New York City’s poverty rate reached its highest point in more than a decade last year, and the income gap in Manhattan now rivals sub-Saharan Africa, says the New York Times.
The city’s poverty rate is now at nearly 21 percent, with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration blaming a stagnant national economy.
“To see the poverty rate jump almost a full percentage point is not a good sign,” David Jones, president of the Community Service Society of New York, told the paper. “We’re still seeing really high rates of unemployment, while jobs have been growing in an anemic way and the jobs that have been created are really low-wage.”
Median income in the city for the lowest fifth was $8,844, down almost $500 from 2010. For the highest earners, median income was $223,285, up $1,919 since 2010.
According to the paper, poverty rates rose most among Hispanic people, New Yorkers over age 65, married couples, residents of Manhattan and Queens, and those without a high school diploma.
Nearly 1.7 million city residents were officially classified as poor, or with an income of less than $18,530 for a family of three, and the number of New Yorkers receiving food stamps increased to 20.6 percent.
And while New York City now boasts its highest rate of poverty in more than a decade, Mayor Bloomberg, along with the nation’s wealthiest, had a 28 percent increase in wealth, according to Forbes Magazine. Bloomberg was named the 10th richest man in the country this week.