WNYC reporters, Arun Venugopal and Cindy Rodriguez, talk about what the latest census numbers say about poverty levels and other demographic measurements in New York City and the U.S.

Brian, I am one of those impoverished people that you hear so much about. It is a bad thing and maybe it will be too late when the government (or somebody) finally does something about creating jobs for people like myself, who are no longer 20 or 30 years old. Eugenia Renskoff

Counting everyone over the age of 15 in the "never been married" total clouds the comparisons. It would make more sense to break that down by age groups since one population may have more teenagers than another.

People make mistakes (responding to comments re: mean v median). What is not a mistake is the data. Don't get caught up in semantics and forget that 3.2 million people are living below 200% of the federal poverty line. That means that four of ten people have to choose between food, transportation, clothing and health care. This is dire.

Makes you wonder when a reporter can erroneously speak with so much certitude to such a basic point as to the difference between median and mean, what is incorrect with the more nuanced points in the report. Yikes, time to go back to 6th grade math Cindy.

Hello, your guest made a mistake explaining mean and median - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median;

Mode would be a more effective way of describing the income statistics for the purpose of the current discussion, as it is the most frequently occurring number in a sample http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(statistics)

I, too, pay more than half my income on rent for a stabilized apartment, and, despite having a wealth more of experience, I only make 5K above what I made working in Washington, DC -- 6 years ago. I plan to be part of the exodus out of New York in the near future unless this city can somehow make it more livable for those in the middle.

Cindy was incorrect and you are correct. Median is not the mean. The mean is the average and the median = half the numbers are above and half are below.

I think it is really important to clarify, if only for statistically literacy of the public, that MEAN = average and MEDIAN = middle mark (your guest indicated the opposite).

Cindy was incorrect and you are correct. Median is not the mean. The mean is the average and the median = half the numbers are above and half are below.

How can you have an "expert" on the show on income distribution who doesn't know the difference between the mean and the median. Embarrassing! The mean is the average income. The median is the middle percentile (50% above and 50% below). Brian had it right!

Venezia Michalsen
from Brooklyn, with a baby on my lap

aaah! no! the mean is the arithmetic average, and NOT a good measure here. The median is the middle score, and is not distorted by outliers!!! redact! redact!

Brian.....That's a lie....and careless. "Wall Street is still doing well." Last month the IRS released figures that the number of people earning 1 million dollars in the U.S. has fallen 39 % since 2009. (Wall Street Journal 8-24-2011) Those making 10 million or more fell by 55% (!). This should warm the hearts of the Lefties here.....but it just means that Obamanomics is making us all poorer.

What your guest just said is not correct. The MEAN is the average, the MEDIAN is the middle number (half above, half below). Which is why MEDIAN income is the most-used statistic, so very high (or low) incomes don't skew the stats.

Your guest got the definitions of "mean" and "median" reversed. "Mean" is "add them up and divide by how many there are;" "median" is "sort them and pick the middle number."

Mean and average are the same thing and it is highly influenced by skew.

The median should be used for skewed distributions such as income. I think that is what is done in the census and that the reporter has accidentally said mean.

I currently pay 61% of my income on rent (stabilized). I'm on SSDI and have waited 6 years just to get a NYCHA eligibility interview for any NYCHA housing.

Does the study account for Social Security and TANF/Safety Net people separately?

None of these figures should surprise anyone. NYC has made it clear that only the rich need apply and the prices reflect this. Rents are still high because of the large number of wealthy foreigners who buy and rent apartments which they use only occasionally. Add to that the fact that NYC has almost 700,000 millionaires (over double California which is next in line with a little over 300,000) and it's little wonder why the prices are geared towards the rich. Between housing, food and transportation costs, NYC is poised to become the next Dubai. How proud we all must be.

I pay 1/2 of my income on rent and I'm stabilized!!! (that is my rent is stabilized I've never been stabilized, trust me, that's the problem but that's another segment).

## Comments [30]

Brian, I am one of those impoverished people that you hear so much about. It is a bad thing and maybe it will be too late when the government (or somebody) finally does something about creating jobs for people like myself, who are no longer 20 or 30 years old. Eugenia Renskoff

Counting everyone over the age of 15 in the "never been married" total clouds the comparisons. It would make more sense to break that down by age groups since one population may have more teenagers than another.

People make mistakes (responding to comments re: mean v median). What is not a mistake is the data. Don't get caught up in semantics and forget that 3.2 million people are living below 200% of the federal poverty line. That means that four of ten people have to choose between food, transportation, clothing and health care. This is dire.

