Shallow Recovery

September 18, 2014

Census data show Ohio still struggling to recover from post-Recession poverty. 

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Census data show investments in economic security needed

Ohio’s median household income increased by $627 between 2012 and 2013, to $48,081, according to data released today by the Census Bureau. The state poverty rate declined from 16.3 percent to 16.0 percent. Unfortunately, that decline did not amount to a statistically significant change. Roughly 1 in 6 Ohioans lived in poverty in 2013. That’s less than $24,000 for a family of four.  

Today’s data show that real income is still down and poverty is up since the recovery began in 2009. Since that time, median household income in Ohio, in inflation adjusted 2013 dollars is down 2.5 percent ($1,235). Ohio’s poverty rate stood at 15.2 percent in the 2009.    

“Ohio is stuck,” said workforce researcher Hannah Halbert. “The state’s recovery has been excruciatingly slow and even slower for those in poverty.”

The data also show that African Americans and Latinos in Ohio have been hit particularly hard in this weak recovery. More than 33 percent of African Americans and more than 27 percent of Latinos lived in poverty last year. Both are statistically significant deviations from the 12.7 percent poverty rate for non-Hispanic whites.

“Too many Ohio families are struggling to climb out of poverty and too many are being left out of our listless recovery,” said Halbert. “It is time to make bold investments in Ohio’s people.” 


Policy Matters Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan state policy research institute with offices in Cleveland and Columbus.

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