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This report analyzes trends in poverty in New York City over a period spanning from the year 1990 to 2019, including maps of poverty hot spots in the city.


This report uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) data for all years released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, ( See Public Use Microdata Series Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2020.


Latinos and non-Hispanic blacks were more affected by poverty (21.4% and 19.4% respectively) compared to non-Hispanic whites and Asians (9.9% and 14.6%). And while the Puerto Rican population had the highest poverty rate (23.2% in 2019), Colombians registered the lowest poverty rates among the largest Latino subgroups in New York (10.8% in the same year). The second main finding is that poverty is not equally distributed across space, and that these patterns persisted despite the general decline of poverty between the years 2000 and 2019. Essentially, poverty hotspots that were mainly located in the Bronx when poverty rates peaked, remained in the same geographical areas even after the general decline in poverty. Additionally, the highest poverty areas are also majority Latino and non-Hispanic black areas. Conversely, areas with low poverty rates are mainly also regions with higher levels of non-Hispanic white population.


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Citation information: Castillo, Marco (2022). Poverty in New York City: Social, Demographic and Spatial Characteristics, 1990-2019. Edited by Sebastián Villamizar-Santamaría. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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