OURS - Ohio Urban Resources System

OHIO URBAN RESOURCES SYSTEM - Improving The Lives of Ohio's Urban Core


  • Nearly 1.8M people live in poverty.
  • Ohio’s African American community is comprised of nearly 1.6 million people, accounting for 13.7 percent of the state’s total population.
  • Almost one out of every four children lives in poverty.  Center for Community Solutions 2016 County Profile factsheets show that poverty is not merely a city problem; while counties with big cities (like Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Franklin, and Lucas) do have high poverty rates, in many rural counties (like Highland, Vinton, Meigs, Jackson, Pike, Scioto, and Athens), at least 1 in 5 people are living in poverty.
  • National statistics show 1 in 13 white people live in poverty, 1 in 4 Black people live in poverty and 1 in 6 Latino people live in poverty.
  • Of all Ohio families earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, nearly 70 percent are working.
  • Nearly 1/2 of Ohioans lack the liquid assets to stay out of poverty for 3+ months.
  • Report shows 375 cases of sex trafficking in Ohio were reported to the National Hotline in 2016, up from 289 cases reported in last two years.
  • Less than eight percent of people ages 65 years and older were poor, but 54.7% of them would have been poor without social security.


  • 35% of renters spend more than half their income on rent.
  • Housing insecurity has risen by 41% in the last 13 years. 
  • Ranked 8th in Number of apartments or other units that were affordable and available for every 100 renter households with very low incomes in the past three years. Very low-income households are those with incomes at or below half of median income in the metropolitan or other area where they live.  
  • There are 3,330 low income housing apartment complexes which contain 249,042 subsidized apartments for rent in Ohio.


  • There are 53,000 more Ohio children living in poverty and the overall rate is higher than during the recession in 2008.
  • Ohio had among the largest gaps on national test scores between students living in poverty and higher-income classmates, ranking 43rd in the nation.
  • Black children are three times as likely to live in poverty areas in Ohio, and twice as likely to be in a single-parent family, while Latino children are most likely to be in a household where the parent isn’t a high-school graduate.


  • Percentage of people under age 65 and below 138 percent of the poverty line who did not have health insurance at any time since 2013.
  • In NEOH, more than one-fourth of African American adults (27.1 percent) and one-fifth of Hispanics (19.6 percent) in the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) rated their own health as fair or poor, significantly greater than the 12.9 percent of Whites who did.
  • The number of uninsured adults living in the county with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level  who would be eligible for Medicaid under an expansion 17% of Ohio’s adults — over 1.2 million people — reported that they did not have health insurance.
  • The state ranks 45th in infant mortality overall and has one of the highest rates of infant death for black mothers in the country. Ohio's rate of black infant mortality (13.57) was second highest nationally for the 39 states where a rate could be calculated. Only Wisconsin (14) and Kansas (14.18) fared worse.

Jobs, Income and Unemployment

  • Ohio had 35,400 fewer jobs in June 2015 than it had when the recession officially started in December 2007, a 0.7 percent loss.
  • Ohio’s black workers struggle with much higher unemployment: At 11.9 percent, Ohio’s African-American unemployment rate was well over twice that facing white workers (4.7 percent) for 2014. Men still earn $3.30 more each hour than women do at the median in Ohio.
  • Ohio’s racial wage gap has widened despite white wage decline over the past decade and a half. A $3.00 pay cut since the economy peaked a few years ago. The income of African American Ohioans tends to be lower than that of Ohioans at $28K vs. the median household income at $48K.

Research sources

  • State of Black Ohio: At a Crossroads on the Pathway to Opportunity. 2010. Kirwan Institute 
  • Policy Matters Ohio
  • Ohio Education Policy Institute & Kids Count
  • Enterprise Ohio
  • Ohio Poverty Report 2016, Health Policy Institute of Ohio, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and OPLC