Vulnerable Populations on Cape Cod

The COVID-19 pandemic, a major disruption to Barnstable County’s economic activity, exposed challenges to the region’s resilience, including the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations for whom employment in high-risk occupations, financial impacts to small businesses, or layoffs and furloughs may have been highly disruptive. In Barnstable County, these groups include residents below the poverty level* (approximately 7.2% of the population) and households receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance or food stamps (approximately 7.0% of households). They also include residents in Environmental Justice Block Groups (EJBG), which are found in 13 of Barnstable County’s towns (please see the Environmental Justice Populations page for more information).

*The US Census Bureau uses a set of income thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who classifies as below the poverty level. A family and every resident in it is considered to be living in poverty if that family’s total income is less than the determined threshold for that family’s size and composition.