Basic Needs

Poverty
Poverty rates in Wisconsin are slightly lower than the United States average, and lower still in the Fox Cities region. In Calumet, the 2014 poverty rate was approximately a third of the US average. The 2014 Poverty Threshold for a family of four was an annual income of $24,008 or lower. While there appears no significant climb in child and overall poverty rates in the past three years, there has been a steady increase in Wisconsin Works (W-2) program participants(1), alongside an increase in the percentage of the population receiving food stamps between 2006 and 2014. When also considering slow growth in household income (see 2.05 Income) alongside an increase in median gross rent in the Fox Cities' counties, this suggests an increase in working poor, who may be marginally above the poverty threshold, but are susceptible to food insecurity. This may be even more of an issue in Winnebago, where the percentage of the population with low food access is a third higher than the US average and the overall poverty rate is highest of the three counties.

Child Care 
The poverty rate for single women raising children was approximately eight times higher than the rate for married couples with children across the Fox Cities counties from 2010 to 2014. While the percentage of children receiving childcare subsidies has fallen slightly between 2011 and 2014, the ratio of children to available child care places has increased. At the same time, the cost of childcare for all three counties has risen marginally. Using YoungStar ratings for child care providers, as of 2015 the number of providers meeting quality standards (with a 3 star rating or higher) ranged from 41.5% in Outagamie to 28.8% in Winnebago.  As costs increase, there appears to be a growing need for affordable, quality child care, especially for single-parent households which make up around 1 in 10 of all households in the Fox Cities region.

Older Populations
The number of seniors has increased from 2006 to 2014 across the Fox Cities region, yet the 5 year poverty rate for seniors (2010-2014) has decreased slightly from the previous 5 year rate (2005-2009). The most recent data across the three counties shows that approximately 1 in 3 seniors live alone, for whom the 2014 poverty threshold is an annual income of just $11,354. This could mean that the aging population of the Fox Cities region has more financially secure retirement savings, or a greater proportion of seniors are still employed and generating income. A large share of seniors in a population is normally an indicator of a community with greater health care needs and of more people exiting the workforce and becoming economically dependent on the working age population. Seniors who live independently may experience loneliness and feel isolated and may also require assistance with performing activities of daily life. The workforce participation rate (see 2.08 Workforce Participation) for adults age 18 to 64 decreased slightly in Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago from 2006-2009 to 2010-2014 alongside an increase in the actual number of employees and a drop in the unemployment rate. This may be an indicator that an increased population aged 65 and older is filling an employment gap, but their age excludes them from workforce participation measures.

(1) Wisconsin Works is available to parents of minor children whose family income is below 115% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)