Blacks Leave City as Asians Propel Growth

Joseph De Avila and Sumathi Reddy, Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2011

New York City’s population grew to a high of 8,175,100 over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census count released Tuesday–but the 2.1% bump was still far smaller than officials had anticipated.

Asian and Hispanic populations spiked between 2000 and 2010, transforming the city’s racial landscape. But the number of black New Yorkers dropped 5%, the first dip in that group since 1860. There were fewer whites, as well.

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The Asian population enjoyed the biggest gain in New York, adding 247,900, a climb of 31.8%

Hispanics also had strong growth and increased their numbers by 175,500, or 8.1%. The non-Hispanic white population fell by 78,300, a decline of 2.8%.

The Census put the city’s population at 33.3% non-Hispanic white, 28.6% Hispanic, 22.8% non-Hispanic black and 12.6% Asian.

Keeping in line with national urban trends, New York’s black population declined over the past decade–joining Detroit, Dallas and Washington, D.C. New York’s non-Hispanic black population dropped by 100,859, a 5% decrease, with Brooklyn losing the lion’s share.

“I think it’s a turning point. The fact that blacks declined, however small it might be, is in keeping with a broad national trend where there is a loss of blacks in most cities that have high concentrations of blacks,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

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