Syracuse has largest rate of child poverty among large New York cities, report shows – 13WHAM-TV

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Syracuse, Rochester, Albany and Buffalo have child poverty rates that are double the average rate for comparable cities across the U.S., according to a new child poverty report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The report examines data from 2022 and shows Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo rank second, fifth and seventh respectively among the largest cities in the country with the highest child poverty rate. The comparable cohort cities listed in the report include New Haven, Connecticut and Waco, Texas. The population size for the 10 comparable cities ranges from 138,000 to 146,000 people, with Syracuse sitting at approximately 144,459 residents.

2022 data for Syracuse shows 45.8% of children under 18 live below the poverty line, compared to other cities above.

“You’re going out into life with at least one arm, if not both, tied behind your back, and that’s something we should really be mindful of — and it hurts the overall society,” DiNapoli explained to CNY Central. “Children are our future. If we’re not going to lift them out of poverty when they’re young, what is going to be their ability down the road to be productive citizens, [to] contribute to the society?”

Syracuse also leads large cities in New York in child poverty.

The report suggests, “Although policymakers are working to tackle this challenge, expanded federal and state investment in children should be prioritized and implemented.” It also goes on to say that research shows public spending on children creates more opportunities for them to grow and succeed in the world.

“It’s an issue that, in some ways, is only getting worse, and we really do need to do more at the state level, certainly the federal level as well to address it,” DiNapoli said.

There is some hope and funding allocated in the enacted 2024-25 New York state budget. It includes a $50 million anti-poverty pilot program using federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds for families with children living in concentrated areas of poverty in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

Read the report below:

“We have wonderful not-for-profits, particularly in Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo that have been focused on this issue,” DiNapoli said. “But you know the nonprofit sector certainly can’t do it alone.”

Organizations like the United Way of Central New York are happy the comptroller released this report.

“These are the things we think about all the time, and we work in partnerships to provide the supports to the families so that all children can thrive,” said President Nancy Kern Eaton.

If your family needs services and you’re not sure where to start, you can call 211 to find out what’s available to help in the community.

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