With all the talk that the recession has taken its biggest bite out of those in the top income brackets, it hasn't stopped the income gap in Manhattan being the greatest of any county in the country according to new census data. Other head-scratching numbers among the wealthy recorded in last year's census, the number of New Yorkers making over $200K rose by 19,000 and the median income among the top five percent jumped up to $857,000. The income disparities for the state also remain the largest in the nation.
The 2008 census data showed that as the momentum of the economic downturn built throughout the year, poverty continued to increase int he outer boroughs. The Bronx remains the country’s poorest urban county, where 47 percent of its households headed by women with children are living in poverty. While some experts pointed to a slight decrease to the number of people living in poverty citywide, Joel Berg, executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger, said, “I don’t think a million and a half people in poverty is a great victory.”
Not everyone insisted on looking at the new figures in terms of the recession. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, whose district includes a fair share of Midtown, told The Epoch Times, "When we say poverty we mean people who have so little that the coming of the recession, for many of them, didn’t make a dent in their lives. They don’t have enough to have benefited from the prosperity that came before the recession.”