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 is booming. Of the nine counties in the ACT Rochester region, Ontario had the greatest growth in population, the highest median income, high rates of educational attainment, the greatest rate of residential building and increasing home values. Yet, poverty in Ontario County increased to 10%, more families are headed by single parents, and the rate of mothers accessing prenatal care early in their pregnancies declined slightly.
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 over 8% to 108,500 residents in 2011. This growth in population surpassed the growth rate of the region (2%) and was greater than the state's (3%).
Ontario County's population is aging. The number of adults 40 to 59 years old increased by 14% from 2000 to 2011, making it the largest segment of the population, consistent with regional, state and national trends. Ontario had the highest growth rates in the region for residents 60 to 84 and for those 85 and older, growing by 42% and 59% respectively from 2000 to 2011. These groups represent 24% of the total county population, and the increases highlight the growing need for sufficient elder care and support services.
Like the rest of the region, Ontario has experienced declines in the number of young adults. Since 2000, the number of residents between the ages of 20 and 39 decreased 8%, similar to the state and regional declines of 4% and 8% respectively. The number of children and young adults under 20 years old declined by 4%, compared to state and regional declines of 7% and 10% respectively.
Ontario County has grown more racially diverse, though it remained about 94% white. From 2000 to 2011, the greatest increases occurred in the Hispanic population (up 85%) and the Asian population (up 70%). The Hispanic population has become the largest minority group in the county, with nearly 4,000 residents. Ontario County also experienced a 25% increase in its African American population, to about 2,800 residents.
Ontario County has seen a decline in the share of households of married couples with children and an increase in households with people living alone. In 2007-11, about 21% of households in the county were composed of married couples with children living at home, compared to 25% in 2000. In the same time period, living-alone households grew from 25% to 28% of the total.
Arts, Culture & Leisure
Tourism is a growing business in Ontario County. In 2010, more than $180 million was spent on tourism activities in the county, an 8% increase from 2005, even after adjusting for inflation. Ontario had the greatest per resident spending on tourism in the region at $1,720, compared to the regional figure of $1,180. 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.
Public funding for the arts in Ontario County has declined. The county experienced a 57% decline in grants per resident from the New York State Council on the Arts between 2001 and 2011. Per-resident funding was slightly higher than the region but below the state.
Children and Youth
In 2007-11, about 13% of children in Ontario County were living in poverty, lower than the region (19%), state (20%) and nation (20%), and the lowest of all the counties. However, the proportion of children in poverty increased three points since 2000.
Similar to the region, state, and nation, Ontario County has seen an increase in the number of single-parent families. In 2007-11, 31% of families were headed by single parents, compared to 26% in 2000.
Ontario saw a decline in early prenatal care in the region, with the share of live births in which prenatal care began in the first trimester dropping 4 points to 78% in 2010, even with the regional rate. Also in 2010, 7.6% of live births were low birth weight babies, below the regional and state rates but above the rate for the counties surrounding Monroe and up from 6.4% in 2000.
Teen pregnancy rates have declined over the past decade, similar to most other counties in the region. In 2010, the teen pregnancy rate in Ontario was 2.8%, lower than the region (4.3%) and state (5%).
The proportion of registered voters in Ontario was the highest in the region, with 81% of its voting age residents registered in 2011, higher than the regional rate of 79% and state rate of 76%. In the 2008 presidential election, 63% of voting-age residents voted, slightly exceeding the regional turnout of 62% and higher than the state and national rates of 51% and 57% respectively. In 2010, voter turnout was 43%, the highest in the region and well above the state rate of 32%.
Charitable giving decreased by 21% from 2002 to 2008. On average, Ontario donors gave $777 in 2008, the second highest level of giving in the region after Monroe at $1,000. As a percentage of income, Ontario donors gave 1.4% of their income in 2008, higher than most of the region but below the state level of 2%.
Ontario County has been part of the larger transition from manufacturing to knowledge-based industry. The number of jobs in the Professional and Business Services sector increased by almost 140% in Ontario between 2001 and 2011. There was also significant job growth in the Educational Services sector (54%), Leisure and Hospitality (23%), Financial Activities (26%), Health Care and Social Assistance (15%) and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (18%) sectors.
The greatest job losses occurred in the Manufacturing (-12%) and Construction (-12%) sectors, similar to the region. Notably, Ontario experienced an 8% decline in jobs in the Information Services sector, though the region saw a decline of 33%. Overall, jobs in Ontario grew 8% over the decade, above the region and state.
Salaries in Ontario County increased nearly 7% between 2000 and 2011 (adjusted for inflation), to about $38,300. That compares to salary growth of 4% in the nation and 5% in the state, though salaries were lower in Ontario.
