Report: Child Well Being Depends on Where You Live

More children are living in poverty and more families are struggling to pay unaffordable rents, according to Citizens Committee for Children.  And while the city is doing better in some areas, like lower infant mortality and better test scores, some neighborhoods in the city have been completely bypassed by these trends.

Just over 1.7 million children live in New York City and those in poor neighborhoods continue to lag far behind kids in more affluent areas according to a new report being released today.

According to the data, New York City's infant mortality rate has been steadily dropping since 2003 and there were 4.7 infant deaths per every 1,000 births.

But at 9.2, the infant mortality rate in Brownsville, Brooklyn is nearly double that.

Infant mortality is just one of many statistics being released in a the Citizens Committee for Children report "Keeping Track."

The report is a bi-annual data dump on all statistics pertaining to children, from pre-natal care, to numbers of children in foster care to school test scores. 

According to the data, the most difficult neighborhoods to grow up in are  Brownsville, Mott Haven and Hunts Point in the Bronx.  By contrast, the data shows Tottenville, Staten Island, Manhattan's Upper East Side and Bayside in Queens are the best places for kids to live.

In Bayside, nearly 80% of kids met reading standards in 2011 -- almost double the citywide average.  In Mott Haven, East Tremont and Morris Heights that number plummets - roughly a quarter of kids in those neighborhoods read at grade level.

Director Jennifer March-Joly said there have been areas of overall improvement such as fewer children in the foster care system and fewer youth being sent to juvenile detention facilities. But she says large disparities can be seen between neighborhoods and between racial and ethnic groups.  

March-Joly said neighborhoods in the South Bronx and other poor areas that have struggled for decades still face multiple challenges.   "In those geographic areas you have profound levels of poverty, higher rates of adult unemployment, you have poor housing conditions," she said.