NY faces cost of living increase as incomes stagnate
By ALISON BOWEN
September 20, 2012
No wonder everyone thinks New Yorkers are rude.
New Yorkers are getting squeezed from every corner – inching-up Metrocard prices, skyrocketing rents and a city where annual private tuition can reach $40,000.
Meanwhile, the city’s median household income didn’t change from 2000 to 2010, according to a report released yesterday from city Comptroller John Liu.
Twelve years ago, the median income was $50,539. It had barely moved, to $50,886, by 2010, according to Liu, whose office said it was adjusted for inflation. That means New Yorkers made $347 more as a household throughout an entire decade.
That leaves New Yorkers strapped for cash in a city where the price tags just keep rising.
Forbes reported in April that the cost of living in New York is 29.8 percent higher than the national average.
This bumped-up cost of living is reflected in pennies for everything from apartments to universities.
The city's average rent was $853 in 2000 -- a number that may seem nostalgic to many locals. In 2010, a median rent was $1,004.
If you're in Manhattan, Citi Habitats spokesman Daniel Charles told Metro that in July 2002, the average apartment rented for $2,544. That shot up 27 percent, to an average of $3,461 in July 2012.
Liu said this leaves nearly half of New Yorkers -- 49 percent -- paying rents that federal benchmarks consider unaffordable, or costing 30 percent or more of household income.
“Working families should not be forced to leave town or live in inferior housing,” Liu said.
What else costs more?
Your wallet is taking a punch to ride the subway. A monthly Metrocard, which in 2000 was $63, is now, at $104 and may hike up to $109.
Food prices have increased 1.4 percent since just last year, according to the federal government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And it costs more to get an education -- the Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School made news this year when its tuition passed $40,000. It is now $40,140 per year for twelfth grade.
That’s not the only school with high numbers – tuition at the City University of New York has increased by 188 percent since 1990, according to the Professional Staff Congress, the school’s faculty and staff union. Tuition cost about $2,500 in 2000, and now is nearing $4,000, according to the report.
Read the story on Metro.us here: