A Newer, Better Poverty Rate Formula

New York City plans to revise the way it assesses poverty levels in the city, bringing in more variables and cost-of-living considerations. Officials expect the new measurement to be more accurate, and are calling on other cities to follow suit.

"The Bloomberg administration unveiled a new measure on Sunday for gauging poverty levels, one that takes into account the cost of housing, child care and clothing, among other expenses not included in the formula used by the federal government."

"Under the new model, announced by Linda I. Gibbs, the city's deputy mayor for health and human services, at the N.A.A.C.P.'s annual convention in Cincinnati, the poverty rate in New York City would increase to 23 percent of the population, compared with the official level of roughly 19 percent. Also, fewer people in the city would fall into the category of extreme poverty, partly because the new measure factors in government aid programs like housing assistance, food stamps and tax credits."

"Ms. Gibbs said that the new measures would not automatically affect any federal funding the city receives, or the number of people getting aid. But, she said, the change could affect local programs and policy decisions, like how the city cares for the elderly."

Full Story: City Refines Formula to Measure Poverty Rate


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