Clark County poverty report reveals disturbing trend
Vancouver, WA. – A recently released report on poverty in Clark County reveals that female householders with no husband present and with children under age 18 rose an alarming 171 percent from 2000-2010. The number rose from 3,006 in 2000 to 8,132 in 2010.
For those female householders with no husband present living with no related children under 18, the rate rose 1,968 percent.
“The results are very disconcerting,” said Vanessa Gaston, Director, Department of Community Services. “The rate of poverty, especially among women with children, continues to grow faster than the rate of population in Clark County. And it has big implications on our community and demand for services.”
The regional survey results were part of the US Census’ American Community Survey. The survey was limited to the household population and excluded those people living in institutions, college dormitories, and other situations.
The survey also indicated that those of all ages in Clark County living below the poverty level rose 55% from 31,027 in 2000 to 48,225 in 2010. During the same ten-year period the county population increased 20.9%.
In summary, according to reports from the 2010 survey:
48,225 people, or 11.5% of the county’s population, lived below the poverty level compared to 11% in 2000.
Twenty percent of all children under age 18 were living below the poverty level compared with 7% of people 65 and years and older.
9,202 families in Clark County (8.4%) live below poverty level.
Forty-nine percent, or 4,512 families living in poverty, were led by a female householder with no husband present.
Seventy-two percent of the individuals living below the poverty level lived in the same house the prior year and 19% lived in a different house within Clark County one year prior to the survey. This indicates that 91% of those living below the poverty level in Clark County were county residents for more than a year thus dispelling the theory that numbers have been bolstered by new arrivals from outside the area.
Vancouver School District had the highest percentage of reduced price school lunch participants at 52% of all school districts in the county.
Twenty seven percent of those identifying themselves as Hispanic were below the poverty limits followed by American Indian (23%), Alaska Native (23%), and Black/African American (22%).
Thirty-five percent of the married couple families living below the poverty limits did not receive social security income and forty-five percent of the female householders, no husband present, did not receive social security income.
Issues related to poverty are managed by the county’s Community Action Program. The program is a key provider for emergency needs and essential services. The program receives money from federal, state and local funding sources.
The report may be found at:
Print copies of the report are also available by calling the Community Action Program at (360) 397-2130.
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