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Introduction: This report examines trends in childhood poverty in New York City between 1990 and 2010.

Methods: Data on poverty rates were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa. Children are defined as those people 14 years of age and under. Cases in the data set were weighted and analyzed to produce population estimates. Poverty rates (in percentages) were then calculated from population estimates.

Results: The childhood poverty rate in New York City was steady over time, at 31% in 1990, 32% in 2000, and 32% in 2010, and those rates were significantly higher than national childhood poverty rates (22% in 2010). Greater percentages of Latino children were in poverty compared with children in the City’s other major race/ethnic groups in 1990, 2000, and 2010. Half of all Puerto Rican children in New York City were living in poverty in 2010, and Mexican children experienced a large increase in childhood poverty rates.

Discussion: New York City’s childhood poverty rates show no signs of decline. Policymakers who answer to New York City constituents may consider creating additional public assistance provisions that target younger individuals.


For additional information about this collection see

Citation information: Okigbo, K. (2015). Childhood Poverty Rates in New York City between 1990 and 2010. J. Calcagno (Ed.). New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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