Census Show Another Increase in NYC’s Non-Hispanic White Population

July 2, 2014

east-harlem11Kevin Gallagher and Sharon Almog, both teachers, considered moving to New Jersey with their two children several years ago when they were squeezed out of the apartment they were subletting in Stuyvesant Town, the sprawling complex that has long been a haven for working- and middle-class families in Manhattan. They considered moving again just recently while debating whether to renovate the 850-square-foot loft they own in Greenwich Village.

“We just didn’t want to think about leaving,” Mr. Gallagher said, “and we both said no.”

“The city is so attractive,” he said. “We go to a lot of theater and take the kids. My daughter played Little League. They go to public school. It’s a totally different vibe in the suburbs: Everything is spread out and you’re driving everywhere.”

The couple’s decision personifies a census benchmark that suggests another tiny step toward racial equilibrium in a city that had been challenged economically and socially by decades of white flight.

According to Census Bureau estimates released last week, in the year ending July 1, 2013, the city recorded the third consecutive gain in its non-Hispanic white population.

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During that same period, the city gained more people than it lost through migration. Neither of those gains has probably happened since the 1960s, according to demographers.

The gains were all the more striking because in many cases they reflected the mirror opposite of change in some suburban counties, which historically have followed a different demographic trajectory from the city.

While the city’s non-Hispanic white population rose since 2010 (by a modest 24,000, or 1 percent, with the biggest gain in Brooklyn), it declined in the New York suburbs by 54,000, or 2 percent.

While the city’s non-Hispanic white population rose since 2010 (by a modest 24,000, or 1 percent, with the biggest gain in Brooklyn), it declined in the New York suburbs by 54,000, or 2 percent.

The black population stagnated in the city, but rose 4 percent in the suburbs. The growth rate among Hispanics was less in the city than in the suburbs (4 percent compared with 9 percent). Among Asians, it was about the same (8 percent in the city and 9 percent in the suburbs).

“The changing populations of New York City and its suburbs represent a sea change from major postwar trends, where blacks and Hispanics grew very rapidly in the city, while non-Hispanic white population declined,” said Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College of the City University of New York.

Trends among young people often suggest future patterns, and for the city this seems to portend a vibrant and growing metropolis.

“What pops out in the latter three years compared with the prior decade are gains for all boroughs except Staten Island for total Hispanic, Asian and white toddlers, and gains in black toddlers for all boroughs except the Bronx,” said William H. Frey, a Brookings Institution demographer.

“New this decade are Hispanic toddler gains for Manhattan and Brooklyn,” he said. “The young child population is less white than the total population in all boroughs, but especially in Manhattan and Staten Island.”

Since 2010, the number of children under age 20 living in the city declined much more slowly than it had in the preceding decade. The number under age 5 in the city increased by 7 percent and dropped in the suburbs by 15 percent.

While the census found 555,555 children younger than 5, it also recorded more than 480,000 people 75 and older. The median age in the suburbs was higher than in the city.

Mr. Gallagher said that even with the planned renovations, the couple’s apartment would be smaller than a suburban house, but the city was more compact and he could avoid driving, which he disliked.

“We sacrificed space,” he said, “but everything is within reach” (source).

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