Ontario County Data and Trends
Ontario County Data and Trends
Ontario County Report Card
The Ontario 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.
Ontario County, first organized in 1789, is situated southeast of Rochester and north of the Finger Lakes of Keuka, Canandaigua, and Seneca. Ontario is the second most populous county in the region after Monroe with just under 110,000 residents in 2014.
With a 9% increase in residents from 2000 to 2014, Ontario County is one of only two counties in the region (along with Seneca) to boast significant population growth. Ontario has a strong tourism sector, anchored by the high-end Eastview Mall, CMAC Performing Arts Center, and several wineries and breweries.
It also has the highest median income and home values in the region, along with the lowest poverty rate. Almost a third of residents hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the county has the lowest share of high school dropouts in the region.
Ontario County experienced significant population growth over the decade, while most of the region had a steady or declining population. With just over 100,000 residents in 2000, Ontario County grew by 9.5% to 110,000 residents in 2014. This growth in population surpassed the growth rate of the region (1.6%) and the state (4.1%). Ontario County was home to 9% of the regional population in 2014.
Ontario County is aging faster than the region, state and nation:
- From 2000 to 2014, the number of residents 85 and older grew by 63% and the number 60-84 grew by 57% - both larger increases than the state, nation, region, and every county in the region.
- Meanwhile, the number of residents under 20 shrank by 8% from 2000 to 2014; this is a smaller decrease than the region and every county in the region.
- The smaller decrease in the young population and larger increase in the old population relative to the region is reflective of Ontario’s comparatively strong overall population growth.
With the Baby Boom generation approaching retirement, Ontario County will face a growing need for sufficient elder care and support services.
While the Asian, African American, and Hispanic populations have grown faster than the white population, the county remains overwhelmingly white:
- In 2014, 94% of Ontario residents were white, compared to 3% who were African American, 4% Hispanic, and 1% Asian.
- From 2000 to 2014, the Hispanic population more than doubled, while the Asian population grew by 89% and the African American population rose by 29%. This compares to growth of 7% for white residents.
The distribution of household types in Ontario was similar to the state, nation, and region:
- In 2010-14, 19% of Ontario households were married with children, 30% were married without children, and 28% lived alone. Single adults with children made up 10% of the total households, slightly lower than the 11% share for the nation, region, and state.
Arts, Culture & Leisure
In 2014, Ontario had higher tourism spending per resident ($1,850) than any other county besides Yates, an increase of 7% from 2005. This was higher than the regional rate ($1,280) but lower than the state ($3,160). Ontario County's tourism industry is expected to continue to grow with such attractions as the New York State Wine & Culinary Center, the renovated Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (also known as CMAC), and increased promotion of the Finger Lakes wine trails, winter sports venues, area museums and shops.
Per capita recreational spending fell 7% from 2005 to $87 in 2014. While higher than the region ($67), this was well below the state rate of $315.
Children and Youth
Child poverty, while on the rise, was comparatively low in Ontario:
- In 2010-14, 14% of children in Ontario County were living in poverty, lower than the region (21%), state, and nation (both 22%), and the lowest of all counties in the region.
- The rate rose by 4 points from 2005-09 to 2010-14 after holding steady from 2000 to 2005-09. The increase from 2000 was above the state (2 points) but below the nation and region (5 and 7 points respectively).
Similar to the region, state and nation, Ontario County has seen an increase in the number of single-parent families:
- In 2010-14, 35% of families were headed by single parents, an increase of 9 points from 2000. Ontario’s rate was lower than the region (39%) and state (37%) and on par with the nation.
- The 9-point increase from 2000 was larger than the region (8 points), state (4 points), nation (6 points), and most regional counties.
In 2013, 7% of births in Ontario were of low birth weight babies, slightly below the state and nation and on par with the region. The rate is 1 point higher than in 2000.
Teen pregnancy rates have declined over the past decade, similar to most other counties in the region. In 2013, the teen pregnancy rate in Ontario was 2.2%, lower than the region (2.9%) and state (3.7%).
