ogden poverty

Kids living in the Ogden School District, which largely coincides with the city of Ogden, are more likely to live in poverty than in the rest of Weber County or Utah, according to U.S. Census Bureau Estimates released Dec. 3, 2018. This Sept. 21, 2018, photo shows an Ogden neighborhood east of the city center, targeted in a pilot program managed by Weber County to fight intergenerational poverty in the city.

Most Weber County kids living in poverty reside inside the Ogden School District boundaries, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

What’s more, the poverty rate among kids in the Ogden School District boundaries, which coincide roughly with the city of Ogden, is fourth highest among Utah’s 41 school districts at 19.8 percent, nearly one in five children.

Step outside Ogden into the Weber School District, which encompasses most sections of Weber County outside Ogden, and the scenario changes dramatically. There, the poverty rate among kids aged 5 to 17 is less than half the Ogden figure, or 7.9 percent, 29th among Utah’s 41 school districts and about one of every 12 kids.

Travel south to Davis County and the situation changes once again. In the Davis School District, which encompasses all of Davis County, the poverty rate among kids measures 5.7 percent, 37th among the state’s school districts and about one of every 17 kids.

The disparity isn’t new, but the figures, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for 2017, released Dec. 3, underscore the contrasting population bases within each school district. Here are more highlights:

The overall estimated population in the Ogden School District, that is, those of all ages, totals 90,196, 35.8 percent of Weber County’s total population. But the area bounded by the district accounts for 53.8 percent of kids in poverty in the county, 3,271 of 6,081.

The overall population in the Weber School District, that is, those of all ages, totals an estimated 161,573, 64.2 percent of Weber County’s total headcount. But the number of kids living in poverty, 2,810, is lower than in the Ogden School District and represents just 46.2 percent of the county’s total.

Overall, 16,523 kids aged 5 to 17 live in the Ogden School District and 35,597 live in the Weber School District. Combining figures from the two districts yields an overall poverty rate in Weber County of kids aged 5 to 17 of 11.7 percent, 6,081 of 52,120 kids. That’s more than double the poverty rate in the age group in Davis County, 5.7 percent, or 4,701 of 82,584 kids.

Statewide, 9.3 percent of Utah kids aged 5 to 17 live in poverty.

The figures for 2017 reflect an improvement from recent years for the Ogden School District. In 2010, 29.2 percent of kids in the district lived in poverty, nearly 10 percentage points more than 2017, and the highest rate among Utah’s 41 school districts. In the Weber School District, 10.3 percent of kids lived in poverty that year and the figure in the Davis School District totaled 9.5 percent.

The districts with higher poverty rates for 2017 among kids than Ogden’s are the San Juan School District in San Juan County, 28.4 percent; Piute School District in Piute County, 23.6 percent; and the Wayne School District in Wayne County, 21 percent.

Weber County’s overall poverty rate for 2017, factoring all ages, is 10.8 percent, 16th highest among Utah’s 29 counties, according to the new U.S. Census Bureau estimates. That compares to the statewide figure of 9.7 percent. Poverty in Davis County among all ages measures 5.4 percent.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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