On Tuesday, the Commissioners Court docket fielded dialogue from Well being and Human Providers on the state of poverty in Travis County. Rochelle Olivares, April Klein and Lawrence Lyman, the core informing group of the HHS Analysis and Planning Division, offered a report utilizing knowledge obtained from the 2019 American Group Survey five-year estimates.
“The info is a mirrored image of the years between 2015 and 2019,” Olivares stated. “The evaluation doesn’t replicate the impacts which have occurred as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, which is ongoing, as you all know.”
The poverty transient was the fourth iteration of the report, which focuses on offering basic poverty statistics for Travis County.
The poverty charge for Travis County was 12 p.c, which marked a lower from the general poverty charge in Texas, 15 p.c. “It’s considerably decrease than each Texas and the USA,” stated Klein, who additionally touched on among the limitations of the data-sourcing. “Whether or not you reside in a expensive metropolis like Austin, or a rural city in North Dakota, in the event you’re one individual, your poverty threshold is $13,300.”
The poverty threshold, Klein famous, was the identical nationwide for single people residing alone. An individual is taken into account to be residing in poverty if the person’s earnings is lower than $13,300.
The U.S. Census Bureau, the place HHS sourced the information for the poverty report, describes “poverty” as making use of to any resident with an earnings under one hundred pc of the poverty threshold, in line with Olivares.
The HHS report additionally analyzed earnings charges at each 200 and 150 p.c of the poverty threshold, to achieve a greater understanding of total upward and downward mobility in Travis County.
Though the poverty charge for the county was solely 12 p.c, Klein defined, greater than one-quarter of the inhabitants resides at under 200 p.c of the poverty threshold.
“People residing in group quarters and establishments and people experiencing homelessness, for instance, will not be included within the knowledge that you will notice immediately,” Olivares stated.
The HHS report addressed two chief analysis questions: Who has been affected probably the most by structural inequalities (and is subsequently most in danger for poverty), and what are the geographic influences on poverty within the county?
“What’s actually hanging right here is that the non-Hispanic white group makes up considerably much less of the proportion of poverty than their share of the full inhabitants. For African Individuals and Latinos, the share of poverty is skilled at disproportionately excessive charges,” Klein stated.
Yr to yr, the 18- to 24-year-old age group persistently skilled the very best charges of poverty, although as Klein defined, “it’s prone to be momentary as a big portion of the group are college students.”
In the meantime, about 16 p.c of under-18-year-olds within the county had been residing in poverty, and 36 p.c of under-18-year-olds had been residing under 200 p.c of the poverty threshold.
Notably, poverty charges had been increased for ladies than for males, and just a bit over the 12 p.c charge for Travis County.
The Austin Monitor’s work is made attainable by donations from the group. Although our reporting covers donors every so often, we’re cautious to maintain enterprise and editorial efforts separate whereas sustaining transparency. A whole record of donors is accessible here, and our code of ethics is defined here.