New York's poorest area has 44% living in poverty

Away from the glittering lights of New York's entertainment and banking hub, nearly half the residents in the city's poorest neighborhood live in poverty, according to data released Friday.

New York has been unveiling statistics across the city's five boroughs for weeks in a bid to provide the most reliable indicator of in a decade.

Updating and expanding the statistics, officials hope, will highlight extreme inequality in America's largest city and help improve quality of life for the poorest.

In the city's poorest neighborhood of Morrisania and Crotona in the Bronx, 44 percent of the residents live below the federal poverty level—the highest poverty rate in the city.

About one in five aged 16 or older are unemployed, the highest unemployment rate in the city, the report found.

The data was last updated in 2006, making it the first time in 10 years that indicators have been reviewed and improved.

Indicators include smoking, obesity, diabetes and drug use, as well as others not previously included that influence health such as air pollution, and quality of local housing and shops.

Among the 81,698 people living in Morrisania and Crotona, more than a third of adults—38 percent—have not finished high school.

The neighborhood population is 59 percent Hispanic, 38 percent black and just one percent white.

It has the highest incarceration rate in the city, with 371 per 100,000 adults going to jail—four times the city average of 93.

You are also more than two times likely to be assaulted in Morrisania and Crotona than in New York as a whole—with 166 non-fatal assault hospitalizations per 100,000 people compared to 64.

Death rates due to drugs, homicide and HIV are more than twice city rates, the report found, although the biggest cause of death is heart disease and cancer—as for most New Yorkers.

Morrisania and Crotona also suffers the highest rates for drug and alcohol-related hospitalizations in the city—2,367 per 100,000 adults for alcohol and 3,130 for drugs.

It has nearly twice the citywide rates of new HIV diagnoses, at 52.6 per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 30.4.

The teen birth rate is also twice the average at 43.1 births per 1,000 girls aged 15-19, compared to 23.6.

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© 2015 AFP

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