Orleans County Data and Trends
Orleans County Data and Trends
Orleans County Report Card
The Orleans 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.
Situated between Rochester and Buffalo, Orleans County is among the smaller counties in the Finger Lakes region. Orleans was formed in 1824 from portions of Genesee County, and saw a large population increase shortly thereafter, due to the Erie Canal. Large portions of the county consist of farmland; other sectors driving the economy include Manufacturing and Government.
Orleans County has a declining population, the highest rate of single families in the region, and growing child poverty. However, prekindergarten participation is the highest in the region, and the high school graduation rate exceeds the region and state. While unemployment has been relatively high, growth in salaries has been strong.
Orleans’ population is shrinking:
- Orleans lost 6% of its population from 2000 to 2015, in contrast to increases of 14% for the nation, 4.3% for the state, and 1.4% for the region. Orleans declined the most of any county in the region.
- In 2015, Orleans was home to 41,500 residents, or 3.4% of the regional population. Orleans was the fourth smallest county in the region by population, ahead of Wyoming, Seneca, and Yates.
Like other counties in the region, Orleans County has a population that is aging:
- The number of residents 60-84 increased by 36% from 2000 to 2015, and those over 85 by 27%. During this same period, the number of residents aged 20-39 and those under the age of 20 decreased by 17% and 27%, respectively.
- Orleans had comparatively smaller growth in the older population segments, but a larger decline in the younger segments (indicative of its shrinking overall population) than the nation and region.
Orleans was the second most diverse county in the region, after Monroe:
- From 2000 to 2015, the African American and white population shrank (by 17% and 6% respectively, while the Asian and Hispanic populations grew (44% and 17% respectively). Orleans had the largest decrease of any county in its African American population, and its white population shrank faster than the state and region.
- In 2015, 90% of Orleans residents were white, the smallest share in the region besides Monroe. African Americans made up the largest minority group, at 7%, followed by Hispanic (5%) and Asian (1%) residents.
The makeup of Orleans households has changed considerably since 2000:
- In 2011-15, 17% of Orleans households consisted of married couples with children, an 8-point decline from 2000. During that period, there was a 3-point increase in both married couples with no children and those who live alone.
- Orleans had a similar share as the region of married couples with children, and the largest share of single parents with children in 2011-15.
Arts, Culture and Leisure
Despite a substantial increase from 2005 to 2006, tourism revenue per resident has stayed flat since and was the second lowest in the region in 2015:
- In 2015, tourism revenue per resident was $587, well below the state ($3,186) and region ($1,290). Only Wayne County had lower revenue per resident than Orleans.
- Revenue per resident grew by 50% from 2005 to 2007, but has since fallen by 1%. The only other counties with similar increases from 2005 to 2007 were Seneca (47%) and Yates (78%).
A similar trend occurred with recreation spending per resident:
- From 2005 to 2007, recreation spending per resident more than quadrupled, far beyond any county or the state. However, since 2007, revenue has fallen by 13%.
- In 2015, recreation spending was $107 per resident, above the region ($70) and most regional counties but below the state ($331).
Children and Youth
The child poverty rate in Orleans has increased since 2000 and is now tied for 2nd highest in the region:
- In 2011-15, 22% of Orleans children lived below the poverty line, on par with the state and nation and similar to the region (21%).
- The rate stayed steady at 16% from 2000 to 2006-10 and rose by 6 points from 2006-10 to 2011-15; the total increase of 6 points was higher than the state (2 points) and nation (5 points) and similar to the region (7 points).
Orleans had both the largest increase from 2000 and the highest rate of single-parent families in the region:
- In 2011-15, 42% of families were headed by a single parent, above the nation (35%), state (37%), region (39%), and every other county in the region.
- The rate increased 12 points from 2000 to 2011-15, a larger increase than the nation (6 points), state (4 points), region (8 points), and every other county in the region.
In 2014, 80% of Orleans mothers received prenatal care in the first trimester, above the state (75%) and similar to the region (79%).
The rate of indicated cases of child abuse and neglect has more than doubled from 2000 to 2015, and was higher than the state and region:
- In 2015, there were 25 cases of child abuse and neglect per 1,000 children under 18, more than the state (14) and region (16). Only Seneca and Yates had higher rates than Orleans in the region.
- The rate in Orleans has more than doubled since 2000, a much larger increase than the state (3%), region (11%), and every other county except for Yates. In 2000, Orleans had the lowest rate in the region.
