Financial Security
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity

Increasing


People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21

What does this measure?

The proportion of people in various racial and ethnic groups with incomes below the poverty line. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2021, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $27,479.

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?

Poverty rates were highest in the county in 2017-21 among African American and Hispanic residents, at 18% and 22% respectively, compared to Asian residents at 9% and white residents at 7%. Poverty rates in Lancaster were lower than statewide rates for all groups.

Rates were higher among all groups in the City of Lancaster than in the county or state, at 19% of African American residents, 25% of Hispanic residents, and 14% of white residents.

Why do these disparities exist?

These large and persistent disparities in poverty rates are the result of historic and current policies and practices that disadvantaged people of color. Research has connected slavery and the inability of black Americans even after emancipation to fully participate in economic life to the wealth and income gaps still present today. In addition, these differences are attributed to the complex interplay of conditions including gender, occupation, family structure, education, employment status, wages, incarceration, unemployment and discrimination. African American workers across industries tend to earn lower wages than their white and Asian American peers. While education, especially the absence of a high school diploma, increases the likelihood of poverty, education credentials do not eliminate racial disparities. African Americans experience unemployment at twice the rate of whites regardless of education level. Also, the disproportionate and systemic incarceration of Black and Latinx males decreases job prospects and increases the likelihood of poverty.

