From 2000 to 2006 Lackawanna County increased its educational attainment levels in four specific categories, with the largest improvement occurring in the number of persons 25 years of age and older with a Bachelor's degree or higher (2.8% increase). Lackawanna County's figures include a 1.5% increase in both those holding an Associate's degree and those holding a Bachelor's degree, and a 1.% increase in the number of persons holding a graduate or professional degree.
In 2007, 993 children were enrolled in Pre-K programs. Lackawanna County saw an increase from 2006, when 872 children were enrolled in Pre-K programs. Further Lackawanna County reported a larger number increase in the number of children enrolled in public Pre-K programs than those in private Pre-K programs.
Lackawanna County recorded an average SAT score of 942 for 2007-and eleven-point increase from its 2006 average. The county's highest posted score occurred in the Abington Heights School District (1,023), with its lowest posted score in the Old Forge School District (883).
For 2006, the largest segment of (18.8%) of Lackawanna County's population fell into the $50,000 to $74,999 household income range. By comparison to 2000, the largest increase during the six-year span occurred in the $75,000 to $99,000 household income range (7.9% to10.7%). The alarming issue is that Lackawanna County's second highest income segment is the $15,000 to $24, 999 range, which represented 16.1% of residents for 2006. For the same year, 10.7% of Lackawanna County households earned above the $100,000 household income range.
Change in Household Size
For 2006, the average household size in Lackawanna County was 2.34 - a decrease from its 2005 average (2.35) and its 2000 average (2.38). Its 2006 average household size is lower than both state (2.47) and national (2.61) averages for the same year.
Housing-Tenure and Occupancy
The housing industry is vital to sustaining a region's growth. With the 50/50 danger zone of housing tenure, it is important to monitor the number of owner-occupied and renter-occupied units. The following data provides an overview of the region's overall housing market direction from 2005 to 2006, as well as information necessary to develop housing strategies.
From 2005 to 2006, Lackawanna County saw its number of occupied housing units decrease from 85,565 to 85,216. Its level of owner occupancy decreases from 67.6% to 64.0%. Its 2006 owner occupancy rate was the lowest among the four counties examined. Lackawanna County experienced a slight increase in total housing units from 2005 to 2006 (182 units), as well as a vacancy rate increase from 11.5% to 12.1%.
Housing Affordability Index
The housing industry impacts a region's pulse and greatly influences quality of life. Affordable housing enables residents to purchase homes, thus increasing owner-occupied housing rates. The following formula was used in measuring the housing affordability index: [(Annual Median Household Income ÷ Annual Qualifying Income) x 100]. Annual Qualifying Income was determined through a housing affordability calculator. The calculator assumed an interest rate of 6.0% based on a 30-year mortgage.
Lackawanna County reported a housing affordability index of 85.1 for 2006 - a decrease from its 2005 index of 88.9. Its 2006 index is the second lowest among the four counties examined. For 2006, Lackawanna County reported a median household income of $38,915 and a median home value of $122,800.
Various crime reporting methods prohibit the accurate discussion and reporting of crime statistics. For example, problems occur when some police departments report crimes solved rather than those committed. As a result, in November 2004, State Sen. Jay Costa, Jr. introduced a bill that later became law, which penalizes agencies that fail to report correct statistics. While the law does not discount past data, it ensures the accuracy of future crime reports to provide more precise crime statistics.
Lackawanna County reported a decrease in its number of violent crimes, from 636 in 2005 to 521 in 2006. It reported no murders during 2006, and the number of both rape and aggravated assault incidents decreased by 26 and 97, respectively. The county's only increase in violent crimes in 2006 was robbery, during which 124 occurred, compared with 112 in 2005. Lackawanna County's property crimes increased from 4,054 in 2005 to 4,266 in 2006. In addition, both burglary and larceny crimes increased from 2005 to 2006, while motor vehicle thefts and arson crimes decreased slightly.
In 2007, Lackawanna County continued its upward trend of DUI arrests, which grew to 953 from 944 in 2006. While its number of DUI arrests increased just slightly from year to year, its 2007 total has grown by 486 since 2002.
Crash statistics provide useful information in measuring a region's public safety quality. While 2006 crash statistics feature a more detailed breakdown of all accidents, the five-year trend analysis identifies, if any, more problematic issues. For 2006, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reported 128,342 crashes - the lowest annual total during the five-year reporting period.
Lackawanna County reported 2,356 crashes in 2006, an increase over 2,302 reported in 2005 and 2,267 reported in 2002. Of its 2006 total, the majority were injury crashes (1,187), followed by PDO crashes (1,146) and fatal crashes (23).