Genesee County Data and Trends
Genesee County Data and Trends
Genesee County Report Card
The Genesee County Report Card aggregates data from more than 100 community indicators on the site and use symbols, colors and arrows to provide a quick, at-a-glance overview of the well-being of the county. This data cover the topics of Arts, Culture and Leisure, Children and Youth, Community Engagement, Economy, Education, Financial Self-Sufficiency, Health, Housing, and Public Safety.
Incorporated in 1805, Genesee County sits on the region’s western border between the cities of Buffalo and Rochester, with Batavia as its county seat and largest municipality. Genesee derives its name from the Seneca word Gen-nis’-hee-yo, meaning “the Beautiful Valley.” Genesee’s standout attributes among the region include a low cost of living and a strong tourism industry anchored by Darien Lake Amusement Park, several golf courses, and Batavia Downs racetrack and casino.
Among its strengths, Genesee has relatively high revenue from tourism and strong growth in average salaries. The average salary in the county, adjusted for inflation, increased by 12% since 2000, more than the state or the nation. However, the county has also been losing population and saw increases in poverty: total poverty rate rose by 5 points and the child poverty rate rose by 11 points from 2000 to 2011-15, which was the highest rate of increase in child poverty among the region’s counties.
Genesee County's population fell by 2.4% between 2000 and 2015, versus an increase of 1.4% for the region, 4% for the state and 14% for the nation. In 2015, Genesee County was home to just under 59,000 residents, or about 5% of the total regional population.
Similar to other counties in the upstate region, Genesee County has an aging population:
- Between 2000 and 2015, the number of residents younger than 20 years declined 22% and the 20-to-39 range declined 10% - both greater decreases than for the region as a whole.
- The number of adults 85+ increased 45%, consistent with state, national and regional trends.
Despite an increase in diversity, Genesee County remains much whiter than the nation, state, and the region.
- Since 2000, the white population in Genesee has fallen by 5%, while the small number of Asians, African Americans, and Hispanics have increased by 30%, 44%, and 105% respectively.
- In 2015, 93% of Genesee residents were white, in line with the eight counties surrounding Monroe but much higher than the state (70%) and the nation (77%).
From 2000 to 2011-15 Genesee County, like the state and nation, experienced a decline in the share of households of married couples with children.
- In 2011-15, 19% of households consisted of married couples with children, down from 26% in 2000.
- The share of households with individuals living alone grew by 2 points to 27% from 2000 to 2011-15, while the largest category – married couples without children – rose 3 points to 33%.
- Compared to the region and its other counties, a greater share of Genesee households consisted of married couples (with or without children).
Arts, Culture and Leisure
Genesee County attracted more tourism spending per capita than all other counties in the region besides Ontario and Yates. In 2015, tourism spending amounted to $1,584 per resident, for a total of roughly $93.4 million. Genesee’s rate was above the region ($1,290) but below the state rate ($3,186). Genesee also had the highest recreation spending per resident ($203), with a rate almost three times higher than the region but still below the state ($331).
Children and Youth
Child poverty continues to be a problem for Genesee:
- The rate rose by 7 points from 2000 to 2006-10 and 4 points from 2006-10 to 2011-15. In 2011-15, it stood at 20%, lower than the state and nation (both at 22%), but above other counties in the region.
- The 11-point increase from 2000 to 2011-15 was greater than the state, nation, region, and every county in the region.
However, families with two parents are on par with the state, and more common than in the region.
- The proportion of families raised by single parents rose by 8 points from 2000 to 2011-15, equal to the region and surrounding counties increases, but greater than the state and national increases of 4 and 6 points, respectively.
- Genesee’s rate of single parenthood in 2011-15 (34%) was the second-lowest rate among every regional county, the region, the state, and the nation.
The proportion of mothers receiving prenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy rose by 9 points from 2000 to 78% in 2014, bringing it above the state rate, and on par with the region, surrounding counties.
The proportion of low birth-weight babies has fluctuated in Genesee County over the decade, but remains below state and national levels:
- The rate of low-weight births was 6% in 2014, unchanged from 2000.
- The rate in Genesee has been below the national, state, and regional rate for every year from 2000 to 2014. The nation had a rate of 8% in 2014 while the state and region both had a rate of 7.8%.
Child abuse and neglect has worsened since 2000 and remains a serious issue:
- The rate of indicated cases of child abuse and neglect (cases in which there was credible evidence) in Genesee increased by 46% from 2000 to 2015. This is a greater increase than the state (3%), region (11%), and any regional county besides Orleans and Yates.
- The rate in 2015 was 25 per 1,000 children under 18, well above the state rate of 14 and the regional rate of 16.
In 2015, Genesee’s rate of foster care admissions was 4.2 per 1,000 children, an 11% increase over its rate in 2000. Genesee’s rate was higher than the state (2.1) and every regional county but was below the national rate of 5.6.
Similar to the state and region, Genesee’s rate of teen pregnancy dropped by half from 2000 to 2014. Its rate in 2014, 2.4%, was lower than the state and region but higher than five of the other eight counties in the region.
