Press Releases

New “Community Risk Ranking” Shows Stark Inequality Among New York City’s Children

Released February 2, 2015

Ahead of Mayor de Blasio’s State of the City Address, Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC), one of the city’s oldest children’s advocacy organizations, has released a new Community Risk Ranking that reveals a stark disparity in child well-being across New York City.

Taking into account data on economic security, health, housing, education, and youth and family issues, the report ranks the city’s 59 community districts from lowest to highest concentration of risk to child well-being, and shows radically different realities among children living sometimes just blocks apart.

Key findings from CCC’s Community Risk Ranking include:

  • Overall: Hunts Point is the highest risk community, with a poverty rate (60%) that is nearly 10 times that of the lowest risk community, Battery Park/Tribeca (6.5%).
  • Economic Security: The average family in Mott Haven/Hunts Point makes less than $20,000, one-tenth of the income of the average family with children living on the Upper East Side ($212,276).
  • Health: While the citywide infant mortality rate has declined, in East Tremont, the infant mortality rate of 9.0 deaths per 1,000 live births is comparable to that of Sri Lanka or Botswana.
  • Education: Fewer than one-third (32.9%) of public high school students in Hunts Point graduated on time – that’s about half the citywide graduation rate (61.3%).
  • Youth: 28.8% of Hunts Point youth are unemployed, compared to 9.7% in Battery Park/Tribeca.

While the cumulative risks to children are greatest in the Hunts Point community of the Bronx, far too many children across New York City from Northern Manhattan, Harlem, North and Central Brooklyn and the South Bronx also face significant and multiple risks to their well-being.

“Although the City has taken significant initial steps to combat inequality and improve opportunities for all New Yorkers, especially children, our Community Risk Ranking reveals that initiatives currently underway must go deeper and broader in the coming years to bridge this divide.  We must increase our investments in programs and services that help children and families thrive and pay particular attention to the impact of such investments on the highest-risk communities where the barriers to child well-being are most profound,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children.

CCC has been producing its Community Risk Ranking for more than 20 years as part of Keeping Track, the most extensive database available on the status of NYC’s 2 million children. By highlighting the vast inequality in child well-being across the city and illustrating how risks are interrelated, the ranking can help to determine where additional resources, supports, or services are needed to improve outcomes for children.

In light of these findings, Citizens’ Committee for Children proposes the following policy solutions that expand access to programs and services known to improve child well-being:

  • Expand affordable, high quality early childhood education to infants and toddlers and increase the capacity for elementary and high school after-school programs.
  • Provide all students with universal breakfast and lunch in the classroom, and improve access to the summer meals program.
  • Increase outreach on prenatal care, bring health and mental health services to every school, and increase the capacity of community based mental health services.
  • Increase investments in community based preventive services, including home visiting and parent support programs.
  • Connect families to banks and children to college savings accounts, provide unemployed youth with job training and summer youth employment, and increase the minimum wage.
  • Expand access to rent subsidies, affordable housing and healthy food retail options and increase investments in parks and playgrounds.

The complete Community Risk Ranking can be found here.

About Citizen’s Committee for Children

We educate and mobilize New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. Our advocacy combines public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. We cast light on the issues, educate the public, engage allies, and identify and promote practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information about CCC, visit www.cccnewyork.org.

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