Friday, March 6, 2015


The Rochester Area Community Foundation has made it clear that Rochester has a poverty problem.  Among similarly sized metropolitan statistical areas, the city poverty rate in Rochester of 32.9% is second only to Hartford, CT (33.6%.)  Apparently Louisville, KY (18.4%), Oklahoma City (18.2%), and Albuquerque (17.9%) have the poverty issue under control.  But how does Rochester really compare to these three "standouts"?

Using 2010 Census data, the city of Rochester, which is constricted by old geographic boundaries, comprises 19.5% of its metro area.  Less restricted Louisville...48.3%.  Oklahoma City...46.2%.  Albuquerque...a whopping 61.5%.

What if Rochester were redrawn to include the suburbs Brighton, Greece, Irondequoit, Henrietta, Gates, and Chili? In such a case, Rochester would then comprise 45.8% of its metro area.  The redone city poverty chart would then read:

  • Louisville, KY: 18.4%
  • Oklahoma City: 18.2%
  • Albuquerque: 17.9%
  • Rochester, NY: 17.2% 

Clearly, poverty should be addressed.  But let's not make our perception problem worse than it needs to be.


  1. I nominate Dr Amol Shrikhande for the next mayor of Rochester!

  2. I second that... Mayor of the "less restricted" Rochester that includes Brighton, Greece, Irondequoit, Henrietta, Gates, and Chili!