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 and was one of only three counties whose workforce shrank from 2000 to 2014. Orleans has the highest rate of single parenthood in the region, and higher proportions of Orleans residents rely on some form of public assistance, particularly the Medicaid health insurance program for low-income and disabled residents. Student performance on state tests is strong and the high school graduation rate exceeds the region and state.
Orleans’ population is shrinking:
- Orleans lost 5.0% of its population from 2000 to 2014, in contrast to increases of 13% for the nation, 4.1% for the state, and 1.6% for the region. Orleans declined the most of any county in the region besides Wyoming.
- In 2014, Orleans was home to 42,000 residents, or 3% 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 33% from 2000 to 2014, and those over 85 by 23%. During this same period, the number of residents aged 20-39 and those under the age of 20 decreased by 17% and 25%, 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 2014, the African American and white population shrank (by 15% and 6% respectively, while the Asian and Hispanic populations grew (47% and 14% 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 2014, 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 2010-14, 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 singles living alone.
- Orleans had the smallest share in the region of married couples with children, and the largest share of single parents with children in 2010-14.
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 2014:
- In 2014, tourism revenue per resident was $560, well below the state ($3,160) and region ($1,280). 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 5%. 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 19%.
- In 2014, recreation spending was $100 per resident, above the region ($67) and most regional counties but below the state ($315).
Children and Youth
The child poverty rate in Orleans has increased since 2000 and is now tied for 2nd highest in the region:
- In 2010-14, 23% of Orleans children lived below the poverty line, compared to 22% for the state and nation and 21% for the region.
- The rate increased by 2 points from 2000 to 2005-09 and by 5 points from 2005-09 to 2010-14; the total increase of 7 points was higher than the state (2 points) and nation (5 points) and on par with the region.
Orleans had both the largest increase from 2000 and the highest rate of single-parent families in the region:
- In 2010-14, 43% 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 by 12 points from 2000 to 2010-14, a larger increase than the nation (6 points), state (4 points), region (8 points), and every other county in the region.
In 2013, 78% of Orleans mothers received prenatal care in the first trimester, above the state (75%) and nation (74%) and on par with the region.
The rate of indicated cases of child abuse and neglect has more than doubled from 2000 to 2014, and was higher than the state and region:
- In 2014, there were 27 cases of child abuse and neglect per 1,000 children under 18, more than the state (17) and region (15). 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 (23%), region (5%), and every other county. In 2000, Orleans had the lowest rate in the region.
The rate of foster care admissions in Orleans was 3.3 per 1,000 children in 2014, a decrease of 5% from 2000. Ontario’s rate was below the nation (5.4) but above the state (2.3) and region (2.4).
The teen pregnancy rate in 2013 was 4.0%, higher than the state (3.7%), region (2.9%), and every regional county.
The voter registration rate in Orleans fell from a peak of 83% in 2005 to 73% in 2014, below the regional and state rates of 79% and 76% 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.
Average charitable giving was low and falling in 2013, with an average contribution of $490 per tax return, down 28% from 2002. Orleans’ giving was the second lowest in the region, and compares to $1,270 for the nation, $1,640 for the state, and $910 for the region.
Unemployment in Orleans has consistently been higher than the nation, state and region:
- In 2014, the unemployment rate in Orleans was 7.6%; despite falling from a high of 9.7% in 2012, the rate was higher than the nation (6.2%), state (6.3%), region (5.8%), and every other county in the region.
- Orleans’ decrease of 2 points in the rate from 2010 to 2014 – a period of economic recovery after the Great Recession – was smaller than the state, region, and every county in the region besides Yates. The rise of almost 3 points from 2000 was larger than the increase for the state, nation, region and every regional county.
Total jobs in Orleans fell slightly from 2013 to 2014 (0.1%), in contrast to increases in the state (1.8%), nation (1.9%), and region (0.8%).
Total job growth since 2001 was above that of the region:
- The number of jobs in Financial Activities, Natural Resources and Mining, and Professional and Business Services more than doubled from 2001 to 2014. 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 27% from 2001 to 2014 – an extraordinary achievement, given large losses in the nation (23%), state (33%) and region (34%). Orleans was the only county to experience more than a 5% increase in manufacturing jobs over that period.
- The Government; Information; and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sectors lost jobs from 2001 to 2014.
Growth in average salary in Orleans has been relatively strong:
- In 2014, the average salary in Orleans was $38,800, an increase of 10% from 2000. This compares to an increase of 6% nationally, 7% for the state, and no change for the region.
- However, Orleans’ salary in 2014 was lower than the nation ($51,400), state ($65,900), and region ($45,100).
Orleans has had extraordinary growth in prekindergarten participation, and has the highest rate in the region:
- In 2014, 64% of eligible Orleans children were enrolled in prekindergarten, higher than the state (44%), region (40%), and every other county.
