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Financial Security
Working Poor

Maintaining


Working Poor

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What does this measure?

The number of employed individuals whose incomes fall below the poverty line. 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?

People who are working, but earning at or below the poverty line face numerous obstacles that may make it more difficult for them to improve their status. Like others in poverty, they may find it difficult to meet basic needs for food or shelter, as well as facing challenges in paying for services they may need to stay employed, such as transportation or child care.

How does our county compare?

In 2016-20, 3% of people employed in Lancaster County had incomes below the poverty line. This percentage was identical to Pennsylvania, but lower than the nation's 4%. Within the City of Lancaster, the percentage of working poor was 7%.

Among surrounding counties, the percentage of working poor was similar to Lancaster, with Chester, Cumberland and York at 2%, Berks and Lebanon at 3%, and Dauphin at 4%.

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 released annually in December.

Working Poor
2011-152016-20
Pennsylvania3%3%
Lancaster County3%3%
Lancaster City8%7%
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough1%***2%***
Akron borough1%***3%***
Christiana borough4%***4%***
Columbia borough5%*4%**
Denver township2%***4%***
East Petersburg borough2%***3%***
Elizabethtown borough2%***1%***
Ephrata borough4%*4%**
Lititz borough2%**1%***
Manheim borough3%***4%***
Marietta borough4%**4%***
Millersville borough11%**11%**
Mount Joy borough3%***5%***
Mountville borough3%***10%**
New Holland borough1%***2%***
Quarryville borough3%***4%**
Strasburg borough1%***3%***
Terre Hill borough3%***4%***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township4%**0%***
Brecknock township4%***2%***
Caernarvon township2%***4%***
Clay township2%***1%***
Colerain township2%***3%**
Conestoga township1%***1%***
Conoy township3%***1%***
Drumore township2%***1%***
Earl township3%***2%***
East Cocalico township3%**1%***
East Donegal township1%***2%***
East Drumore township2%***0%***
East Earl township4%***0%***
East Hempfield township2%**1%***
East Lampeter township3%**3%**
Eden township5%**3%**
Elizabeth township1%***1%***
Ephrata township3%**2%***
Fulton township4%**3%***
Lancaster township6%*3%**
Leacock township3%***1%***
Little Britain township1%***4%***
Manheim township2%**2%*
Manor township4%*4%**
Martic township2%***2%***
Mount Joy township5%**1%***
Paradise township2%***8%***
Penn township2%***1%***
Pequea township0%***3%***
Providence township2%***2%***
Rapho township1%***2%***
Sadsbury township3%**4%**
Salisbury township3%***1%***
Strasburg township1%***1%***
Upper Leacock township4%**2%***
Warwick township2%***2%**
West Cocalico township1%***2%***
West Donegal township0%***1%***
West Earl township3%**2%***
West Hempfield township2%**2%***
West Lampeter township2%**1%***
Berks County3%3%
Chester County2%2%
Cumberland County3%2%
Dauphin County4%4%
Lebanon County3%3%
York County3%2%

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 Working Poor
2011-152016-20
Pennsylvania335,967320,086
Lancaster County12,97511,792
Lancaster City3,2043,049
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough16***37***
Akron borough34***91***
Christiana borough28***28***
Columbia borough382*318**
Denver township64***104***
East Petersburg borough64***123***
Elizabethtown borough193***91***
Ephrata borough401*422**
Lititz borough160**55***
Manheim borough111***150***
Marietta borough79**77***
Millersville borough613**674**
Mount Joy borough209***308***
Mountville borough58***225**
New Holland borough43***94***
Quarryville borough54***85**
Strasburg borough31***80***
Terre Hill borough34***38***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township81**7***
Brecknock township254***122***
Caernarvon township78***123***
Clay township84***55***
Colerain township46***82**
Conestoga township44***25***
Conoy township72***39***
Drumore township42***28***
Earl township156***99***
East Cocalico township207**117***
East Donegal township93***139***
East Drumore township66***0***
East Earl township188***20***
East Hempfield township448**183***
East Lampeter township376**375**
Eden township73**50**
Elizabeth township36***31***
Ephrata township198**177***
Fulton township104**74***
Lancaster township720*433**
Leacock township101***43***
Little Britain township26***139***
Manheim township593**596*
Manor township622*645**
Martic township97***61***
Mount Joy township386**48***
Paradise township90***316***
Penn township154***78***
Pequea township8***132***
Providence township107***99***
Rapho township98***166***
Sadsbury township75**95**
Salisbury township243***108***
Strasburg township16***15***
Upper Leacock township275**132***
Warwick township246***248**
West Cocalico township80***125***
West Donegal township14***57***
West Earl township191**93***
West Hempfield township213**212***
West Lampeter township196**156***
Berks County10,75010,098
Chester County9,4409,005
Cumberland County5,2654,713
Dauphin County7,9507,716
Lebanon County3,3313,507
York County9,5408,318

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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