A Map Of New York's Changing Income

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What do you see when you map income changes from 2007 to 2012 in New York City by neighborhood? Gentrification in Brooklyn and Harlem -- and the effect of the financial crash on the middle class. Andrew Beveridge, professor of sociology at Queens College, and the man behind Social Explorer, discusses the data and the story it tells us.


What We Learned This Segment

  • Beveridge points out that the large drop is really in the middle class. Our safety net hasn't fully collapsed, and the very top end is recovering well -- but “people in the middle have really taken the hit."
  • What do we make of the 12% decline on the UWS? Remember, this map shows median income. So the likelihood is that the neighborhood is suffering from a decline in the middle. So even though housing values are way way up, and Wall Street is recovering, the middle in that neighborhood is what accounts for the big drop.
  • Don’t be fooled by increases in neighborhoods like Bushwick. The incomes are still very low - in Bushwick the median is still well below $40,000 a year.
  • In Williamsburg, there are more factors than just gentrification. There’s a relatively stable Hasidic community, and lots of housing projects, pulling the data in different directions.
  • Beveridge points out that often times the places that gentrify are the places with very good housing stock and were once prosperous. This is the story of Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant. 
  • This map doesn't tell the story of turnover. In gentrifying neighborhoods, it's difficult to tell from census data like this how much wealthier people are moving in, and how much the income of existing residents is rising.
  • What does this say about the Bill de Blasio “tale of two cities”? Did inequality narrow? Beverege says no – this doesn’t reflect the top 5-10%, who may have gotten much wealthier. The story here really is about shifts in the middle.


Andrew Beveridge

Comments [19]

Tony S from Alpine USA

I applaud people who make more each year...Victims and liberals want to demonize people who prosper, how much more un American can you get. To those who make less, try what my wife and myself did, go to school and get a degree or graduate degree. Get professional training, get a better job. Stop whining to left wing sympathizors about why you cant succeed. I plan on increasing my income by 10% next year, guess im the bad guy. Oh, and vote Republican, democrats are nothing but victims advocates, they want you poor, stupid, lazy and on the dole. All for a vote, what a shame.

Nov. 20 2013 09:28 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan


So what you are saying is that after 5 years of Obama's jobless "recovery" and his incompetent stewardship ... things are reaching a new low, not getting better.


Nov. 19 2013 05:09 PM

I see people picking cans from the garbage cans, that would not
normally be doing that. People, that go to my gym, Assery Levy.
I worked in the criminal justice system
for 30 years, as a clerical employee.
There was a shift in the type of person
that shoplifted and what they were shoplifting.
What I would call middle class people, especially women, according
to their CJA report, had a good education, good jobs, for some reason
no longer had the jobs. They were shopping lifting food in Wholefoods, Fairway dry good in stores like Kmart, Duane Reade, Walgreens.
They usually had no previous criminal record, they were a blank slate.
They were college graduates. I started to notice this several years ago.
The younger shoplifters, would take trendy sneakers, clothes, make up
in Sephora, stuff like that, never basic food items.
I'm just noticed that, that's all.
When I worked in the Bronx, mothers would shoplift infant formula,
diapers, baby food, pretty regularly. Their state income wouldn't
stretch out to cover the month.

Nov. 19 2013 12:36 PM

The map you really need is one that shows the DEVIATION FROM THE MEAN income of $51,000 in each neighborhood -- this would show the rich and poor areas very clearly.

Nov. 19 2013 10:52 AM
ivan obregon from manhattan

Do the stats include Mayor Bloomberg's increase of wealth from $5,000,000,000 to $31,000,000,000 today?

Nov. 19 2013 10:48 AM
Jack in the Bronx from South Bronx

Why is the propaganda word "inequality" always used. Its not about that, is it? Its about a minimum standard that many are not meeting.

Nov. 19 2013 10:47 AM
Jack in the Bronx from South Bronx

If the City stopped trucking garbage into The South Bronx and concentrating half-way houses here, maybe the people would feel more vested and work to pull themselves up. Meanwhile, we are doing something about it.


Nov. 19 2013 10:46 AM
Jerry from nyc

incomes going down, real estate always up, how come?

Nov. 19 2013 10:44 AM
John from NYC

Is there a way to map the categories of jobs which have gained and declined? An example is the Mayor's continued focus on tourism and the jobs which have been created. These jobs don't exactly have a great track record for even middle income salaries as compared to other sectors/categories like healthcare.

Nov. 19 2013 10:42 AM

"Not hardly" Oh, Brian, please!

Nov. 19 2013 10:42 AM
BK from Hoboken

Re: UWS and UES, Wall Street bonuses were still low in 2010, and just started bouncing back a bit in 2011, but still well below pre-crash 2008 levels. Those professions can see wild fluctuations in income year to year.

Nov. 19 2013 10:41 AM
CrowenyC from BedStuy

I live in Bed-Stuy, one of the neighborhoods that has risen. What I haven't heard mentioned on the news reports about the rise is the obvious fact that it's due to gentrification. The two brownstones on either side of me are now occupied by wealthier newcomers. They bought them from a local rehabber who buys up every available home he can, rehabs it, and resells it.
Re: the stock market, of course it's not affecting most poorer people because they don't own stocks. I do, despite my lower income, and have been doing extremely well in the stock market, thanks to courses I've been able to take in how to do so.

Nov. 19 2013 10:39 AM

We were priced out of the Upper West Side and moved to Central Harlem. Our income is $200K, which raises the median income.

Nov. 19 2013 10:39 AM
Aviva from upper west side

The reason the UWS income has gone down is because Bloomberg has dumped homeless shelters in a few blocks of the UWS.

Nov. 19 2013 10:39 AM

The thing that is confusing for me is that our household income puts us above the median for some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but we could never afford to live there. Can someone break that down for me?

Nov. 19 2013 10:38 AM

The thing that is confusing for me is that our household income puts us above the median for some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but we could never afford to live there. Can someone break that down for me?

Nov. 19 2013 10:37 AM
paulb from Prospect Heights

If more residents are self employed or work in restaurants, both situations where most people hide income, the number would show a decline even if in reality people's incomes are holding up.

Nov. 19 2013 10:35 AM

There is a difference between people in an area getting richer or poorer and an area's median rising or falling because of who is moving in and out of the neighborhood. Think "gentrification."

Nov. 19 2013 10:33 AM

What does it mean to me?
My normal supermarket closed. Whole foods coming soon
But I do get a raise just because I live near the whole foods.

Nov. 19 2013 10:33 AM

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