- The rate rose by 52 points from 2001, outpacing the state and regional increases (both 29 points).
Student performance on Common Core-aligned tests in 2015 was relatively poor:
- The percent of students passing the 3rd grade English and 4th grade math tests (21% and 37% respectively) were both 8 points below the regional rate. Orleans had among the lowest passing rates among the regional counties.
- For 8th grade math, Orleans matched the region (17% passing), and was 4 points below the regional rate (29% versus 33%) for English.
In 2014, for both the English (85%) and math (76%) Regents tests, Orleans had a higher percent passing than the state and the region.
The 4-year graduation rate in Orleans in 2014 (84%) was on par with the region and 5 points above the state. Orleans’ graduation rate rose by 3 points from 2008 to 2014, on par with the region and below the 5 point increase statewide.
Adults in Orleans were less educated than their peers in the country, state and region:
- In 2010-14, just 45% of adults 25 and older in Orleans had attended at least some college, well below the region (61%), state, and nation (both 58%). Orleans had the lowest figure of any regional county.
- Adults who had obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher made up a smaller share of the population (16%) 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 dropped out of high school (14%) was above the region (10%) and on par with the state and nation.
Spending per student by school districts in Orleans was among the lowest in the region, despite increasing 58% since 2000. In 2014, Orleans school districts spent $19,200 per student, below the state ($21,800) and region ($19,800).
Orleans, like the nation, state and region experienced a drop in median household income, after adjusting for inflation:
- In 2010-14, the median household income in Orleans was $48,000, the lowest among the counties in the region and well below the nation ($53,500), state ($58,700), and region ($52,300).
- Median income in Orleans fell by 11% from 2000 to 2010-14, a larger drop than the state (5%) and region (6%).
Orleans’ poverty rate was higher than the region but below the state and nation:
- In 2010-14, 15% of Ontario residents were living in poverty – an increase of 4 points from 2000. The region’s rate also rose by 4 points, while the state and nation had smaller increases.
- Orleans’ rate in 2010-14 was very close to the state and nation (both 16%) and region (14%).
In 2014, 3.2% of Orleans residents received temporary assistance, slightly below the region as a whole (3.4%) but above the state (2.9%) and every county besides Monroe. The county’s rate has increased by 0.8 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 2013, 11% of residents under the age of 65 did not have health insurance, close to regional (10%) and state (12%) rates and below the nation (17%). Since 2008, the rate has fallen by 3 points in Orleans, in contrast to a 1-point drop for the state, and no change for the region and the nation.
In 2013, 22% of Orleans residents were enrolled in Medicaid, higher than the region (20%) and every county in the region (except for being on level with Monroe). The rate increased 12 points since 2000, more than the region and every regional county.
Orleans has a very high mortality rate compared to the region and state:
- In 2013, the mortality rate was 810 deaths per 100,000 residents, well above the state (621), region (670) and every other county in the region.
- While every county and the state had a decrease in the mortality rate since 2000, Orleans had the smallest (9%) and was one of just two counties whose rate rose from 2012 to 2013.
Admissions to alcohol/substance abuse treatment facilities in Orleans have fluctuated since 2007 but were unchanged from the 2007 number in 2014 at just under 400 total admissions.
The median home value in Orleans was the lowest in the region, and also fell more than the region since 2000 after adjusting for inflation:
- In 2010-14, the median home value in Orleans was $91,300, lower than the state ($283,700), nation ($175,700) and region ($126,600).
- Orleans’ home value fell by 6% from 2000 to 2014, slightly more than the 4% drop in the region and in contrast to increases in the state (40%) and nation (14%).
In 2010-14, the homeownership rate in Orleans was 77%, 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, the 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 1.6 in 2010-14, tied for the lowest ratio in the region and well below the state (3.5) and nation (2.6). Housing affordability for homeowners has remained steady since 2000 in Orleans. Orleans was not as affordable for renters, with rent costing 36% of household income, 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 significantly:
- In 2014, there were 163 serious crimes per 10,000 people, lower than the state (207), region (243), and nation (296).
- However, Orleans’ rate has increased by 4% since 2000, in contrast to steep drops nationally (28%), statewide (33%), and in the region (31%).
Orleans’ violent crime rate rose during the mid-2000s, then fell to 14 per 10,000 in 2014 (7% higher than in 2000). The modest rise in Orleans’ rate is in contrast to large decreases for the nation and state and a 1% increase for the region.
The juvenile delinquency intake rate in Orleans County fluctuated during the past decade, ranging from 47 intakes per 10,000 children in 2003 to 212 in 2006. In 2014, the rate was 92, higher than the state (54), region (55), and every other county in the region.
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