Voter registration and election turnout has been declining, but remain comparatively robust:
- From 2000 to 2015, the proportion of voting-age residents who were registered to vote in Genesee County fell 7 points to 79%. This compares to a 75% registration rate for the state and a 78% rate for the region in 2015.
- In the 2014 midterms, 35% of Genesee adults turned out to vote, above the statewide rate of 25% and on par with the regional rate.
- In the 2012 presidential election, 53% of voting-age residents turned out to vote, the lowest rate of the past 4 presidential elections and below the regional (55%) and national (54%) rate. However, the county still outperformed the state at 46% in 2012.
Genesee County’s registered borrowers was the highest in the region:
- In 2015, 75% of Genesee’s county library system were registered borrowers, above the state (57%) and region (64%), and every county in the region.
- The number of library visits has decreased 27% since 2000, but remains higher than the state, region, and every county in the region.
Average charitable giving has modestly increased but continues to lag behind the region, state, and nation:
- The average gift to charity per tax return increased 9% from 2002 to 2013 in Genesee, increasing from $2,771 to $3,024 per tax return. This increase is lower than the nation (11%), on par with the state, and higher than the region (0%).
- Genesee’s charitable giving at 2.6% of income in 2013 lagged behind the state (2.8%), and nation (3.1%), but was higher than some regional counties.
Like the state, region, and nation, Genesee’s unemployment soared during the Great Recession and its aftermath. However, Genesee’s recovery has been stronger than in other areas:
- Unemployment jumped from 4.5% in 2007 to a peak of 8.0% in 2010, but has since fallen to just 5.0% in 2015; Genesee’s rate is 1 point higher than the low of 4.0% in 2000.
- Genesee’s rate in 2015 was lower than the nation, state (both 5.3%), region (5.2%), and lower than any other county besides Ontario (4.8%), and Yates (5.0%).
Genesee’s job growth since 2001 has lagged behind the nation and state, but outperformed several counties in the region as a whole. Some sectors did better than others:
- Genesee experienced little job growth from 2001 to 2015, compared to the growth in the region, state, and national rates (2%, 16% and 15% respectively).
- In the Manufacturing sector, Genesee’s total number of jobs fell less (8%) than the nation (23%), state (33%), and region (34%). In the Construction and Trade, Transportation and Utilities sectors, job growth in Genesee exceeded state and national increases.
- Job growth in Genesee was outperformed by the state, nation and region in the Education and Health Care sectors.
Genesee’s salary growth, adjusted for inflation, has exceeded that of the state, nation and region, but has lagged behind some of its peers in the counties surrounding Monroe:
- Salaries in Genesee grew 12% from an average of $34,300 in 2000 to $38,500 in 2015. This compares to 9% growth nationally and statewide, and 5% for the region.
- Genesee’s average salary growth was several points lower than the 17% increase for the eight surrounding counties.
- Genesee’s average salary in 2015 was lower than any of the regional counties besides Yates and Livingston, and was well below the national average of $52,900 and the state average of $67,500.
Genesee County has made extraordinary progress in prekindergarten participation:
- Genesee’s percentage of 4-year olds enrolled in prekindergarten was 56% in 2015, up from just 1% in 2001. This increase mostly occurred between 2007 and 2009.
- Genesee’s rate of participation was higher than the state (47%) and the region (42%) in 2015.
Students in Genesee County showed mixed results on the Common Core-aligned state tests:
- In 2016, 41% of students passed 3rd grade English, about the same rate as the state, and a higher share of students passed 4th grade math (56%) compared to the region and the state.
- The passing rates for 8th grade English (35%) and math (15%) were about even with the region but below the state.
However, students fared relatively better on the Regents test:
- In 2016, 82% of Genesee students passed the Common Core Algebra 1 Regents, versus 72% for the state and 75% for the region.
- In that same year, Genesee posted an 89% pass rate for the Common Core English Regents, above the 86% statewide and 87% for the region.
Genesee’s four-year high school graduation rate of 88% in 2016 was higher than the state (81%) and region (84%).
Genesee County adults ages 25 and over have lower education levels than the region, state or nation:
- In 2011-15, 54% of Genesee residents had attended at least some college, below the region (61%), state and nation (both 59%).
- A smaller share of adults (9%) had less than a high school diploma than in the state, region and nation, but only 20% of adults had a bachelor’s degree or higher – lower than the state (34%), region (31%), and nation (30%).
Per-student spending rose by 53% from 2000 to 2015, higher than the state and region. In 2015, Genesee districts spent $21,200 per student, similar to the region but below the state ($22,600).
Genesee has seen its median income drop substantially since 2000:
- From 2000 to 2011-15, Genesee’s median income fell 12% to $50,900, compared to national and statewide decreases of 10% and 4% respectively. Within the region, only Wayne, Livingston, Orleans, and Monroe counties had larger decreases in their income over that time period.
- Genesee’s median income in 2011-15 was below the national ($53,900), state ($59,300), and regional ($52,300) levels. This was also the case in 2000 and 2006-10.
Poverty rates were relatively low, but have increased since 2000:
- In 2011-15, the poverty rate in Genesee was 13%, below the state (16%), national (15%), and regional (14%) rates. In the region, Genesee was in the middle of the pack: four counties each had either higher or lower and equal rates than Genesee.
- However, the rate has increased 6 points from 2000, a greater increase than the state, nation, and region.
The rate of people receiving temporary assistance has remained essentially flat:
- Genesee’s rate was 1.0% in 2015, below the state, region, and every county besides Wyoming and Yates.
However, the rate of people receiving emergency meals has skyrocketed:
- In 2000, there were 1.3 emergency meals served per resident, lower than the state, region, and all counties in the region.
- In 2015, the rate stood at 8.0 – a sixfold increase from 2000 and up more than 169% from the end of the recession in 2009. The rate doubled from 2013 to 2014. The increases over both time periods were greater than in the state, region, and every county.
- The 2015 rate was higher than the state (7.1), region (7.0), and equal to or higher than most surrounding counties.
The rate of people without health insurance is falling:
- In 2014, about 3,800, or 8% of Genesee County residents under the age of 65 were uninsured, below the rates for the state (10%) and nation (14%), but above the region (7%).
- This is a 4-point decrease from its peak of 12% in 2011 and in-line with rate decreases in the nation, state and region.
The mortality rate, despite falling, has remained relatively high:
- Genesee’s mortality rate in 2014 of 727 per 100,000 residents was higher than the state (618) and regional (685) rates.
- The mortality rate is down 12% from 2000; this is less than the statewide and region decrease of 23% and 16% respectively.
Although infection rates for chlamydia and gonorrhea have risen since 2000, the number of infections remain too small to provide meaningful data and Genesee’s rates were below the state and region in 2015.
The number of people admitted into alcohol and substance abuse treatment programs rose 13% from 2007 to 2015, compared to decreases of 9% statewide and 2% regionally.
Median home values have fallen in Genesee, in contrast to the state and the nation:
- From 2000 to 2011-15, the median home value in Genesee fell 6% to $107,000. This was a larger decrease than for the region (2.2%) and compares to a 16% increase nationally and a 40% increase statewide.
- In 2011-15, the median home value in Genesee was lower than the median for the region ($128,700), state ($283,400), and the nation ($178,600).
Since 2000, the median rent in Genesee has stayed essentially flat, compared to a decrease in the region and increases in the state and nation.
Housing and rent are particularly affordable in Genesee:
- Genesee’s ratio of median home value to median household income, which is a measure of housing affordability, was lower in 2011-15 (1.7) than the region (1.9), state (3.5), and nation (2.6).
- The ratio was essentially unchanged from 2000, as opposed to an increase (indicating a decline in affordability) for the region, state, and nation.
- In 2011-15, 32% of median household income went to rent in Genesee, lower than the region (35%), state (36%), and nation (33%). Genesee’s rate was lower than every county except Wyoming in 2011-15.
More people owned their homes in Genesee than the state, region, and nation:
- In 2011-15, 73% of housing units were owner-occupied, higher than the national rate of 64%, the state rate of 54%, and the regional rate of 68%.
Genesee’s rate is unchanged from 2000; the rate fell slightly for the region and the nation and grew slightly statewide over that period.
Genesee’s rate of serious crime remains above state and dropped below the region:
- Genesee’s rate fell by 25% from 2000 to 2015; a smaller decrease than in the region (34%), state (36%), and nation (31%) over that same period.
- Genesee’s rate stood at 203 per 10,000 residents in 2015, higher than the state rate (196) but lower than the national (286) and regional (231) rates.
Genesee’s rate of violent crime – 20 per 10,000 residents – has risen notably since 2000, in contrast to decreases in the state and nation.
- The rate of violent crime in Genesee was lower than the region (27), state (38), and nation (37) in 2015.
- However, violent crime has increased 39% from 2000 to 2015, versus a 19% rise in the region, and a drop of around a third in both the state and nation over that period.
The rate of property crimes in Genesee has fallen 28% from 2000, a smaller decline than in the region, state, and nation. The rate was 184 crimes per 10,000 residents in 2015, lower than the nation (249) and region (204) but higher than the state (159).
The number of victims of domestic violence per 10,000 residents more than doubled from 2009 to 2015 - a far cry from the 5% drop for the state (excluding NYC) and 12% drop for the region.
Genesee had a very low rate of juvenile delinquency intakes (per 10,000 children aged 7 to 16) as compared to other geographies:
- The rate of juvenile delinquency intakes fell 76% from 2000 to 2015, greater than decreases across the state, region and surrounding counties. However, the rate increased 6% from 2014 to 2015 – in contrast to a decrease in the state and a small (2%) increase in the region.
- Genesee’s rate of 28 per 10,000 children aged 7-16 was slightly less than half the state rate (51) and half of the regional rate (56) in 2015. It was the second-lowest of every county in the region.
Genesee faced an increasing demand for emergency services:
- The rate of responses to 911 calls increased 30% between 2004 and 2015, far greater than the regional increase of 8%.
- However, the rate of 4,900 calls per 10,000 residents was less than half the regional rate.
Banner photo provided by Peter "Skippy" Bushnell, Arts, Culture and Leisure Photo provided by Harry Scull/Darien Lake Theme Park Resort