The Community We Serve
Today, the Lower East Side continues to be one of the largest, most diverse, and densely populated districts in New York City. It has the third highest population density in the city, with over 163,277 people. The eastern edges of the community have the highest rates of poverty where many residents live on the edge of economic survival. The Lower East Side remains one of the most ethnically and economically diverse neighborhoods in New York, with a substantial foreign-born and working poor population. According to the 2010 census, 35% of the Lower East Side population was foreign born, of those almost 60% were born in Asia, 26% emigrated from Latin American, and 11.44 % emigrated from Europe. The Girls Club reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the LES.
Latinos constitute 1/4 of the entire community population. According to the 2010 census, the Lower East Side population is 34% Asian, 32% white non-Hispanic, 25% Hispanic, 7% Black/African American, 2% mixed. Notably the youth population of the LES is even more diverse with 37.2% Hispanic/Latino, 35.9% Asian, 13.3% White, and 10.7% Black. Poverty rates in the LES remain some of the highest in the city despite an influx in affluent residents. In fact, the Lower East Side has the third highest number of young people living in poverty in Manhattan, with 39.6% of young people living in poverty. Moreover, 47.3% of LES residents are on some form income support (5,793 on TANF, 13,654 on SSI, and 57,760 on Medicaid). Around 30% of LES residents live in households whose incomes fall below $19,000. The census tracts along the East River, and directly across the from Girls Club, indicate that in 2010, between 42%-54% of families’ with children incomes fell below the poverty line.