Sixteen percent of Ohioans lived in poverty last year, and nearly a third were under the federal poverty line for at least a portion of of 2015.
Those are some of the findings in a report from community groups that work on the front lines of the fight against poverty. The report shows similar figures to last year. One of three poor Ohioans live in urban areas. Nearly 50 percent are in rural or suburban areas. Phil Cole of The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies blames income inequality and a lack of jobs and transportation.
Slightly more than 5 percent of Ohio children who start out on the bottom fifth of the income scale will end up on the top fifth in adulthood, but more than 38 percent will stay in poverty. Lynette Cook, the researcher who put together the State of Poverty 2015 report for the group, says overall poverty in Columbus has increased.
Cook says 17 percent of Ohio kids are dependent on federal food assistance. Another 7.5 percent are ineligible but are still food insecure. And Cook notes 600 thousand Ohio seniors are living alone, and 11 percent are in poverty.