Oregon Employment Dept. release.  Recently released estimates of poverty rates from the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates Program (SAIPE) show continuing improvement in the percent of the Southwestern Oregon population living in poverty. From 2015 to 2016, the all-age poverty rate declined from 18.7 percent to 17.5 percent in Coos County; 17.2 percent to 14.1 percent in Curry County; and 19.5 percent to 15.6 percent in Douglas County. During this same period, the state’s poverty rate declined from 15.2 percent to 13.4 percent. Current rates are notably lower than the peak rates, which were reported a short time after the recession officially ended. In 2011, a peak rate of 17.3 percent of Oregonians were living in poverty. In 2012, a peak rate of 20.6 percent of Coos County residents were in poverty and 21.3 percent of Douglas County residents were living in poverty. In 2013, a peak rate of 18.7 percent of Curry County residents were in poverty.  Coos County’s youth poverty rate declined from 29.8 percent in 2015 to 25.5 percent; the number of individuals dropped from 3,377 to 2,924. The peak rate occurred in 2012 (30.6%) when an estimated 3,460 youth were living in poverty. Curry County’s youth poverty rate shows a decline in recent years, 27.0 percent (969 individuals) in 2015 to 22.9 percent (807) in 2016. At the peak, there were 969 youth in poverty (2013) – a rate of 28.0 percent. In 1998, when Curry County’s rate was 24.8 percent, there were 994 youth estimated to be living in poverty. Douglas County’s youth poverty rate peaked in 2012 (32.8%) when an estimated 6,773 youth were in poverty. Today’s rate of 23.2 percent (4,734 youth) is nearly the same as in 1998 when it was 22.9 percent; at that time 4,772 youth were estimated to be living in poverty.