Press Release

Statement on American Community Survey Findings on Poverty

David R. Jones

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Contact: Tracy Munford
(212) 614-5538 (office)
(646) 483-6804 (cell)

The jobless recovery’s effects on New Yorkers are reflected in the results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2009 American Community Survey released yesterday. Those most likely to be trapped in poverty are people of color, those less educated, and the young. This is consistent with the results of the Community Service Society’s latest annual survey of New Yorkers, “The Unheard Third.”

Among groups of New Yorkers, 28.1 percent of Latinos and 20.8 percent of blacks live below the federal government’s poverty level, compared to 13.9 percent of whites. More than one in four children in the city (27.1%) lives in poverty.

Once again, education is a major determinant of economic status. Those without a high school diploma or GED (30.1%) are much more likely to be poor than high school graduates (17.4%). College graduates (6.6% below the poverty level) seem not to have been touch by the recession at all.

Overall, 18.7 percent of New Yorkers live below the poverty level (about $18,200 a year for a family of three; about $22,000 a year for a family of four). Anyone trying to rent an apartment in this city can tell you that those dollar amounts are totally unrealistic. Poverty here is much more pervasive than even the government’s official statistics.

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