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NYC’s Alternative Poverty Measure: The Need to Identify Unauthorized Immigrants Vicky Virgin Center for Migration Studies September 29, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "NYC’s Alternative Poverty Measure: The Need to Identify Unauthorized Immigrants Vicky Virgin Center for Migration Studies September 29, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 NYC’s Alternative Poverty Measure: The Need to Identify Unauthorized Immigrants Vicky Virgin Center for Migration Studies September 29, 2014

2 The Current Poverty Measure: An Income Adequacy Approach Threshold: income needed to maintain an “adequate” standard of living (“poverty line”) Established mid-1960s as three times the cost of the USDA’s “Economy Food Plan” Adjusted annually by the change in the Consumer Price Index Uniform across US: No regional differences Resources: Total family pre-tax cash income

3 What’s wrong with the current measure? Pre–tax cash does not capture: EITC and other refundable tax credits Food Stamps and other nutritional programs Housing subsidies such as public housing and Section 8 housing vouchers Income used for taxes is not available for spending — Food is no longer one-third of the budget — No accounting for cost of living differences across the country, especially housing costs — Medical expenses, commuting and childcare costs are not included in the threshold

4 Comparison of Poverty Measures : Official U.S. and NYC-CEO OfficialCEO Threshold Established in early 1960s at three times the cost of “Economy Food Plan.” Equal to the 33rd percentile of family expenditures on food, clothing, shelter, and utilities, plus 20 percent more for miscellaneous needs. Updated by change in Consumer Price Index. Updated by the change in expenditures for the items in the threshold. No geographic adjustment. Inter-area adjustment based on differences in housing costs. Resources Total family pre-tax cash income. Includes earned income and transfer payments, if they take the form of cash. Total family after-tax income. Include value of near-cash, in-kind benefits such as Food Stamps. Housing status adjustment. Subtract work-related expenses such as childcare and transportation costs. Subtract medical out-of-pocket expenditures. 4

5 Sources: U.S. Bureau of the Census and American Community Survey Public Use Micro Sample as augmented by CEO. Note: Incomes are measured at the 20th percentile and stated in family size and composition-adjusted dollars. 5 Comparison of Thresholds, Income, and Poverty Rates, Official and CEO, 2012

6 CEO Poverty Rates by Nativity/Citizenship NYC,

7 The CEO Project: Assigning legal status to noncitizens in the ACS

8 Residual Estimates NYC’s share of foreign-born US NY State in the State NYC Warren11,725,000705, ,600 PEW/Passel11,700,000875, ,000 DHS 11,400, , ,600 NYC estimates are based on the reporting of foreign-born in New York State.

9 Who is a noncitizen? Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) Refugee Nonimmigrants Quasi-legal immigrants: Asylees Parolees Temporary Protected Status Nicaraguan Adjustment Act Adjustment applicants Unauthorized Immigrants Citizenship Status New York City, 2012 Source: 2012 American Community Survey-Public Use Microdata Sample as augmented by CEO

10 WHAT DO WE END UP WITH?

11 CEO Poverty Rate with Estimates of Unauthorized Immigrants Total impact unknown Change in overall rate? Change in depth and composition? Change in the rate among different types of immigrants?

12 Immigrant Poverty: Focus of Many Policy Initiatives Municipal ID cards – Access to basic services – bank accounts, leases, access to City buildings, including schools. Outreach for DACA and Universal Pre-K Mayoral Task Force on Immigrant Health Initiatives Expanded access to translation services – Including at point of contact with city services needed to remove barriers to success: small business services, housing and school programs. 12

13 Poverty Research Unit: NYC Center for Economic Opportunity CEO Reports: poverty data and researchwww.nyc.gov/ceo: Vicky Virgin, Research Associate


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