The city of Erie found out Tuesday that nearly one-fourth of its residents tried to make ends meet in 2008 on income below the federal poverty level.

The U.S. Census Bureau, in its America Community Survey released Tuesday, revealed that 24.2 percent of Erie residents were living on income below the $10,400 threshold, giving the city the highest poverty rate of any city in the state with a population of more than 65,000.

The city of Corry will have to wait another year before it learns what updated income data means for the city.

Some time in 2010, the Census Bureau is expected to release the results of income information compiled for smaller municipalities like Corry during a five-year period between 2005 and 2009. The information will focus on communities with populations of 20,000 or less.

Corry’s population, as of the 2000 census, was 6,834.

The city of Corry currently uses figures compiled during the 2000 census, City Administrator Gerry Dahl said.

Cheryl Dodd, program manager for the Corry Redevelopment Authority, said her office also relies on data compiled nearly 10 years ago.

Still, Dodd said she doesn’t expect good news when the Census Bureau releases fresh income data from 2005-09.

“The poverty figures are probably going to be worse because of the economic climate,” Dodd said.

The city has suffered some harsh economic blows recently, especially the closing of the former Erie Plastics earlier this year.

Erie County Councilman David Mitchell declined to speculate what the figures will reveal, but also is preparing for the worst.

“With the demise of Erie Plastics and other factors, we’re struggling in the whole county,” said Mitchell, a Republican who represents Corry on council.

According to the 2000 census, 14.2 percent of families and 16.4 percent of individuals were determined to be below the poverty line.

See the Journal's Wednesday, September 30th edition for full story.

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