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Financial Security
People Living in Poverty

Increasing


People Living in Poverty

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What does this measure?

The share of residents with incomes below the federal poverty level. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2020, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $26,246.

Why is this important?

The percentage of people living in or near poverty is a measure of the overall economic health of a region. It also indicates the level of need for social and government supports.

How does our county compare?

In 2016-20, Lancaster County's poverty rate was 9%, below both the state (12%) and nation (13%). This was an increase of 1 percentage point since 2000, the same rise as Pennsylvania and the U.S. (both 1 percentage point) during the same period.

In the City of Lancaster, 21% of residents lived below the poverty line, unchanged since 2000, however down 8 percentage points from 2011-15.

Among surrounding counties, York and Lebanon had poverty rates similar to Lancaster in 2015-20. Rates were lower in Chester and Cumberland (6% and 7% respectively), and higher in Berks and Dauphin (both at 12%). Berks and Lebanon experienced a 3-point increase in poverty rates since 2000, while York and Dauphin experienced a 2-point increase. Chester experienced a 1-point increase.

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined 5 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 3 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. Data for this indicator are expected to be released annually in December.

People Living in Poverty
20002006-102011-152016-20
Pennsylvania11%12%13%12%
Lancaster County8%10%11%9%
Lancaster City21%28%29%21%
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough2%3%***4%***9%***
Akron borough5%3%***6%***8%***
Christiana borough6%15%***14%***10%**
Columbia borough11%25%*15%*21%*
Denver township5%2%***8%***9%**
East Petersburg borough3%8%***8%***8%***
Elizabethtown borough5%11%*11%*9%**
Ephrata borough6%7%*11%*10%**
Lititz borough4%8%**7%*3%***
Manheim borough5%8%***11%***12%***
Marietta borough9%10%**11%**17%**
Millersville borough16%22%*22%*23%*
Mount Joy borough7%7%**11%**10%***
Mountville borough7%6%***7%***25%***
New Holland borough5%9%***6%***8%***
Quarryville borough7%11%**10%***11%***
Strasburg borough3%6%***4%**11%***
Terre Hill borough5%9%***6%***9%***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township13%9%***14%**2%***
Brecknock township9%3%***8%**4%**
Caernarvon township8%10%***8%***11%***
Clay township5%9%***11%*4%***
Colerain township11%9%**8%***18%***
Conestoga township4%3%***4%***5%***
Conoy township4%3%***10%**10%***
Drumore township5%17%***14%**8%***
Earl township15%8%***9%***8%***
East Cocalico township3%5%**9%**7%***
East Donegal township2%9%***3%***5%***
East Drumore township13%6%***6%***5%***
East Earl township5%4%***13%***3%***
East Hempfield township4%6%*7%*4%**
East Lampeter township7%9%*12%**10%**
Eden township9%13%***13%*12%***
Elizabeth township4%6%***5%***4%***
Ephrata township6%4%***10%**7%***
Fulton township14%7%***17%*9%***
Lancaster township10%12%*16%*10%*
Leacock township15%10%***8%**6%***
Little Britain township14%10%***2%***10%***
Manheim township4%6%*5%*6%*
Manor township4%4%*9%*9%*
Martic township2%8%***8%***5%***
Mount Joy township3%9%**12%***6%***
Paradise township8%12%**9%**17%***
Penn township4%5%***5%***6%***
Pequea township4%7%***2%***11%***
Providence township6%4%***11%***8%**
Rapho township4%9%***5%**4%**
Sadsbury township13%10%***11%***7%**
Salisbury township9%9%*9%**4%**
Strasburg township5%9%***3%***3%***
Upper Leacock township7%8%**16%*13%**
Warwick township4%3%***5%**5%**
West Cocalico township3%5%***5%***8%***
West Donegal township2%6%**2%***7%***
West Earl township8%8%***9%**7%***
West Hempfield township6%5%**6%*6%**
West Lampeter township3%3%**5%**4%**
Berks County9%12%14%12%
Chester County5%6%7%6%
Cumberland County7%7%9%7%
Dauphin County10%12%14%12%
Lebanon County8%9%11%11%
York County7%9%11%9%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of People Living in Poverty
20002006-102011-152016-20
Pennsylvania1,304,1171,509,8581,666,5691,480,430
Lancaster County35,55348,01855,37248,385
Lancaster City11,16215,04316,09711,545
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough2942***84***209***
Akron borough179106***254***323***
Christiana borough63145***111***82**
Columbia borough1,1332,541*1,565*2,110*
Denver township17459***311***344**
East Petersburg borough122371***373***377***
Elizabethtown borough5081,046*1,074*918**
Ephrata borough804943*1,469*1,413**
Lititz borough355678**622*237***
Manheim borough255365***555***603***
Marietta borough248263**290**434**
Millersville borough9061,184*1,321*1,654*
Mount Joy borough475478**862**843***
Mountville borough169165***185***701***
New Holland borough263500***303***450***
Quarryville borough140277**262***307***
Strasburg borough90163***100**312***
Terre Hill borough5995***93***104***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township399275***449**56***
Brecknock township588244***577**274**
Caernarvon township340470***385***505***
Clay township279580***739*281***
Colerain township370326**301***695***
Conestoga township131116***163***175***
Conoy township11393***346**345***
Drumore township113418***355**214***
Earl township923546***652***573***
East Cocalico township334501**969**702***
East Donegal township82646***278***415***
East Drumore township407227***208***172***
East Earl township293249***834***174***
East Hempfield township8331,361*1,626*884**
East Lampeter township8821,399*1,996**1,616**
Eden township165274***258*267***
Elizabeth township169237***179***152***
Ephrata township466379***957**723***
Fulton township385204***534*279***
Lancaster township1,3351,894*2,515*1,614*
Leacock township750538***411**334***
Little Britain township477396***65***439***
Manheim township1,2862,045*2,032*2,163*
Manor township621772*1,899*1,979*
Martic township121425***398***254***
Mount Joy township240901**1,254***656***
Paradise township392628**464**944***
Penn township313387***413***573***
Pequea township159343***85***573***
Providence township393278***773***589**
Rapho township352930***555**482**
Sadsbury township375326***389***253**
Salisbury township9221,008*975**458**
Strasburg township188366***133***140***
Upper Leacock township576685**1,395*1,138**
Warwick township555436***973**931**
West Cocalico township179341***381***593***
West Donegal township103470**118***618***
West Earl township550586***686**564***
West Hempfield township862761**987*1,062**
West Lampeter township398493**734**560**
Berks County34,20148,81756,85547,516
Chester County22,03229,73435,05331,889
Cumberland County13,10214,07119,98416,774
Dauphin County23,70631,08336,26932,372
Lebanon County8,72811,41514,92214,687
York County25,26937,81046,12438,299

