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Syracuse not dealing with issues related to poverty as well as other upstate cities

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

The city of Syracuse isn’t doing as well as other upstate cities in dealing with issues connected to poverty, according to an analysis of data conducted by the city. 

Syracuse is coming in at or near the bottom of some issues that face the city’s poorest residents.  An analysis shows these conditions are worse in Syracuse than Buffalo, Rochester or Albany in areas that include workforce participation, educational attainment, transportation, housing stability and digital access. 

"There are great things happening in this community, there is growth in ways we haven’t seen," said Sam Edelstein, Syracuse's chief data officer. "But there are still people who need help, so being honest about where there can be improvement is really important for us."

Edelstein said the five issues are entwined, and together make it harder for an individual to escape poverty.

"When internet isn’t available, you can’t look for a job easily, or you may not be able to find the bus route that is most optimal," he said. "And that may have a negative impact on the rest of your life."

Edelstein said the better the city understands how poverty plays out in these key indicators, the better it will be able to determine priorities. 

The numbers came from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey for 2017.

Edelstein said the city will continue to analyze these statistics on a yearly basis to detect trends.   According to the latest federal statistics, Syracuse has the ninth highest poverty rate in the country, at just over 32 percent.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.