People Living in Poverty
What does this measure?
The estimated number of people with incomes below the poverty line, as a percentage of those for whom poverty status has been determined. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2014, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $24,008.
Why is this important?
The percentage of people living in poverty is a measure of the overall economic health of a region. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports within the community.
How is Dutchess County performing?
In 2010-14, 9% of Dutchess residents were living in poverty, below the 12% for the state (excluding NYC) and 16% for the nation. Dutchess had the lowest rate of the three counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley. From 2000 through 2005-09, the poverty rate stayed steady at 8%, but rose by 1 point from 2005-09 to 2010-14. Within Dutchess, poverty rates were particularly high in the city of Poughkeepsie (24%).
Notes about the data
The multiyear 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.