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Rochester's Poverty Rates Continue To Rise

 Downtown Rochester skyline view.
Max Schulte
Downtown Rochester skyline view.

New numbers from the U.S. Census show that one of Rochester's biggest problems, poverty, is continuing to show a rise in rates. According to the Rochester Area Community Foundation the steepest rise was in child poverty, which went up from 50.1 to 52.5 percent.

Rochester's overall poverty rate rose slightly from 32.9 to 33.8 percent.

The city's rate of extreme poverty (below half the federal poverty line) grew slightly from 16.2 to 16.4 percent.

Rochester remains the 5th poorest city in the U.S. among the top 75 metropolitan areas.

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The statistics released on Thursday came from the Community Foundation, its affiliate, ACT Rochester and the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative. The latest data was collected from 2010  through 2014.

“These statistics provide the baseline for measuring the progress of our work and should motivate us in the work ahead,” says Leonard Brock, director of the anti-poverty initiative. “We need to continue to work together to reverse the trend and move the needle for our entire community.”

“Rising poverty threatens our children and our future,” says Jennifer Leonard, president and CEO of Rochester Area Community Foundation. “These unwelcome statistics underscore the importance of the coordinated, strategic actions we’re taking to lift our community’s trajectory.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.