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New York Population

The City of New York continues to grow at a substantial rate, which makes it unique among the older, large cities in the Northeast and Midwest. Most other large cities in these regions have lost population over this period.

The "Current" Population of New York City: Release of Population Estimates by the Census Bureau for July 1, 2009*

Population by Borough: 2000 to 2009

As of July 1, 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the City of New York was 8,391,881, an increase of 383,600 persons or 4.8 percent since April 2000.

Staten Island continues to outpace the four other boroughs of the city, with a growth rate of 10.8 percent, placing it among the fastest growing counties in New York State. Manhattan increased by 6.0 percent, the Bronx by 4.9 percent, Brooklyn by 4.1 percent and Queens had an estimated increase of 3.5 percent.In 2000, New York City accounted for 42.2 percent of New York State’s population. Since 2000, 68 percent of all growth in the state is attributable to the five boroughs (383,600 of the 565,000 increase statewide). As a result, the percentage of the state’s population that resides in New York City has grown to 42.9 percent in 2009, the same as in 2008.

The increase in population of 4.8 percent is a product of a large population “churn,” with substantial domestic losses (estimates in the range of 840,000 persons) being offset by large international inflows (in the range of 647,000 persons) and natural increase (the balance of births and deaths) on the order of 578,000 persons.**

Eeach year, the Census Bureau releases population estimates for New York City and the five boroughs. These estimates are subsequently reviewed by Department of City Planning demographers. Through a process offered by the Census Bureau, the City of New York uses a recognized alternate methodology, based on estimates of housing units, average household size, type of new housing, and vacancy rates, to create its own population estimates. Estimates of housing units are based on data from the Department of Buildings, the Department of Finance and other city administrative records.

If there are large discrepancies between the Census Bureau’s population estimates and the Department of City Planning’s alternate calculations, the Census Bureau permits a “challenge” of its population estimates. (To its credit, the Census Bureau recognizes that the method they use does not represent the best approach for all areas of the nation, so they invite localities to submit alternate estimates.) The City has submitted challenges for the last six years, covering estimates for 2003 through 2008. In each case, the Census Bureau has increased the city’s population, based on the alternate methodology.

The July 1, 2008 DCP estimates, created using the housing unit method, showed a minimal difference with the Census Bureau estimates, less than one-tenth of one percent citywide, with similarly small differences at the borough level. Given the similarity between the DCP estimates and those from the Census Bureau, along with the point in the decade – 9 years out from the 2000 decennial census benchmark and less than 1 year away from the 2010 enumeration – we decided not to pursue a challenge to the 2008 Census Bureau estimates. Because the 2010 Census enumeration will occur in April 2010, the Census Bureau does not offer the opportunity to challenge the 2009 estimates.
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