Ohio poverty rate increases for first time in over a decade, report finds
Watch the full Action News Now interview in the video at the end of this story.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Ohio’s poverty rate increased for the first time in more than a decade, according to a recently released report.
According to the 2023 State of Poverty in Ohio report, the post-pandemic poverty levels rose from 12.7% to 13.4% in 2021. The report, conducted by the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, analyzes numerous factors including census data, educational reports, access to transportation and more.
Lucas County saw a slight drop in its poverty rate in this year’s report.
Philip Cole, the leader of the group that published the report, spoke with 13 Action News reporter Josh Croup on the post-pandemic factors contributing to the worsened socioeconomic climate in Ohio.
“I think there is so much stress caused by COVID-19,” Cole said. “There has been a real demand for mental healthcare and we have not been able to meet the demand.”
The annual report analyzes census data and other research to come up with solutions to Ohio’s poverty problem. This year, the authors focused on learning loss from the pandemic, lack of public transportation and a shortage of mental healthcare providers.
Aside from the demand for healthcare workers, Cole discussed a wide variety of factors that could have led to the increased poverty levels.
See the Ohio State of Poverty report in full below.
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