The Columbia Population Research Center and Robin Hood have teamed up to collect new data in an effort to complete the picture of what poverty looks like in New York City. The second round of results has been reported, showing a gap between who needs assistance, who seeks assistance and who receives assistance. The initial report released in spring demonstrated the inadequacies of the government’s official poverty rate in capturing the numberof New Yorkers struggling to meet all of their needs. For example, the official poverty line does not adjust for geography, after-tax income, or external disadvantages such as severe physical or mental health problems. The number of people facing at least one significant disadvantage may be more useful for analyzing the population of New Yorkers suffering financial difficulty. The graph below shows the percentage of respondents who are unable to fully meet their needs in six areas.
The survey also collected data on how many of those reporting a need for services actively sought some form of assistance, and how well their needs were met. The results highlight a fairly significant gap between the number of people seeking assistance and those who received an adequate amount of help to meet their needs.