For more terrible news this week, a new study on income inequality has found that gaps in the city's quality of life have not improved since 2015. In some cases things are getting worse for New Yorkers—the study shows inequality has exacerbated when it comes to fairness in the justice system and quality of health care, among other things.
The Equality Indicators study [pdf], put forth by the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance, looked at how disadvantaged groups like women, immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and people with disabilities fared as compared with the rest of the population. The study looked at qualities of life like economics, education, healthcare, housing, justice, and service—it found vast negative change over the last year in disability and unemployement; religion and trust in police; income and access to parks, and foster care status and child abuse/neglect, to name a few.
The study also found that black New Yorkers are more than four times more likely to be arrested for misdemeanor crimes than white or Asian New Yorkers, and are far more likely that white New Yorkers to be hospitalized for asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Black New Yorkers also have higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases and are seven times more likely to die of complications due to HIV/AIDS than white New Yorkers.
30 percent of Muslim residents reported being afraid to report crimes or seek help from cops. Children in homeless shelters are twice as likely to be absent from school. And more than a quarter of Hispanic New Yorkers had low or very low food security, with Asian and white New Yorkers boasting food security that was five times higher.
There were some areas of the study that saw improvement—housing affordability and stability issues got slightly better this year, as did issues with race and low birthweight; and physical, emotional, mental, and social health disparities decreased across the board. Accessibility to parks and arts/cultural institutions also improved this year.
The researchers behind the study say they hope pointing out areas of exacerbated inequality will push lawmakers to craft policy reforms that will help New Yorkers in need. "Inequality affects New Yorkers in nearly every aspect of daily life—from housing and income to transportation and senior citizen care," Victoria Lawson, Project Director of the Equality Indicators, said in a statement. "Too many people are vulnerable to experiencing inequality, and we hope to help create systemic change to make New York City a place where everyone can thrive."