Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Census figures round up: Part 3

Here are some more localized stories on the nationwide census survey that was released yesterday. The data collected ranges from 2005 to 2007. Here are links to related stories from yesterday, part 1 and part 2.

First we stop by Ohio, Dana Wilson and Jim Phillips filed this story for the Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio University students might be short on cash, but the city probably is not as poor as the U.S. Census might lead one to believe.

Athens is atop the list of the nation's poorest towns and cities that have at least 20,000 people, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Census.

Numbers from the census' American Community Survey released yesterday say that on average for the period of 2005-2007, 52.3 percent of the city's residents were living below the federal poverty level.

The only community in the United States that ranked higher than Athens was a segregated Hasidic Jewish enclave in New York, Kiryas Joel Village, which in many ways is a statistical anomaly (its median age, for example, is 15).

Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl wonders whether the city's ranking might be skewed by the large portion of the city's population made up of OU students. His city, whose total population is listed in the census report as 23,814, includes a university with an enrollment of more than 20,000.

Given that many college students probably wouldn't report high incomes to the census, Wiehl suggested that when OU students are included as Athens residents, they drive up the city's poverty percentages.

Lastly for this post, upstate New York's York County, Carl Lindquist is a writer for the York Dispatch.

The number of York County people living in poverty is on the rise, according to new U.S. Census Bureau figures.

An average of 33,700 people were living below the poverty line between 2005-2007, according to three-year Census Bureau estimates released Tuesday.

That's up from 25,269 reported in the 2000 Census.

The figures show that nearly 8.3 percent of York countians living in poverty, compared to 6.7 percent in 2000.

The estimates were released Tuesday by the Census Bureau as part of its American Community Survey, which offers a variety of demographic, housing and population estimates. The information was averaged over three years.

It offers the first look since the 2000 Census at detailed socioeconomic and housing characteristics of mid-size areas with populations between 20,000 and 64,999.

York City, like the county as a whole, experienced an increase in poverty, according to the Census estimates. The newest figures show about 33 percent of the city's population living in poverty, up from 24 percent in 2000.

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