Mayor Bloomberg says census figures shortchange New York City

Michael Gianaris

March 25, 2011

The Daily News wrote about the results of the census and the inaccurate numbers released by the Census Bureau. The Queens population has greatly increased in the last 10 years and the numbers need to reflect that.

We wuz robbed!

New census figures claim there are fewer than 8.2 million New Yorkers in the city - but critics say the Census Bureau flubbed the count and missed hundreds of thousands more.

"It just doesn't make any sense at all," Mayor Bloomberg said Thursday. "When three boroughs go up dramatically, and the two most populous boroughs don't, something's wrong."

The Census Bureau claims 8,175,133 people were living in New York when it counted heads last spring.

That's the highest number ever, but still just a meager 2.1% increase from 10 years before.

Staten Island grew 5.6%, the Bronx grew 3.9% and Manhattan went up 3.2%, the census reported.

Brooklyn rose just 1.6%, and Queens saw a mere 1,343 new residents over an entire decade, the census data show - figures that seem maddeningly low to the people who live there.

"I'm flabbergasted by these numbers," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I know they made a big, big mistake."

City officials said the census likely missed new immigrants, including those who are here illegally or are living in illegally subdivided homes.

New York gained 170,000 new homes in the last decade, they said, so it's preposterous to think the population rose by only 166,000.

The census claimed the number of vacant apartments rose in Brooklyn and Queens, where two-thirds of the city's immigrants live.

City experts suspect census-takers declared them empty because immigrant residents were afraid to be counted by a government worker.

"I invite census officials who believe that our population is stagnant to go on tour with me and discover the difference," said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.

Joseph Salvo, the city's top demographer, thinks the city's true population is closer to 8.4million - so the feds missed between 225,000 and 260,000 New Yorkers.

The Census Bureau's own 2009 estimate of the city's population was 8,391,881, but it was based on demographic formulas, not an actual head count.

Queens Sen. Michael Gianaris said his Astoria neighborhood has clearly expanded in the last decade, but the census claims it lost 10,000 people.

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