ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Census estimates show the number of New Yorkers living in poverty remained steady from 2012 through last year, mirroring national statistics.
And the Census Bureau says Thursday median household income in the state also remained flat at about $57,000.
The survey data showed 3 million people, or 16 percent of the state’s population, with income below the poverty level in 2013. Nationally, 48.8 million people, also about 16 percent, lived in poverty.
A family of four is considered to be living in poverty if it brings in less than $23,830 in a year. For an individual, the number is less than $11,890.
The national median income was about $52,000 last year. Among New York’s neighbors, it was $68,000 in Connecticut; $66,000 in Massachusetts; $70,000 in New Jersey; $52,000 in Pennsylvania and $53,000 in Vermont.
Executive Director of New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Joel Berg, told 1010 WINS when poverty numbers are high, everyone is hurt.
“There’s no question that this data shows more and more formerly middle class people are sinking into poverty, are not able to climb out of poverty despite the great stock market, because they just can’t afford rent, they just can’t afford to buy food and make all their expenses because their incomes aren’t rising,” he said.
Berg said the poverty numbers are not going to improve if the politicians don’t start changing policy.
“Americans are indoctrinated into thinking there’s always going to be a Frank Capara-esque, Hollywood happy ending. But what happens in real life, is poor people, working people, suffer more,” he said. “Unless we fight back and hold our elected officials accountable, these trends are only going to get worse.”
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