Makes you wonder when a reporter can erroneously speak with so much certitude to such a basic point as to the difference between median and mean, what is incorrect with the more nuanced points in the report. Yikes, time to go back to 6th grade math Cindy.

"I saw an attractive, pregnant, 20 something blonde with two little dogs, begging on the street yesterday at 57th and 7th."

I saw that too. Sorry to be so cynical, but I think those people are scam artists.

Rent prices suck. I'm planning my (poor-woman's) NYC escape anyway.

use the geometric mean to counter the effects of extreme values or outliers in the population that would otherwise skew the mean or weighted average

Hello, your guest made a mistake explaining mean and median - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median;

Mode would be a more effective way of describing the income statistics for the purpose of the current discussion, as it is the most frequently occurring number in a sample http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mode_(statistics)

I, too, pay more than half my income on rent for a stabilized apartment, and, despite having a wealth more of experience, I only make 5K above what I made working in Washington, DC -- 6 years ago. I plan to be part of the exodus out of New York in the near future unless this city can somehow make it more livable for those in the middle.

Cindy was incorrect and you are correct. Median is not the mean. The mean is the average and the median = half the numbers are above and half are below.

I think it is really important to clarify, if only for statistically literacy of the public, that MEAN = average and MEDIAN = middle mark (your guest indicated the opposite).

So Staten Islanders are closet socialists? No, on rethinking they're just your typical conservative hypocrites.

Please give the correct definitions for mean and median since Cindy Rodriguez mixed up the two terms.

Marriage statistics on marriage with a starting age of 15? That makes NO sense.

If a guest is going to talk about statistics she should learn the definition of mean and median - she has it exactly reversed. Mean IS the average.

Cindy was incorrect and you are correct. Median is not the mean. The mean is the average and the median = half the numbers are above and half are below.

How can you have an "expert" on the show on income distribution who doesn't know the difference between the mean and the median. Embarrassing! The mean is the average income. The median is the middle percentile (50% above and 50% below). Brian had it right!

aaah! no! the mean is the arithmetic average, and NOT a good measure here. The median is the middle score, and is not distorted by outliers!!! redact! redact!

Brian.....That's a lie....and careless.

"Wall Street is still doing well."

Last month the IRS released figures that the number of people earning 1 million dollars in the U.S. has fallen 39 % since 2009.

(Wall Street Journal 8-24-2011)

Those making 10 million or more fell by 55% (!).

This should warm the hearts of the Lefties here.....but it just means that Obamanomics is making us all poorer.

WNYC needs to fire Cindy Rodriguez if she doesn't actually know the correct definitions of median and mean. Good god.

What your guest just said is not correct. The MEAN is the average, the MEDIAN is the middle number (half above, half below). Which is why MEDIAN income is the most-used statistic, so very high (or low) incomes don't skew the stats.

Your guest got the definitions of "mean" and "median" reversed. "Mean" is "add them up and divide by how many there are;" "median" is "sort them and pick the middle number."

Mean and average are the same thing and it is highly influenced by skew.

The median should be used for skewed distributions such as income. I think that is what is done in the census and that the reporter has accidentally said mean.

I currently pay 61% of my income on rent (stabilized). I'm on SSDI and have waited 6 years just to get a NYCHA eligibility interview for any NYCHA housing.

Does the study account for Social Security and TANF/Safety Net people separately?

The guest just reversed the definitions of median and mean. Brian had it right.

Because NYC women are smarter than the rest of the country, that's why they don't marry.

Mean = Average. Median = above/below.

Check your math skills people.

Mean = average

Median = number in the middle of the pack

Public education at hard work

None of these figures should surprise anyone. NYC has made it clear that only the rich need apply and the prices reflect this. Rents are still high because of the large number of wealthy foreigners who buy and rent apartments which they use only occasionally. Add to that the fact that NYC has almost 700,000 millionaires (over double California which is next in line with a little over 300,000) and it's little wonder why the prices are geared towards the rich. Between housing, food and transportation costs, NYC is poised to become the next Dubai. How proud we all must be.

I saw an attractive, pregnant, 20 something blonde with two little dogs, begging on the street yesterday at 57th and 7th.

I have never seen that before. Not a good sign.

I pay 1/2 of my income on rent and I'm stabilized!!! (that is my rent is stabilized I've never been stabilized, trust me, that's the problem but that's another segment).

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