It’s not your imagination: The birthrate is soaring in affluent areas of Brooklyn — the brownstone belt — and decreasing in less well-off areas of the City, according to recently released statistics from the City’s Health Department analyzed by The New York Times. As New York City becomes increasingly expensive and inhospitable to the middle class — another twist on de Blasio’s tale of two cities — the birth rate is highest among the well-to-do and the very poor, with middle-class areas registering the lowest birth rates. As the Times put it:
New York has turned into a playground of the more literal kind, with a child-centric ethos bearing well-established variants of urban nuisance: stroller gridlock in gentrifying areas, car services that cater to five-year-olds, sidewalk whining that in some cases becomes its own source of noise pollution.
Brownstone Brooklyn, lower Manhattan and the South Bronx have the highest birth rates in the city. Brooklyn Heights and the Upper East Side lead the city in multiple births. Bayside Queens has the lowest birthrate.
You probably hear generalizations all the time about the demographics of Queens, especially when it comes to diversity, immigration, and neighborhood trends. If you want the facts, we’ve summarized them here to satisfy your curiosity.
First, the basics: Queens is estimated to have 2.2 million people, or about 27% of New York City’s 8.2 million residents. It is the largest borough in terms of geographical area, but the second most populous borough after Brooklyn, which has 2.5 million people.
Image source: 1940s New York
Have you ever heard of Nassau Heights in Queens? Today, it’s known as Middle Village. Did you know that Woodside was once called Woodside-Winfield? Welcome to 1940s New York, when the Queensbridge Houses were a new development, and Astoria was a predominately Italian and German neighborhood (the Greek population didn’t peak until the 1970s).
The Daily News had a story last week about how the number of black people living in East New York has increased significantly as other sections of Brooklyn have seen a decrease in the number of black residents: “The East New York numbers mirror an opposite pattern in neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn. In the western part of Bedford Stuyvesant, the white population shot up 634%, while blacks fell 14.6% – from 69% of the population to less than half. Northern Crown Heights lost more than 10,000 black residents, a 12% drop, while the white population grew 186%. Similar changes took place in Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Prospect Heights, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens. Besides East New York, Canarsie and Flatlands have gained many new black residents.” So how does one look at this from a real estate angle? Via the Pratt Center: “East Brooklyn’s neighborhoods now face both a serious need for affordable housing, and a significant number of foreclosures. Like the rest of the New York City, East Brooklyn experienced a dramatic increase in housing prices from 2000 to 2007 — both rental and sales — while incomes steadily declined. In the neighborhoods of Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Broadway Junction, Cypress Hills, City Line, East New York, New Lots, Spring Creek and Starrett City, almost half the population pays more than 30% of its income on housing, and around one third of residents live in poverty.” This story has a lot of depth, since there’s the question of how many foreclosures we’re dealing with in East New York, as well as how many residents of the neighborhood receive public assistance for their housing. Plus it’s a truly gigantic neighborhood. We have only been to East New York about a half-dozen times over the past few years, so we don’t feel like we have a solid grasp of what the neighborhood is like. Thoughts?
Black Population Surges in East New York as it Falls Across the Borough and City [NY Daily News]
Photo by zachvs