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Report analyzes poverty rate, assistance impact in Ohio

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(The Center Square) – A new report by an Ohio analysis group shows Social Security has the most impact on poverty in the state.

The Ohio Poverty Measure, released by Scioto Analysis, found that 8.7% of state’s residents lived in poverty in 2021, lower than the 12.1% poverty rate listed by the Official Poverty Measure produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The analysis rate is also higher than the 8.1% from the Supplemental Poverty Measurer, also produced by the Census Bureau.

The Ohio Poverty Measure estimates the impacts of government assistance, the tax system and expenses based on geographic cost-of-living differences.

“Including these adjustments makes the Ohio Poverty Measure more precise than both the Official Poverty Measure and the Supplemental Poverty Measure,” the report says. “The Ohio Poverty Measure is the most accurate measure of poverty in the state, using methodology inspired by the California Poverty Measure, New York City Poverty Measure, Oregon Poverty Measure, and Wisconsin Poverty Measure. The Ohio Poverty Measure was first calculated by Scioto Analysis in 2021, using data from 2018. This report constitutes the first comprehensive update of that data, giving estimates of poverty from 2021.”

The report says Social Security moved more than 260,000 people in the state out of poverty in 2021. Also, SNAP benefits helped reduce the poverty rate by nearly 2 percentage points.

According to the report, Black Ohioans are 75% more likely to experience poverty than white Ohioans. In 2021, there were 14% of Black Ohioans experiencing poverty, compared to 8% of whites.

Also, people living in urban areas and rural Appalachian communities experienced poverty at higher rates than the state as a whole. At the same time, people living in suburbs around the state’s largest cities experienced poverty at lower rates than the rest of the state.

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