New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He has issued a...

New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. He has issued a report saying New York's child poverty rates are among the worst in the country. Credit: Howard Simmons

Nearly 1 in 5 New York children lived in poverty in 2022, among the highest in the nation, with rates more than doubling since the expiration of federal COVID relief benefits, according to a new report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Children living in the Bronx and Brooklyn had the state's highest poverty rates, at 35.3% and 27.5%, respectively, the report found, while upstate cities such as Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo had among the worst rates in the country compared to similarly sized cities.

Long Island's rates were among the state's lowest.

“A staggering number of children live in poverty in New York,” DiNapoli said. “Research shows that poverty presents serious barriers to healthy child development. Despite unstable economic conditions during the pandemic, child poverty dropped by half because the government expanded programs to help families and children. When these measures expired, the problem got worse. The state and federal government have the solutions to lift more children out of poverty, and we should act with urgency to use them.”

Individuals or households are considered to be in poverty when they lack the money to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter or access to a minimum standard of living. Children living in poverty are more likely to experience homelessness, lower readiness for school, developmental challenges, substance abuse and incarceration, experts said.

Utilizing the Census Bureau's Official Poverty Measure, 18.8% of children in New York, or 735,742 youngsters under the age of 18, were in poverty in 2022. Those numbers are 5.6% higher than the poverty rates for adults in New York, census data shows. In total, 2.7 million New Yorkers of all ages are in poverty, the report found.

Nearly half of New York children living in poverty are considered in “deep poverty,” reflecting that their household income is 50% below the federal poverty line.

Nassau and Suffolk counties had the second- and third-lowest child poverty rates in the state, at 6.6% and 7.1%, respectively, behind only Putnam County at 5.8%, according to census data. Long Island's numbers are down slightly from one year earlier, and have declined more than 2.5% in the past decade, figures show.

New York ranks 41st in the nation — worse than other large states such as California, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania — in child poverty. 

Sanford Schram, who teaches political science at Stony Brook University and has studied poverty rates for decades, said Long Island is not immune to poverty, although its residents typically fare better than others across New York, particularly upstate.

“On average, people are better off financially out here,” Schram said. “But there's still a lot of low-income people here. It's just not as high as elsewhere.”

Richard R. Buery Jr., chief executive of Robin Hood, a Manhattan-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty, said the report “underscores the ubiquity and severity” of the issue.

“In New York City alone, 1 out of every 4 children live in poverty,” he said. “The comptroller's report should inspire us to support and expand proven solutions like the state's child tax credit and earned income tax credit that we know can reduce child poverty.”

Children in New York with single female heads of household experience poverty at more than four times the rate of households with married couples, according to federal figures.

To address the economic fallout from the pandemic, the federal government passed a series of relief measures, including three rounds of stimulus payments and expanded benefits under the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, along with emergency rental assistance and other housing protections.

The measures worked, dropping child poverty levels by 54% nationwide, and 51% in New York, between 2019 and 2021, the report found.

But as the programs lapsed, child poverty rates spiked, more than doubling in New York and passing the pre-pandemic level of 18.6% in 2019, data shows.

The child poverty gap between New York and the rest of the U.S., meanwhile, has widened since 2019, with rates dropping, on average, nationwide but growing in the Empire State.

If New York’s rates were equivalent to the national average, the comptroller said, roughly 100,000 fewer children would be in poverty.

The state’s Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council, which set a goal to cut child poverty in half over the next decade, is considering several policy proposals, including expanding the Empire State Child Credit, greater access to subsidized housing and reforms to temporary assistance programs.

Richard Koubek, chair of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Welfare to Work Commission, called the report an “alarm bell in the night.”

“We need to find out why New York's child poverty rate is so high,” he said. “And what government and private support can be initiated or expanded or restored to reduce child poverty in this, one of the wealthiest of American states.”

Legislation approved by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives in January would expand the Child Tax Credit and improve benefits for low-income families. The measure has not cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Nearly 1 in 5 New York children lived in poverty in 2022, among the highest in the nation, with rates more than doubling since the expiration of federal COVID relief benefits, according to a new report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Children living in the Bronx and Brooklyn had the state's highest poverty rates, at 35.3% and 27.5%, respectively, the report found, while upstate cities such as Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo had among the worst rates in the country compared to similarly sized cities.

