'More People Are Poor Than the Poverty Rate Says'
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
More than 1.4 million people in the Buckeye State live in poverty, according to the 2022 State of Poverty in Ohio report.
The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies' annual report showed the state's poverty rate of 12.7% is slightly higher than the national rate of 11.9%. And while both rates have fallen in the past several years, the gap between them has widened.
Phil Cole, executive director of the Association of Community Action Agencies, explained at a Tuesday news conference other measures are even more concerning, including episodic poverty, or people living in poverty for at least two consecutive months over a two-year period. He said it describes about one in four Ohioans.
"The episodic rate captures the many people who filter in and out of poverty much better than the overall annual poverty rate," Cole asserted. "More people are poor than the poverty rate said. Poor, but not below the federal poverty line."
The Federal Poverty Level for a single household is $13,950 annually; for a family of four, it's about $27,000.
The report examined how employment, child care, student-loan debt, and affordable housing all intersect to affect economic security.
Tina Kassebaum, partner and principal investigator for the Strategic Research Group, noted the pandemic and its related effects fell disproportionately on low-income Ohioans.
"Poverty is almost never the result of a singular issue," Kassebaum observed. "While many of these are issues Ohioans were facing before the pandemic, they have become much more complicated and difficult in the past few years."
However, Cole pointed out there is reason for optimism. He stressed with the arrival of the microchip industry, Ohio could be on the cusp of doing something truly significant for lower-income workers and the state overall.
"This is the 21st century economics, as the DeWine administration has said," Cole remarked. "We need to make sure that those opportunities are spread throughout Ohio and to all income groups. If that happens we can see real improvement for our citizens as well as our economy."
Intel broke ground on a $20 billion semiconductor facility near Columbus last week, and announced a nearly $18 million investment in job-training programs.
get more stories like this via email
A program that would provide food benefits to kids during the summer still needs funding approval from the Oregon Legislature. The state has …
Minnesota lawmakers face growing calls this session to boost access to affordable housing and there is a proposal to lend a voice to existing renters …
Health and Wellness
Legislation in Massachusetts would ban some of the tactics used by "crisis pregnancy centers" to prevent people from having abortions. Many of the …
A new report said philanthropic organizations need to reexamine the source of their wealth, which it asserted often came from systemic racism and …
Americans' confidence in higher education has plummeted but students and staff at Maine's Colby College hope continued community outreach will help br…
It is National Invasive Species Awareness Week, and plants and critters not native to the Northwest are wreaking havoc on some landscapes, including …
Health and Wellness
A new program in a Washington public library system is helping people monitor their blood pressure at home. The American Heart Association has …
By Kayla Benjamin for The Washington Informer.Broadcast version by Brett Peveto for Maryland News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Ne…