Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Area Suffers High Childhood Poverty, Shrinking Middle Class, Reports Say

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was grim news Tuesday as a flurry of reports showed that Luzerne County’s middle class is shrinking while the wealthiest get richer with nearly one third of children under 18 live in poverty.

Data show while the unemployment rate has dropped substantially both nationally and locally, the poverty rate has not seen a corresponding drop.

If there was a silver lining in the data put out by three different sources, it may be that Luzerne and Lackawanna counties have lower rates of uninsured children than the state.

Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children — which bills itself as a nonprofit and non-partisan child advocacy group — issued its annual “State of Children’s Health Care” report, which showed that the percentage of children lacking health insurance statewide dipped slightly since last year’s report, from 5.3 percent to 5.2 percent.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/50324023/Grim-news-from-three-new-reports

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Housing Market Remains ‘Disaster’ In Westmoreland County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Westmoreland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Veteran housing contractor Greg Kinzler of Washington Township knows all too well the lingering effects the nation’s 2008 recession has had on the region’s homebuilding market.

“It’s still a disaster, what’s going on. How do you expect the housing market to be booming? There are numerous factors causing the housing market to drop,” said Kinzler, president of Sparkle Construction – SPP Inc.

Activity in Westmoreland’s residential construction market has fallen so sharply that only 430 building permits were issued in 2013 for new single-family and multi-unit residences, less than half the 1,028 building permits issued 10 years earlier, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

Prospective homebuyers are having a difficult time meeting banks’ credit requirements, Kinzler said.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/6641819-74/market-building-homes#ixzz3CBkiMq9i
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Gains And Losses In Philadelphia Region’s Population

A number of communities in the region’s Pennsylvania suburbs, notably in Chester and Montgomery Counties, grew substantially between April 2010 and July 2013, Census Bureau population estimates released Thursday show.

In Chester County, there were noteworthy upticks in municipalities such as Malvern, West Chester, East Brandywine, and West Goshen, and the same was true in Chester/Delaware County border towns such as Bethel and Chadds Ford. In central Montgomery County, Upper Hanover, Towamencin, and Salford were among the burgeoning towns.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia remained the fifth-largest U.S. city, with a population estimated at 1.553 million through July 2013, an increase of just over 27,000 from April 2010. It was the seventh year in a row of population growth, the census data showed.

(Population estimates for neighborhoods within the city limits will not be available until December.)

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140523_Gains_and_losses_in_Phila__region_s_population.html#MHpPEge1UgkCE6DR.99

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Census: Texas Has 3 Of 5 Fast-Growing Cities

Map of Texas highlighting Ector County

Map of Texas highlighting Ector County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 — Oil equals boom — especially in population right now. And Texas, in the midst of a significant energy rush, is seeing its towns and cities burst at the seams.

Three of the nation’s five fastest-growing cities — and seven of the top 15 — are in the Lone Star State, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, part of a trend across the West largely fueled by an oil boom. Most of the cities are West of the Mississippi.

Now these cities need to have enough roads, schools, water and infrastructure to keep up — the growing pains of a surging population. And while it is viewed as opportunity, city planners are frazzled.

Odessa, Texas, smack-dab in the middle of the oil-rich Permian Basin, is No. 11 on the Census Bureau list. People are flooding the oil fields, booming thanks to new hydraulic fracturing technologies that allow drillers access to once out-of-reach resources.

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Philadelphia-Area Municipalities Gaining, Losing Residents Fastest

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data today, showing the “subcounty” population figures for the year that ended July 1, 2013. That means every municipality in the country, no matter how small, can see how many residents it gained or lost in that period.

Census figures for counties and metro areas were released earlier this spring, with Philadelphia’s population standing at 1,553,165 residents, a 0.29-percent increase from the previous year.

The new numbers show which municipalities in the area gained or lost residents at the fastest rates between July 2012 and July 2013, and since the 2010 Census.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillylists/Philadelphia-area-municipalities-gaining-losing-residents-fastest.html

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Census Figures Show Population Drops In NEPA Across The Board

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metro...

Locator map of the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Metropolitan Statistical Area in the northeastern part of the of . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About 2,000 fewer people lived in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro in 2013 compared to the previous year, as deaths outpaced births and more people fled the area than flocked to it.

All seven counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania lost population between July 1, 2012 and July 1, 2013, according to new annual estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau today. Unlike the once-a-decade census, the annual estimates are based on records such as birth and death certificates,tax forms and Medicare enrollment.

