A survey from the city's Center for Economic Opportunity released on Thursday shows the poverty rate did not increase in New York City between 2000 and 2012, making it the only major city in the U.S. not to experience a big spike. The city's poverty rate has held steady at an average 21.2 percent over the past decade, while the nationwide rate increased an average 28 percent. (The poverty rate in America's 19 other largest cities increased on average by 36 percent.) Of course, in a city with this much staggering wealth, is "holding steady" really something to feel proud about?
In September, census data revealed that although New York's poverty numbers were less appalling than some of its fellow big U.S. cities, Manhattan still had the widest income gap of any city in the country, with the mean income for the lowest fifth of the population clocking in at $9,635 per year. Meanwhile, the top five percent earned an average of $799,969 per year. These infographics really drive the inequality home.
In accepting an award for his anti-poverty efforts yesterday, Bloomberg said, "Of course: poverty is still too high here. And keeping poverty from going up is not enough - we all know that. But having no increase in poverty is a lot better than the significant increases every other major American city has experienced. Sometimes the best offense is a good defense - and that’s certainly true in this case. By preventing any increase in poverty, we’ve bucked the national trend - and helped tens of thousands of people."
And the bright side, though, we hear our homeless shelters are just as fancy as those $95 million apartments.