The official Census guesswork for 2017 has now been released, showing a gain of 7,272 individuals across the Five Boroughs, and a drop of over 2,000 people in Brooklyn. While the actual Census in 2010 was decried as leaving hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers missing from the count, it seems that whoever was behind the calculations for 2017 may have been even more incompetent, with changes to the borough-by-borough tallies painting a picture that makes no sense whatsoever.
While a small overall increase in the city’s overall population is potentially believable, the distribution of gains and losses is what illuminates glaring inaccuracies in yesterday’s data release.
Though Brooklyn has been in the midst of a development boom since the early 2010s, with tens of thousands of new units entering the borough’s pipeline since the start of the decade, the borough somehow registered a year-over-year population decrease. With the wave of new openings set to crest this year or next, it seems highly unlikely that the deluge of supply would result in a drop in the borough’s population.
The bogus Brooklyn numbers beg the question of why any of the other estimates should be given credence. In this instance, they probably shouldn’t have any credibility whatsoever, considering that the esimated gains across the rest of the city were also barely noticeable. Queens and The Bronx supposedly added fewer than 5,000 residents combined, again, a figure falling far short of the new inventory of total units coming online between both boroughs last year.
While the Census estimates for the aforementioned boroughs appear woefully inaccurate, the numbers for Staten Island and Manhattan are somewhat more plausible, with gains of approximately 2,500 and 2,000 residents apiece, respectively.
Though quibbles regarding data points may seem trivial, come 2020, the next Census will be a critical tool for ensuring New Yorkers are properly represented at the Federal level.
Woeful undercounting was a major problem back in 2010, and was partially to blame for the seemingly-dramatic increase in the city’s population numbers at the start of the current decade. The most recent estimates could hint that results come 2020 could be even more unrepresentative of the actual truth.
Unfortunately, it would appear that this impending problem is probably without a solution, as this year’s data release is clearly more inaccurate than anything since the last actual Census, in 2010.