Gordon De Jong, Ph.D., a professor emeritus of sociology and demography at Penn State, said the aging population, low birth rate and lack of economic opportunity in Northeastern Pennsylvania continue to cost its residents.

“The fundamental underlying trend is continued, if not accelerated,” De Jong said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/census-figures-show-population-drops-in-nepa-across-the-board-1.1657880

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More People Moving To Lehigh Valley, More Leaving Northwest New Jersey, Census Data Show

English: Pennsylvania county map

English: Pennsylvania county map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the latest U.S. Census Bureau data are any indication, the Delaware River is the great divider between growth and decline in this region’s population.

More people are moving out of Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey while more are moving into Northampton and Lehigh counties in Pennsylvania.

The Census Bureau this morning released county-by-county population estimates for last year. The data show both New Jersey counties lost population; both Pennsylvania counties gained population. This pattern has continued for three straight years, the data show.

Births outpaced deaths in all four counties; the population changes are instead tied to people migrating to or emigrating out of the counties, according to the census.

Read more: http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/03/more_people_moving_to_lehigh_v.html

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Census: Philadelphia Population Grows Again, But Rate Slows

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Ph...

English: This is my own work, Public Domain Photograph, not copyrighted Ed Yakovich http://www.flickr.com/photos/10396190@N04 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philadelphia’s population rose again last year, albeit at a slower rate than the city’s growth over the past few years, according to Census data released today.

The city’s population as of July 1, 2013, stood at an estimated 1,553,165 people, an increase of 4,518 residents, or 0.29 percent from the previous year. It marks the seventh consecutive year of growth for the city, according to the Census Bureau’s population estimates. So the turnaround continues, but not as dramatically.

Philadelphia saw steep declines in the latter part of the 20th century as it continued to struggle with the loss of its industrial base. That trend continued into the new millennium. Indeed, the city’s population declined every year between 2000 and 2006, losing nearly 26,000 residents during the span. But since 2006, the city has added more than 64,000 people.

The new census numbers, however, suggest that the population rise has slowed. Philadelphia added only about half as many residents in 2013 as it gained in 2011 and 2012. Between 2010 and 2012, the city’s population grew by more than 1.3 percent.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/032714_Census_Philadelphia_population_grows_again_but_rate_slows.html#x6SWWPYwWoS51Kck.99

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Pittsburgh’s Median Family Income Rises

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Household incomes rose in Pittsburgh in 2012 while the overall metropolitan area and the rest of the country saw incomes remain flat.

The city saw what the U.S. Census Bureau calls a statistically significant increase in household incomes as the median income rose by $3,281 to $39,884 from 2011 to 2012.

That happened as the median income in the seven-county metropolitan area stayed statistically the same, rising from $49,809 to $50,489. The median income for the metropolitan area was below the average of all U.S. metropolitan areas of $53,607.

The income information was contained in data released this morning as part of the American Community Survey.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pittsburghs-median-family-income-rises-703920/#ixzz2fLzN7EPP

Poverty In Reading Worsens, Census Says

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with ...

English: Downtown Reading, Pennsylvania; with Berks County courthouse on left; July 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reading’s poverty rate worsened in 2012, making it the second most impoverished city in the country behind Detroit.

The percent of city residents in poverty increased from 40.1 to 40.5, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

That’s less than the 41.3 percent of Reading residents who were in poverty in 2010 when Reading had a higher percentage of residents in poverty than any other U.S. city with 65,000 or more people.

But hope for Reading still exists, said Jane Palmer, principal author and coordinator of the 65-page 2011 report of the Rebuilding Reading Poverty Commission.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=512690

Census: Asians Fastest-Growing Group In Berks

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An increase of Asians in Berks County is now outpacing a persistently booming growth of Latinos while the number of non-Latino whites has decreased.

With a growth rate of 8.7 percent between the April 1, 2010, Census and estimates taken July 1, 2012, Asians were the fastest growing minority nationwide and in Berks, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Click here for charts showing population growth in Berks County, Pennsylvania and the nation

Berks reflects long-standing state and national trends of rapid growth among Asians and Latinos.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=484432

Harrisburg’s Population Dips Since 2010, Census Bureau Says

Harrisburg has lost a few residents since the beginning of the decade, according to new 2012 population estimates released Thursday from the U.S. Census Bureau.

It’s hardly a mass exodus by any means, but Pennsylvania’s capital city has lost 249 residents since 2010, according to census estimates.  In 2012, Harrisburg’s city population stood at 49,279, a decline of 0.5 percent.

