Poverty Rate Decreases for All Age Groups Except Seniors
In addition to impacting an individual’s health and educational attainment, poverty also affects their burden upon and contribution to the community. The poverty rate is an important tool to determine eligibility for health and human services and programs, including health insurance and supplemental food programs, which can lessen the negative impacts of poverty. Tracking poverty can also assist with targeting interventions. This indicator tracks the percentage of the population in San Bernardino County living in poverty by select demographics including age, gender and employment.
For an individual, the annual income to be considered in poverty is less than $12,140. For two people with no children, the poverty threshold is an annual income of $16,460.
How is San Bernardino County Doing?
Following a steady increase in poverty rates, the last three years have seen a decrease in poverty:
- The percentage of the population living in poverty decreased from 17.7% in 2016 to 16.2% in 2017.
- However, there has been an almost two percentage point increase over the past 10 years, when 14.6% of the population lived in poverty.
- San Bernardino County’s rate of poverty is higher than state and national averages and is the highest among counties compared, except for Miami-Dade (16.6% living in poverty).
Despite recent decreases in the poverty rate, the poverty rate is higher than 10 years ago for all age groups:
- In 2017, 23.0% of children in San Bernardino County under age 18 were living in poverty, up from 20.6% in 2008.
- The percentage of adults living in poverty also grew during this same period, from 12.5% in 2008 to 13.9% in 2017.
- Poverty among seniors ages 65 and older increased as well, rising from 8.7% in 2008 to 12.0% in 2017.
- Women are more likely to live in poverty than men:
- In 2017, 17.4% of females in San Bernardino County were living in poverty.
- This is more than two percentage points higher than the proportion of the male population living in poverty (14.8%).
There is also a growing population of working poor:
- In 2017, 7.0% of the civilian labor force ages 16 and older who were employed were living in poverty. This is up from 2008 when 6.3% of the employed population in the labor force was living in poverty.
- The poverty rate for the unemployed population in the labor force also increased, rising from 23.8% in 2008 to 32.0% in 2017.