Youth Profile

 Youth Profile, City of Rochester, NY

City of Rochester Population–US Census 2010

–youth, ages 10-14: 13,492
–youth, ages 15-19: 16,625
–total adolescents: 30,117
Total City of Rochester population 210,565

2010 Race / Ethnicity, Rochester Adolescent Population (ages 10-19) :

–White / Caucasian, not Latino 17%
–Black / African American, not Latino 52%
–Latino 22%
–Other / multiple races   8%

City of Rochester residents, 2010-2014

–% of persons, over age 25, who are High School graduates 80%
–% of persons living below the poverty level 34%
–Language other than English spoken at home 20%
–% of persons living in same house, one year or more 77%
–% uninsured 11%

US Census, American Community Survey Data


Child Poverty:

52.5% of  Rochester youth under age 18 lived in poverty (2010 – 2014). Rochester’s child poverty rate ranks Number 1 among cities in comparably sized metro areas.  (US Census, American Community Survey data and ACT Rochester.)

Adverse Childhood Experiences:

According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered to RCSD high school students:

  • 24% of students said they had lived with someone who was an alcoholic, problem drinker, problem gambler, or who took drugs to get high.
  • 20% lived with someone was was depressed, mentally ill or suicidal.
  • 33% had witnessed someone get shot, stabbed or beaten in their neighborhood.


a20161031_191643-adjIn the Rochester City School District, 80% of students are eligible for free lunch.  18% of students have disabilities, and 11% have Limited English Proficiency.  61% of students are African American, 25% are Latino; 10% are White.

Among students who entered grade 9 at Rochester City School District in 2010, about 51% graduated four years later, by August 2014.  The graduation rate for African American students was 52.5%.  The graduation rate for Hispanic students was 43.3%.

(Rochester City School District)

Rochester students, like those in Buffalo, Albany and Syracuse, are isolated by race and class. New York schools are the most segregated in the nation.  (UCLA Civil Rights Project, 2014.)

 Youth Violence:

 Homicide was the leading cause of death among City of Rochester youth between 2009 and 2011; there were about six homicides each year.  Most youth homicide victims in Rochester are African American males.  (Adolescent Health Report Card, 2012, Monroe Co. Dept. of Public Health)

According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered in RCSD high schools:

  • 17% of students say they carried a weapon in past 30 days
  • 7% of students say they carried a gun in past 30 days.
  • 10% of students say they missed school in the past 30 days because they felt unsafe at school or on the way to school
  • 20% of students say they were teased, harassed or attacked at school or on the way to school in past 30 days.
  • 33% of students say that bullying, harassment or assaults are a somewhat serious or very serious problem at their school.
  • 32% of students say they were in a physical fight at least once during last 12 months.
  • 11% of students said that their boyfriend/girlfriend hit or physically hurt them during the past year.
  • 11% of students said they had been physically forced to have sexual intercourse or to touch someone or be touched by someone sexually.

(2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, administered by Rochester City School District)

20161018_151155-red Health Care

  •  70% of RCSD students said they had seen a health care provider for a check up or well care visit within the past two years.
  • 46% of students say their health care provider discussed prevention of pregnancy, STDs and HIV at their last check-up; 41% said the provider discussed  ways to avoid alcohol use; and 57% said the provider discussed ways to be physically active.

(2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, administered by Rochester City School District)

 Youth HIV Rates

  •  In 2015, 79 cases of HIV were newly diagnosed in Monroe County; 26 of those cases (33%) were among young people, ages 24 and younger.
  • 2015 HIV Cases (Monroe Co., all ages)  by race:   58% black, 24% white, 11% other; 4% Asian; 2% unknown.   By ethnicity: 19% Hispanic; 77% non-Hispanic; 4% unknown.

(Monroe County Dept. of Public Health)

Youth STD Rates

  • In 2015, there were 2,062 cases of Chlamydia diagnosed among Rochester youth, ages 24 and younger.
  • In 2015, there were 753 cases of Gonorrhea diagnosed among Rochester youth, ages 24 and younger.
  • Rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea among Rochester teens (ages 15 to 19) in 2011 are about three times higher than rates among teens in NYS.  Among City of Rochester adolescents (ages 15 to 19),  STD rates are highest among African American and Latina females.

(Monroe County Dept. of Public Health)

Mental Health

 RCSD high school students reported in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey the following:

  • 32% in the past year felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in row and stopped doing some usual activities.
  • 12% in the past year made a plan about attempting suicide
  • 19% had injured themselves on purpose (cutting, burning, bruising)

 Mental health and behavioral disorders were the 2nd leading cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations among Monroe County youth in 2009.

(Adolescent Health Report Card, 2012)

 Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Use

 RCSD high school students reported in the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey the following:

  • 20%  drank alcohol (at least one drink) in past month.
  • 10%  engaged in binge drinking (5 or more drinks of alcohol in a row) in the past month
  • 22% used marijuana in the past month
  • 13% were under the influence of marijuana while in school
  • 7% smoked a cigarette before age 13
  • 7% smoked a cigarette in the past 30 days.  This rate has declined since 2003, when 15% of students reported smoking in the past month.
  • Of current smokers, 62% had tried to quit smoking cigarettes in the past year

 Lead Poisoning

In 2014, 609 children were reported with elevated blood lead levels of more than 5 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood.  139 of these children had levels greater than 10 micrograms.

The number of children under the age of six diagnosed with elevated blood levels greater than 10 micrograms per decileter has decreased from 900 children in 2004 to 139 children in 2014.    (Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning, June 2015).