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The Rise of Red Hook, Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks

THURSDAY, FEB 24, 2011

carmelo jersey social explorerNew Yorkers and Knicks fans are celebrating the arrival of basketball phenom Carmelo Anthony.  For Anthony, it’s also a Brooklyn homecoming.  While some look at his debut game stats, Social Explorer is looking to score some data points.

Since Anthony was born in 1984, we'll focus on the 1980 census data.  Locating his Brooklyn block using the find tool, we can create reports to learn more about his neighborhood of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Anthony grew up in the Red Hook housing projects—one of the largest public housing complexes in the US.  In 1990, LIFE Magazine named the neighborhood one of the worst in the US and dubbed it the “crack capital of America.”  Today, it is also home to an IKEA furniture store and a Fairway grocery.

Much like the Knicks franchise, the neighborhood has changed substantially in many respects, but not in others.  The data show that the once 71.9% African American neighborhood is now 47.8%.  (Anthony, who is African American and Puerto Rican, would have been part of the 8.5% Hispanic/black category, which has since decreased to 3.2%.)

Red Hook

The median income (adjusted for inflation to 2009 dollars) decreased from $18,117 to $14,321 between 1980 and now, with the poverty rate for the area increasing from 38.2% to 62.6%.  Meanwhile, the nationwide median income increased from $49,879 to $51,425.

In 1980, single female-headed households made up 39.4% of the neighborhood. This was nearly twice the borough average and four times the national average. (When Anthony’s father passed away, his home would have been in this category.)  Now, nearly half of family households are headed by a single female (49.8%).

The unemployment rate for men was 12.4% in 1980--nearly twice the national rate of 6.5%.  Today, it has increased to 32.2%--over four times the national rate of 7.3%.

Whether playing in the NCAA or not, residents who attended at least one year of college in the neighborhood increased from 9.4% of the neighborhood population in 1980 to 23.2% today.  Though still lagging behind the national rate (55.2%), the local increase outpaced the national rise.

To learn more about change in Red Hook or other neighborhoods, check out Social Explorer’s maps and reports.

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