Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York Releases Data Book on State of NYC’s 1.8 M Children

Press Releases

November 9, 2017

For Immediate Release
Elysia Murphy (212) 673-1800 x18

Keeping Track of NYC’s Children (2017) shows that even after New York City’s economic recovery, disparities in child well-being remain based on ethnicity and neighborhood

 NEW YORK Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) is releasing Keeping Track of NYC’s Children (2017), a biannual report on the status of child well-being in New York City.

Keeping Track 2017 includes hundreds of indicators that create a picture of how children, from infancy to young adulthood, are faring across New York City – citywide, by borough and in each of the city’s 59 community districts. This edition highlights areas where the city has seen progress in recent years in meeting the needs of children and families, while underscoring the disparities that persist across racial/ethnic groups and geographic lines. The data point to areas where more must be done to ensure that every child is healthy, housed, educated and safe.

While many important steps have been taken in recent years to build a more equitable city with increased opportunity for economic stability and upward mobility, we know that New York’s families have experienced a slow recovery from the Great Recession and the disparities they continue to experience are profound,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of CCC. “Coming off citywide elections, we must acknowledge progress where it’s been made – with efforts like minimum wage increases, expansion of sick leave, pre-k for all four year old’s and now 3-K, universal after-school  for middle school students, affordable housing development, free lunch for all public school students, the Thrive initiative to address mental health needs, and more — and identify opportunities to build on these successes to better address the barriers to well-being children and families continue to face in their daily lives.”

Key findings from Keeping Track 2017 include:

  • Income: Though median incomes have begun to return to their pre-recession levels, median household income is over $200,000 in some districts, compared to just over $20,000 in others.
  • Housing Stability: Despite the economic recovery, nearly 70 percent of poor New York City households spend at least half of their income on rent and the number of families with children entering homeless shelters increased more than 20% from 2013 to 2016.
  • Youth: The share of 16 to 24 year olds who are disconnected (not in school and not working) is at a ten year low; however, in several communities more than 20 percent of youth are disconnected.
  • Teen Birth Rate: The teen birth rate has been declining steadily citywide, but there are significant geographical and racial/ethnic disparities, with Latina girls having by far the highest teen birth rate.
  • Child Health: The infant mortality rate (IMR) has dropped citywide, but is three times higher for black infants compared to white infants.
  • Early Education: Over 60 percent of 3 and 4 year olds are enrolled in early education programs, but that number ranges from 72% of white children to just 51% of Latino children. White children are much more likely to be in private programs.

“These data tell us that there has been encouraging progress across a wide range of issue areas positively impacting children and families,” said Apurva Mehrotra, Director of Research and Data Analysis for CCC. “At the same time, all New Yorkers should be concerned about the wide disparities that persist across race/ethnic groups and geographic lines. This databook is a call to action for New Yorkers to do better by our city’s children by prioritizing policies, budget decisions, legislation, and programs that ensure that no child’s fate is determined by his or her racial or ethnic background or zip code,” Mehrotra said.

With the data clearly highlighting the need for greater investment and action to help address the needs of children and families and promote economic mobility, CCC is proposing several solutions that should be enacted in the coming months and years:

  • The foundation for a child’s social and emotional growth and school readiness is set in infancy and much more must be done to expand access to affordable family-based and center-based care for infants and toddlers.
  • As Pre-K for All and 3-K continue to expand, the roll out of new seats must be managed in a way that promotes an integrated system serving all race, ethnicity and income groups. In addition, achieving salary parity for similarly licensed and credentialed teachers and staff is essential not only to supporting quality programs but also to combatting income inequality in the sector.
  • As the city moves forward with plans to expand affordable housing, incentives should be leveraged to create parks and playgrounds, and bring food retail and community service spaces to new developments.
  • Access to transportation is a critical ingredient in school participation, labor force attachment and economic mobility; and yet, far too many regions of the city are socially isolated and the cost of transportation is prohibitive for poor New Yorkers. Reduced-priced MetroCards should be offered and transportation alternatives in hard to reach communities – vans, shuttles and buses – should be created.
  • Increased attention must be paid to the unique needs of homeless children and their parents — prevention must not only be strengthened, but significant investments must be made to provide appropriate services while children are in shelter as well as to continue needed supports once the family is permanently housed.
  • New York City’s local Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Care Tax Credit, which benefit hundreds of thousands of households, should be considered for deepening and broadening of access.
  • To build on efforts that promote health equity across the city, we must invest in clinical capacity to ensure timely access to health and mental services for high risk populations and promote multi-generational approaches to wellness programming.

Keeping Track 2017 is designed to serve as a desk reference for Keeping Track Online, the most comprehensive compilation of data on the well-being of New York City’s children and the largest set of city-level data of its kind.


About Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York

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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