11.9 million children nationally, or 16.2% of all minors live in Child poverty

Slight decline, but still over 743,000 children living in child poverty in New York, ranking New York 34th out of the 50 states

Child poverty

AnnieSpratt / Pixabay

New York, N.Y. – Children’s Defense Fund-New York Executive Director Naomi Post issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Census Bureau’s release of 2018 minor poverty numbers in the states today. The new information shows New York has been left behind on national progress in reducing this poverty.  In 2018, 11.9 million children nationally, or 16.2% of all minors, were living in poverty. While New York experienced a small decline in minor poverty rates from 19.7% in 2017 to 18.6% in 2018, it still had over 743,000 children in the state living in poverty.

Nearly half of those minors live in extreme poverty. In 2019 a family of four with an annual income of $25,750 lives in poverty, and a family of four in extreme poverty has half that annual income.

These rates in New York continues to disproportionately impact children of color, with 26.7% of all black children and 28.1% of all Hispanic children living in poverty, in contrast to 11.9% of all white minors in the state living in poverty.

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Child poverty some depressing stats

“Despite the constant policy threats against children and families, the poverty rate is trending in the right direction at the moment. Significantly fewer families and children are poor today because of various forms of government assistance that helped lift them out of poverty. Programs including refundable tax credits like EITC, SNAP and housing assistance, as well as cash benefits such as unemployment insurance, social security and supplemental security income, have contributed significantly to the progress.

However, the immoral proposals like Public Charge and SNAP cuts are designed to deny immigrant families and vulnerable families the ability to adequately feed and care for their children, pushing them further into poverty.

These regressive and mean spirited proposals threaten to reverse the positive trends experienced over the past several decades. Instead of making it harder for vulnerable families to survive by threatening programs we know work, we should be expanding them to make sure that no child is denied the opportunity to thrive in this rich state and country.”


The Children’s Defense Fund-New York Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.