Financial Security
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity

Decreasing


Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The proportion of households broken out by race and ethnicity that participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

Why is this important?

The SNAP program provides government funding for low-income people to buy food. It therefore indicates how many people in a region cannot support themselves at a basic level. Differences among racial and ethnic groups may reflect the economic health of these groups, as well as potential disparities in access to economic opportunity.

How does our county compare?

In 2014-18, Lancaster County demonstrated disparities in the race and ethnicity of residents receiving SNAP benefits. While 29% of African American residents and 31% of Hispanic residents utilized SNAP benefits, only 7% of white residents received SNAP. These levels are slightly below state levels, but above national levels, except for whites (10% nationally, vs. 7% in Lancaster County).

The City of Lancaster had higher rates for every group during this period: 36% of African Americans, 43% of Hispanics and 22% of whites received SNAP benefits.

Among surrounding counties over the same period, Chester and Cumberland had lower SNAP utilization rates than Lancaster for all groups, while Berks, Dauphin, Lebanon and York generally had higher rates.

Why do these disparities exist?

Research connects lower incomes and higher poverty rates among people of color to historic and current policies and practices that disadvantaged people of color. These policies and systems, ranging from inequitable access to housing to employment discrimination to education systems that fail to equitably serve all populations, have prevented people of color from fully participating in our economy, locking them out of economic opportunity. This has increased the need for some groups to access programs to support basic needs such as SNAP.

Notes about the data

The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

Studies have found that national survey estimates (including the ACS) of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate due to underreporting by participants, when compared with state-level administrative data. Underreporting can occur for a variety of reasons, including the social stigma of program participation and participants' confusion about the source of the services they receive. For these reasons, the estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate.

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. Data for this indicator are released annually in December.

Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania10%33%35%10%
Lancaster County11%*29%31%7%
Lancaster City21%***36%43%22%
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough0%***42%***0%***3%***
Akron boroughN/A***N/A***6%***8%**
Columbia borough19%***41%**60%**20%
Denver township0%***0%***0%***9%**
East Petersburg borough0%***0%***0%***0%***
Elizabethtown borough0%***83%***20%***7%*
Ephrata borough0%***100%***11%***14%*
Lititz borough64%***0%***12%***5%**
Manheim boroughN/A***0%***100%***3%***
Marietta boroughN/A***56%***100%***13%**
Millersville borough0%***45%***0%***6%***
Mount Joy boroughN/A***0%***30%***7%**
Mountville borough0%***0%***28%***14%***
New Holland borough0%***0%***0%***11%**
Quarryville borough0%***76%***14%***13%**
Strasburg borough0%***N/A***53%***8%***
Terre Hill boroughN/A***N/A***0%***3%***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart townshipN/A***0%***0%***1%***
Brecknock township0%***N/A***0%***6%***
Caernarvon townshipN/A***N/A***0%***5%***
Clay township0%***0%***0%***6%**
Colerain townshipN/A***0%***N/A***1%***
Conestoga townshipN/A***N/A***0%***7%***
Conoy townshipN/A***N/A***55%***4%***
Drumore townshipN/A***N/A***N/A***4%***
Earl township0%***100%***33%***3%***
East Cocalico township0%***0%***26%***5%***
East Donegal township0%***0%***0%***4%***
East Drumore townshipN/A***0%***N/A***7%***
East Earl township0%***0%***100%***3%***
East Hempfield township20%***7%***10%***4%**
East Lampeter township6%***29%***22%***6%**
Eden townshipN/A***0%***25%***2%***
Elizabeth township0%***N/A***100%***3%***
Ephrata township0%***0%***32%***6%**
Fulton townshipN/A***0%***33%***10%**
Lancaster township10%***37%***27%***7%**
Leacock township0%***0%***0%***4%***
Little Britain townshipN/A***0%***N/A***2%***
Manheim township16%***10%***15%***4%*
Manor township0%***8%***19%***8%**
Martic townshipN/A***N/A***0%***3%***
Mount Joy township0%***0%***25%***2%***
Paradise townshipN/A***0%***59%***9%***
Penn township0%***0%***0%***2%***
Pequea township0%***N/A***0%***5%***
Providence township0%***N/A***78%***12%**
Rapho township0%***0%***0%***5%**
Sadsbury townshipN/A***0%***0%***4%***
Salisbury township0%***55%***0%***7%**
Strasburg townshipN/A***N/A***N/A***3%***
Upper Leacock township18%***0%***28%***6%**
Warwick township0%***0%***16%***4%**
West Cocalico townshipN/A***N/A***0%***3%***
West Donegal townshipN/A***0%***0%***1%***
West Earl township0%***0%***22%***3%***
West Hempfield township0%***0%***36%***9%*
West Lampeter township0%***0%***0%***3%**
Berks County8%***30%45%10%
Chester County3%**19%12%4%
Cumberland County6%**24%*28%*6%
Dauphin County12%*29%38%8%
Lebanon County15%***28%*50%9%
York County14%**33%38%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%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




