racial equity
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau

What does this measure?

The proportion of females in various racial and ethnic groups with incomes below the poverty line. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2021, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $27,479.

Why is this important?

The percentage of females in poverty in various racial and ethnic groups is a measure of the overall economic health of these groups and may reflect disparities in access to economic opportunity. It also indicates the level of need for targeted social and government supports.

How is Norfolk County doing?

Norfolk County's rates in 2017-21 were highest among African American (14%) and Hispanic (12%) women, compared to Asian women at 9% and white women at 6%. Since 2000, the rate increased 4 percentage points among African American women and decreased by 2 points for Asian women and 1 point for Hispanic women.

Norfolk County had the lowest rates of poverty among African American, Hispanic and white women compared to Middlesex, Essex and the state as a whole. The County's rate among Asian women was on par with Middlesex and Essex and lower than the state and the nation.

In Brookline and comparison localities, the number of women in each race/ethnicity were generally too small for reliable poverty rate estimates and meaningful comparisons.

Why do these disparities exist?

The effects of sexism and racism across society combine to limit the employment opportunities available to women of color. Women in general are overrepresented in lower-wage professions, consistently paid less than their male counterparts, and more likely to sacrifice work and earnings to care for family members limiting their earning potential. When compounded by affiliation with a racial or ethnic group that has faced historic and systemic exclusion from opportunity, women of color are more likely to live in poverty than white women. Women of color face job discrimination, experience a larger wage gap compared to men, and Black women graduate with more education debt than any other group. As a result, women of color have less savings.

Notes about the data

The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. 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. Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

snapshot
Women Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Brookline12%**19%***8%***11%*
Arlington, Middlesex County7%***15%***8%***4%*
Cambridge, Middlesex County17%*28%*19%**9%
Everett, Middlesex County4%***8%***27%***13%*
Newton, Middlesex County6%*8%***10%**5%*
Norfolk County9%14%12%*6%
Essex County9%*19%*22%9%
Middlesex County9%16%19%7%
Massachusetts12%18%25%9%

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%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African




Number of Women Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity, 2017-21
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Brookline716**163***167***2,488*
Arlington, Middlesex County238***120***96***757*
Cambridge, Middlesex County1,529*1,487*808**2,770
Everett, Middlesex County67***256***1,861***1,442*
Newton, Middlesex County381*88***155**1,412*
Norfolk County3,6573,5422,108*16,203
Essex County1,283*3,307*19,84427,603
Middlesex County8,8246,25212,13238,931
Massachusetts28,00246,194105,892225,144

Source: U.S. Census Bureau






INDICATORS
Change in Total Population
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Language Diversity
Foreign-Born Population
Population by Age
People with Disabilities
Voter Registration
Voter Participation
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Change in Total Jobs
Unemployment Rate
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Living Wage
Median Household Income
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity
Income in Relation to Poverty Level
People Living in Poverty
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty by Age
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Seniors Living in Poverty
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity
Access to Financial Services by Race/Ethnicity
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
Overall Housing Cost Burden
Median Home Value
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Renting
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving SNAP
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity
Food Insecurity
Households Without Vehicles
Means of Transportation to Work by Race/Ethnicity
Protected Land
Percent of Days with Good Air Quality
Early Prenatal Care
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate
Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions
People 65 or Older Living Alone
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity
Arrest Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Children Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Females Living in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
Share of Workers who are Professionals by Race/Ethnicity
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity
Student Performance on Grade 3 English by Student Subgroup
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
Median Home Value by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Rent by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity



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