Franklin County is the most populous county in Ohio with a diverse population of 1.3 million residents. Today the county’s poverty rate (as defined by 2018 federal poverty level income numbers) is 16.7%, and it’s 29.9% for African Americans, and 25% for children. Additionally, research routinely demonstrates that the percentage of residents struggling financially is nearly twice the official poverty rate and that, despite a low official unemployment rate, the number of people in poverty has grown overall since 1970.
To highlight the challenges facing Franklin County regarding poverty, this planning effort reviewed a broad assortment of documents. Resources listed at the end of this section and in the appendix go into detail on many of the key data points. The incidence of poverty in Franklin County varies widely by geography and race.