Financial Security
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level

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People Living in Poverty by Education Level, 2014-18

What does this measure?

The share of residents with incomes below the federal poverty level, broken down by levels of educational attainment. Poverty thresholds vary by family composition and year. In 2018, the threshold for a four-person family with two children was $25,465.

Why is this important?

This measures the ability of people with different education levels to find work and earn a wage above the poverty line. It also indicates the level of need for social and educational supports.

How is our region doing?

In 2014-18, 21% of MetroWest residents who lacked a high school diploma lived below the poverty line, an increase of 1 percentage point from 2009-13. This was a bit lower than the statewide rate of 25% and the national figure of 26%.

During the same period, 11% of MetroWest residents who had a high school diploma lived in poverty, compared to 7% who had attended some college or earned an associate's degree, and 4% who had at least a bachelor's degree. The rate of poverty for those with a bachelor's degree was equal to state and national rates, and rates for those with a high school diploma or some college were below both state and national rates.

Notes about the data

Poverty status is not reported for people in institutions, including college dormitories and military barracks, and people in living situations without conventional housing.

The multiyear figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. However, because the information came from a survey, the samples responding to the survey were not always large enough to produce reliable results, especially in small geographic areas. CGR has noted on data tables the estimates with relatively large margins of error. Estimates with three asterisks have the largest margins, plus or minus 50% or more of the estimate. Two asterisks mean plus or minus 35%-50%, and one asterisk means plus or minus 20%-35%. For all estimates, the confidence level is 90%, meaning there is 90% probability the true value (if the whole population were surveyed) would be within the margin of error (or confidence interval). The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census. Data for this indicator are expected to be released annually in December.

People Living in Poverty by Education Level, 2014-18
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States4%14%26%10%
Acton town, Middlesex County2%******15%******10%******12%******
Ashland town, Middlesex County1%******7%****15%******6%******
Bedford town, Middlesex County3%****8%******4%******5%******
Bellingham town, Norfolk County2%******6%******15%******3%******
Boxborough town, Middlesex County3%****10%******0%******7%******
Carlisle town, Middlesex County3%******9%******14%******3%******
Concord town, Middlesex County3%******16%******12%******13%******
Dedham town, Norfolk County2%****6%****21%******5%****
Dover town, Norfolk County1%******0%******0%******4%******
Framingham city, Middlesex County3%**14%23%**8%**
Franklin town, Norfolk County1%****8%****26%******3%****
Groton town, Middlesex County3%******7%******35%******5%******
Harvard town, Worcester County2%******7%******15%******10%******
Holliston town, Middlesex County0%******3%******28%******2%******
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County1%******5%******12%******3%******
Hudson town, Middlesex County2%******7%****10%******7%******
Lexington town, Middlesex County2%**9%******10%******11%****
Lincoln town, Middlesex County2%******14%******86%******0%******
Littleton town, Middlesex County2%******15%******18%******4%******
Marlborough city, Middlesex County3%******7%****9%******7%****
Maynard town, Middlesex County5%******4%******19%******4%******
Medfield town, Norfolk County2%******8%******3%******8%******
Medway town, Norfolk County4%****12%******16%******8%****
Milford town, Worcester County1%******9%****26%**5%****
Millis town, Norfolk County1%******4%******1%******4%******
Natick town, Middlesex County2%****6%****12%******5%****
Needham town, Norfolk County2%****9%******2%******5%******
Sherborn town, Middlesex County2%******5%******0%******4%******
Southborough town, Worcester County1%******12%******0%******4%******
Stow town, Middlesex County1%******4%******0%******10%******
Sudbury town, Middlesex County2%****3%******9%******5%******
Walpole town, Norfolk County2%******10%****11%******3%******
Waltham city, Middlesex County5%**10%**24%**8%**
Wayland town, Middlesex County3%******13%******10%******7%******
Wellesley town, Norfolk County3%**5%******30%******10%****
Westborough town, Worcester County3%****10%******14%******4%******
Westford town, Middlesex County1%******7%******30%******2%******
Weston town, Middlesex County6%**9%******14%******3%******
Westwood town, Norfolk County1%****5%******6%******4%******

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Number of People Living in Poverty by Education Level, 2014-18
Bachelor's degree or higherHigh school graduate, GED, or alternativeLess than high school diplomaSome college or associate's degree
United States3,019,425.08,017,648.06,689,138.06,185,182.0
Acton town, Middlesex County270.0******160.0******46.0******251.0******
Ashland town, Middlesex County94.0******156.0****78.0******117.0******
Bedford town, Middlesex County193.0****57.0******9.0******70.0******
Bellingham town, Norfolk County65.0******215.0******94.0******98.0******
Boxborough town, Middlesex County84.0****37.0******0.0******42.0******
Carlisle town, Middlesex County79.0******10.0******14.0******12.0******
Concord town, Middlesex County249.0******140.0******12.0******160.0******
Dedham town, Norfolk County204.0****197.0****191.0******206.0****
Dover town, Norfolk County18.0******0.0******0.0******14.0******
Framingham city, Middlesex County736.0**1,627.01,094.0**840.0**
Franklin town, Norfolk County132.0****315.0****154.0******159.0****
Groton town, Middlesex County157.0******72.0******72.0******72.0******
Harvard town, Worcester County64.0******22.0******12.0******54.0******
Holliston town, Middlesex County17.0******39.0******75.0******45.0******
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County119.0******67.0******47.0******57.0******
Hudson town, Middlesex County148.0******246.0****131.0******230.0******
Lexington town, Middlesex County459.0**124.0******31.0******196.0****
Lincoln town, Middlesex County76.0******44.0******55.0******0.0******
Littleton town, Middlesex County72.0******187.0******30.0******54.0******
Marlborough city, Middlesex County366.0******510.0****175.0******510.0****
Maynard town, Middlesex County205.0******56.0******64.0******78.0******
Medfield town, Norfolk County104.0******54.0******3.0******96.0******
Medway town, Norfolk County199.0****153.0******63.0******141.0****
Milford town, Worcester County114.0******450.0****522.0**293.0****
Millis town, Norfolk County27.0******41.0******1.0******50.0******
Natick town, Middlesex County266.0****183.0****85.0******188.0****
Needham town, Norfolk County257.0****158.0******7.0******112.0******
Sherborn town, Middlesex County55.0******10.0******0.0******9.0******
Southborough town, Worcester County30.0******104.0******0.0******43.0******
Stow town, Middlesex County17.0******29.0******0.0******73.0******
Sudbury town, Middlesex County161.0****34.0******10.0******63.0******
Walpole town, Norfolk County151.0******305.0****84.0******107.0******
Waltham city, Middlesex County1,065.0**826.0**788.0**679.0**
Wayland town, Middlesex County212.0******58.0******14.0******65.0******
Wellesley town, Norfolk County373.0**43.0******69.0******130.0****
Westborough town, Worcester County249.0****185.0******43.0******80.0******
Westford town, Middlesex County122.0******134.0******128.0******51.0******
Weston town, Middlesex County359.0**57.0******5.0******16.0******
Westwood town, Norfolk County107.0****54.0******19.0******72.0******

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Data not shown where sample sizes were too small. Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable