Study: 1 in 3 NYC kids live below poverty line

One in three children live below the federal poverty line in New York City, the worst ratio since 2000, according to a report released yesterday.

Between 2008 and 2011, the official city poverty rate for kids rose from 26.5 percent to 29 percent, according to the Citizens' Committee for Children, which produced the study.

The nonprofit crunched data based on children's success factors such as child poverty rates, child abuse rates, literacy rates, and other indicators.

The federal poverty level measures a family's total income and compares it to the national threshold of what families need to live, based on the number of members in a family and the ages of those people. If the threshold is higher than the total income, the family is considered in poverty.

"It takes much longer for poor families to come out from under the recession," said Jennifer March-Joly, the executive director of Citizens' Committee for Children.

With nearly 1.7 million children, the Big Apple has the most kids of any U.S. city.

In Hunts Point, the Bronx, 9.56 percent of children are reported neglected or abused, compared with 5.11 percent citywide. Just 28 percent are meeting state and city reading standards in the neighborhood, compared with 46.9 percent citywide. About 49 percent of children in that community are living below the poverty level, compared with 29.8 percent citywide.

In Mott Haven, the Bronx, 9.95 percent of children are reported neglected or abused, 26.2 percent meet state and city reading standards, and 49 percent live below poverty line.

In Brownsville, Brooklyn, 7.53 percent of children are reported neglected or abused, 32.2 percent meet state and city reading standards, and 52 percent live below the poverty line.

Manhattan's Upper East Side, Staten Island's Tottenville and Queens' Bayside had the least barriers for success. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office declined to comment on the report.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowtiz said he found the findings "troubling."

"Brooklyn is in the midst of a major renaissance, becoming a destination for residents seeking a great place to live, work, go to school and raise a family, but we will not be satisfied until all neighborhoods . . . see the same benefits," Markowitz said in a statement.

Overall, the medium household income declined for a fourth straight year. The rent burden on families increased citywide by nearly 2 percent.

Reading and math scores increased slightly in the 2010-11 school year, after seeing a dramatic drop in the 2009-10 academic year after the test was recalibrated.

Citywide, infant mortality rates, foster care placement and juvenile detention center placement rates also decreased.

"The data shows that in a city as big as New York, where you live can provide vastly different experiences in how a child grows up," March-Joly said. "Children who are living in poverty, that's rarely the only barrier they are facing."

This story has been changed to correct the following figures: the poverty rates for children citywide as well as in Hunts Point and Mott Haven in the Bronx and Brownsville, Brooklyn; the percentage of children citywide who meet state and city reading standards.

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