In 2014, voter registration in Ontario (82%) was higher than the state (76%), region (79%), and every other county in the region. It is unchanged from 2013 and down 7 points from 2000.
Consistent with statewide and regional trends, turnout in the 2014 midterm election was much lower than in the presidential election, but at 38% was still higher than every county, the region, and the state. Turnout fell from 42% in the 2010 midterm elections. Voter turnout in 2012 was 56%, above the state, region and every county except Monroe. This was 7 points below the turnout in the 2008 presidential election.
Charitable giving in Ontario County decreased by 6% from 2002 to 2013, a smaller decrease than for the region (down 23%), the state, and the nation (both down by 11%). On average, Ontario donors gave $980 in 2013, the second highest level of giving in the region after Monroe ($1,100).
Ontario has posted strong job growth relative to the region:
- Total jobs grew by 13% from 2001 to 2014, in line with the state and nation and well above the region (2%).
- Sectors in which job growth outperformed the region and most individual counties include Education; Leisure and Hospitality; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities. In the Manufacturing sector, the decrease of 6% was less than for the region, state, and nation (all fell by about a third).
- Sectors which fared worse compared to the region included Health Care and Construction.
The growth in average total salary in Ontario has outpaced the state, nation, and region:
- In Ontario, the average salary grew by 13% from 2000 to $43,300 in 2014; this is a larger increase than the state (7%), nation (6%), and region (flat).
- Ontario’s average salary in 2014 was lower than the state, region and nation, but was higher than all of the surrounding counties besides Seneca.
Like the state, region and nation, Ontario’s unemployment rate soared during the Great Recession and its aftermath. While it has recovered somewhat, it is still almost 2 points higher than in 2000:
- Unemployment jumped from 4.2% in 2007 to a high of 7.4% in 2010, but has since fallen to 5.3% in 2014.
- Ontario’s rate in 2014 was lower than the nation (6.2%), state (6.3%), and the region (5.8%) and has been lower every year since 2000.
Most students in Ontario matched or outperformed their peers in Common Core-aligned tests and high school regents:
- In 2015, 31% of Ontario 3rd graders passed the reading test, on par with the state and above the region, and 48% of 4th graders passed the math test, above the state and region.
- 8th graders lagged behind the state and matched the region on the math test (with 17% passing), while 37% of Ontario 8th graders passed the reading test, above the state and region.
- For both the math and English Regents test, a higher portion of students (78% and 89% respectively) passed than statewide and in the region.
Ontario County has made great progress in Prekindergarten participation, and fares well compared the state and region:
- Ontario County's pre-kindergarten participation grew from 12% in 2001 to 48% in 2014. The growth of 36 points was larger than for the state and region.
- Ontario’s rate of participation was higher than the state (44%) and the region (40%) in 2014.
Ontario had among the highest graduation rates in the region in 2014 at 88%; this is an increase of 6 points from 2008. The graduation rate in 2014 was above the state (79%) and region (84%).
Ontario County, along with Monroe, consistently had the highest levels of educational attainment in the region. In 2010-14, 63% of Ontario County residents 25 and older had attended at least some college, 5 points above the state and national figures. This was up from 56% of residents in 2000. In addition, Ontario had a lower share of high school dropouts (8%) than the state, nation, and region.
Spending per student by Ontario County school districts has increased 33% since 2000, a smaller increase than the state, region, and every county. At $18,900 in 2014, per-student spending was lower than every county, the region as a whole, and the state.
Despite a large decrease from 2000, median household income in Ontario was higher than any other county:
- Ontario’s median income in 2010-14 was $57,300, above the nation ($53,500) and region ($52,300).but below the state ($58,700).
- From 2000 to 2010-14, inflation-adjusted median income in Ontario fell by 10%, same as the nation, but more than the state and region.
Poverty has increased, but remains well below the state, nation and region:
- In 2010-14, 10% of Ontario residents had incomes below the poverty line, compared to 16% for the state and nation, and 14% for the region. Ontario’s rate was also below those three geographies in 2000 and 2005-09.