Long Island's rates were among the state's lowest.

“A staggering number of children live in poverty in New York,” DiNapoli said. “Research shows that poverty presents serious barriers to healthy child development. Despite unstable economic conditions during the pandemic, child poverty dropped by half because the government expanded programs to help families and children. When these measures expired, the problem got worse. The state and federal government have the solutions to lift more children out of poverty, and we should act with urgency to use them.”

   WHAT TO KNOW

  • Nearly 1 in 5 New York children lived in poverty in 2022, among the highest in the nation, according to a new report from State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
  • The rates more than doubled after the expiration of federal COVID relief benefits.
  • Long Island's rates were among the lowest in the state, while upstate cities were among the worst compared to similarly sized cities elsewhere in the country.

Individuals or households are considered to be in poverty when they lack the money to meet basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter or access to a minimum standard of living. Children living in poverty are more likely to experience homelessness, lower readiness for school, developmental challenges, substance abuse and incarceration, experts said.

Utilizing the Census Bureau's Official Poverty Measure, 18.8% of children in New York, or 735,742 youngsters under the age of 18, were in poverty in 2022. Those numbers are 5.6% higher than the poverty rates for adults in New York, census data shows. In total, 2.7 million New Yorkers of all ages are in poverty, the report found.

Nearly half of New York children living in poverty are considered in “deep poverty,” reflecting that their household income is 50% below the federal poverty line.

Nassau and Suffolk counties had the second- and third-lowest child poverty rates in the state, at 6.6% and 7.1%, respectively, behind only Putnam County at 5.8%, according to census data. Long Island's numbers are down slightly from one year earlier, and have declined more than 2.5% in the past decade, figures show.

New York ranks 41st in the nation — worse than other large states such as California, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania — in child poverty. 

Sanford Schram, who teaches political science at Stony Brook University and has studied poverty rates for decades, said Long Island is not immune to poverty, although its residents typically fare better than others across New York, particularly upstate.

“On average, people are better off financially out here,” Schram said. “But there's still a lot of low-income people here. It's just not as high as elsewhere.”

Richard R. Buery Jr., chief executive of Robin Hood, a Manhattan-based nonprofit dedicated to fighting poverty, said the report “underscores the ubiquity and severity” of the issue.

“In New York City alone, 1 out of every 4 children live in poverty,” he said. “The comptroller's report should inspire us to support and expand proven solutions like the state's child tax credit and earned income tax credit that we know can reduce child poverty.”

Children in New York with single female heads of household experience poverty at more than four times the rate of households with married couples, according to federal figures.

To address the economic fallout from the pandemic, the federal government passed a series of relief measures, including three rounds of stimulus payments and expanded benefits under the Child Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, along with emergency rental assistance and other housing protections.

The measures worked, dropping child poverty levels by 54% nationwide, and 51% in New York, between 2019 and 2021, the report found.

But as the programs lapsed, child poverty rates spiked, more than doubling in New York and passing the pre-pandemic level of 18.6% in 2019, data shows.

The child poverty gap between New York and the rest of the U.S., meanwhile, has widened since 2019, with rates dropping, on average, nationwide but growing in the Empire State.

If New York’s rates were equivalent to the national average, the comptroller said, roughly 100,000 fewer children would be in poverty.

The state’s Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council, which set a goal to cut child poverty in half over the next decade, is considering several policy proposals, including expanding the Empire State Child Credit, greater access to subsidized housing and reforms to temporary assistance programs.

Richard Koubek, chair of the Suffolk County Legislature’s Welfare to Work Commission, called the report an “alarm bell in the night.”

“We need to find out why New York's child poverty rate is so high,” he said. “And what government and private support can be initiated or expanded or restored to reduce child poverty in this, one of the wealthiest of American states.”

Legislation approved by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives in January would expand the Child Tax Credit and improve benefits for low-income families. The measure has not cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports. Credit: Newsday/Daddona / Pfost / Villa Loarca

Uncovering the truth about the chemical drums A tipster says he told the state about buried drums at Bethpage Community Park nearly a decade ago. Newsday's Ken Buffa reports.

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