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What 3 Brooklyn Demographic Trends Did the 2010 Census Miss or Undercount?


Question: What 3 Brooklyn Demographic Trends Did the 2010 Census Miss or Undercount?

How many people live in New York City? Nobody knows for sure; there's a dispute over the accuracy of the 2010 census figures. City officials claim that NYC's population has grown by as much as a quarter of a million more people than the US Census found. If it's true that there was a city-wide undercount, then just what might the 2010 census have missed about Brooklyn, in particular?

Answer: As usual with demographic issues, there's not one simple answer.

Three Brooklyn Demographic Trends Not Reflected in 2010 US Census?

At least three quite different demographic centers and kinds of Brooklyn neighborhoods were possibly under-counted in the 2010 census, according to a March 24, 2011 statement by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz contesting the 2010 census figures. Each represents a different trend:

1. Growth in Immigrant Neighborhoods: Largely immigrant neighborhoods, where residents might not speak English or understand the reason for the census, might have been underrepresented in the 2010 census. Sunset Park and Bensonhurst are examples of this possibly under-counted demographic.

2. Growth in High Birth Rate Communities: Micro-communities in Brooklyn that typically have high birth rates might have been under-counted, specifically the insular Hasidic communities of Crown Heights and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Family size, which in the Hasidic community far exceeds that of the average American family, can be roughly gauged through such community-based data as enrollment in the local private schools.

3. Growth Among Residents in New High-Rises in Boom Areas: Since 2000, diverse neighborhoods —including Downtown Brooklyn, the Boerum Hill-Park Slope-Gowanus corridor along Fourth Avenue in South Brooklyn, and the waterfront in Williamsburg — have experienced real estate booms. Whole areas have been transformed by the building of large new apartment buildings. This contributes to the feeling that there are more people living in previously undeveloped areas. The addition of dozens of new high rise apartment buildings suggests population growth in the borough, certainly. However, the lack of statistical reflection of this fact in the 2010 census is puzzling. One can only speculate that some residents of the new buildings may have not participated in the census.

Why the 2010 Census is Important for Brooklyn

New York City officials are concerned that a census shortfall could possibly add up to millions of lost dollars in federal aid to the entire city — including Brooklyn.

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