The data indicated that, though nationwide poverty levels have remained relatively stable over the past year, the inequality of wealth in New York City exceeds that of Mexico and Sri Lanka, with the poorest 20% of New Yorkers earning only 2.9% of the state’s income.
“When our income inequality is closer to the developing world than to the rest of the industrialized world, we should be ashamed of ourselves,” said NYCCAH Executive Director Joel Berg.
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The report further showed that the number of City residents living in poverty grew from 1.491 million in 2002 to 1.50 million in 2007, despite the implementation of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vaunted anti-poverty initiative.
Continued Berg, “These federal numbers are the clearest indication yet that Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-poverty strategy – comprised mostly of small-scale, underfunded pilot programs – is failing to make a significant dent in the City’s massive poverty and hunger. At the same time, incomes for the richest New Yorkers have continued to skyrocket. I hope this new data is a wake-up call for all our elected officials to convince them that we must devote real resources to our anti-poverty efforts.”