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Does the 2010 census data reflect what you know?

Friday, March 25, 2011 - 12:25 PM

You may have already heard that the census data for the last decade came out this week. WNYC Radio has been anticipating this and planning our news coverage despite not knowing what the data would show.

In preparation, John Keefe, WNYC's Senior Executive Producer of News, built an interactive map that would allow people to easily understand the data in a visual way. If I were you, I would play around with the map for a little bit.

As soon as the data came in, we populated the map and explored the figures to identify newsworthy stories. A few things stood out to us and we reported on those right away. Below you'll see our top three census stories and the interactive map.

Low NYC Census Count 'Doesn't Make Sense,' Says Bloomberg - This story shows how many people are having a hard time believing New York City's population only grew by 2.1 percent. Bloomberg used Queens as an example of how the raw numbers don't add up. According to the 2010 census data, Queens only grew by about 1,300 people. Brooklyn also grew by a lower than expected percentage.

Last year when I moved from Miami, FL to begin working at WNYC, I decided I did not want to live in Manhattan but in an outer borough. The superintendents, owners or tenants of the apartments I checked out would tell me that all the young professionals were also looking to move to Queens or Brooklyn. So the figures above were especially surprising to me.

City Census Reveals Dramatic Swing in Racial Make-Up, Modest Population Increase - Basically, this story points out that even though the census shows New York City's population grew by a low percentage, the percentage change in what races/ethnicity make up the population changed a lot more in the last 10 years in an unexpected way. 

Historic Shift: Fewer Blacks in NYC, More Whites - In looking at how the city's racial make-up changed, we picked up on some noticeable trends. The white population in the city increased by 0.6 percent, while the black population dropped by 2 percent. Meanwhile, the Asian population increased by 32 percent and Hispanics, by 8.1 percent.

Does any of this surprise you? Do you feel the 2010 census data accurately reflects your personal experiences or observations you have made about your neighborhood? WNYC Radio would now like to open up the floor to you.

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