Last week, the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) released its most recent report on poverty rates in New York City. The report shows that Asian Americans in NYC now have the highest rate of poverty among all ethnic groups, surpassing Hispanics (29% vs. 25.7%). The CEO poverty measure differs from the federal poverty measure as the CEO measure takes into account benefits like food stamps and expenses like living costs.
Yesterday, the New York Times published an article entitled “In a Flourishing Queens, Prosperity Eludes Some Asian Families.” The piece discusses the CEO report’s findings while focusing on the struggles of Asian families in Queens. Although certain statistics may indicate that Asians across the country are flourishing, Asian American families in Queens such as that of Amy Chan, the mother of one of AAFE’s Youth Leaders, have not fared well economically in recent years due to job cuts and decreased wages. In fact, Amy lost her job as a waitress last year and could not find work until six months later. Furthermore, the development of “gleaming new high rises and pricey penthouses” in Queens has masked the poverty that still exists in the borough. AAFE Director of Policy and Leadership Development stated, “When you get off the 7 train, it’s bright and shiny and all this development is happening. But while there are middle-income folks, there’s also this very concentrated poverty.”