Economic Security

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The proportion of households that participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps).

Why is this important?

The SNAP program provides government funding for low-income people to buy food. It therefore is an indication of how many people in a region rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs.

How is our region performing?

In 2014-18, 14% of households received SNAP, up from 13% in 2009-13. This is close to the national rate of 12% and the state rate of 15%. The highest rate among counties in the region was in Orleans, where 16% of households received SNAP, and Ontario and Yates had the lowest rate at 10%. Rates were higher in the region's cities: 35% in Rochester, 25% in Geneva and 21% in Batavia, though only 12% of households in Canandaigua received the assistance. Most places had an increase from 2009-13 of a few percentage points.

Notes about the data

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS). Studies have found that ACS estimates of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate. The estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

Studies have found that national survey estimates (including the ACS) of enrollment in public benefit programs tend to underestimate the true rate due to underreporting by participants, when compared with state-level administrative data. Underreporting can occur for a variety of reasons, including the social stigma of program participation and participants' confusion about the source of the services they receive. For these reasons, the estimates reported above should be considered a lower bound of the true estimate.

Data for this indicator are expected to be released in December.

Households Receiving SNAP
2009-132014-18
United States12%12%
NYS15%15%
NYS (excluding NYC)11%11%
Region13%14%
Monroe14%15%
Surrounding Counties11%11%
Genesee10%12%
Livingston11%13%
Ontario9%10%
Orleans16%16%
Seneca11%12%
Wayne11%11%
Wyoming9%11%
Yates14%10%*
Rochester33%35%
Batavia20%21%
Canandaigua14%*12%
Geneva17%25%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.




Number of Households Receiving SNAP
2009-132014-18
United States14,339,33014,635,287
NYS1,050,6691,094,793
NYS (excluding NYC)441,730470,157
Region60,33066,431
Monroe40,32245,349
Surrounding Counties20,00821,082
Genesee2,4832,759
Livingston2,7113,122
Ontario4,0384,248
Orleans2,4982,586
Seneca1,4381,562
Wayne4,0734,158
Wyoming1,4461,755
Yates1,321892*
Rochester28,41129,896
Batavia1,2471,260
Canandaigua721*552
Geneva8211,134

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.











Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS


INDICATORS - Grouped by Topic REGIONAL VALUE YEAR NYS COMPARISON TREND | REGION
*No or multiple regional values for this indicator


Worse than NYS by 10% or more
Up to 10% worse than NYS
Equal to or better than NYS





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