The rate of foster care admissions in Orleans was 3.4 per 1,000 children in 2015, a decrease of 3% from 2000. Ontario’s rate was below the nation (5.6), but above the state (2.1) and region (2.2).
The teen pregnancy rate in 2014 was 4.1%, higher than the state (3.3%), region (2.5%), and every regional county.
The voter registration rate in Orleans fell from a peak of 83% in 2005 to 72% in 2015, below the regional and state rates of 78% and 75% respectively.
Orleans also had relatively lower voter turnout:
- Just 29% of registered voters cast ballots in the 2014 midterms, below the region (35%) and every county in the region. Turnout fell by 5 points from 34% in the 2010 midterms.
- Turnout was also relatively low in the 2012 presidential election – 44% of voters cast ballots, compared 46% for the state and 55% for the region. Orleans’ turnout in 2012 was lower than every other county in the region.
Registered borrowers increased by 8% since 2000 in Orleans County, the only county besides Monroe with an increase:
- In 2015, 64% of residents of Orleans’ county library system were registered borrowers, above the state (57%) and on par with the region.
- The number of library visits has increased 49% in Orleans, higher than the state and region, but most other counties in the region.
Average charitable giving was low in 2013, with an average contribution of $2,795 per tax return, up 11% from 2002. Orleans’ giving was the fourth lowest in the region, and compares to $4,999 for the nation, $5,516 for the state, and $3,409 for the region.
Unemployment in Orleans has consistently been higher than the nation, state and region:
- In 2015, the unemployment rate in Orleans was 6.5%; despite falling from a high of 9.7% in 2012, the rate was higher than the nation and state (both 5.3%), region (5.2%), and every other county in the region.
- Orleans’ decrease of 3 points in the rate from 2010 to 2015 – a period of economic recovery after the Great Recession – was smaller than the nation and state, and higher than most counties in the region. The rise of almost 2 points from 2000 was larger than the increase for the state, nation, region and every regional county.
Total jobs in Orleans increased from 2014 to 2015 (2.6%), these rates were higher than the state (2.1%), nation (2.2%), and region (1.2%).
Total job growth since 2001 has been generally above that of the region:
- The number of jobs in Financial Activities and Professional and Business Services more than doubled from 2001 to 2015. The increases outpaced the nation, state, and region. It is important to note that the small number of overall jobs for each sector means that a doubling of the sector’s employment may represent a modest increase in total jobs.
- The manufacturing sector in Orleans grew by 32% from 2001 to 2015 – an extraordinary achievement, given large losses in the nation (23%), state (33%) and region (34%). Orleans was the only county besides Yates to experience an increase in manufacturing jobs over that period.
- The Government; Information; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities Natural Resources and Mining sectors lost jobs from 2001 to 2015.
Growth in average salary in Orleans has been relatively strong:
- In 2015, the average salary in Orleans was $39,300, an increase of 11% from 2000. This compares to an increase of 9% for the nation and state, and 5% for the region.
- However, Orleans’ salary in 2015 was lower than the nation ($52,900), state ($67,500), and region ($47,100).
Orleans has had extraordinary growth in prekindergarten participation, and has the highest rate in the region:
- In 2015, 68% of eligible Orleans children were enrolled in prekindergarten, higher than the state (47%).
- The rate rose by 56 points from 2001, outpacing the state and regional increases (both 33 and 31 points respectively).
Student performance on Common Core-aligned tests in 2016 was relatively poor:
- The percent of students passing the 3rd grade English and 4th grade math tests (31% and 35% respectively) were 6 and 9 points below the regional rate. Orleans had among the lowest passing rates among the regional counties except Yates.
- For 8th grade math, Orleans was 2 points below the region (13% passing), and for English was 4 points below the regional rate (33% versus 37%).
In 2016, for both the English (89%) and Algebra 1 (84%) Common Core Regents tests, Orleans had a higher percent passing than the state and the region.
The 4-year graduation rate in Orleans in 2016 (88%) was above the region and state 4 and 7 points respectively. Orleans’ graduation rate rose by 7 points from 2008 to 2016.
Adults in Orleans were less educated than their peers in the country, state and region:
- In 2011-15, just 46% of adults 25 and older in Orleans had attended at least some college, well below the region (61%), state (59%), and nation (9%). Orleans had the lowest figure of any regional county except Wyoming.
- Adults who had obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher made up a smaller share of the population (15%) than the state, nation, and region. Orleans had a higher share of high school graduates (40%) than the state, nation and region.
- The share of adults who had less than a high school diploma (15%) was above the region (10%), state (14%) and nation (13%).
