City of Syracuse Releases Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau 2017 Poverty Report

City report identifies key barriers to progress that are affecting Syracuse more severely than other Upstate cities

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The city of Syracuse today released an analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) data on poverty in Syracuse. The City’s analysis, authorized by Mayor Ben Walsh and completed by analysts in the city’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development and the Office of Accountability, Performance, and Innovation, focused on identifying the key barriers to progress that appear to be affecting Syracuse more negatively than other Upstate cities.

The complete City analysis is available at bit.ly/syrgov-report184. The City issued the analysis, conducted after the release of the Census Bureau ACS one-year estimates for 2017 in mid-September, in anticipation of the next ACS data release expected later this week.

“People across our community are working together every day to reduce poverty, and the Census Bureau report verified that those efforts are having an impact. According to the Census Bureau, the poverty rate declined in 2017,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Census Bureau data also showed that other Upstate cities appear to have made more progress in the same time period. We need to understand why, so we can ensure that all people living in Syracuse have access to opportunity.”

According to the City’s analysis, five conditions more negatively impact people in the city of Syracuse than Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany.

Workforce Participation – the share of people not in the workforce increased while other Upstate cities saw declines or only a slight increase

Educational Attainment – while graduation rates improved, Syracuse lags significantly behind Buffalo and Albany in Third Grade English Language Arts (ELA) proficiency

Transportation – compared to other Upstate cities, Syracuse as the highest percentage of people using public transportation who have no access to a vehicle

Housing Stability – 20 percent of children ages 0-17 have moved within a year, similar to other Upstate cities

Digital Access – One out of two residents don’t have access to a computer at home with broadband, the highest percent of residents lacking internet access across the Upstate cities

The City reviewed its findings with Onondaga County and multiple community partners during the completion of the analysis.

“Poverty is a complex and multi-faceted challenge. It affects rural and suburban areas, as well as the city,” said Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon.  “The City’s analysis of the 2017 data adds to the understanding of the challenges facing our community. Onondaga County has no greater priority than reducing poverty wherever it exists, and we will be working with the City and all of our community partners to achieve that goal every single day.”

In addition to reviewing the ACS one-year estimates for 2017, the City team also reviewed the ACS five-year data from 2012 through 2016. An update to the five-year estimates is expected from the Census Bureau on Dec. 6.