Poverty in Bucks County
In 2010, Bucks County had a 2.7 percentage point increase in the number of people living below the Federal Poverty Level. In other words, over 16,000 more people were living below poverty in the county in 2010 compared to 2009. Looking further at the data, while both men and women experienced more poverty in 2010, a larger percentage of women found themselves in poverty last year than men. In 2009, 1.9% of all Bucks County women lived below the poverty level, compared to 1.6% of men. In 2010, 3.5% of all Bucks County women lived below the poverty level, compared to 2.7% of men.
One explanation for the increased poverty in Bucks County is the loss of good, quality jobs for men and women with a high school diploma or GED between 2009 and 2010. That would explain why both men and women saw the highest increases in poverty at that level of educational attainment. However, since many women were living below poverty with a high school diploma before 2010, it also appears that many of the good jobs available in that educational bracket were considered "men's work," since there is often occupational segregation among workplaces (with differences in pay as well).
It also seems that access to educational training and skills would benefit both men and women in Bucks County, since individuals with higher skill levels are less likely to live in poverty. As Congress continues to work with the Jobs Bill, now would be a great time to talk to them about the need for education and training as well.