Number of Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity, 2014-18
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania13,928167,06988,931430,300
Lancaster County375*2,0515,15413,023
Lancaster City128***1,1753,2223,210
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough0***14***0***23***
Akron borough0***0***10***131**
Columbia borough8***185**234**743
Denver township0***0***0***123**
East Petersburg borough0***0***0***0***
Elizabethtown borough0***119***21***283*
Ephrata borough0***49***38***769*
Lititz borough16***0***11***183**
Manheim borough0***0***41***46***
Marietta borough0***14***18***140**
Millersville borough0***27***0***158***
Mount Joy borough0***0***42***242**
Mountville borough0***0***12***143***
New Holland borough0***0***0***224**
Quarryville borough0***13***10***108**
Strasburg borough0***0***41***87***
Terre Hill borough0***0***0***14***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township0***0***0***14***
Brecknock township0***0***0***145***
Caernarvon township0***0***0***75***
Clay township0***0***0***142**
Colerain township0***0***0***11***
Conestoga township0***0***0***111***
Conoy township0***0***26***55***
Drumore township0***0***0***29***
Earl township0***20***20***65***
East Cocalico township0***0***38***188***
East Donegal township0***0***0***100***
East Drumore township0***0***0***91***
East Earl township0***0***16***63***
East Hempfield township52***25***59***336**
East Lampeter township18***121***121***337**
Eden township0***0***5***14***
Elizabeth township0***0***8***34***
Ephrata township0***0***39***234**
Fulton township0***0***12***93**
Lancaster township26***217***384***366**
Leacock township0***0***0***64***
Little Britain township0***0***0***33***
Manheim township107***38***189***522*
Manor township0***22***89***589**
Martic township0***0***0***51***
Mount Joy township0***0***22***62***
Paradise township0***0***24***147***
Penn township0***0***0***81***
Pequea township0***0***0***85***
Providence township0***0***147***327**
Rapho township0***0***0***252**
Sadsbury township0***0***0***34***
Salisbury township0***12***0***223**
Strasburg township0***0***0***37***
Upper Leacock township20***0***54***172**
Warwick township0***0***38***272**
West Cocalico township0***0***0***85***
West Donegal township0***0***0***49***
West Earl township0***0***24***75***
West Hempfield township0***0***137***532*
West Lampeter township0***0***0***170**
Berks County127***2,01510,45713,996
Chester County235**1,9091,0645,986
Cumberland County200**765*638*5,627
Dauphin County416*5,6332,8366,546
Lebanon County70***326*2,5314,150
York County263**2,8763,35514,796

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%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.




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 Maintaining
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 Decreasing
Age of Housing Stock Not Applicable
Violent Crime Rate Maintaining
Incarceration Rate Maintaining
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 Increasing
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 Maintaining
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 Decreasing
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 Maintaining
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 Maintaining
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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