Ontario County felt the repercussions of the economic crisis of 2008-10. The county's unemployment rate hit a decade high of 7.6% in 2010, up from a low of 3.5% in 2000, before decreasing to 7.2% in 2011. The rest of the region, along with the state and nation, mirrored this trend. Despite the increase, Ontario County still had the second lowest rate in the region, and was well below the rates for the state (8.2%) and nation (8.9%).
Education is an area of strength for Ontario County. Students in Ontario outperformed those across the state on most key state tests and graduated at higher rates. For example, 90% of Ontario County students passed the state Regents math exam, compared to 73% of students statewide. In 2011, 87% of Ontario students graduated on time, compared to 79% in the region and 74% statewide.
Ontario County, along with Monroe, consistently had the highest levels of educational attainment in the region. In 2007-11, nearly 63% of Ontario County residents 25 and older had attended at least some college, 6 percentage points above the state and national figures. This was up from 56% of residents in 2000.
Spending per student by Ontario County school districts has increased 25% since 2000, after adjusting for inflation. In 2011, Ontario County school districts spent $16,900 per student, slightly below spending in surrounding counties and well below the state rate of $20,400.
Ontario County had the highest median household income in the region, but incomes have not kept pace with inflation. Ontario County's median household income in 2007-11 was about $57,100, above the state ($57,000) and nation ($52,800), and higher than its neighboring counties of Monroe ($52,300) and Wayne ($54,400). Adjusted for inflation, the county's median household income has actually declined 5% since 2000, while the state median decreased at a slower rate (3%).
Poverty in Ontario County increased to 10% in 2007-11 from 7% in 2000, similar to the rest of the region. Ontario had the lowest poverty rate in the region, below the state and nation (both 14%). Household incomes varied greatly among the county's racial and ethnic groups, and Hispanic and African American residents were more likely to live in poverty.
The proportion of people receiving temporary assistance in Ontario County has increased over the past decade by 27% to 14 per 1,000 residents, one of the highest increases in the region. Ontario’s rate was still far below the state (29) and region (32). There was a similar increase, 25%, in the rate of children benefiting from temporary assistance, and a very large jump in the number of emergency meals served per resident from 2 in 2000 to 9 in 2011.
In 2010, 11% of Ontario residents under 65 were without health insurance, on par with the regional rate but below the state (14%) and nation (18%). Enrollment in the Medicaid program for the poor and disabled was 14% in 2011, below regional and state levels, though up 8 percentage points since 2000. Ontario had the second highest ratio of doctors to residents in 2009, with 27 doctors per 10,000 residents.
Mortality rates in Ontario County declined 12% from 2000 to 2010, to 692 per 100,000 residents. This was below the regional rate of 698 but above the state rate of 646. Ontario residents experienced declines in mortality rates from heart disease (-27%), cancer (-28%), respiratory disease (-36%), and stroke (-28%) from 2000 to 2010. Mortality rates due to respiratory disease and stroke, though, were above regional and state levels.
Home values in Ontario County increased over the decade by 12% from 2000 to 2007-11, the highest growth in the region besides Yates County. Ontario's median home value of $133,600 was the highest in the region in 2007-11, above Monroe's median of $132,800.
Yet, homes in the county remained affordable. The ratio of home value to median household income was about 2 in 2007-11; a ratio under 2 or 3 is considered affordable. While on the high end of ratios for the region, and 17% higher than in 2000, Ontario’s ratio was lower than the ratios for the state (3.8) and nation (2.8).
Ontario County had homeownership rates consistent with the region, excluding Monroe County, at 80% in 2007-11. This rate is higher than the national rate (68%) and 22 points greater than the state rate (58%).
Ontario County led the region in the rate of residential building permits issued, with 3.2 issued per 1,000 residents, compared to just 1.7 in the region and 1.2 in the state.
Crime rates fluctuated in Ontario County over the decade. While serious crimes declined 2% to a rate of 194 per 10,000 residents, violent crimes (a subset of serious crimes) increased 29% to 14 per 10,000 residents in 2011. Meanwhile, property and other reported crimes fell, 3% and 17% respectively, over the same time period. In all categories, crime rates in Ontario were below regional, state and national rates.
Ontario experienced a 14% increase in the rate of felony drug-related arrest rates between 2000 and 2011. Ontario's rate of 6 arrests per 100,000 residents was below the region, and far below the state rate of 16.
Ontario County consistently had the lowest rate of Persons In Need of Supervision petitions. The rate of PINS petitions declined to 0.8 per 1,000 youth in 2011, from 2.2 in 2000. The state and region experienced similar declines, yet had higher rates than Ontario, 1.6 and 2.9, respectively.
Juvenile delinquency intakes declined from 2000 to 2011, though the rate was the highest in the region in 2010 before sharply declining in 2011. Ontario County's juvenile delinquency intakes declined by 62% to a rate of 67 per 10,000 children. This rate was lower than the rates for the region (77) and state (87).
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