Monday, March 23, 2009

Numbers of people in poverty in New York state increasing

A report for areas of upstate New York show increasing poverty in the region. The State's Community Action Association compiled the report using US Census Bureau data and numbers from area aid agencies.

The details show what anti-poverty workers already now, the number of people in poverty in New York state are increasing. From the Schenectady Daily Gazette, reporter Sara Foss gets some reaction.

“This confirmed what we see,” said Deb Schimpf, executive director of the Schenectady Community Action Program.

“It’s what we expected, but it’s still hard to meet the need,” said Mike Saccocio, executive director of the City Mission of Schenectady.

The New York State Community Action Association, which wrote the report, hopes that it will serve as a resource for community-based organizations, elected officials and the public. It was put together using 2005, 2006 and 2007 data from the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, and provides poverty rates for every county in the state, as well as upstate cities.

“Policy makers need good poverty information,” said Denise Harlow, CEO of the New York State Community Action Association. The report, she said, “elevates the issues of poverty.” According to the 2009 New York State Poverty Report, the statewide poverty rate is 14 percent, compared to a national poverty rate of 13.3 percent. More than 2.6 million New Yorkers live in households with incomes below the poverty line — $18,310 for a family of three. Statewide, the median income is $52,944.

In Albany County, the poverty rate is 12.4 percent, in Fulton County 16.4 percent, in Montgomery County 13.1 percent, in Rensselaer County 11.5 percent, in Saratoga County 6.6 percent, in Schenectady County 11.4 percent and in Schoharie County 11.7 percent.

The rates are much higher in area cities. In Albany, the poverty rate is 26.7 percent; approximately 39.2 percent of children live in poverty. In Saratoga Springs, the poverty rate is 8.4 percent; approximately 25.4 percent of children live in poverty. In Schenectady, the poverty rate is 21.1 percent; approximately 28.7 percent of children live in poverty.

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