Poverty Overview

You are viewing the Poverty Overview section of the Forsyth County Poverty Study. Click here to return to the table of contents.
Poverty is a complex social concept that can be understood in a variety of ways.  This report uses the U.S. Census Bureau’s Official Poverty Measure to study poverty in Forsyth County.  According to the official poverty measure, an average family of four would typically be considered poor if their family income is less than $24,230 a year.

Important Links

Data 101
Data Glossary
Methodology
About this Study
Executive Summary
Key Findings

Core Concepts

  • The poverty rate in Forsyth County has increased measurably since 2006 and is higher than that of all the comparison communities.
  • Children, minorities, and females are disproportionately impacted by poverty in Forsyth County.

Examining Poverty

This section explores the broad trends of poverty in Forsyth County and compares poverty in Forsyth County to the peer communities.
Figure 1: Percent of Residents in Poverty in Forsyth County, 2006-2014

Figure 1 shows that the poverty rate in Forsyth County in 2014 is 7 percentage points higher than in 2006.
  •  The poverty rate in Forsyth County generally increased from 2006 to 2012.
  •   The poverty rate in 2014 is not significantly different than in 2012. 
Figure 2: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Geography, 2010-2014

As shown in Figure 2, Forsyth County has a poverty rate significantly higher than all the comparison communities except for Roanoke.
Figure 3: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Geography, 2006-2014
The poverty rate of Forsyth County was not higher than the majority of the peer communities until 2012, as can be seen in Figure 3, and Forsyth County had a significantly higher poverty rate than North Carolina and the majority of the peer communities from 2012 to 2014.
2009 data for Roanoke (munc.), VA have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.
Figure 4: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Census Tract, 2010-2014
As Figure 4 depicts, census tracts with higher rates of poverty are generally located in Winston-Salem around and especially east of Highway 52.  
  • Growing up in a high-poverty neighborhood significantly increases children’s risk of being poor as adults (1,2). 
  • Many high-poverty neighborhoods experience multiple disadvantages that make it more difficult for residents to escape poverty such as: low-quality public and private sector services (such as child care, grocery stores, and schools), crime and violence, and low access to jobs (3).
Poverty rates in some census tracts have very high levels of variance and should be interpreted with caution.

Poverty by Age

This section examines how people of different ages are affected differently by poverty in Forsyth County.
Figure 5: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Age and Geography, 2010-2014
Figure 5 shows that children and some younger adults are disproportionately impacted by poverty within Forsyth County and have higher poverty rates than in similar communities.
  • Children under the age of 18 and younger adults ages 25 to 44 have higher poverty rates than the majority of comparison communities.
  • Growing up in poverty is associated with a number of negative outcomes for children including poor educational outcomes, poor health, and an increased risk of being poor as adults (4,5).
Bars of a lighter color indicate no statistical difference compared to Forsyth County.

Poverty by Gender

This section breaks down the poverty measure to examine how people of different genders are affected differently by poverty in Forsyth County.
Figure 6: Percent of Residents in Poverty Ages 18-64 by Gender in Forsyth County, 2010-2014

Figure 6 shows that females have significantly higher rates of poverty than males in Forsyth County.

Poverty by Race/Ethnicity

This section breaks down the poverty measure to examine how people of different races and/or ethnicities are affected differently by poverty in Forsyth County.
Figure 7: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity in Forsyth County, 2010-2014
Figure 7 demonstrates that there are significant racial disparities in poverty.
  • The poverty rate for Hispanic/Latinos in 2014 is about 43%, which is more than four times that of White, non-Hispanics.
  • Also, the poverty rate for African Americans is about three times higher than that of White, non-Hispanics.
  • Racial disparities in poverty have been persistent since 2006.
  • Poverty rates for Hispanic/Latino and White, non-Hispanics in 2014 are higher than in 2006, whereas for the African American community the poverty rate has remained stable.
Figure 8: Number of Residents in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity in Forsyth County, 2010-2014

As shown in Figure 7, the poverty rate of Hispanic/Latino residents is higher than the poverty rate of African American residents in Forsyth County, but Figure 8 indicates that the number of African American residents in poverty in Forsyth County is higher than the number of Hispanic/Latino residents in poverty.
Figure 9: Percent of Residents in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity and Geography, 2010-2014
Hispanic/Latino residents are the only race/ethnic group to have higher poverty rates than their counterparts in peer communities, as illustrated in Figure 9. 
Data for Hispanic/Latino residents for Roanoke and Lafayette County have a high level of variance and should be interpreted with caution.
Bars of a lighter color indicate no statistical difference compared to Forsyth County.
Amanjot Kaur MPH, CPH
Amanjot Kaur is a Data and Research Analyst with Forsyth Futures. She performs scientific analysis for existing data, as well as reviews and analyzes evidence pertaining to Forsyth County community issues. She holds Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology from the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Texas and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy. In her free time, Amanjot loves going on adventures.
If you have questions or comments about the data presented in this section, please contact Amanjot Kaur at Amanjot@ForsythFutures.org or by phone at 336.701.1700 ext. 109.

References

Literature References

  1. Rothwell, J. (2014). The neighborhood effect: localities and upward mobility. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2014/11/12-neighborhood-effect-upward-mobility-rothwell
  2. Sharkey, P. (2009). Neighborhoods and the black-white mobility gap. Retrieved from http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/reports/0001/01/01/neighborhoods-and-the-blackwhite-mobility-gap
  3. Turner, M. A., Edelman, P., Poethig, E., Aron, L., Rogers, M., & Lowenstein, C. (2014). Tackling persistent poverty in distressed. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/22761/413179-tackling-persistent-poverty-in-distressed-urban-neighborhoods.pdf
  4. Danziger, S.H. & Haveman, R.H. (2001). Understanding poverty. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press
  5. Hershbein, B. (2014). More education=delayed fertility=more mobility. Brookings. Retrieved from http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/social-mobility-memos/posts/2014/08/12-education-fertility-mobility-hershbein

Tabular References

Figures 1,3: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015). Poverty status in the past 12 months: Table S1701 [ Data files from ACS 1-year estimates for the years 2006-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_1YR_S1701&prodType=table 
Figures 2, 4, 7-9: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015). Poverty status in the past 12 months: Table S1701 [ Data files from ACS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_14_5YR_S1701&prodType=table 
Figures 5,6: U.S. Department of Commerce. (2015). American Community Survey 5-year Public Use Microdata [Data files from PUMS 5-year estimates for the years 2010-2014]. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/data/pums.html

You are viewing the Poverty Overview section of the Forsyth County Poverty Study. Click here to return to the table of contents.