Kings County (Brooklyn), New York

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 11:33 AM

Listen to the segment here!

Your Anecdotal Census: A People's History of the New York City Area 2000-2010

Tell us about change that matters in your community. Here are some possible questions to answer. Add your story to the comments below!

How is your community different today than it was 10 years ago?

Who's moving in and who's moving out? 

How has the housing boom/housing bust changed your community?

How have the politics of your community changed? If power has shifted in your community, how and why?

How has 9/11 changed your community? 

Do you have a story about change in your own life over the last decade that you think represents a larger trend?

What's an untold story of change in your community that needs to be told? 

Dante's Take

As part of the Patchwork Nation project, Dante Chinni has been exploring demographic trends around the country. He tells us what to watch for in Kings County (Brooklyn)...

→ Visit the Kings County page on Patchwork Nation for lots more!

By The Numbers:

What story do you think this data tells? Do you think the data reflects what's really going on in your community?

Kings County, New York 1980 1990 2000 2008/2009
Total Population 2,230,936 2,300,664 2,465,531 2,567,098
Median Household Income (2008 adjusted dollars) $35,400 $44,600 $41,500 $43,172
% Foreign Born 23.8% 29.2% 37.8% 36.7%
% Under 18 Years Old 28.3% 26.3% 26.9% 25.1%

Explore the Maps:

Brooklyn, NY - Median Household Income (2007) - Go to the Interactive Maps at Social Explorer

<table border="1">
<th>Kings County, New York</th> <th>1980</th> <th>1990</th> <th>2000</th> <th>2008/2009</th>
<td>Total Population</td>
<td>Median Household Income (2008 adjusted dollars)</td>
<td>% Foreign Born</td>
<td>% Under 18 Years Old</td>

More Resources:

US Census Bureau QuickFacts

Social Explorer

More in:

Comments [15]

Diane from Park Slope

I couldn't agree more with ms Woodson about the sad changes in Park Slope over the last ten years. I moved here in 1999for much the same reason, gay friendly hippies and gays and hippies. I too am gay and have both races in my family and feel an outcast in the neighborhood that gay people and lefties made safe. This sentiment is echoed by the people of color on my block who get stares from people who just bought condos when they have lived here for two generations. I feel like NYC is coming to resemble the segregated south, and no place exposes this more than Park Slope. Bloombergs hiring practices were exposed in a NYT article a few days ago. They showed that white highly educated people make up his administration. It is they who are reign in Bloombergs NYC, and it shows here in Park Slope. And they bring with them an elitism that is alien to New Yorkers who have lived here for more than a decade. Here in Park Slope The family of five who just moved into my building came from Connecticut via Utah. It seems like this place has been made safe for them. These white conservatives make up the majority of the population here. I sadly think if we want to pretend New York is still diverse, we may have to move to Queens.

Jul. 22 2010 11:47 AM
Soni from Brooklyn, Bay Ridge

In the past ten years I've moved 12 times (What can I say, I'm a rambling Texan...but that's another story). Most moves were temporary. In 2001, I moved permanently to NY from Austin. I started out in Piermont in Rockland county, and stayed there for exactly 1 year; then moved onto a 3 month stint in Milburn, NJ in Essex County. From NJ I hopped over to Harlem (near CUNY's City College). Between 2003 and 2005 I occupied several sublets in that area until I found my own apartment in a fabulous brownstone. After 2 years of dealing with a nightmare landlord, I packed it up in early 2007 and moved to a great location at E. 23rd & 3rd (but didn't like the neighborhood--not my cup of tea). So after a few months, I decided to spend the summer in a country house on 50 acres in upstate NY Schoharie County along with a team of ridding horses. Afterwards, I spent 3 months in a friend's RV (motor home) parked on an industrial lot in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn while I searched for my next apartment in NYC. Finally, at the end of 2007 I settled in Bay Ridge, where I've been living since (2.5 years and counting). Bay Ridge is a bit too conservative (even for a Texan) and it lacks cultural spots (not a single bookstore, good movie house, or quality produce market), but it's a great location for my special needs dog. And I have a great view of the bay. And more importantly, residents are generally true Brooklynites.

P.S. Outside of the previous decade, I lived in Park Slope during 1995-97 on 1st St & 7th Ave. It was a great neighborhood. I loved the diversity and authenticity of the mixed community. Much to my dismay, when I returned 5 years later, it had been transformed into a pretentious poser neighborhood. I was truly saddened to see the effects of gentrification on what had once been a genuinely Brooklyn neighborhood. So, so sad.

