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Rochester is among the poorest communities in the nation, a report released Tuesday by the Rochester Area Community Foundation and ACT Rochester found.
The organizations released findings that showed 160,699 people in the nine-country region surrounding Rochester live below the federal poverty level. The highest concentration of the poor live in the city of Rochester, but the majority of the region's poor people—59 percent—live outside the city, the report states.
The concentration of poor within the city is pushing Rochester higher in rankings of poor U.S. cities, the report states. Rochester is the fifth-poorest city among the 75 largest metropolitan areas and second-poorest among comparably sized cities in those metro areas. Rochester also has the poorest school district in Upstate New York and the poorest urban district in the entire state, the report notes.
"It is time for us to acknowledge Greater Rochester's poverty so that we can begin to address and reverse its insidious effects on our education, economy and future as a region," said Jennifer Leonard, Community Foundation president and CEO.
The 49-page report details the levels of poverty in surrounding counties, including levels for cities, towns and villages. Community Foundation officials said they hope the report will spark a discussion and lead to action that better addresses the problem of poverty in the region.
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