by German Lopez
Posted In: News
at 02:11 PM | Permalink
Census shows poverty on the rise in Cincinnati
More than half of Cincinnati’s children live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 American Community Survey released Thursday.
The 2012 rate represents a roughly
10-percent increase in the city’s child poverty rate in the past two years. In 2010, 48
percent of Cincinnatians younger than 18 were considered impoverished;
in 2012, the rate was 53.1 percent.If the number was reduced back down to 2010 levels, approximately 4,500 Cincinnati children would be pulled out of poverty.
Overall poverty similarly increased in Cincinnati from 30.6 percent in 2010 to 34.1 percent in 2012.
Black residents were hit hardest with 46.4 percent classified as in poverty in 2012, up from 40.8 percent in 2010. Meanwhile,
the poverty rate among white residents went from 19.8 percent in 2010 to
22.9 percent in 2012.
Hispanics of any race were placed at a poverty rate of 51
percent in 2012, but that number had an extraordinary margin of error of
15.5 percent, which means the actual poverty rate for Hispanics could
be up to 15.5 percent higher or lower than the survey’s estimate. In
2010, 42 percent of Hispanics were classified as impoverished, but that
number had an even larger margin of error of 17.9 percent.
The other local numbers had margins of error ranging from 2.2 percent to 4.9 percent.
The child poverty rates for Cincinnati were more than double Ohio’s numbers. Nearly one in four Ohio
children are in poverty, putting the state at No. 33 worst among 50 states for child
poverty, according to the Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio.
In 2012, the U.S. government put the federal poverty level for a family of four at an annual income of $23,050.
Some groups are using the numbers to make the case for new policies.
“Too many Ohioans are getting stuck at the lowest rung of
the income ladder and kids are paying the price,” said Hannah Halbert,
workforce researcher for left-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio, in
a statement. “Policymakers — at both the state and federal levels — are
making a clear choice to not invest in workers, families or kids. This
approach is not moving our families forward.”
The federal government temporarily increased aid to
low-income Americans through the federal stimulus package in 2009, but
some of that extra funding already expired or is set to expire later in
the year. The food stamp program’s cuts in particular could hit 1.8 million Ohioans, according to an Aug. 2 report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
At a local level, City Council has consistently failed to uphold its commitment to human services in the past decade, which human services agencies say is making the fight against poverty and homelessness more difficult.