Job losses contribute to the rising poverty rate in Lackawanna. Residents here are more likely to live in poverty than the region as a whole. This holds true for all groups, including children, families, and young adults. Promoting access to affordable quality childcare can help lift families with children out of poverty. Connecting residents with training for higher-paying jobs can increase the earning potential for young adults, and also lower poverty rates.

Click here to learn more about what living in or near poverty means for individuals and families.

Since 2011, the number of people living in or near poverty increased by almost 1,300.

Vulnerable populations, % living in poverty, 2017

Almost 1,900 children live in poverty. At 44%, that’s double the regional poverty rate for children.

Source: American Community Survey.

Almost half of all single parent families in Lackawanna live in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

Young adults are less likely to live in poverty than children in Lackawanna. Still, a quarter of young adults are in poverty.

Source: American Community Survey.

Two-parent families in Lackawanna are four times more likely to be in poverty compared to the region as a whole.

Source: American Community Survey.

Refugees and immigrants in Lackawanna are more likely to live in poverty than those across the region.

Source: American Community Survey.

Seniors are less likely to live in poverty than other vulnerable populations in Lackawanna.

Source: American Community Survey.


Lackawanna’s top 10 employers, including nonprofits and public schools, account for about half of all jobs in the community.

Top 10 Employers, 2019
Rank Employer
#1 Baker Victory Services
#2 Lackawanna City School District
#3 Hazmat Environmental Group
#4 Mercy Nursing Facility At Our Lady of Victory
#5 Global Concepts Charter School
#6 Lackawanna Public Safety Dept.
#7 Lackawanna Municipal Housing Authority
#8 Monarch Little Learner Academy
#9 Our Lady of Victory Homes of Charity
#10 So Park Corp

Source: Various. See Data Sources and Notes.

About 39% of all jobs in Lackawanna pay $40,000/yr or more. That’s about the same share as the region overall.

Jobs by Income Level, 2015
Lackawanna Buffalo Niagara
Total Jobs 4,746 547,851
Earnings <$15k/yr 1,195
Earnings $15k-$40k/yr 1,713
Earnings >$40k/yr 1,838

Source: US Census Bureau, LEHD.


Most adults have no college education. Those with some college earn $6,200 more than high school graduates, on average.

High school graduation rates have fluctuated, but remain below the regional average.


Renters in Lackawanna are more likely to be burdened by housing costs than homeowners.

  • Median home values are nearly $45k less than the region.

    Median Home Value, 2017


    Source: American Community Survey
  • The median monthly rent is about $150 less than the region.

    Median Rent, 2017


    Source: American Community Survey


Over 1,600 households are without a car. Older adults are more likely to be without a vehicle.

Households Without Vehicles, 2017
  • 19%
    UNDER 65 yr
  • 30%
    OVER 65 yr
Source: American Community Survey.

90% of commuters get to work by car. But about 1,600 workers use other modes, like walking and public transit.


Although poverty rates increased, the violent crime rate declined from 2010 to 2017.

Lackawanna’s property crime rate hit an eight year low in 2017.

The number of juvenile arrests in Lackawanna increased 70% from 2013 to 2017.

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