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




INDICATORS TREND
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 English Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 English Not Applicable
Student Performance in Grade 11 Math Decreasing
Per-Student Spending Maintaining
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Decreasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Plans of High School Graduates Not Applicable
Enrollment in Local Colleges Decreasing
College Graduation Rates Decreasing
Brain Drain/Gain Increasing
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Charitable Giving Maintaining
Voter Registration Rate Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Violent Crime Rate Maintaining
Incarceration Rate Decreasing
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population Density Increasing
Air Quality Increasing
Water Use Decreasing
Waterways Impaired by Pollution Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Employment by Sector Not Applicable
Sector Share of Total Jobs Not Applicable
Workers by Occupation Not Applicable
Change in Labor Force Decreasing
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
Change in Average Salary Since 2000 Increasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Employer Size Not Applicable
Change in Number of Businesses by Sector Increasing
Change in Total Agricultural Sales Increasing
Spending for Local Government Maintaining
Spending for School Districts Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Veterans Living in Poverty Decreasing
Working Poor Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Increasing
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch Increasing
Median Home Value Maintaining
Occupied Housing Units Maintaining
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Rent Maintaining
Cost of Renting Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Decreasing
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Health Status Decreasing
Prevalence of Mental Illness Maintaining
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese Not Applicable
Mortality Rates Decreasing
Fatal Drug Overdoses Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Increasing
STEM Graduates Increasing
Science and Engineering Research and Development Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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