Report: More central Iowans able to make ends meet

DES MOINES, Iowa-  More central Iowans are able to make ends meet, according to U-S Census Bureau information released this month.  The United Way of Central Iowa says the news reflects hard work and initiatives aimed at improving self sufficiency.

The percentage of central Iowans who were financially self-sufficient increased to 67% in 2017, up 1.1% from the previous year and up 1.8% since 2015.

Since 2015, 25,000 more central Iowans are financially self-sufficient.

"Over the last two years, we've seen about a 1.8 percent increase towards our community goal of 75-percent of central Iowans being financially self sufficient," said United Way of Central Iowa President Elisabeth Buck.

Buck says the numbers have improved after a six-year downturn.The 2017 data, released by the U.S. Census Bureau, represents a five-year average from 2013-2017. 

United Way of Central Iowa follows this data to determine progress toward the community Goal for 2020: 75% of central Iowans will be financially self-sufficient. 

Last year, central Iowa had a 0.7% increase in the self-sufficiency rate from a low point of 65.2% in 2015. Even with a significant population increase of 21,935 individuals since 2015, the self-sufficiency rate has improved in central Iowa.

In 2017, 4,245 fewer people in Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties were living below the FPL than in 2015. Changes include:The number of children (ages 18 and under) living below the FPL decreased to 13.9% of the population from 15.7% in 2015. This is a decrease of 1,952 children.The number of working age people living below the FPL decreased to 9.6%, or by nearly 3,000 people, from two years ago.

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