Here is another in our continuing series on things going on around Rochester. Enjoy!
Despite promising signs of economic recovery following the financial crisis of 2007, many states are still struggling to get back on their feet. New York is no different.
According to a new report from WalletHub — a social website launched by Evolution Finance which offers financial information and resources for consumers and small businesses — the Empire State ranked low among the best states to have a child. Out of all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, New York placed 45th.
The study evaluated 22 metrics essential in raising a child, including delivery costs, the availability of health care and pediatric services, and budget considerations. Vermont topped the list at number one, while Alabama ranked 51st.
Rochester, New York, the third largest metropolitan area in the state following New York City and Buffalo, was recently ranked the third poorest city in the nation, based on numbers compiled from the United States Census Bureau. This latest report is consistent with another released just last year, citing Rochester as the fifth poorest city among the nation’s 75 metropolitan areas.
The 2012 census numbers revealed that nearly 28% of the city’s population live in poverty, which translates to an estimated 16,000 families living at or below the poverty line. A family is considered to be living in poverty if they meet the federal guidelines and criteria regarding income.
For example, a family of four must have a total combined income of no more than $23,850 to be considered living in poverty, according to 2014 federal guidelines. The latest government statistics reveal that the average cost to raise a child from birth to adulthood is $245,340.
The current economic and financial climate of the city of Rochester, as well as the state of New York, is bleak, especially for families. Bankruptcy is a viable option for families burdened by debt. In fact, bankruptcy filings are becoming increasingly common, with one out of every 70 households in the United States filing for bankruptcy.
Though many people fear the social stigma attached to filing for bankruptcy, it is important to remember these are not based on truths, and that the financial relief provided by filing for bankruptcy greatly outweighs the associated stigmas. Bankruptcy allows families to have a fresh financial start, and gives them the opportunity to move forward in positive direction.
Despite being ranked as the fifth poorest city, Rochester, or the Flour/Flower City as it is affectionately referred to by area locals, still has a lot to offer to families. Due to its affordable housing and a variety of attractions, such as the Strong Museum of Play, Rochester ranked fifth of 360 cities nationwide as the Best Family Friendly City, according to a 2012 study conducted by investment magazine Kiplinger. This concurs with a 2010 study, conducted by Forbes, placing Rochester as the third out of 100 metropolitan areas as the best places to raise a family.
Having a child is undoubtedly expensive, no matter where you live. This is only compounded by the fact that the economy is slowly recovering from the crushing financial blows of the recent financial crisis. From one-time expenses to recurring costs, it’s essential for prospective parents to carefully review their finances, and more importantly their life situations, before having a child.