- Ontario’s rate has risen by 3 points from 2000 to 2010-14, a larger increase than the state (1 point), on par with the nation, and below the region (4 points).
In 2014, 1.4% of residents in Ontario received temporary assistance, lower than the state and region (2.9% and 3.4% respectively). The rate has increased slightly from 1.1% in 2001. Ontario’s rate is consistently below the state and region, but above some counties surrounding Monroe.
A relatively small share of Ontario residents lack health insurance – the rate of uninsured has remained steady in Ontario from 2008 to 2013, and remains among the lowest in the region:
- In 2013, 9% of Ontario residents were uninsured, unchanged from 2008. The nation and region both stayed steady from 2008 to 2013, while the state rate dropped by 1 point.
- Ontario’s rate of uninsured in 2013 was lower than the nation (17%), state (12%), and region (10%).
Mortality rates in Ontario fell substantially from 2000 and are now the lowest in the counties surrounding Monroe:
- Ontario’s rate in 2013 was 660 per 100,000 residents, higher than the state (620) and Monroe (650) but lower than the region (670) and every other county in the region.
- The rate fell by 17% from 2000 to 2013, a slightly smaller decrease than the state and region.
In 2014, 2,390 Ontario residents were admitted to alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment programs, an increase from a low of 1,800 in 2012 and on par with the number in 2007.
Despite doubling from 2001 to 2014, the rate of chlamydia infections (280 per 100,000 residents) was lower than the state (500) and regional (440) rates.
The median home value in Ontario has increased more than the region but less than the state and nation:
- From 2000 to 2010-14 the median home value (inflation-adjusted) rose by 12% to $140,100, below the national increase of 14% and the state increase of 40%. In contrast, median home values fell by 4% in the region for that period.
- The median home value in 2010-14 was higher than the region ($126,600) but below the nation ($175,700) and the state ($283,700). Ontario’s median home value was higher than the other eight counties in the region.
Median rent fell by 2% in Ontario from 2000 to $790 in 2010-14. Ontario’s rent was below the nation ($920), state ($1,120) and on par with the region.
The ratio of median income to median home value, a measure of housing affordability, was 2.0 in 2010-14. This was just above the region (1.9) but below the nation (2.6) and state (3.5). A higher ratio means that housing is less affordable; a ratio above 2 or 3 is considered unaffordable.
In contrast, rent was relatively more affordable in Ontario: 32% of income went to rent in 2010-14, below the national (33%), regional (35%), and statewide (36%) proportions. A rate less than 30% is considered affordable.
Ontario County had a homeownership rate of 73% in 2010-14, higher than the national (64%), regional (68%), and state (54%) rates.
Ontario County had a higher rate of residential building permits with 2.9 issued per 1,000 residents in 2014, than the state and region (both 1.6) but a lower rate than the nation (3.3). The rate fell by 41% from 2000.
Ontario’s rate of serious crimes has stayed flat since 2000, in contrast to the state, nation, and region:
- In 2014, there were 200 serious crimes per 10,000 residents in Ontario, below the state (210), national (300), and regional (240) rates.
- However, the rate has risen by 1% since 2000, in contrast to a drop of about a third for the state, region, and nation.
The rate of violent crime rose by 11% in Ontario from 2000 to 12 per 10,000 residents in 2014, compared to a 28% drop nationally, a 34% decrease for the state, and a 1% increase for the region. Ontario’s rate was less than half of the state and national rates (both 37) and below the regional rate (23).
Ontario’s property crime rate has stayed flat from 2000, in contrast to declines of about a third in the state, region, and nation. In 2014, the rate in Ontario was 190 per 10,000 residents, lower than the nation (260) and region (220) but above the state (170).
The number of juvenile delinquency intakes in Ontario, at 47 per 10,000 children in 2014, declined by 52% from 2013 and a total of 73% from 2000.
Note: Data research and analysis completed by the Center for Governmental Research
Banner photo provided by Peter "Skippy" Bushnell, Arts, Culture & Leisure Photo provided by New York Wine Culinary & Culinary Center