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 2016.
With a 9% increase in residents from 2000 to 2016, 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 the adult population receiving less than a high school diploma 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 9.3% to 110,000 residents in 2015. This growth in population surpassed the growth rate of the region (1.4%) and the state (4.3%). Ontario County was home to 9% of the regional population in 2015.
Ontario County is aging faster than the region, state and nation:
- From 2000 to 2015, the number of residents 85 and older grew by 65% and the number 60-84 grew by 61% - both larger increases than the state, nation, region, and every county in the region.
- Meanwhile, the number of residents under 20 shrank by 9% from 2000 to 2015; 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 2015, 94% of Ontario residents were white, compared to 3% who were African American, 4% Hispanic, and 1% Asian.
- From 2000 to 2015, the Hispanic population more than doubled, while the Asian population grew by 91% and the African American population rose by 33%. 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 2011-15, 18% of Ontario households were married with children, 31% 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 2015, Ontario had higher tourism spending per resident ($1,850) than any other county besides Yates, an increase of 6% from 2005. This was higher than the regional rate ($1,290) but lower than the state ($3,186). 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 3% from 2005 to $91 in 2015. While higher than the region ($70), this was well below the statewide figure of $331.
Children and Youth
Child poverty, while on the rise, was comparatively low in Ontario:
- In 2011-15, 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 2 points from 2006-10 to 2011-15 after a two point rise from 2000 to 2006-10. 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 2011-15, 36% of families were headed by single parents, an increase of 10 points from 2000. Ontario’s rate was lower than the region (39%) and similar to the state (37%) and nation (35%).
- The 10-point increase from 2000 was larger than the region (8 points), state (4 points), nation (6 points), and third highest of the regional counties.
In 2014, 7.6% of births in Ontario were of low birth weight babies, slightly below the nation, region and state. The rate is over 1 point higher than in 2000.
Teen pregnancy rates have declined over the past decade, similar to all counties in the region. In 2014, the teen pregnancy rate in Ontario was 1.8%, lower than the region (2.5%) and state (3.3%).
In 2015, voter registration in Ontario (79%) was higher than the state (75%), region (78%), and every other county in the region except Genesee. It is down 10 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.
Ontario County’s registered borrowers decreased by 33% since 2000, but library visits have increased:
- In 2015, 47% of residents of Ontarios’ county library system were registered borrowers, below the state (57%) and region (64%).
- The number of library visits has increased 29% in Ontario, higher than the state and region, but still below other counties in the region.
Charitable giving in Ontario County increased by 16% from 2002 to 2013, a higher increase than for the region (unchanged), the state, (9%) and the nation (11%). On average, Ontario donors gave $3,655 in 2013, the highest level of giving in the region.
Ontario has posted strong job growth relative to the region:
- Total jobs grew by 9% from 2000 to 2015, lower than the state and nation but well above the region (2%).
- Sectors in which job growth outperformed the region and most individual counties include Education; Financial Activities, Other Services, Professional and Business Services. In the Manufacturing sector, the decrease of 9% was less than for the region, state, and nation.
- Sectors which fared worse compared to the region included Construction and Natural Resources and Mining.
The growth in average total salary in Ontario has outpaced the state, nation, and region:
- In Ontario, the average salary grew by 31% from 2000 to $50,400 in 2015; this is a larger increase than the state and nation (both 9%), and region (5%).
- Ontario’s average salary in 2015 was lower than the state and nation, but was higher than the region and all of the surrounding counties.
Like the state, region and nation, Ontario’s unemployment rate soared during the Great Recession and its aftermath. Each year it has moved closer to recovery, and is 1 point higher than in 2000
- Unemployment jumped from 4.2% in 2007 to a high of 7.4% in 2010, but has since fallen to 4.8% in 2015.
- Ontario’s rate in 2015 was lower than the nation, state (both 5.3%), and the region (5.2%) and has been lower every year since 2000.
Students in Ontario matched or outperformed their peers on most Common Core-aligned tests and high school Regents:
- In 2016, 42% of Ontario 3rd graders passed the English test, on par with the state and above the region, and 49% of 4th graders passed the math test, above the state and region.
- 8th graders lagged behind the state and region on the math test (with 12% passing), while 40% of Ontario 8th graders passed the English test, about even with the state and above the region.
- For both the Algebra 1 and English Regents test, a higher portion of students (85% and 93% 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 prekindergarten participation rate grew from 12% in 2001 to 53% in 2015. The growth of 41 points was larger than for the state and region.
- Ontario’s rate of participation was higher than the state (47%) and the region (42%) in 2015.
