Census report finds college students living off campus inflates poverty rates

“College students living off campus and earning little to no income of their own drive up the poverty rate in Waco and many other communities with significant student populations, according to a new report by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Waco’s 27.5 percent poverty rate would stand at 22.5 percent if no college students were factored in, according to the bureau’s findings, based on American Community Survey estimates from 2012 to 2016. Students in on-campus housing are not factored in poverty rate calculations, and the influence of off-campus students has been recognized for years in smaller communities, according to the report. The new analysis shows the effect’s significance in areas with 10,000 or more residents.”

Access the full Waco Trib article here.