This week the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual data on income, poverty and health insurance. Although there was a small reduction in the number of children in New York living in poverty, almost 1 in 5 New York children (803,171 children) still live in poverty. New York has the 4th largest number of children living in poverty behind California, Texas and Florida. Nationally, 12.8 million children live in poverty. While New York’s child poverty rate dropped from 20.7 percent in 2016 to 19.7 percent last year, our State’s rate remains higher than the national rate (17.5 percent). Poverty in New York continues to disproportionately impact children of color, with 30.8% of all black children and 28.4% of all Hispanic children living in poverty, in contrast to 12.6 percent of all white children in our state living in poverty.
“Even the slow downward trend in the poverty numbers threatens to be reversed by the constant onslaught of regressive policies that adversely impact children and families. Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy continue to be a priority for this administration. The House is moving a second round of tax cuts to benefit corporations and the wealthy while at the same time advancing draconian SNAP (formerly food stamp) proposals that cut benefits to children and families. The data shows that programs such as SNAP and school lunches help lift children out of poverty. This country undeniably has the resources needed to lift children and families out of poverty. What is lacking is the political will and moral imperative to do what is right to ensure that all children have the resources and opportunities they need to survive and to thrive. An important first step is to immediately demand the adoption of the Senate’s proposed Farm bill and the rejection of the House’s dangerous cuts to SNAP.”
– Statement from Naomi Post, Executive Director