City of Rochester economy, population stagnant, report shows

By NATE DOUGHERTY - 6/27/2013 5:25:21 PM

A report released Wednesday from ACT Rochester shows that the city of Rochester struggles with issues of poverty and population stagnation.

ACT Rochester, which in April released its 2013 Community Report Card, on Wednesday issued individual report cards for the nine-county region surrounding Rochester. The reports showed how well the region compares to the state in education, housing, health and six other areas.

“ACT Rochester provides this data so that community leaders and activists can tackle pressing issues by prioritizing resources based on actual and credible numbers rather than anecdotal evidence," said Ann Johnson, ACT Rochester director "That’s the only way progress can be realized — and then measured."

The report found that Monroe is the most racially and ethnically diverse county in the area and home to most of the region's cultural and tourist attractions. But at the same time its economy and populations are largely stagnant, with concentrations of poverty in the city of Rochester. Some areas, like child education, are lagging behind state standards, the report noted.

Monroe County accounts for 61 percent of the region's population, but population there grew by 1 percent since 2000, the report found. It also supplied 68 percent of the region's jobs.

Trends are deteriorating across the region, the report found. Education and public safety grew by more than 1 percent in seven of nine counties, but economic factors declined in all but Livingston County. Community engagement deteriorated by 1 percent of more in all nine counties.

“ACT Rochester, with its impressive data base, has become a key partner with communities in keeping tabs on what is and isn’t going well." said Tom Argust, chair of ACT Rochester’s advisory committee. "Armed with the details in our yearly Community Report Cards, residents can work with community leaders to help create positive change in our region."

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