Vision 2 Goal

Poverty Reduction

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Tracking ahead of estimates to move 800,000 people out of poverty or near poverty by 2025

New York City has been making steady progress in reducing poverty and near poverty. The City’s poverty rate fell from 20.6 percent in 2014 to 19.5 percent in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the annual New York City Government Poverty Measure 2005–2016 report, which the City released in April 2018. This decline is a statistically significant decrease. With the latest decline, poverty in the city is at its lowest level since the Great Recession.

The City’s at or near poverty rate—the share of New Yorkers living below 150 percent of the NYCgov poverty threshold—has also been falling. The rate declined from 45.1 percent to 43.5 percent from 2014 to 2016, a statistically significant decrease.

The City is on track to meet its goal to lift 800,000 people out of poverty or near poverty between 2014 and 2025. We have projected the effect of wage raises beginning in 2014, including the increase to a $15 minimum wage that the City fought for and won. We assess these projections by incorporating Census data as it becomes available. Using the latest 2016 Census data, we found 141,000 fewer people in poverty or near poverty by the end of 2016, exceeding our original projection of about 80,000. Looking forward, we estimate that 281,000 people will have moved out of poverty or near poverty by the end of 2017 and 519,000 by the end of 2018.

These improvements in poverty and near poverty rates are widely spread across the city. In the 3-year period from 2014 to 2016 there were statistically significant decreases in the poverty rate for working age adults, for families with children under 18, among Blacks and Hispanics, and in Queens and in the Bronx.