Harrisburg has faced no shortage of challenges.

The city’s financial calamities have drawn national attention.  Harrisburg’s debt has soared to $370 million, due to costly repairs to the city’s incinerator.  The state-appointed receiver, Maj. Gen. William Lynch, is negotiating agreements to try and resolve the city’s financial crisis.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/05/harrisburgs_population_dips_si.html

Richest 7 Percent Got Richer During Recovery, Report Says

English: Map of the United States.

English: Map of the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The richest Americans got richer during the first two years of the economic recovery while average net worth declined for the other 93 percent of U.S. households, says a report released today.

The upper 7 percent of households owned 63 percent of the nation’s total household wealth in 2011, up from 56 percent in 2009, said the report from the Pew Research Center, which analyzed new Census Bureau data released last month.

The main reason for the widening wealth gap is that affluent households typically own stocks and other financial holdings that increased in value, while the less wealthy tend to have more of their assets in their homes, which haven’t rebounded from the plunge in home values, the report said.

Tuesday’s report is the latest to point up financial inequality that has been growing among Americans for decades, a development that helped fuel the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=471710

Berks Population Rose By More Than 2,000 From 2010 To 2012

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A combination of births, deaths and migration added more than 2,000 residents to Berks County from 2010 to 2012.

With a population of 413,491, Berks had the ninth-largest population of 67 counties in the state and is tied for 18th-highest growth rate at 0.5 percent.

But statistics released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau also show that 3,044 more residents moved out of Berks than into it from elsewhere within the country.

The only other counties that had more people move out to settle elsewhere in the country were Delaware, which lost 4,282, and Philadelphia, which lost 14,535.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=460364

Census Shows Continued Economic Suffering From Recession

Map of the 21 counties of the State of New Jersey

Map of the 21 counties of the State of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The typical New Jersey household’s income dropped again last year, the fifth consecutive decline, according to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Not surprisingly, as incomes fell, the ranks of the poor rose.

“The latest federal statistics show there are more people in our state struggling in poverty than during any period in half a century,” says Melville D. Miller Jr., president of Legal Services of New Jersey. “That can cripple the development of our children and our state’s economic and social future.”

The latest Census estimates put the median household income in the state at $67,458. When adjusted for inflation, that was 3.4 percent less than in 2010 and 8.1 percent less than in 2008, the first full year of the recent recession. It’s also less than the actual, unadjusted, median incomes for the prior three years and only slightly above 2007’s actual median income of $67,035 — $72,666 in 2011 inflation-adjusted dollars.

Read more: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/09/20//

U.S. Census Numbers: Allentown Economy Lagging

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) i...

The PPL Building (seen here in the distance) is the tallest building in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Syreeta Redcross of Allentown takes care of her five children on her wages at a local logistics company.

The pay is relatively low, so the 28-year-old often has to scrape to afford the basics — like diapers for her kids. She relies on subsidized day care to be able to hold down a job at all.

Redcross stopped by the PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley job fair on Wednesday looking for a better-paying job.

“It’s very challenging,” she said. “It’s a struggle out there.”

Redcross’ struggles are far from unique, according to findings released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Read more:

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-allentown-census-poverty-20120919,0,1785692.story

Reading Sheds ‘Poorest’ Rank, But Poverty Still A Challenge

Those who were standing in line at a food pantry in Reading on Wednesday did not know the city had spent a year ranked as the most impoverished city in the nation.

They didn’t know that ranking would be changed by statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

They just knew they needed food.

“Most of them really need it,” said Dorothy Fletcher, 79, of Stony Creek Mills, who is a volunteer and a client at the monthly food pantry at Family First Resource Center, 416 S. Seventh St.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=415738

8 States With Deepest Funding Cuts

Editor’s note:  Pennsylvania did NOT make this list….you may be surprised by some of the states that did!

The Great Recession pinched state governments, forcing them to be less generous with local communities which, in turn, had less to spend on students, police and programs for the poor.

For nearly three decades, local governments could count on a steady increase in money from their two biggest funding sources — the states and property taxes.

That changed in 2009 and 2010, when local governments took in less from both sources, according to a report last month from the Pew American Cities Project.  The funding shortfall has forced many cities, towns, counties and school districts to tighten their belts.

24/7 Wall St identified the eight states making the steepest cuts in funding to local governments. The website’s analysis of data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that these states were having their own budget problems as tax receipts shriveled in an anemic economy.

Read more: http://money.msn.com/investing/8-states-with-deepest-funding-cuts