CCC’s Community Risk Ranking Shows Persistent Inequality Faced by Children and Families Across the Five Boroughs

Press Releases

December 6, 2016


Contact: Elysia Murphy,, 212-673-1800 ext 18
Elora Tocci,, 212-673-1800 ext 13

Child Well-being Index Points to Areas Needing Protection and Expansion in 2017

 New York, NY – Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York released today a new edition of the Community Risk Ranking, demonstrating the persistent disparities experienced by children and families across New York City.

New to this year’s report is a detailed analysis of racial/ethnic inequalities, revealing the disproportionate number of black and Latino children living in neighborhoods where the greatest levels of risk concentrate. CCC’s analysis shows that 94% of children living in communities within the highest risk category are black and Latino. Among the 35 communities where more than half of children are black or Latino, none ranked in the lowest or moderate-low risk categories.

As New York prepares for what may be a dramatic shift in the federal government’s approach to child and family issues, CCC’s Community Risk Ranking will be an essential tool for the city and state to set priorities in 2017 to ensure continued progress around efforts to address inequality and improve outcomes for children, families and communities.

“The Community Risk Ranking is designed to shine a light on areas where attention must be paid to ensure that all families have access to the services and supports that improve outcomes for children,” said Jennifer March, CCC’s Executive Director. “In the coming months, this information will be critical as local leaders respond to federal policy proposals that may negatively impact health coverage, education policy, child care access, food programs and child nutrition, among other issues affecting New York’s youngest and most vulnerable.”

The annual report examines data covering six key areas: economic security, health, housing, education, and youth and family issues; and ranks the city’s 59 community districts from lowest to highest concentration of risk to child well-being. The analysis highlights neighborhoods facing the greatest level of risk, and in which issue areas those risks are most prevalent.

Key findings show that eight out of the 10 highest risk communities are concentrated in the Bronx. In many of these districts, more than half of children are living in poverty. The risk ranking demonstrates how children in high poverty communities face a multitude of barriers that impact their health, housing, education, and overall well-being.

The data behind the Community Risk Ranking illustrates a city divided – how children living just blocks or miles apart can have vastly different experiences. For example:

  • Economic Security: Over 48% of East Harlem children live in poverty compared to less than 7% on the Upper East Side.
  • Health: Infants in Brownsville, the highest ranking community in the Health domain, are over three times more likely to die before their first birthday compared to in Borough Park which ranks lowest risk.
  • Education: In Jamaica/Saint Albans, Queens, the rates of students passing reading and math tests are half that of the neighboring community to the north, Fresh Meadows/Briarwood. The high school graduation rate is also 14 percentage points lower in Jamaica/St Albans than Fresh Meadows/Briarwood.
  • Housing: The rate of families entering homeless shelters is seven times higher in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, compared to Fort Greene/Brooklyn Heights, its neighbor to the west. The share of households spending 50% or more of their income on rent is also much higher, at nearly 30% in Bedford Stuyvesant compared to close to 18% in Fort Greene/Brooklyn Heights.

The report puts crucial information about New York’s children, families and communities into the hands of policy makers, services providers, philanthropists, community leaders, and New Yorkers at large. In the coming months, this information will be important in advocating both to protect and expand on initiatives underway in New York City and State – including minimum wage increases, paid family leave, child health benefits, universal pre-k expansion, etc – to ensure that government advancements are reaching all children across New York City’s communities.

Among the priorities CCC is advancing:

  • Build on Mayor de Blasio’s pre-k and after-school initiatives to expand affordable, high quality early childhood education to infants and toddlers and increase the capacity for after-school and summer programs.
  • Prioritize incentives in the city’s and state’s affordable housing plans to ensure that New Yorkers have access to parks, playgrounds, food retail, social services, and transportation access that make communities sustainable.
  • Expand on the efforts to provide students with universal school meals and improve access to the summer meals program to ensure that all children across the city are benefiting.
  • Increase outreach and access to preventive health and mental care in schools and communities to ensure that children and families have access to appropriate screenings, assessments and treatments from prenatal care through adulthood.
  • Broaden tax relief, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, to help address the rent burdens for New Yorkers who earn too much for subsidies and for whom median wages have not increased.

CCC has been producing its Community Risk Ranking for more than 20 years as part of Keeping Track, the most extensive database available on the status of NYC’s 1.8 million children. Last year was the first time this child well-being index was published as a freestanding tool. Early in 2017, CCC will bring the risk ranking onto its web-based data resource, Keeping Track Online, providing New Yorkers with new interactive maps and tools that show where risks to child well-being concentrate as well as the services, supports and infrastructure that exist in communities to support and strengthen outcomes for children and families.

Download CCC’s Community Risk Ranking.

About CCC

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. Since 1944, our advocacy has combined public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. We cast light on the issues, educate the public, engage allies, and identify and promote practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information on CCC, visit our web site at Stay up to date on the latest news and information regarding the well-being of New York City’s children by following us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

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