ACT Rochester report notes Rochester region’s social, economic gaps

ROCHESTER — A report from ACT Rochester has found substantial gaps in social and economic outcomes among people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds in the nine-county Greater Rochester area.

ACT Rochester is a joint initiative of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the United Way of Greater Rochester that measures the area’s economic indicators. Its most recent report — “Hard Facts: Race Ethnicity in the Nine-County Rochester Region” ( looks at how residents in Monroe, Ontario, Wayne, Livingston, Yates, Genesee, Orleans, Seneca and Wyoming counties fare in regard to housing, community engagement and financial self-sufficiency.

Findings include the following:

• Substantial gaps in infant mortality and low birth weights: African-American children in the region are more than 4 times as likely as whites to be in poverty, and Latino children experience poverty at a rate of more than 3.5 times that of non-Latino white children.

• Success in school in the nine-county region is highly correlated with race and ethnicity: Dramatic academic achievement gaps among racial and ethnic groups are evident at every grade level.

• Median household incomes of African-Americans in the region are less than half that of whites. For Latinos, salaries are only slightly more than half the level of non-Latino whites. On the other end of the economic well-being scale, both African-Americans and Latinos experience poverty at rates that are more than three times that of whites.

• African-Americans and Latinos are less than half as likely as their white counterparts to own their homes.

“These hard facts clearly point to the profound entrenchment of structural racism,” the report stated.

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