Thousands More New York Children Slide Into Poverty

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

For More Information Contact:

Emma Jordan-Simpson
(718) 715 - 5236

New York, New York, — Yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau released new poverty data and the news was devastating for New York’s children. Thousands of children and their families were added to the rolls of the poor in New York in 2010. The percentage of New York’s children and families living in poverty spiked in 2009 and continued to climb in 2010.

There are now 900,626 poor children in the state, an increase of more than 32,000 from the previous year. Children under the age of six make up more than 23 percent of children in poverty. Poverty is defined as $22,314 annual income for a family of four. The standard is the same in all states, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska, without any variance for cost of living.

“All of us in the state of New York should see these new child poverty numbers as a clarion call to action for children. Children did not create the recession but they are suffering its wrath as if they did.,” said the Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund – New York. “This data makes clear - our children and all of our futures are becoming the sacrificial lamb on the altar of adult politics. We cannot allow the dogs of hunger and homelessness to mold the lives of another generation of children. Together we must demand that our members of Congress, and our state’s elected officials act with urgency to protect children. They must stand up against child hunger and homelessness. They must stand for investments in children’s health and education.”

To give perspective on New York’s challenge:

  • The number of poor children in the state of New York is now nearly the same as the entire population of Westchester County.
  • The number of poor children in the state now exceeds the total populations of seven different states.
  • The increase in poor children in New York between 2009 and 2010 was 32,626, while at the same time the total number of children living in New York decreased by more than 67,000.
Census Bureau data released yesterday shows:
  • Over one in five children in New York -- 900,626 -- were poor in 2010, with 321,805 (23%) of them under the age of six.
  • Ten percent of poor children in New York -- 426,713 -- were extremely poor; 158,651 children under six were extremely poor.
  • Almost one in three children in New York City were poor in 2010.
  • Poverty is defined as an annual income of below $22,314 for a family of four -- $1860 a month, $429 a week, or $60 a day. Extreme poverty, defined as an annual income of less than half of the poverty level, means $11,157 a year, $930 a month, $215 a week, or $30 a day for a family of four.
  • New York now ranks 23rd among the fifty states in child poverty, and ranks 19th in extreme poverty.
  • The number of poor children in New York increased by 3.7 percent between 2009 and 2010.
  • Child poverty is increasing at the same time as key programs and supports for poor children and families have been cut in our state, cities and counties. Child care, after-school programming and youth employment programs have been especially hit hard.