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Group Issues Annual Report on Poverty in Ohio

Poverty rates as they change in Ohio and the U.S. from 2011-2016.
Poverty rates as they change in Ohio and the United States from 2011 to 2016. Data source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 1-year estimates via the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies' 25th Annual State of Poverty in Ohio report.

A group that advocates for low-income people has issued its annual report on the state of poverty in Ohio.  

1.6 million Ohioans live in poverty. And while that number has been trending down, the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies says nearly a third of people can’t pay for basic needs and depend on programs such as Medicaid, food stamps and subsidized childcare. And the group’s Phil Cole notes those programs are often the targets of cuts and restrictions.

“Governments need to quit picking on the poor. They need to realize that sometimes as a society we have a duty to help the least among us, people who are worse off financially. We need to do something for them, not to them," Cole said.

Cole also says poverty rates go down as education goes up, but college tuition has gone up while need-based aid has been going down.