Skip to main content

Narrative Overview

Poverty

 

Why does it matter?

Poverty is an important indicator to analyze because it shows which populations of the community are in need of intervention. When poverty rates are high, the region should take another approach to assisting their residents. High poverty rates can also signal community-wide trends that push more people into poverty such as rental rates that exceed more than 30 percent of a household’s income. Lack of affordable housing is a prime reason that communities see high poverty rates. More importantly, if the poverty rates are disproportionately higher in older populations than they are for children, the community will benefit from allocating more money to programs supporting the 65 plus population. Essentially, all measures of poverty are important for this reason alone.

Poverty Level Statistics

Pensacola Metro Area (Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties)

The poverty measures are:

  • Child Poverty Rate: The percent of children that are living at or below the poverty line.
  • Poverty Level: Percent of all residents at or below the poverty line.
  • Seniors 65+ in Poverty: Percent of all adults 65 and over that are living in poverty. 
  • Percent of households receiving SNAP: The percent of all households receiving cash public assistance or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs
  • ALICE households: The percent of households that are considered Asset Limited, Income Constrained and Employed. A pre-poverty statistic.

Where are we now?

Poverty can be measured in a variety of ways. Typically, we look at the childhood poverty rates, over 65 poverty rates and then total poverty rates. To capture elements of household poverty, we can examine Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rates. Additionally, there exists a measure in between the poverty line and middle class; ALICE Households. These are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed homes that are not considered impoverished. Each year, the total number of households has increased. Since the metric is collected bi-annually, it is difficult to attribute whether or not the households are falling into poverty or rising into a higher income group. 

Poverty declined from 2015 to 2016 but increased again in 2017 and then fell in 2018. ALICE Households have steadily decreased since 2016, when it is measured once every two years. From 2015 to 2021, childhood poverty has had a declining trend. The poverty rate for those over age 65 fluctuated, but has overall increased 3.2 percentage points from 2015 to 2021. The percentage of households receiving SNAP had a declining trend from 2015 to 2019, possibly indicating that less people need food stamps. On the other hand, it could suggest that fewer households are being supplied with SNAP (or food stamp) opportunities. Since, 2019 SNAP has increased 3.1 percentage points taking the 2021 total to 13.8%.

How is it measured?

When we measure poverty, we use several indicators. To capture general poverty levels, we collected the percent of people living below the poverty line from the Census. While this is an important measure, we also want to capture how poverty explicitly affects the youth population. Therefore, another measure we use is Children Under 18 below the Federal poverty line. We also examined the aging population. To do so, we utilized the 65 and over poverty rates.

Additionally, to ensure we have the most complete view of poverty, we analyze a food-related variable, also from the Census: percent of households receiving food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  All of the previous stats were reported as percentages. Finally, the total number of ALICE households was reported to identify the proportion of Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed homes in the community

  • Poverty: “ACS Table S1701,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://data.census.gov.

What call to action is linked to this indicator?

Simply put, childhood and general poverty rates are both on the decline. The call to action for poverty should aim to assist the 65 and over population, as it is worsening more and more over time. Affordable housing, health care cost, and cost of living are all areas that impact older residents, especially those living on a limited income.

Households Receiving SNAP

Pensacola Metro Area (Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties)

 

Percent Below Poverty

Pensacola Metro Area (Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties)

 

  • Poverty: “ACS Table S1701,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://data.census.gov.

When we measure poverty, we use several indicators. To capture general poverty levels, we collected the percent of people living below the poverty line from the Census. While this is an important measure, we also want to capture how poverty explicitly affects the youth population. Therefore, another measure we use is Children Under 18 below the Federal poverty line. We also examined the aging population. To do so, we utilized the 65 and over poverty rates.

Additionally, to ensure we have the most complete view of poverty, we analyze a food-related variable, also from the Census: percent of households receiving food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  All of the previous stats were reported as percentages. Finally, the total number of ALICE households was reported to identify the proportion of Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed homes in the community

Poverty Rate (over 65)

Escambia County, Santa Rosa County and the state of Florida

When we measure poverty, we use several indicators. To capture general poverty levels, we collected the percent of people living below the poverty line from the Census. While this is an important measure, we also want to capture how poverty explicitly affects the youth population. Therefore, another measure we use is Children Under 18 below the Federal poverty line. We also examined the aging population. To do so, we utilized the 65 and over poverty rates.

Additionally, to ensure we have the most complete view of poverty, we analyze a food-related variable, also from the Census: percent of households receiving food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  All of the previous stats were reported as percentages. Finally, the total number of ALICE households was reported to identify the proportion of Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed homes in the community

  • Poverty: “ACS Table S1701,” U.S. Census Bureau, 2015-2019 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, 2020, Datasheet retrieved from https://data.census.gov.