Poverty Here in Binghamton, NY

All over America, poverty is a major issue. According to the 2014 U.S. Census Bureau, American had a 14.8% poverty rate, meaning around 46.7 million Americans were living in poverty.

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Below is a chart from the U.S. Census Bureau explaining the different poverty thresholds in 2014:

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According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau, New York State had a 15.9% poverty rate.

In 2012, the state with the highest poverty rate was Mississippi with a stupefying 22.2% of it’s population living below the poverty threshold. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Below is the U.S. Census Bureau’s data for Binghamton, NY, and New York State:

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Source U.S. Census Bureau: State and County QuickFacts. Data derived from Population Estimates, American Community Survey, Census of Population and Housing, County Business Patterns, Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Building Permits, Census of Governments
Last Revised: Wednesday, 02-Dec-2015 09:34:43 EST

From the same table we can look more closely at the housing, income, and poverty rates:

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From 2009-2013, the average percent of New York’s population below the poverty threshold was 15.3%. The city of Binghamton’s average rate of poverty, from 2009-2013, was 33.3%. (U.S. Census Bureau)

Kelly Robertson, LMSW, the Deputy Director of Opportunities for Broome Inc. explained that one of Binghamton’s biggest problems is “hidden poverty”, meaning the person is employed but they do not earn a living salary. The money they make from that job is not enough to support themselves or their families, it is impossible live off of. (in class presentation)
Just down the street, the Roosevelt Elementary School has a 98% poverty rate. (Kelly Robertson, in class presentation)
Sometimes it’s hard to see the poverty around us because we are so blessed to be surrounded by the beautiful campus of an outstanding University, but we need to open our eyes so we can try to help our neighbors who are struggling everyday. Take your clothes and shoes and food you don’t want and bring them to one of the shelters downtown. It may seem like nothing to you, but that could be the only  way some families can get their dinner.



Works Cited

Kelly Robertson, LMSW
Deputy Director of Opportunities for Broome Inc.

U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1960 to 2015 Annual Social and Economic Supplements.


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