Poverty Rates Drop When Some College Students Excluded

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, October 29, 2018 - 5:05am

New research from the Census Bureau shows when college students live off-campus, they can impact poverty rates.

Researchers looked at poverty rates at 2,437 counties across the United States with populations above 10,000. When they removed off-campus students from the data, they found 211 counties (8.7 percent) saw statistically significant decreases in their poverty rates.

In Coconino county the poverty rate fell 3.5 percent, but the drop was larger for the city of Flagstaff, home to Northern Arizona University. When students who live off-campus were excluded, Flagstaff’s poverty rate declined 7.8 percent.

U.S. Census Bureau

In Maricopa county, the poverty rate fell just 0.6 percent, but in Tempe where Arizona State University’s main campus is located the rate fell by 6.7 percent.

In Pima county, the poverty rate dropped 1.3 percent when off-campus students were excluded. For Tucson only, the rate fell 2.1 percent.

Off-campus students include all students enrolled in college who are not living with their families and not living in college dorms.

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