Two-Thirds of New Yorkers Surveyed Face Hardship, Report Says

  • Material needs top list, with health and poverty next
  • Report argues for more extensive tracking of city’s poor

Almost two-thirds of New Yorkers questioned in a survey about their well-being said they faced poverty, material hardship or poor health during the past two years, with nearly one in four reporting an acute inability to make ends meet, according to the anti-poverty Robin Hood Foundation.

The organization, along with researchers from Columbia University, released its Poverty Tracker report Thursday that studied 2,300 New York City households at all income levels for two years. It found that almost half suffered from some form of serious hardship during that time.

"The results are striking: The majority of New Yorkers either are persistently disadvantaged or were disadvantaged at least once over the survey period," the report said. "Conventional ways of determining the number of disadvantaged people and the scope of their disadvantage are lacking."

The report said that 31 percent of those surveyed fell below the poverty threshold at some point and 9 percent said they faced persistent poverty. Twenty-eight percent reported severe health issues.

It also said that seeking available government and philanthropic assistance had only a small effect on escaping poverty, though it helped prevent people from falling below the level.

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