Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Census Pinpoints City's Wealthiest, Poorest Neighborhoods
Thursday, December 08, 2011 - 12:01 AM
The most impoverished area in the city is a bowtie-shaped slice of land in the Melrose-Morrisania section of the South Bronx.
The annual median income for the 229 households living in that slice of the Bronx is $8,694, according to the latest census data. The second-poorest census tract in the city, with a median income of $9001, lies in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, in an area that includes the Ingersoll and Whitman public housing complexes. The federal income poverty level is under $18,000 for a family of three.
The data, from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, was gathered over a five-year period, between 2006 and 2010. Unlike the more narrowly-focused 2010 Census, the ACS measures a broad range of socioeconomic statistics, including income, commuting times and educational attainment.
At the top end of the income ladder are three census tracts in Manhattan, each of which claim a median household income of over $200,000. These include one tract in Tribeca, just north of the World Trade Center, where the median is $203,849. Another tract, bounded by East 84th and 77th streets and Fifth and Park avenues, has a median income of $222,829. The city’s wealthiest census tract lies immediately to the south, and has a median household income of $232,768.
However, these are not the wealthiest census tracts in the state. That distinction belongs to two sections of Westchester County, one of which lies directly south of the Westchester Country Club, where the median household income is $243,417.
The data also provides a glimpse into the neighborhoods with the starkest income divides.
On the Upper East Side, one census tract, with a median income of $170,486, lies just two blocks south of another tract where the median is $22,246. And in Brooklyn, a census tract in Dumbo with a median of $163,147, lies adjacent to a tract whose median income is $18,702.