Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Thursday, March 15, 2001

Release # 076-01

Contact: Sunny Mindel / Michael Anton
(212) 788-2958
  Jennifer Chait (212) 720-3225 (City Planning)


Shows Record Population Count for New York City

City Population Tops 8 million for the First time in History

Reaffirming New York's status as the pre-eminent city in the nation, the Census Bureau reported today that the City's enumerated population was 8,008,278 persons as of April 1, 2000. This represents the largest enumerated census population in New York City history. The previous peak was in 1970, when the City's enumerated population stood at 7,894,862.

The city's population grew by 685,714 persons, or 9.4 percent, over the 1990 count of 7,322,564.

Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani hailed the results today. "Over the past seven years, polls have consistently shown that people rank New York City as one of the most desirable places in the country to live. Now we have hard evidence of this fact. The new Census shows that New York City has grown by almost 700,000-the equivalent of a separate large city. People from all over the country -- and throughout the world -- are voting with their feet and moving to New York City.

"I want to congratulate Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, City Planning Commissioner Joe Rose, the men and women of the Population Division at the Department of City Planning, and all of the City employees who worked so hard to ensure the fairest and most accurate count possible. Thanks to their efforts, New York City went above and beyond to identify households that might otherwise have been missed. Their results speak for themselves."

Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington said: "Perhaps the most important thing the City of New York did during the Census process was to get started early. I cannot overstate the importance of advance planning to prevent the kind of shortchanging that occurred in 1990. By recognizing the City's needs and launching the Census 2000 office in 1998, our coordinated, timely efforts set a nationwide example and once again placed New York City at the national forefront of local government innovation."

Joseph B. Rose, Chairman of the City Planning Commission said, "This is a historically important event for New York City. It is a clear demonstration that the City is undergoing not only a renaissance but a healthy expansion. The dramatic increase is a function of hard work to guarantee an accurate count and a real increase in the population. In demographic terms people vote with their feet, and New York City is clearly a winner."


This growth is a result of both a real increase in the city's population, as well as improved census coverage. While the population enumerated in 1990 was 7,322,564, city planners estimated that the city's actual population was closer to 7.7 million. Thus, a more realistic picture of actual growth over the decade is approximately 300,000 persons, or just over 4 percent.

Immigration played a crucial role in the population increase over the decade, with nearly 1.2 million immigrants entering New York City in the 1990s. High levels of births in the 1990s and fewer deaths also led to growth. There were more than 1.2 million births, and 682,000 deaths, in the City, resulting in a net increase of 584,000.

The record population count in 2000 is also the result of an unprecedented partnership with the Census Bureau. The City of New York provided the Census Bureau with a list of 370,000 addresses that were missing from their address list, which was to be used to mail census questionnaires and follow-up on non-responding households. As a result, most of these households, who would otherwise have not received a questionnaire, are now included in the census enumeration.


The 2000 Census shows that New York City continues to become more and more racially and ethnically diverse. Among those of a single race, non-Hispanic white remained the largest group, accounting for 35 percent (2.80 million) of the City's population, while for the first time, Hispanics were the largest minority group, with a 27 percent share (2.16 million). Among others of a single race, non-Hispanic Blacks comprised 24.5 percent (1.96 million) of the City, while nearly 1-in-10 New Yorkers (783,000) was Asian. Unlike the 1990 census, respondents were allowed to check off more than one race in 2000, and those with a multiracial, non-Hispanic background accounted for 2.8 percent (225,000) of the population.

While the definition of Hispanic was consistent in 1990 and 2000, racial categories are not strictly comparable, given the new multiracial designation in the 2000 Census. The City thus used a high and low estimate while presenting change in a group's population between 1990 and 2000. The numerical and percentage growth of the various race/Hispanic groups between 1990 and 2000 was as follows:


Staten Island grew by 64,751 people in the1990s, reaching 443,728 in 2000. This represents a growth rate of 17.1 percent, the highest rate of any Borough. While White non-Hispanics still comprise the large majority (71.3 percent) of the population, the borough had a significant presence of Hispanic (12.1 percent), Black non-Hispanic (8.9 percent), and Asian non-Hispanic (5.6 percent) residents.

Queens exceeded the 2 million mark for the first time in a Census, with a population of 2,229,379 in 2000. It had the largest absolute increase of any Borough, 277,781, for a growth rate of 14.2 percent. Given the large and diverse immigration to Queens over the decade, it is no surprise that it possesses the most diverse race and Hispanic mix of population among the five boroughs. While White non-Hispanics comprised 32.9 percent of the borough's population, other groups also had substantial representation: Hispanics (25 percent); Black non-Hispanics (19 percent); and Asian non-Hispanics (17.5 percent). Those of multiracial backgrounds accounted for an additional 4.1 percent of Queens' population, the largest concentration of any Borough.

The Bronx increased by a higher-than-City average of 10.7 percent over the decade, reaching 1,332,650 in 2000. Hispanics were the largest group in the Borough, accounting for 48.4 percent of the population. Black non-Hispanics were the second largest group, at 31.2 percent of the total.

Brooklyn remained the largest of the City's five Boroughs, with a population of 2,465,326 in 2000, an increase of 164,662 over 1990, or 7.2 percent. Among the five Boroughs, Brooklyn had the largest share of Black non-Hispanics, 848,583 persons, or 34.4 percent. White non-Hispanics remained the largest group, with a 34.7 percent share, while Hispanics now comprise 19.8 percent of the Borough's population.

Manhattan's population stood at 1,537,195 in 2000, an increase of 3.3 percent. White non-Hispanics remained the largest group, accounting for 45.8 percent, or 703,873 residents. Hispanics were the second largest group (27.2 percent), followed by Black non-Hispanics (15.3 percent) and Asian non-Hispanics (9.4 percent).

Between 1970, the prior peak in the City's population, and 2000, there has been a shift in the population from the Bronx and Brooklyn, to Queens and Staten Island. The population of Manhattan has been essentially unchanged during this period.


Changes in the political landscape are closely related to the decennial Census results. The fact that the large growth in New York City was not mirrored in the rest of the State means that New York's share of the State's population has risen from 40.7 percent in 1990 to 42.2 percent in 2000. This should translate into increased representation in the State Assembly and State Senate and should be reflected in legislative redistricting efforts at all levels.

The dilemma of balancing limited resources with competing problems is dealt with by using Census data to identify and establish priorities. Knowledge of which areas in New York City have particular characteristics -- for instance, concentrations of the elderly that spend a high percentage of their income on rent, an abundance of lower income persons with children, newly arrived immigrant families -- allows governments to identify communities in need and respond in cost-effective ways.

Other examples of City service delivery utilizing census data include:

An accurate census count is also important because it provides benchmarks for other surveys conducted throughout the decade that are used for program planning and implementation, as well as for policy formulation and evaluation. These include the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS), which is used not only to evaluate rent control regulations, but to gain a sense of the housing situation in the City over time. Even the Census Bureau's annual population estimates, which are used to determine the state's allocation of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, are based on the census.

Go to Press Releases | Giuliani Archives | Mayor's Office | Home Page
Contact Us | FAQs | Privacy Statement | Site Map