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Percentage of Low-Income Austin Residents Up

Photo by Nathan Bernier, KUT News
The Community Dashboard report aims to measure the social, heath, education and economic well-being of the area.

The percentage of low-income residents in Austin is going up. That’s according to the Community Action Network’s third annual Community Dashboard report, released this morning.

CAN, a network of local government agencies, educators, non-profits and more, found that the percentage of low-income residents – defined as those making 200% of federal poverty guidelines – is 40 percent. That's one percent higher than the state average. And the percent of households that pay 30 percent or more of total income on housing is now higher than both the state and national rate.

City Council Member Kathie Tovo says there’s no one answer to address a complex issue like poverty and that it will take the work of many organizations to make a difference.

“We live in a great place,” Tovo says. “Austin and Travis County are indeed the envy of many across the nation.” Still, Tovo adds, “we need to keep an eye on this dashboard to ensure that our prosperity here in Austin and in Travis County is shared by all families across our community.”

The dashboard report looks at key indicators like education, health and economic well-being within the county. This year’s report also found the obesity rate went up, the rate of violent crime went down and the high school graduation rates at AISD and other area districts went up.

The 2011 Community Dashboard report also found the low-income population was on the rise.

The 2010 Community Dashboard was CAN's first.