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New Data: NYC Poverty Surged While Billionaire Assets Soared - Money of 57 Billionaires Now Equals 4 Million Avg. NYC Families

New Data: NYC Poverty Surged While Billionaire Assets Soared
Money of 57 Billionaires Now Equals 4 Million Average NYC Families:

Advocates Call for "Fundamental" Change in Local and State Policies

While new Census data shows that one in five New York City residents now live in poverty -- the highest level since 2000 -- the 57 billionaires in the city increased their net worth by more than $11 billion in the last year, and now have as much money as 14 million people working full time at minimum wage salaries for a year, according to a new analysis of Forbes data by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

According to the new Census data, median household income in the city is $48,743, which is five percent lower than 2007. From 2009 to 2010, 75,000 residents of the city fell below the federal poverty line ($18,310 for a family of three), the largest yearly hike in two decades. The total population of poor New Yorkers is now 1.6 million, equaling 20.1 percent of the population.

According to the Coalition's analysis, the 57 New York City billionaires now have a net worth of $211 billion, an increase of $11 billion over last year. Their net worth now equals the annual income of over 4 million New York City families.

"While City and State officials have spent years denying the extent of the poverty and inequality here, the new data leaves no doubt that poverty is soaring here, while inequality is surging," said Joel Berg, the executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

"The fact that 57 people now have as much money as 4 million working families is nothing short of obscene. I am still a committed capitalist but it has never been clearer that today's distorted crony capitalism needs to be reformed to once again ensure everyone who works hard and plays by the rules has a shot at the American dream.

These new numbers leave no doubt we need fundamental changes in failing City and State policies in order to create pathways of upward mobility again for both middle class and lower income New Yorkers. They also further demonstrate the need for Congress to immediately pass President Obama’s jobs plan."