Spending per student by school districts in Orleans surpassed the region, with an 85% increase since 2000. In 2015, Orleans school districts spent $22,500 per student, on par with the state ($22,600) and above the region ($20,800).
Orleans, like the nation, state and region experienced a drop in median household income, after adjusting for inflation:
- In 2011-15, the median household income in Orleans was $46,400, the lowest among the counties in the region and well below the nation ($53,900) and state ($59,300).
Median income in Orleans fell by 14% from 2000 to 2011-15, a larger drop than the state (4%) and the nation (10%).Orleans’ poverty rate was slightly higher than the region and the nation but on par with the state:
- In 2011-15, 16% of Ontario residents were living in poverty – an increase of 5 points from 2000. The region’s rate also rose by 4 points, while the state (1 point), and nation (3 points) had smaller increases.
- Orleans’ rate in 2011-15 was very close to the state (16%), nation (15%), and region (14%).
In 2015, 2.9% of Orleans residents received temporary assistance, on par with the state (2.9%). Although this rate was slightly below the region as a whole (3.1%), Orleans’ rate was higher than every county besides Monroe. The county’s rate has increased by 0.5 points from 2000, a larger increase than the region (0.3 points) and in contrast to a drop of 0.7 points for the state.
In 2015, 7.7 emergency meals were served per resident, higher than the state (7.1) and region (7.0), but lower than most of the regional counties except Monroe, Livingston, and Ontario. The county rate increased 368% since 2000, higher than the state (-3%) and the region (126%).
In 2014, 9% of residents under the age of 65 did not have health insurance, above the regional rate of 7%, but below the state (10%) and national (14%) figures. Since 2008, the rate has fallen by 5 points in Orleans, compared to a 3-point drop for the state, region and nation.
In 2015, 19% of Orleans residents were enrolled in Medicaid Managed Care, above the regional figure (17%), and greater than in every county in the region except for Monroe, which it equaled. The rate increased by 1 point from 2014.
Orleans had a high mortality rate:
- In 2014, the mortality rate was 802 deaths per 100,000 residents, well above the state (618), region (685) and every other county in the region. The second-highest rate was 765, in Yates County.
- While every regional county and the state has experienced double-digit decrease in their mortality rate since 2000, Orleans had the smallest (10%). However, Orleans was among the three counties that did not experience an increased mortality rate from 2013 to 2014.
Since 2007, admissions to alcohol/substance abuse treatment facilities in Orleans have declined by 18%, and were at their lowest level in 2015, at 326.
In 2011-15, the median home value in Orleans was $91,300 – lowest among all surrounding counties, state ($283,400), nation ($178,600) and region as a whole ($128,700). This was a decrease of 6.6% from 2000 to 2011-15, more than the 2.2% drop in the region and in contrast to increases in the state (39%) and nation (16%).
In 2011-15, the homeownership rate in Orleans was 76%, somewhat higher than rates in surrounding counties, and well above the rates for the state (54%) and nation (64%). Homeownership rates changed little for the nation, state, region and all of its counties, and Orleans was no exception.
The ratio of median home value to median household income – a measure of housing affordability – was 1.7 in 2011-15, close to the lowest ratio in the region and well below the state (3.5) and nation (2.6). Housing affordability for homeowners has increased 5% since 2000 in Orleans. Orleans was not as affordable for renters however, with rent consuming 35% of household income (the second-highest rate among surrounding counties in 2011-15), higher than the 30% considered affordable.
While still low relative to the state, nation and region, Orleans’ serious crime rate has risen slightly while other rates have fallen:
- In 2015, there were 162 serious crimes per 10,000 people, lower than the state (196), region (231), and nation (286).
- Orleans’ rate has increased 4% since 2000, in contrast to steep drops nationally (31%), statewide (36%), and in the region (34%).
Orleans’ violent crime rate rose during the mid-2000s, then fell to 17 per 10,000 in 2015, which was still 29% higher than the rate in 2000. The rise in Orleans’ rate was higher than the regional increase (19%) and in contrast to large decreases for the nation and state.
The juvenile delinquency intake rate in Orleans County has fluctuated since 2000, ranging from 47 intakes per 10,000 children in 2003 to 212 in 2006. In 2015, the rate was 82, higher than the state (51) and region (56), and a decrease from 92 per 10,000 in 2014.
Note: Data research and analysis completed by the Center for Governmental Research
Banner photo provided by Lynne Menz/Orleans County Tourism, General Overview Photo provided by Lynne Menz/Orleans County Tourism