Buffalo has WNY's highest poverty rate, while Lancaster is lowest

November 30, 2011 Updated Nov 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by G. Scott Thomas, Projects Editor

November 30, 2011 Updated Nov 30, 2011 at 9:47 AM EDT

The Buffalo City School District is saddled with the worst poverty rate in Western New York, according to a report issued Tuesday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Buffalo's youth poverty rate is 37.1 percent, which means that nearly four-tenths of its school-age children live below the federal poverty line.

Five other Western New York school districts have poverty rates above 30 percent: Lackawanna (34.9 percent), Dunkirk (32.9 percent), Clymer (32.4 percent), Niagara Falls (32.0 percent) and Sherman (31.2 percent).

You can access the latest poverty rates for 455 school districts across Upstate New York, including all 98 in Western New York at the website www.buffalo.bizjournals.com.

The Lancaster Central School District has the region's smallest poverty problem. Its youth poverty rate is 5.3 percent.

Williamsville is next at 5.5 percent, followed by Clarence (5.6 percent), Grand Island and East Aurora (both 5.9 percent).

At the extremes in the adjacent Rochester Area are the Rochester City School District and the Pittsford Central School District.

Rochester has the worst poverty rate in its region, 38.7 percent for school-age children. Pittsford is the lowest at 5.3 percent.

The Census Bureau issues annual poverty estimates for children between the ages of five and 17 in every school district across the country. Poverty status is determined by the bureau according to a sliding scale that takes income and household size into account.

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