By Jonathan Sperling
The New York City poverty rate dropped to a historic low in 2018, according to data collected by the American Community Survey.
The poverty rate throughout the city fell to 17.3 percent in 2018, a 3.6 percentage point drop since 2013 and the lowest rate recorded since the American Community Survey was released in 2006. It’s also the lowest the New York City poverty rate has been since the 1970s, based on estimates projected from decennial census data.
Also noteworthy is the growth in median household income. Between 2013 and 2018, New York City experienced a 13 percent growth in that category, an 8 percent increase in median earnings and an increase of a half-a-million jobs. Adjusted for inflation, median household income grew by $7,501, from $56,298 in 2013 to $63,799 in 2018.
“I was elected on a promise to end the Tale of Two Cities and that’s exactly what we’ve spent every day of the last five years working to do,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Poverty in New York City is at historic lows. From fighting for a $15 minimum wage to guaranteeing Pre-K for every child to Paid Safe and Sick Leave, we are putting more money in the hands of working families and creating a fairer city for all.”
The Child Poverty Rate for New York City also fell in the same time period as the overall poverty rate, from 29.8 percent in 2013 to 23.8 percent in 2018, a 6 percentage point drop.
"While national economic and tax policies super-charge income growth among the richest, local policies like the rising minimum wage, universal pre-kindergarten and limited rent increases in stabilized housing have made a huge difference in the lives of less-wealthy New Yorkers,” said James Parrott, Director of Economic and Fiscal Policies, Center for New York City Affairs at The New School, in a statement.
“Family income gains and poverty reduction are benefiting a broader cross-section of city residents than at anytime since the 1960s,” he added.