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Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York Releases Preliminary Analysis of New Census Data


October 9, 2019

The United States Census Bureau released the latest data on income and poverty levels from the 2018 American Community Survey. These data reveal similar trends as recent years with small but welcomed decreases in the number of individuals, including children, who experienced poverty:

  • Just over 17% of New Yorkers experienced poverty in 2018, an estimated 1,426,628 people. For context, the 2018 Poverty Threshold for a family of four—two adults and two related children under 18 years—was $25,465.[i]
  • At 28.5%, children under 18 years of age made up the large percentage of individuals in New York City living at or below the Federal Poverty Level. This was equal to 407,238 children. These estimates decreased slightly from 2017 when an estimated 29.1% of people living in poverty were children, about 442,837.
  • Of the children living in poverty in 2018, 144,379 or 35.5% were five years of age or younger; a similar share of children as in 2017 when 35.9% of children in poverty were five years of age or younger, about 159,120 young children.

 

Estimates of the number of children who experienced poverty varied by borough. Brooklyn had the largest number of children living in poverty, 151,645, while the Bronx had the largest share of children living in poverty, 38.1%. Staten Island had the smallest share of children who experienced poverty at 14.1%. These trends are largely consistent with the 2017 data, with the exception of Manhattan, for which the percentage of children in poverty decreased from 23.0% to 18.9%.

Table 1. Individuals Experiencing Poverty in 2018

New York City Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island
All ages 1,426,628 383,486 485,693 245,487 258,221 53,741
Children under 6 144,379 45,682 55,146 16,977 21,838 4,736
Children under 18 407,238 132,588 151,645 43,581 65,055 14,369

Even though these changes suggest progress in the right direction, the large number of children and their families who continue to face severe economic insecurity demand unwavering efforts from local, state, and federal policymaking that address families’ basic needs and expands access to services while they work to improve their economic status. This includes policies that ensure access to health care, food and nutrition programs, early education, affordable housing, eviction prevention and rental assistance services, immigration supports, and more.

 

Recent reports from the Census Bureau estimate the percentage of uninsured children under the age of nationally increased by 0.6 percentage points in 2018 compared to 2017.[ii] In New York City, the number of children with no health insurance coverage decreased in 2018 from 2017 when comparing 1-year estimates from the American Community Survey. This varied by borough with Staten Island experiencing the greatest change where the estimated number of children with no health insurance coverage more than doubled.

 

Table 2. Number and Share of Children Under 19 with No Insurance Coverage

 

New York City Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island
2018 45,838 (2.5%) 7,188 (1.9%) 13,863 (2.3%) 4,475 (1.8%) 17,165 (3.6%) 3,147 (2.9%)
2017 49,471 (2.6%) 9,499 (2.5%) 15,314 (2.4%) 6,276 (2.5%) 16,902 (3.4%) 1,480 (1.4%)

Further research and monitoring on the share of children under 19 who are uninsured are needed, as these estimates do not yet capture the potential drop in health coverage child advocates are concerned about following the federal administration’s intention to implement changes to the ‘public charge’ rule. These changes, if implemented, would make it more difficult for people with low or moderate incomes to obtain lawful permanent resident status if they utilize health, nutrition, and housing programs previously excluded from ‘public charge’ determinations.

 

In the coming weeks, CCC will update our database, data.cccnewyork.org, with these most recent statistics from the Census Bureau. We will also release a more detailed summary of these 2018 ACS data in our annual Snapshot of New York City Children and Families.

 

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

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[i] Semega, J., Kollar, M., Creamer, J., Mohanty, A. (10 September 2019).  Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018. Report Number P60-266. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/income-poverty/p60-266.html.

[ii] Berchick, E.R., Barnett, J.C., Upton, R.D. (10 September 2019). Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018. Report Number P60-267.  Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2019/demo/p60-267.html.

 


[1] Semega, J., Kollar, M., Creamer, J., Mohanty, A. (10 September 2019).  Income and Poverty in the United States: 2018. Report Number P60-266. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/data/tables/2019/demo/income-poverty/p60-266.html.

[1] Berchick, E.R., Barnett, J.C., Upton, R.D. (10 September 2019). Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2018. Report Number P60-267.  Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2019/demo/p60-267.html.

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