March 15 2021
Economic Analysis,Employment/Workforce

Capital Region Sees NY’s 2nd Largest Poverty Drop

The Capital Region is New York’s second leading economic development region in reducing its ranks of people in poverty, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau five-year estimates.


Between 2015 and 2019, the eight-county Capital Region averaged 108,471 people below the poverty level. That meant an average 10.4 percent of the region’s population was in poverty. Compared to the preceding five-year period (2010-2014), the region’s number of people in poverty declined by 10.8 percent. The only region in the state to see a larger decline was the New York City region at 12.4 percent.

The Capital Region’s 10.4 percent poverty rate by 2019 was the second lowest in the state – trailing the Long Island region at 6.2. The Capital Region’s 1.3 percentage point poverty rate decline from 2014 was the second biggest in the state. The New York City region led the state with a 2.7 percentage point decline in its poverty rate.


County poverty rates in the region ranged from 5.8 percent in Saratoga County to 14 percent in Greene County. Between the 2010-14 and 2015-19 periods, Warren County saw the region’s biggest drop in its population in poverty (-22 percent). Columbia County was the only county that saw an increase in its population in poverty (8 percent).


Among the Capital Region’s major towns and cities1, poverty rates ranged from 2.2 percent in North Greenbush to 24.4 percent in Troy. The major town and cities that experienced the steepest drops in people in poverty were North Greenbush (-58.2 percent), Rensselaer (-32.4 percent) and Wilton (-30.7 percent) and Guilderland (-24 percent).

CEG Initiatives

Over the last five years CEG has been working to implement the Capital Region’s five year economic development plan on behalf of the Capital Region Economic Development Council. Several of the plan’s strategies were designed to counter poverty in the region by focusing on economic development in downtowns (Metro), expanding educational opportunities for low-income individuals (Talent), and creating more entry-level employment opportunities at establishments such as fulfillment hubs (Gateway).

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