STUDY: New York’s kids face public health, poverty, racial inequity crises

Classroom Progress Report

A child eats a meal at an immigration center. (NEXSTAR)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Monday, the nonprofit Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) released “Child and Family Well-being in New York State: Ranking Risks Across 62 Counties,” an original analysis of the obstacles facing children and families statewide.

The study examines data across six metrics of health and well-being: economic security, housing, health, education, youth, and family and community. CCC says it reveals how disturbing levels of poverty, housing insecurity, health risks, educational blind spots affect kids in New York. The nonprofit says these risk factors were in place before the pandemic, threatening the ability of kids in New York to thrive and lead productive lives.

The analysis showed that several counties—Montgomery, Fulton, Oswego, Franklin, Chautauqua, Chemung, Yates, and the Bronx—are classified as in the highest-risk of at least one of the six categories. Meanwhile, Saratoga, Putnam, Nassau, Hamilton, Wyoming, Ontario, Genesee, Westchester, Tompkins, and Suffolk are considered among the lowest risk overall.

“It is critical that we leverage the data presented in this index to advance both universal and targeted efforts that promote equity and improve child and family well-being,” said Bijan Kimiagar, associate executive director for research at CCC.

Kids in Capital Region counties face the greatest challenges in economic security, education, youth, and family a community. Across the state, only a small handful of counties—including Saratoga—had more than half of its students score proficiently on English and math assessments.

The analysis in the study shows close to 840,000 children live below the federal poverty level in New York, and close to 920,000 New York households are “severely rent burdened.” The statewide rate of uninsured children averages 2.4%, but in Yates County, for example, it jumps to 37.9%.

“As COVID-19 has exacerbated risk factors, a successful recovery is urgently dependent on forthcoming federal stimulus as well as the policy, budget and legislative decisions that will be made in the coming weeks and months by New York’s Governor and State Legislature,” said Jennifer March, executive director at CCC.

CCC makes several recommendations to combat these issues, including:

  • Set concrete targets on child poverty reduction
  • Invest in statewide
    • Rent subsidies
    • Affordable housing
    • Child care subsidies
    • Youth employment
  • Ensure children have continuous health care
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • Reform the Empire State Child Credit

Take a look at the report below:


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