Bronx leads all boroughs on poverty



The Bronx is by far the poorest borough in the city. It has seen the slowest economic growth since 2002 and household incomes dropped in the last three years, according to American Community Survey data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

ACS estimates 27.6 percent of families in the Bronx lived below the poverty line in 2010. For a family of four with two children under 18 years to be considered poor their average annual household income has to be less than $22,113.

The New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, which created its own poverty threshold in 2008 by using cost-of-living changes and other factors, determined the poverty threshold for a two-adult, two-child family in 2009 to be $29,477.

The percentage of Bronxites living in poverty is at its highest level recorded since 2004, two years after the American Community Survey began.

Citywide, 17 percent of families live in poverty. Nationwide, 11.3 percent of families live below the poverty line. 

New York may top the nation when it comes to poverty rates, but New Yorkers also make more, on average, than the rest of the country.  

The average household income in New York City was $76,000 in 2010, higher than the national average of $68,259. But the average household income in the Bronx is $45,625, 40 percent lower than the city average and 34 percent lower than the national average.

Based on average household income per year, the Bronx has seen the slowest economic growth of all the boroughs over the last decade. Between 2002 and 2010, the average household income in the borough rose by $8,000. In Queens it rose by $13,000; in Staten Island, by $15,000; in Brooklyn, by $16,000; and in Manhattan, by $29,000. 

And unlike Staten Island and Brooklyn, the Bronx has not bounced back from the recession. Instead, the borough has actually seen average household incomes plunge by approximately $1,000 per year since 2008.

According to the American Community Survey, the unemployment rate for Bronxites over the age of 16 in 2010 was 15.8 percent, compared to 11.2 percent citywide and 10.8 percent nationwide.

Adam Wisnieski, American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, New York City Center for Economic Opportunity,
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