Children in upstate cities are the losers as poverty remains high in New York

September 19, 2013. Poverty remained high at 16 percent and incomes stagnant in New York last year, showing the continuing pain of the recession and underscoring the need for New York to do more to help struggling people and give them the tools to lift themselves out of poverty. Over 3 million people in New York lived under the federal poverty level in 2012 when no statistically significant change in the overall poverty rate occurred from 2011, according to new Census Bureau data released today. This represents more than one in six people in poverty across the state.

Poverty levels also remained unchanged upstate and continued to be higher than in New York City and the state overall. This is particularly true in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse where overall poverty rates are 31 percent or higher—twice the figure for New York State.

Specifically disconcerting are the poverty rates for children in 2012 that remained higher than the poverty rate for all New Yorkers. The level of poverty experienced by related children under 18 years of age—22.6 percent—is close to 50 percent higher than the rate of poverty across the state. This represents just under one million children, or almost one in four kids, living in poverty in 2012. Poverty rates for children in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse are most stark at close to or more than 50 percent since 2010—twice the poverty rate for all children in New York State over this period.

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