Buckeye-Shaker, Mt. Pleasant, Woodland Hills Data Briefs with Saint Luke’s
The Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in partnership with the Saint Luke’s Foundation, has released a series of 12 data briefs on key social demographic and population dimensions of the neighborhoods Buckeye-Shaker, Mount Pleasant, and Woodland Hills in the City of Cleveland. The data briefs address issues related to Saint Luke’s target communities, with specific attention to changes in indicators over time. Using data from a range of Census and local sources, the briefs highlight important dimensions of life in these three neighborhoods that can inform approaches to address community needs.
The briefs examine shifts in population (changing demographics, child population, mobility), indicators of risk (poverty, child maltreatment, teen/unmarried births, educational attainment, adult literacy), and indicators of opportunity (employment, public schools, safety net supports, housing affordability).
The Saint Luke’s Foundation used these demographic analyses as inputs for their request for proposal committee process for the 2011 year. This social research is available below as individual or one combined .PDF.
|1: Unmarried/Teen Mothers
The early years of life have a demonstrable effect on development throughout the life span. The percentage of births to unmarried mothers continued to rise in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County between 2000 and 2008. There is year to year fluctuation in rates for the target neighborhoods because the number of births in these areas is relatively small. In 2008 there were 174 births in Woodland Hills, 192 births in Buckeye-Shaker, and 311 births in Mt. Pleasant. Nevertheless, Mt. Pleasant and Woodland Hills show much higher rates of births to unmarried mothers than other parts of the City, nearing 90% in some years. Buckeye-Shaker’s unmarried birth rates are considerably lower, mirroring City averages.
|2: Child Maltreatment
Instances of suspected child abuse and neglect are reported to the Department of Children and Family Services. The agency determines whether each report warrants investigation and subsequently classifies the investigations as substantiated, indicated, or unsubstantiated. Child maltreatment rates are computed based on all investigations and for those investigations that are substantiated or indicated. Although the rates of child maltreatment suggest that only a small percentage of the population is involved in any one year, an additional point merits attention. Buckeye-Shaker has a relatively low rate relative to other neighborhoods in the City of Cleveland. Woodland Hills exceeds the Cleveland average, but is not in the top quartile.
||3: Educational Attainment
The number of persons in the the 18-24 age group not yet completed high school (or its equivalency) has fallen. While this reflects some population loss, it also is indicative of a higher high school completion rate. Among persons 25 and over in Cuyahoga County, there has been a slight increase in the number who are college graduates and a decrease in the number who are high school dropouts. Although the trends are similar in the three target neighborhoods, there has been severe population loss overall producing losses at most educational levels. It appears that Buckeye-Shaker has lost fewer residents with at least some college than the other two neighborhoods.
Individuals are classified as being in the labor force if they are either employed, or unemployed and looking for work. Labor force participation rates are computed for the population of individuals 16 and over. The labor force participation rates went up slightly for all areas between 2000 and 2005-2009. This trend occurred for all races and ethnic groups. However, these figures mainly predated the recession. They do not show effects of the economic downturn on labor force participation. The recession may have resulted in unemployed individuals becoming discouraged and no longer searching for work. As such, they would not be counted in the labor force.
Public school enrollment has fallen in most districts in Cuyahoga County, consistent with the overall population loss. The largest decreases overall have been in the Cleveland and East Cleveland districts. Within Cleveland, the east side, including the target neighborhoods, have been particularly affected by declining school enrollment. Additionally, there have been some school closings in the area. All of the public schools in the target area have faced academic difficulties.
|6: Housing Affordability
Housing is typically the largest expense item in household budgets. An accepted standard is that housing costs should not exceed 30% of household income. Households whose ratio of expenditures on housing to income is in excess of this proportion are considered to have an excessive housing cost burden. While housing costs in Cuyahoga County are relatively low compared to many urban areas, low income households may still face difficulties in affording those housing costs. Between 2000 and 2005-2009 there was a 10 percentage point jump in the percentage of households in Cuyahoga County that exceeded the 30% threshold for housing costs to income ratio. A similar increase occurred in the three target neighborhoods.
|7: Residential Mobility
Residential mobility is measured by asking current residents where they resided one year ago. If they moved in during that time frame, it is determined whether they came from a different county, state or nation. This view of mobility shows how many residents have been in the area for more than a year and where newcomers are coming from, but not where the out movers are going. For current residents of these neighborhoods, most of them lived in the same house 1 year ago. Buckeye-Shaker, though, shows a greater influx of new residents from all locations including some newcomers from abroad. Woodland Hills shows the least residential mobility among the three neighborhoods.
|8: Child Population
Since 2000, the number of children living in the target neighborhoods has fallen markedly – by 19% in Buckeye-Shaker, 21% in Mt. Pleasant and 25% in Woodland Hills. The most sizeable decreases are for children aged 5-9, followed by under 5. Increases are seen in these neighborhoods among children 15-17. These patterns reflect differences in birth rates as well as population movement. In this region, there has been a movement of the school age population from Cleveland to the surrounding communities.
|9: Population Change
Cuyahoga County lost almost 100,000 residents this decade, a 8.2% decline. But in the City of Cleveland the drop was more than twice as steep (loss of 17.1%), leaving Cleveland with fewer than 400,000 residents according to the 2010 Census count. Population loss has also occurred in the target neighborhoods, but at varying rates. Mt. Pleasant and Woodland Hills lost 20.4% and 18.4% of their population respectively. Buckeye-Shaker was much less hard hit, experiencing only a 9.5% population loss. When the population change is broken down by race and ethnicity, most of the changes are not statistically significant because the small size of groups (other than African American) produces an extremely high margin of error.
|10: Safety Net Supports
Public Assistance are meanstested benefits and key supports for the poor. The number of individuals in the target neighborhoods receiving Ohio Works First (OWF) fell by over 70% during the 11 year period from 1999-2011. This decrease was due to welfare reform–three year time limits on eligibility went into effect in Ohio during this period. The number of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients fell as well. However, receipt of Food Stamps, which is a marker of economic distress especially among low income working families, rose by almost 40% during the same period.
|11: Poverty Status
Poverty rates have risen in the region since 2000. In fact, the percent of people with income below poverty level during the current recession has reached its highest point in the past 40 years. Since 2000, Cleveland has been consistently ranked one of the poorest cities in America. However, the three target neighborhoods have experienced poverty for decades, and two of the three show no poverty increase since 2000 that is beyond a statistical margin of error. Poverty rates are much higher for children than for other age groups and young children are particularly vulnerable to the proven negative effects of poverty on early development.
|12: Adult Literacy
Literacy is “an individual’s ability to read, write, speak English, compute and solve problems at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family…, and in society” (Workforce Investment Act of 1998). Adult literacy levels range from Level 1 (the most basic) to Level 5 (the most complex). In Cleveland, 29% of the population is estimated to be at Level 1 and 37% at Level 2. A greater proportion of adults in Buckeye-Shaker pass this threshold compared with Woodland Hills and Mt. Pleasant, which in turn fair better than several neighborhoods to their west.