An infographic showing the poverty levels of all American counties

The percentage of households living in poverty in Sarasota and Manatee counties declined between 2016 and 2017, according to new data released this week by the United States Census Bureau. In Sarasota County, the poverty rate declined from 10.8 percent to 9.2 percent, while in Manatee County the rate dropped from 12.7 percent to 10.8 percent. The rate of poverty among children remained higher than the overall poverty rate in both counties. In Sarasota County, the children's poverty rate declined from 17.9 percent in 2016 to 14.8 percent in 2017, and in Manatee County the poverty rate for children declined from 20.5 percent to 17 percent. Only 6.5 percent of American counties saw a decrease in poverty rates between 2016 and 2017, while 1.7 percent saw an increase in poverty. Local poverty rates still remain higher than before the Great Recession: In 2007, the Sarasota County poverty rate was 8.1 percent, while in Manatee County it stood at 10.6 percent.