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. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania13%25%25%9%
Lancaster County9%*18%22%7%
Lancaster City30%***19%*25%14%
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough0%***0%***37%***8%***
Akron borough0%***29%***35%***7%**
Christiana borough0%***17%***N/A***11%***
Columbia borough0%***31%***42%**12%*
Denver township0%***26%***16%***9%***
East Petersburg borough0%***1%***6%***8%***
Elizabethtown borough33%***32%***22%***9%***
Ephrata borough0%***33%***17%***8%*
Lititz borough0%***0%***9%***4%**
Manheim boroughN/A***N/A***4%***15%***
Marietta borough0%***0%***43%***14%**
Millersville borough8%***21%***59%***19%*
Mount Joy borough0%***37%***44%***5%***
Mountville borough0%***1%***18%***10%***
New Holland borough0%***16%***0%***3%***
Quarryville borough25%***68%***44%***10%***
Strasburg boroughN/A***0%***71%***11%***
Terre Hill borough0%***N/A***13%***11%***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township0%***0%***0%***3%***
Brecknock township0%***0%***14%***3%***
Caernarvon township0%***100%***0%***7%***
Clay townshipN/A***0%***0%***4%***
Colerain townshipN/A***0%***N/A***16%***
Conestoga township42%***62%***3%***7%***
Conoy townshipN/A***0%***51%***7%***
Drumore townshipN/A***N/A***80%***8%***
Earl township0%***0%***0%***11%***
East Cocalico township0%***100%***27%***5%***
East Donegal township0%***0%***0%***5%***
East Drumore township0%***33%***0%***6%***
East Earl township0%***0%***0%***4%***
East Hempfield township0%***1%***12%***4%**
East Lampeter township11%***33%***8%***6%**
Eden township0%***100%***N/A***8%***
Elizabeth township0%***N/A***0%***4%***
Ephrata township0%***1%***0%***9%***
Fulton townshipN/A***12%***0%***10%***
Lancaster township20%***20%***19%***10%**
Leacock townshipN/A***0%***0%***7%***
Little Britain townshipN/A***0%***N/A***11%***
Manheim township2%***14%***19%***5%*
Manor township0%***10%***11%***11%**
Martic townshipN/A***0%***0%***4%***
Mount Joy township24%***0%***0%***5%***
Paradise townshipN/A***2%***23%***14%***
Penn township0%***0%***0%***5%**
Pequea township58%***0%***72%***12%***
Providence township0%***N/A***0%***10%**
Rapho township15%***0%***0%***4%***
Sadsbury townshipN/A***0%***0%***10%**
Salisbury township0%***0%***16%***4%***
Strasburg townshipN/A***N/A***N/A***5%***
Upper Leacock township0%***30%***32%***9%**
Warwick township0%***0%***39%***6%**
West Cocalico townshipN/A***0%***30%***11%***
West Donegal townshipN/A***1%***1%***7%***
West Earl township0%***N/A***0%***3%***
West Hempfield township0%***7%***23%***5%***
West Lampeter township9%***0%***1%***3%***
Berks County14%***20%26%9%
Chester County4%**17%*16%5%
Cumberland County6%***29%*25%*6%
Dauphin County8%*25%23%8%
Lebanon County9%***17%**30%8%
York County10%**19%24%7%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. 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 People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Pennsylvania58,478331,112250,208893,804
Lancaster County1,151*3,85213,28533,893
Lancaster City511***1,772*5,8483,959
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough0***0***44***171***
Akron borough0***8***98***286**
Christiana borough0***5***0***88***
Columbia borough0***264***846**990*
Denver township0***16***47***275***
East Petersburg borough0***2***38***293***
Elizabethtown borough15***99***76***851***
Ephrata borough0***101***227***996*
Lititz borough0***0***47***315**
Manheim borough0***0***9***687***
Marietta borough0***0***83***306**
Millersville borough43***75***389***859*
Mount Joy borough0***85***378***373***
Mountville borough0***2***39***263***
New Holland borough0***25***0***169***
Quarryville borough36***57***131***235***
Strasburg borough0***0***278***330***
Terre Hill borough0***0***5***109***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township0***0***0***79***
Brecknock township0***0***22***213***
Caernarvon township0***9***0***298***
Clay township0***0***0***250***
Colerain township0***0***0***624***
Conestoga township37***38***7***235***
Conoy township0***0***139***209***
Drumore township0***0***33***208***
Earl township0***0***0***758***
East Cocalico township0***93***279***565***
East Donegal township0***0***0***388***
East Drumore township0***13***0***226***
East Earl township0***0***0***266***
East Hempfield township0***6***240***829**
East Lampeter township91***504***220***824**
Eden township0***6***0***174***
Elizabeth township0***0***0***131***
Ephrata township0***1***0***866***
Fulton township0***7***0***273***
Lancaster township199***259***985***1,253**
Leacock township0***0***0***413***
Little Britain township0***0***0***473***
Manheim township49***174***929***1,675*
Manor township0***80***242***2,010**
Martic township0***0***0***197***
Mount Joy township45***0***0***451***
Paradise township0***2***105***696***
Penn township0***0***0***495**
Pequea township50***0***504***606***
Providence township0***0***0***632**
Rapho township24***0***1***423***
Sadsbury township0***0***0***339**
Salisbury township0***0***56***487***
Strasburg township0***0***0***236***
Upper Leacock township0***112***272***686**
Warwick township0***1***344***1,067**
West Cocalico township0***0***58***767***
West Donegal township0***2***2***536***
West Earl township0***0***0***230***
West Hempfield township0***34***257***748***
West Lampeter township51***0***7***502***
Berks County833***4,11924,90629,162
Chester County1,123**4,372*6,23921,813
Cumberland County768***2,518*2,602*12,395
Dauphin County1,168*13,4466,42315,234
Lebanon County186***475**5,9569,279
York County648**4,8688,68828,408

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. 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 8 Math Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate Increasing
Per-Student Spending Maintaining
Students Receiving Special Education Services Increasing
Rate of Foster Care Admissions Maintaining
Disengaged Youth Maintaining
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
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 Decreasing
Water Use Decreasing
Waterways Impaired by Pollution Not Applicable
Change in Population Increasing
Change in Population by Age and Gender Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Change in Total Jobs 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 Maintaining
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 Maintaining
Working Poor Maintaining
Median Household Income by Household Type Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
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 Increasing
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
Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Increasing
Fatal Drug Overdoses Increasing
Cancer Incidence Decreasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Increasing
STEM Graduates Maintaining
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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