26%), for those 65 and over (16.3%), and for those 65 and over living alone (13.9%). The same data for each Chautauqua County area are available also (CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY POVERTY STATUS) .

Poverty data by family status

Similar data are available for family units, on which the highest rates of poverty are found for families with related children under 18 (16.9%, and families with related children under 5 years old (23.7%). Rates are lower for married couple families with children under 18 (4.6%), and highest for families with female householders with no husband present, in which almost 33% are below the poverty level. For female householders with no husband present and children present the rate is 43.8%, and if there are children under five, the rate rises to 57.8%.

Poverty data by family status

Similar poverty data for Chautauqua County locations are available at (CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY POVERTY STATUS OF FAMILIES) .

E) Summary

In general, the level of poverty in Chautauqua is rather dramatic for a county that, from outward appearances and its own self-conception, considers itself to be more prosperous. Poverty is known to be a factor in many of the health priorities examined in Section II of this assessment. The clear relationship between poverty and health risk, along with the high rates of poverty among children in Chautauqua County, suggest that heavy emphasis be placed on the health needs of low income families, particularly on female-headed households with children and with no husband present.


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