Lock Haven’s high poverty rate: Behind the numbers

Lock Haven is on a much-publicized list it does not want to be on.

Again — a year later — Lock Haven is ranked as the No. 2 “poorest” town in Pennsylvania.

Yes, as PennLive.com (Harrisburg Patriot News) posted this week, “poverty is prevalent in Pennsylvania.”

It’s prevalent across the nation.

The Express has reported Lock Haven’s poverty rate before. It stands at 42 percent; it hasn’t changed in a year.

And that makes Lock Haven the No. 2 “poorest” town, right behind Indiana Borough in Indiana County.

It’s interesting that both Lock Haven and Indiana are small college towns.

In fact, also on the PennLive list are these college towns: Bloomsburg, Chester, Clarion, Duquense, Reading, York and Harrisburg,

By the way, listed as No. 18 is Renovo, population 1,228, with a 34 percent poverty rate, or 418 residents living in poverty.

Here’s what we know.

Almost all of the Clinton County Housing Authority’s subsidized housing for low-income residents in Clinton County are located in Lock Haven.

We don’t have an exact count of units, but there are dozens. And there is other subsidized housing in the city for income-eligible residents.

Lock Haven has no less than four high-rises — assisted living apartments — for our wonderful senior citizens, most of whom are on fixed incomes.

Plus, the U.S. Census data used for the ranking also counts Lock Haven University students who are living in apartments or homes off of campus.

The City of Lock Haven has a population of 9,772.

The number of people living in poverty in the city is 4,104 according to federal guidelines.

There are a lot of working poor in the city, too, along with many on welfare assistance.

In many cases, it means people in the community are living on less than $25,000 a year, including families of four.

Here’s PennLive’s “Top 10:”

10. City of York; County: York

Population: 43,859; Percentage in poverty: 36

Number of people living in poverty: 15,789

9. City of Mount Oliver; County: Allegheny

Population: 3,321; Percentage living in poverty: 37

Number of people living in poverty: 1,229

8. City of Johnstown; County: Cambria

Population: 19,712; Percentage in poverty: 37

Number of people living in poverty: 7,293

7. City of Chester; County: Delaware

Population: 33,988; Percentage in poverty: 37

Number of people living in poverty: 12,575

6. Briar Creek; County: Columbia

Population: 675; Percentage living in poverty: 38

Number of people living in poverty: 257

5. City of Duquense; County: Allegheny

Population: 5,565; Percentage living in poverty: 40

Number of people living in poverty: 2,226

4. City of Reading; County: Berks

Population: 87,575; Percentage in poverty: 40

Number of people living in poverty: 30,030

3. Clarion Township; County: Clarion

Population: 4,116; Percentage living in poverty: 42

Number of people living in poverty: 1,728

2. City of Lock Haven; County: Clinton

Population: 9,772; Percentage living in poverty: 42

Number of people living in poverty: 4,104

1. Indiana Borough; County: Indiana

Population: 13,975; Percentage in poverty: 43

Number of people living in poverty: 6,009

Look for a story in next week’s Express community newspaper as local officials break down the numbers on Lock Haven’s poverty rate even further.

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