Ontario had among the highest graduation rates in the region in 2016 at 89%; this is an increase of 7 points from 2008. The graduation rate in 2016 was above the state (81 %) and region (84%).
Ontario County, along with Monroe, consistently had the highest levels of educational attainment in the region. In 2011-15, 64% 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 those with less than a high school diploma (8%) compared to the state, nation, and region.
Spending per student by Ontario County school districts has increased 37% since 2000, a smaller increase than the state, region, and every regional county except Wyoming. At $19,400 in 2015, per-student spending was lower than every regional county as well as the state.
Despite a large decrease from 2000, median household income in Ontario was higher than any other county:
- Ontario’s median income in 2011-15 was $57,400, above the nation ($53,900) and region ($52,300).but below the state ($59,300).
- From 2000 to 2011-15, inflation-adjusted median income in Ontario fell by 9%, lower than the nation and region and higher than the state.
Poverty has increased, but remains well below the state, nation and region:
- In 2011-15, 10% of Ontario residents had incomes below the poverty line, compared to 16% for the state, 15% for the nation, and 14% for the region. Ontario’s rate was also below the nation, state, and region in 2000 and 2006-10.
- Ontario’s rate has risen by 3 points from 2000 to 2011-15, a larger increase than the state (1 point), on par with the nation, and below the region (4 points).
In 2015, 1.4% of residents in Ontario received temporary assistance, lower than the state and region (2.9% and 3.1% 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 –and the rate remains among the lowest in the region:
- In 2014, 7% of Ontario residents were uninsured, a bit lower than the rate of 9% in 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 2014 was lower than the nation (14%), state (10%), and equal to the region.
The mortality rate in Ontario has decreased since 2000 and is among the lowest in the region:
- Ontario’s rate in 2014 was 667 per 100,000 residents, higher than the state (618) and Livingston (592) but lower than the region (685) and every other county in the region.
- The rate fell by 15% from 2000 to 2014, a slightly smaller decrease than the state and region.
In 2014, 2,400 individuals were admitted to alcohol and/or substance abuse treatment programs in Ontario, an increase from a low of 1,800 in 2012 but relatively unchanged from the number in 2007.
Despite more than doubling from 2001 to 2015, the rate of chlamydia infections (313 per 100,000 residents) was lower than the state (524) and regional (498) rates.
In 2011-15 the median home value in Ontario ($145,700) was 16% greater than in 2000; an increase similar to the nation, and less than the 39% increase statewide. In contrast, median home values decreased by 2.2% in the region as a whole for that period.
Ontario’s median home value was higher than the other eight counties in the region, but below the nation ($178,600) and the state ($283,400), despite their considerable increase since 2000.
Despite a small decrease in 2006-10, median rent was $809 in Ontario, little changed from 2000 when it was $802. This was higher than every regional county in 2011-15, except for Monroe, but still below the nation ($928) and state ($1,132).
The ratio of median income to median home value, a measure of housing affordability, was 2.1 in 2011-15. 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 2011-15, similar to the national rate (33%), and a bit lower than the regional (35%), and statewide (36%) proportions. A rate less than 30% is considered affordable.
Ontario County had a homeownership rate of 73% in 2011-15, higher than the national (64%), regional (68%), and state (54%) rates.
At 3.4, Ontario County had a slightly lower rate of residential building permits issued per 1,000 residents in 2015 than the state (3.8) and nation (3.7), but was still the highest among every other county in the region. This is a 30% decrease in rate since 2000, but an 18% increase from the previous year.
Ontario’s rate of serious crimes has fluctuated since 2000, but has decreased overall, in-line with the state, nation, and region:
- In 2015, there were 167 serious crimes per 10,000 residents in Ontario, below the state (196), national (286), and regional (231) rates.
- The rate has decreased 15% since 2000, in contrast to the decreases of 31% or greater in the state, region, and nation.
The rate of violent crime in Ontario rose 23% since 2000, increasing to 13 per 10,000 residents in 2015, in contrast to a 26% drop nationally, a 31% decrease for the state, and a 19% increase for the region. Ontario’s rate was less than half of the state and national rates (38 and 37, respectively) and below the regional rate (27).
Ontario’s property crime rate has fluctuated since 2000, but has decreased overall, in-line with the state, nation, and region:
- In 2015, the rate in Ontario was 154 per 10,000 residents, lower than the nation (249) and region (204) and very similar to the state (159).
The rate of juvenile delinquency intakes in Ontario, 28 per 10,000 children in 2015, declined by 40% from 47 per 10,000 children in 2014 and 84% 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