Jul. 02 2010 11:59 AM
Marion from Park Slope

I live in Park Slope having moved here in 2002 from Great Neck, L.I. I am retired and sought the friendly diversity, especially for the LGBT community. In 2008 I moved 7 blocks from an 8 family cooperative to a new 21 unit condominium.
The rezoning of 4th Avenue this decade has transformed that street. A good number of 12 story buildings have gone up, the early ones condominiums and some of the more recent have gone rental due to the downturn in the economy. Some other new buildings are hitting the market in the south Slope, below 9th Street. This is the most obvious change resulting in further gentrification. While 4th Avenue still has a mix of auto repair shops, taxi garages and bodegas it will continue to develop a higher density of upper income inhabitants because of the excellent subway connection., schools and services available. That makes sense although some of the architecture is terrible.
In my opinion restaurants on 5th Avenue have steadily bloomed into a vibrant sea of great food while higher rents on 7th Avenue have led to more vacant spaces and a deterioration of variety.
These to me are the greatest changes this decade.

Jun. 28 2010 02:24 PM
Paul from Bay Ridge, Brroklyn

I came to Brooklyn from Cleveland in 2000 for a job prospect in foodservice management. Back then, it seemed any apartments listed in the Sunday papers were gone by Tuesday. And the brokerage fees! I was paying $400 a month for a two bedroom in Cleveland, now I was expected to pay $1,100 for someone to unlock the door. I finally found a good deal in Bay Ridge. Let me tell you something: They're going to carry my dead body out of Bay Ridge. I love that neighborhood. I'm moving next week to another street in Bay Ridge. The main entertainment drag, 3rd Avenue has changed in the last few years. It's noisier, with cars that go boom and more people loitering, yelling and fighting. It also seems my landlord, previously more selective, will now rent to most anybody. So it's off to a street with no bars or bodegas. It's more expensive and further from the subway, but worth the inconvenience for the (relative) quiet.

Jun. 25 2010 01:24 PM
Liz from Gowanus, Brooklyn

When I moved to Gowanus twelve years ago the neighborhood was very quiet -- mostly small, one family houses, with an occasional rental, mixed with small commercial and industrial businesses. There was pretty good shopping in the neighborhood supermarket and lots of small stores (Italian and Spanish). There wasn't much foot traffic during the day, most stores and all other businesses were shut down at night and few people were about in the streets after seven or eight. There was some prostitution on Third Avenue, very occasional gun shots and very rarely we'd hear about a robbery, so the neighborhood was pretty safe over all. That relative safety, the good neighborhood services, plus, that we're so close to lower Manhattan, made the area an eventual draw. So, Third Avenue was cleaned up by the police and zoning laws were changed to allow tall residential buildings on Fourth Avenue. Now, there's always people in the street, day and night -- in the day, the streets are very crowded -- the supermarket on 9th Street is so busy that I no longer shop there on the weekend and the R train is more crowded than ever. On the other hand, I haven't heard about any crime at all in the past few years. Was it worth it? I'm not sure.

Jun. 09 2010 02:33 AM
Lucky from Dyker Heights

Brian's earlier guest didn't mention that Eighth Avenue became the beginning of the Sunset Park Chinatown because it also was the "blue-sky station" on the N train subway line -- the first above-ground stop -- and therefore easy to find for those unfamiliar with English and signs written in that language.

May. 25 2010 12:09 PM
Sandra Paez from Downtown Brooklyn

I had been leaving in Downtown Brooklyn since 1999. and is like war zone and because is commercial zone no one talks about it! the condition of the streets and all the constructions that are going on

May. 25 2010 11:47 AM
Georges from Brooklyn

Not a census item, but it seems that today the Brooklyn Public Library started notifying employees about layoffs...would be an excellent discussion topic, perhaps also related to the unemployment series. From what I overheard in a local branch, some employees with more than 5 years of service may not be safe. Hope you can follow up with a BPL executive, perhaps a union rep, and some elected officials who have a say in funding.

May. 24 2010 02:44 PM
Georges from Park Slope

The changes in Park Slope probably began because by 2000 there were fewer cheap apartments for recent college grads and people moved here, then as the decade passed took an extra subway or bus stop toward Red Hook, Kensington, Ditmas Park. [I'm sure the same occured in Williamsburg going out toward Bushwick.] This meant that live music clubs opened; I don't have to go to Manhattan any more and have a big choice in the Slope. 5th Avenue also became a row of restaurants...perhaps too many...more exciting than 7th Avenue. [Though the number of Chinese restaurants decreased.] Hotels opened in the neighborhood; unfortunately 12 story buildings also sprung up on 4th Avenue, a change which marathoners certainly noticed.

May. 24 2010 02:39 PM
Amy from Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights is one neighborhood that hasn't changed substantially in the past decade. Sure, there are small things - more West European transplants, more stroller-gridlock, and of course more money - but these are minor and in line with the city as a whole.

The biggest change has been in the surrounding neighborhoods, both first and second order, all 'upgraded' as the money/white people move outwards. However, the Heights remains an enclave. Unlike so many parts of the city neither its character nor boundaries have drifted.

May. 24 2010 11:03 AM
Lee from Los Angeles

In 2001, I lived in Dumbo, having been thoroughly irritated with the Williamburg's transformation from an arty, working class hamlet into an oppressive hipster monolith in the years before.

At the time, Dumbo had no grocery stores and just one bar - Between the Bridges -- but it had a thriving artistic community and was eerily beautiful as very few people actually lived there. Totally different from now. After being threatened with eviction by the city numerous times (illegal loft), I moved to Fort Greene because I fell in love with the park there. Loved it for several years until the real estate boom hit in full effect and a charming mixed race and mixed economic neighborhood became a feeding frenzy for upper-middle class breeders. Got evicted from one apartment after it was sold to a rich couple in '04.

I left NYC soon after that, as did so many of my friends, because we found it was basically inhospitable to creative people who weren't making 200K a year. (Imagine getting priced out of Gowanus!? It's true!?) I live in LA now, and my cohorts are in Chicago, Seattle, Philly or even abroad.

When I come back and visit, I feel like NYC is becoming a place for rich people and the people who serve them, with very little in between. Like our very own Monaco.

May. 18 2010 05:16 PM
angi from Mill Basin, Brooklyn

I live in Brooklyn, and my siblings live in New Jersey.

A major change in the last several years, since the recession, is hearing on one hand the need for stimulus plans to create jobs, while at the same time the elimination of of jobs and services that add to the quality of life in NY.

The bigger issue to me is how the elimination of sales tax on clothing under $100 in NY by the the Gulinani administration is not being considered for reversal. (I know this was done to be competitive with New Jersey).

I believe adding back the sales tax in both NY & NJ might prevent (further) elimination of crucial state services/employees, like hospitals, teachers, firefighters etc. In addition, this tax would be less of a financial burden to individuals than property tax increases

Brian, please discuss this issue with politicians like Patterson, Bloomberg and Christie.

May. 18 2010 12:09 PM

The census operation in NYC is incredibly disorganized. I've worked in a Brooklyn Local Census Office, and it's chaos. The head of the office is known for yelling at the workers, the computers are continually down, and the enumerators and their crew leaders are left waiting to get the binders of forms they need to do their work.

May. 13 2010 10:58 AM
Stephen Trani from Marine Park

I have lived in Marine Park for almost 50 years. In the last 10 years there has been a large influx of Orthodox Jewish families and the building of jewish schools and places of worship.
Marine Park, however, still is largely a mixture of Christian and Jewish working class families- mostly civil service. However 50 years ago those Jewish families were mostly conservative or reformed.

May. 13 2010 07:54 AM
Jacqueline Woodson from Park Slope, Brooklyn

I think I am one of a shrinking number of African American recent homebuyers in Park Slope. We bought our house in 2002 when my daughter was 10 months old. I had lived as a renter in the neighborhood for many years before that and have watched the neighborhood go from being racially and economically diverse (as well as having a large number of queer people living here) to being a predominantly white, wealthy, straight neighborhood. It saddens me to see this change. Saddens me that my daughter (and now young son) aren't growing up in a neighborhood where they see their worlds constantly reflected back at them. I find myself thinking about organization Jack & Jill -- started so that African American children could meet other children of color. Who ever thought there would be a need in Brooklyn? But the children of color on our own block can be counted on one hand. Our mixed race gay family is a rarity in the neighborhood and when my partner and I walk through the neighborhood holding hands now, we get stares we wouldn't have imagined ten years ago. Ten years ago, I would not have dreamed this for Park Slope --which until around 2002, was nicknamed Dyke Slope because of the many lesbians living here.
Growing up on the border of the Bushwick/Ridgewood section of Brooklyn, I had always wanted for my own children a world where they could see themselves in the faces of their teachers, their store owners, their neighbors... Where the women who looked like their Grandma Mary Ann didn't just come into the neighborhood to work. I know it isn't only Park Slope that's changing quickly (Bushwick itself is not the neighborhood I knew as a child). In the 70s, kids were bussed out of their neighborhoods to help the integrate the schools. Today, our own daughter gets on the school bus every weekday morning to attend a public school in another part of Brooklyn. The school, committed to racial and economic diversity, allows her to have an experience across lines of race and class -- An experience that, for me, reflects the Brooklyn I once knew.

May. 12 2010 11:24 AM

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