Social Explorer’s Andrew Beveridge on the NYC Census Count by Sydney Beveridge
When the official census population numbers for New York City fell below estimates, some cried foul. In his latest Gotham Gazette column, Social Explorer’s Andrew Beveridge addresses Mayor Bloomberg’s claim that the Census undercounted New York City.
In “Census Wounded City’s Pride but Probably Got the Numbers Right,” Beveridge writes:
The 2010 census poured cold water on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s rosy view that New York City would hit 9 million long before 2030. The census found that, instead of growing to 8,421,789 residents as the census estimated just a few days before the official numbers were released, New York City had only 8,175,153 residents, some 246,636 less than expected.
The estimated brisk growth pace of 5.2 percent since 2000, suddenly became a phlegmatic 2.1 percent. Indeed, if present trends continue New York City will not make it to 9 million until sometime in the decade of 2050. In short, the growth rate, if correct, means that many of the enthusiastic proclamations about the city’s unique growth and its attractiveness as a place to live are simply wrong.
Beveridge takes on the main criticisms of the count:
Were occupied housing units misclassified as vacant?
“New York City, along with the rest of the United States, experienced a housing bubble and still working through the extra units that were constructed during that bubble. So the vacancies may be real, unless New York City experienced growth unlike any city in the country.”
Were immigrants undercounted?
“Of course some immigrants were missed, but it is also true that immigration of all sorts slowed during the financial crisis. It may be that New York’s immigrant fueled growth may have tapered off.”
Beveridge also explains the consequences of a possible census overcount in 2000 and undercount in 1990.
Like cities around the nation, New York experienced slower growth after 9/11 and the financial crisis. Unlike other cities, New York managed to grow, just not as much as some expected.