Over 50% of New York City Children Live In or Near Poverty, Well-being for Many Children Has Not Improved Despite Citywide Gains
Released March 16, 2020
CCC’s Keeping Track of New York City’s Children illustrates the funding, community resources and political representation at-risk if all children are not counted in the 2020 Census
Over 50% of New York City’s children live in or near poverty, according to Keeping Track of New York City’s Children: 2020, the biennial report released today by Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC). Keeping Track is the most comprehensive resource on the well-being of NYC’s 1.7 million children and their families, and has the latest data on their demographics, economic security, housing, health, education, and indicators specific to youth, family and community well-being.
The 2020 edition of Keeping Track of New York City’s Children highlights how, despite improved citywide outcomes, children and families continue to experience significant disparities based on their race and ethnicity, immigration status, and other demographics including the neighborhood in which they live. CCC is calling attention to these disparities as the self-response period of the 2020 Census begins because Black, Latino and Asian children, children in low-income families, and children in immigrant families are the most likely to be missed in the census count. An undercount jeopardizes federal resources for programs supporting nutrition, child care, education, health care, housing, and others that are essential in the city’s efforts to promote positive health and development
“The U.S. Census occurs every decade, think about what ten years means in the life of a child,” said Dr. Jennifer March, CCC’s Executive Director. “The census not only impacts investments in programs and services upon which children and families rely, but determines how many representatives are advocating for them in Washington DC, and what capacity states and localities have to address the needs of the most vulnerable. Given the concerns around access to health care and human service supports that are front and center now due to COVID-19, it is critical that we do all we can to ensure a fair and accurate count in this year’s census.”
For nearly 30 years, CCC’s Keeping Track of New York City’s Children data book has provided New Yorkers at large, government officials, philanthropic leaders, academics, and child and family service professionals with information on both welcomed and worrisome trends facing children and families across New York City. The report examines data from dozens of government administrative sources and agencies, including the United States Census Bureau, and disaggregates data by demographic groups to identify meaningful disparities that deserve attention in policymaking and public discourse. This data book is a complement to our online database at data.cccnewyork.org.
Key findings from CCC’s Keeping Track of New York City’s Children: 2020 data book underscore where more attention must be paid to ensure that all children are healthy, housed, educated and safe:
“The census is critical in planning and developing the community-based infrastructure and programs that children and their families depend on,” said Dr. Bijan Kimiagar, CCC’s Associate Executive Director for Research. “An undercount of young children would be particularly harmful as it results in reduced resources for critical programs such as SNAP, public housing, child care, and Medicaid, among others and would limit the ability of city and state agencies to forecast demand for new schools, hospital emergency rooms, public transportation, and more. A fair and accurate census count in 2020 ensures that the City of New York and all its residents have the resources and representation that they require and are needed to thrive over the next decade.”
Almost five million New Yorkers live in a community designated hard-to-count, and there are more than half a million NYC children under the age of five – the single demographic group most likely to be undercounted. Approximately 70,000 NYC children were missed in the last census in 2010.
Keeping Track of New York City’s Children: 2020 identifies the key factors that put young children at risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census:
The urgency of ensuring a fair and accurate census count could not be more pressing. Ahead of the 2020 census, CCC has launched Every Child Counts NYC! campaign to mobilize families, especially those with young children, to participate in the census. This campaign includes resources and trainings, including webinars on the undercount of young children and tools for community members and tools to equip child-serving professionals and community leaders to tackle fear and mistrust of government, as well as language barriers, in order to participate in the census. The multi-faceted framework can be adapted by other community organizations, child-serving professionals and advocates.
About Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York