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Low NYC Census Count 'Doesn't Make Sense,' Says Bloomberg

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New York City grew by 2.1 percent according to 2010 Census numbers released today — but the mayor thinks that's a serious undercount.

"We don't quite understand the numbers," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at City Hall on Thursday morning, estimating that the city’s count of 8.175 million residents is off by as much as 225,000.

Bloomberg says the difference in number is surprising, given an estimation by the Bureau in March 2010 that projected the city's population to be about 8.4 million, as well as the heavy push his administration made to get New Yorkers to participate.

"We’re also surprised at the numbers this morning because we think we were successful in getting more New Yorkers to fill out and send back their census," he said.

He said many of today's numbers were baffling.

"For example, the Census Bureau determined the population of Queens increased by only 1,300 people…Think about that — 1,300 people over 10 years. I’m not criticizing them, but it doesn’t make any sense."

Bloomberg wasn't the only local politician casting doubt on the Census' results.

"I have to tell you I'm flabbergasted," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz seconded. "I know they made a big, big mistake."

Across the state, the Hispanic population jumped by 19 percent, and the black population grew up 3 percent. (Because of census categories, there could be some overlap there for residents who identify as black and Hispanic.) The overall percentage of white residents fell by 1 percent, but New York State is still 68 percent white.

In other parts of the state, Buffalo's population plunged by more than 10 percent. Poughkeepsie swung the other direction, with a 9.6 percent jump to just under 33,000 residents.

The Census previously announced that New York will lose two Congressional seats this year because of its slow population growth relative to other states. This latest data provides the specific numbers the New York legislature will use to redraw both Congressional and legislative district lines.

The city’s concerns about an undercount could affect New York’s balance of power in Congress, according to an analysis by New York Public Interest Research Group. Because of the relative population growth in the Hudson Valley, upstate New York — meaning all districts outside of New York City, Long Island and Westchester County — should keep its ten Congressional representatives and the lost two seats should come from downstate, if the redistricting decisions are based on population change alone.   

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Comments [11]

d-ranged from home I think

I bet it's off! Hell, if your living here illegally why the hell would you answer your door when the census people come around?

Ya mean the numbers are way off up there in Washington Heights??!!

Apr. 10 2011 03:48 PM
Sam, Census Enumerator from Queens, NY

I worked in the census, and although i did find an apartment here and there that had 4-8 young, possibly immigrant youths living and working and difficult to enumerate or unwilling to comply, we had very good responses, I'd estimate less than 1-2% undercounted. The economic downturn and NYC's highly mobile population creates more opportunity for undercounting - when person A leaves Apt 1 and moved to Apt 2, person B now in Apt 1 claims it is not known if it was occupied on census day, and person A claims they do not know who was in Apt 2 on census Day - there are ways to get proxies, but the Census didn't want employees to falsify information by getting neighbors to 'estimate' the name and age of residents, so viola! undercounting!

Mar. 28 2011 09:42 AM
DrData

You should have used the PL2 tables to produce your results. That would allow you to pick out the Hispanic population, instead of adding this footnote to all of your statistics:

The race categories include people
who also identify as Hispanic.

Almost all census reporting uses these categories:

White, non Hispanic
Black, non Hispanic
Asian, non Hispanic
etc.
Two+ races
Hispanic

A place like NYC, which has a black Hispanic population could show that if desired, but for a diverse city, with a significant Hispanic population, your choice of tables doesn't make a lot of sense.

Mar. 24 2011 10:09 PM
Alison The Statistician from NY, NY

There are other factors at work here apart from the rise in the cost of living. There are literally thousands of people who live in NYC but who retain a LI, Rockland County etc. address to avoid paying city taxes. Couple that with an anti-government feeling not helped by the Tea Party and then throw into the mix the unemployed, inexperienced workers who took jobs with the census and what you've got is a total waste of money on this undertaking.

Mar. 24 2011 07:02 PM
Paul from Staten Friggin Island

I'm sure the numbers for Staten Island far exceeded that of the other boros. But you won't hear Bloomy or anyone in media mention that. Then we'd actually have to get an adequate public transportation mode off of this place. You know, one that is made for cities with 6-7 figure populations, like Staten Island is. You know, one that doesn't include an HOUR and 20 minute (at the least) commute on public transportation from the same distance it takes 25 minutes (tops) to drive through when it isn't rush hour. Thanks Bloomy, thanks for NOTHING!

Mar. 24 2011 05:20 PM
Paul from Staten Friggin Island

I'm sure the numbers for Staten Island far exceeded that of the other boros. But you won't hear Bloomy or anyone in media mention that. Then we'd actually have to get an adequate public transportation mode off of this place. You know, one that is made for cities with 6-7 figure populations, like Staten Island is. You know, one that doesn't include an 1 and 20 minute (at the least) commute on public transportation from the same distance it takes 25 minutes (tops) to drive through when it isn't rush hour. Thanks Bloomy, thanks for NOTHING!

Mar. 24 2011 05:19 PM
civil servant in the know from Manhattan

You have driven them away. What a fool you are Mayor Mike. Of course the population is down you cut services, try to fire civil servants, help your cronies to stay here. An ordinary person can't survive.

Mar. 24 2011 05:01 PM
Latisha from Brooklyn

The taxes, fees, housing costs, insurance, energy, education, ticket blitzes... you name it and it costs far more here than elsewhere and people are realizing you're not getting your monies worth. If I can get someone to buy my apartment I will be leaving as well. They need to get the government costs under control in NY/NYC as it trickles into the costs of everything - its amazing politicos are confused by this?!

Mar. 24 2011 04:51 PM
Jim

Bloomberg knows the facts. The city is too expensive. People just cannot afford to live here. Who doesn't know someone who has moved out because they can live better somewhere else for less money?

Mar. 24 2011 04:03 PM

New York City no longer pays better wages or compensation than other cities, but its living costs are far higher. That's how it's possible.

My brother is moving to Cleveland where he will be paid significantly more than he is here, and his rental costs will be _less_ than half what they are here. He will have TWO times the space for ONE HALF the money -- and his pay will be higher than in New York.

That's how it's possible. But Mike Bloomberg doesn't get it because only people that exist in his field of vision are those making over $10 million per year. And the Wall Street criminals are doing fine.

Mar. 24 2011 04:01 PM
Bob from New York, NY

Bloomberg's PLANYC 2030 is based on the prediction that NYC will grow to 9 million people by 2030. Maybe he should have thought about increases in our cost of living in New York City - rent, healthcare, food etc... This factor might have contributed to either an outward migration of long time residents into the suburbs or discouraged new immigration into the urban core.

http://www.nyc.gov/html/planyc2030/html/challenge/openyc.shtml

Mar. 24 2011 03:54 PM

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