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Release #11-00
December 28, 2000

CONTACT: Public Affairs Officer -- (212) 720-3471


In response to the release of New York State population from the 2000 Census today, the New York City Department of City Planning had the following comments:

  • The most recent decennial Census shows that the enumerated residential population of New York State was 18,976,000 as of April 1, 2000. This represents an increase of some 986,000 persons or 5.5 percent over the 1990 figure of 17,990,000. New York State ranked 10th in absolute growth; however, given the large size of its population base, it ranked 42nd in percentage growth.

  • We believe that the increase in enumerated population in New York State has occurred first, because of a more accurate enumeration of population in New York City, compared with 1990; and second, modest growth in the actual number of persons in New York City and its suburbs as a result of economic growth. While we believe that the enumerated population of New York City has increased considerably, we cannot quantify this increase until further data are released in March of 2001.

  • New York State will be apportioned 29 Congressional seats, a loss of 2 seats since 1990. The State's growth, while substantial, was insufficient relative to other states to curb the loss of a second seat.

  • The share of the State's enumerated population that resides in New York City is likely to have increased. Given the shift in enumerated population, the loss of Congressional Seats is more likely to be felt upstate than downstate. Also, an increase in New York City's share of the State's enumerated population should increase the City's representation at the State level.

  • We believe that the increase in the enumerated population of New York City is a result of better data provided by the City to the Census Bureau on the number and location of housing units in the City. Prior to the Census, a thorough review of addresses was conducted jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the New York City Department of City Planning. New York City conducted one of the most intensive address list review efforts in the nation.

  • The Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) project added some 370,000 housing units, an increase of 11 percent over the enumerated number of units in 1990. Most of these added apartments were in small buildings. Many of these units have legally existed for years, but have not made it into the Census Bureau's address list because of problems in the postal files used by the Bureau to identify addresses. In fact, because of these problems, as recently as 1999, the Census Bureau estimated the State's population to be 18,200,000, an increase of just 1.1 percent since 1990. Due in part to our LUCA efforts, the State's enumerated 2000 population has greatly exceeded the Bureau's 1999 estimate.

  • The Census Bureau was required to enumerate all persons in the housing units on its address list for New York City. If a household failed to respond by mail, then the Bureau was required to conduct non-response follow-up. Despite our best efforts on the address list front, reluctance among many residents to respond to the questionnaire may result in an undercount, which is why statistical adjustment is required for a complete enumeration. Studies have shown that over one-half of the census undercount is the result of persons missed in enumerated households, especially in poorer areas with large minority populations.

  • The data released today by the Census Bureau do not include any statistical adjustment for under- or over-count, as per the decision by the Supreme Court that reapportionment be conducted using unadjusted data. We will know in March of 2001 whether the Census Bureau will implement adjustment for other data releases. If population counts are adjusted, the population of both the State and the City are likely to be greater than the unadjusted counts, a more accurate reflection of the actual population as of April 1, 2000.

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