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2010 Census Figures in for NY, But Are the Numbers Accurate?

According to the 2010 Census, growth in Kings County is reportedly only 1.6 percent since 2000

U.S. Census data for New York was released on Thursday. And although the population in New York City shows a record high, the numbers still are far lower than what demographers predicted.

According to 2010 Census figures, population grew in the city at a rate of 2.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, compared with a 9 percent growth from 1990 to 2000.

Even more interesting is the reported low growth in Kings County, where the population grew by only 1.6 percent, from 2,465,531 in 2000, to 2,567,098 in 2010, a figure that seems inconsistent with the housing development boom and mass migration to the area in the last ten years.

“In 2009, the Census Bureau estimated a 4.1 percent population growth for Brooklyn since 2000, yet the numbers released today claimed only a 1.6 percent increase," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz on Thursday.

"I am flabbergasted that the Census Bureau has made such a big mistake in tremendously undercounting our borough. It is inconceivable that Brooklyn—the hottest borough in which to live, work and play—grew only a small percentage in the past decade."

The other counties include Queens with a population of 2,230,722 (increase of 0.1 percent); New York, 1,585,873 (increase of 3.2 percent); Suffolk, 1,493,350 (increase of 5.2 percent); and Bronx, 1,385,108 (increase of 3.9 percent).

"Given Brooklyn’s reputation as the ‘proud home to everyone from everywhere,’ it’s likely that recent immigrant and minority communities, including the Asian population in South Brooklyn and our residents in Central Brooklyn, have been drastically under-represented in these numbers,” said Markowitz.

Also noteworthy is that the 2010 Census counted only 166,000 more people than in 2000. Yet, the number of homes and apartments in the city swelled by 170,000, according to Joseph J. Salvo, the director of the population division at the city’s Planning Department.

Accurate population counts matter most when considering how legislation districts should be drawn and also when considering federal aid allocation.

Other important 2010 Census data:

  • For the first time since the draft riots during the Civil War, the number of black New Yorkers declined by 5 percent since 2000
  • Non-Hispanic whites now constitute 33 percent of the population. Manhattan and Brooklyn accounted for the only counties in the country with a million or more people where the white portion of the population rose
  • The number of Asians increased 32 percent, passing the one million mark. They now constitute 13 percent of the population
  • The Hispanic population rose 8 percent and now makes up 29 percent of the total

Check back with Bed-Stuy Patch in the coming week, where we'll publish a further analysis of the Census data across Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy.

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