New York City officials are apoplectic about just-released 2010 census data which turned up a quarter-million fewer residents than expected. The new figures will mean many millions less in federal funding for everything from schools to social programs to anti-terrorism measures.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg immediately challenged the bureau’s finding, saying it shortchanged the city by as many as 225,000 people. He said it was “inconceivable” that Queens grew by only 1,343 people since 2000 and suggested that the profusion of apartments listed as vacant in places like Flushing and in a swath of southwest Brooklyn meant the census missed many hard-to-count immigrants. City demographers offered a number of explanations for the low figure, ranging from the possibility that the 2000 census had overestimated the population to the likelihood that many tenants, especially immigrants, living in overcrowded and illegally divided apartments and basement cubicles were overlooked even after aggressive efforts by census takers, civic groups and city officials to find them.
Immigration activists point out that many of the undocumented didn’t want to be counted and may have purposely evaded census workers. Some other interesting NYC demographic tidbits revealed by the census:
– The Asian population now exceeds one million, a 34% increase over ten years to 13% of the population. The biggest increase was seen in Brooklyn, which in 2010 had 41% more Asians than in 2000.
– For the first time since the Civil War, the city’s black population declined during the census period. Non-Hispanic blacks presently make up 23% of the city.
– Hispanics now comprise 29% of the city’s population.
– Since 2000 the Bronx lost 22% of its white residents, who now make up just over 10% of the borough.
– 42% of all state residents live within the five boroughs.
– If the boroughs’ populations were ranked nationally as stand-alone cities, Brooklyn and Queens would be the third and fourth largest behind Los Angeles and Chicago. Manhattan would be sixth largest, behind Houston. The Bronx would be ninth, after Phoenix.