The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Reality Check

June 25, 2008

Why are we hurting so?

Despite abundant resources, county’s per capital personal income proves lowest in the region

(Continued)



Salling’s analysis showed that, from 2000 to 2006, lower-income families increased while higher-income ones decreased. Those in the $75,000 to $99,999 range took the biggest hit, a loss of 25,043 families from upper middle class. During that same period, 21,866 additional families joined the $10,000 to $14,999 income class.

That’s a slide into poverty. For a single-family household, annual earnings of $10,212 or less is considered poverty level. For a family of four, it is $20,650 annually (2007 standards).

In 2000, “only” 12.1 percent of Ashtabula County individuals lived in poverty. The 2006 Census Bureau estimate is 16.7 percent. Nationally, the figure was 13.3 percent in 2006.

According the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2006 American Community Survey, 10.8 percent of the households in Ashtabula County had less than $10,000 in income, and another 8.6 percent had between $10,000 to $14,999. Only 9.8 percent of Ashtabula County households had incomes of $100,000 or more.

“Ashtabula County has a lot of $8 to $10-an-hour jobs, and a lot of people making those incomes are living in Ashtabula County,” Bean says. “That pulls the numbers down in terms of per capita incomes.”

Clebone, the regional economic development director, feels the county’s numbers are pulled down by the higher-than-average number of senior citizens (over 65). According to the Ohio Department of Development, that figure is 14.6 percent of the population; nationally, it is 12.4 percent. Overall, 75.9 percent of the county’s population is between 18 and 65; nationwide it is 75.4 percent.

“One of the issues you have in Ashtabula County is there are a lot of retirees,” Clebone says. “Retirees tend to have a lower income, even if they have more assets.”

However, Lake County, whose median family income is nearly $20,000 more than Ashtabula County’s, also has 14.6 percent of its population at age 65 or older. And 13.8 percent of Geauga County’s population is 65 and older. That county, which also has a large Amish population, has a median household income nearly $25,000 higher than Ashtabula County’s.

Text Only
Reality Check
  • images_sizedimage_070165730 Why are we hurting so? It’s time for a reality check.: Main story, Day one

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_069193501 Beyond wineries and covered bridges … An introduction to reality check

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • What it is, how it’s calculated Determining per capita income is a complex exercise that — at best — is a mathematical expression of a moving target.

    In its simplest terms, per capita income is, according to the Ohio Department of Development, “the income of a given area divided by the resident population of that area.” Sounds simple enough, but arriving at the figure is not.

    June 25, 2008

  • images_sizedimage_069195701 Bad vibes: Lack of opportunities, progress make for sour attitudes Eavesdrop on conversations at the lunch counter, in the aisles of Wal-Mart on a Friday evening or around the sports bar on a Sunday afternoon, and you’re likely to hear some pretty disparaging remarks about the old hometown.

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • Finding work after prison nearly impossible A portion of Ashtabula County’s unemployed can’t find a job because of their prior address – a prison cell.

    June 25, 2008

  • County part of Team NEO marketing efforts Ashtabula County is part of a 16-county alliance aimed at marketing the Northeast Ohio region to employers and business investors, many of have never heard of Ashtabula, let alone Mentor, Akron or Youngstown.

    June 25, 2008

  • Some people just don’t want a job Ashtabula County Commissioner Deborah Newcomb talks to a lot of employers, and they all express the same concern: finding people reliable people with basic skills is a problem.

    June 25, 2008

  • images_sizedimage_070212402 POOR BUT WORKING A winter wind blew across the parking lot of the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry next to St. Joseph’s Church in Ashtabula; the six adults lined up at the door turned their faces from the wind, toward the metaphoric concrete wall of the building.

    June 25, 2008 2 Photos

  • images_sizedimage_071213603 County's largest hospital feels the Medicaid pain Perhaps no one in Ashtabula County feels the pinch of subsidizing unemployed or underemployed individuals more than Philip E. Pawlowski.

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • Crime & Drugs Inc. always hiring Some “unemployed” residents find crime to be their best source of steady income. Judge Richard Stevens of Western County Court says he noticed a 50-percent increase in the number of criminal cases handled by his court between 2005 and last year.

    June 25, 2008

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video