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Demographics of Brooklyn

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Title: Demographics of Brooklyn  
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Subject: Demographics of New York City, Demographics of Manhattan, Demographics of Arizona, Demographics of Alaska, Demographics of Oklahoma
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Demographics of Brooklyn

Population trend[1]
Year Inhabitants
1731 2,150
1756 2,707
1771 3,623
1786 3,966
1790 4,549
1800 5,740
1810 8,303
1820 11,187
1830 20,535
1840 47,613
1850 138,822
1860 279,122
1870 419,921
Year Inhabitants
1880 599,495
1890 838,547
1900 1,166,582
1910 1,634,351
1920 2,018,356
1930 2,560,401
1940 2,698,285
1950 2,738,175
1960 2,627,319
1970 2,602,012
1980 2,230,936
1990 2,300,664
2000 2,465,326
2010 2,504,700

The demographics of Brooklyn reveal a very diverse borough of New York City and a melting pot for many cultures, like the city itself. Since 2010, the population of Brooklyn was estimated by the Census Bureau to have increased 3.5% to 2,592,149 as of 2013, representing 30.8% of New York City's population, 33.5% of Long Island's population, and 13.2% of New York State's population.[2][3][4][5][6] If the boroughs of New York City were separate cities, Brooklyn would be the third largest city in the United States after Los Angeles and Chicago.

According to the 2010 Census, 35.7% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 31.9% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 10.4% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.4% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.6% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 19.8% of Brooklyn's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).


Of its 880,727 households 33.3% have children under the age of 18 living in them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. Of all households 27.8% are made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.41.

In the County the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.


The median income for a household in the County was $32,135, and the median income for a family was $36,188. Males had a median income of $34,317 versus $30,516 for females. The per capita income for the County was $16,775. About 22.0% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.0% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.

Race and ethnicity

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, White Americans made up 54.6% of Brooklyn's population. Black Americans made up 34.2% of Brooklyn's population; non-Hispanic blacks made up 32.9% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.3% of Brooklyn's population. Asian Americans made up 9.5% of the population; Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1% of the populace. Multiracial Americans made up 1.4% of Brooklyn's population. Hispanic and Latino Americans made up 19.6% of Brooklyn's population.[7] In the 1980s, it was widely said that Brooklyn was the third-largest African city on Earth after Lagos, Nigeria, and Salvador in Bahia, Brazil. This rough calculation included Africans from the Continent and in diaspora.

European Americans

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, white Americans made up a plurality (54.6%) of Brooklyn's population, of which 51.9% are non-Hispanic whites. Whites (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic) number near 1.3 million individuals, and there are nearly 1,150,000 non-Hispanic whites residing in Brooklyn. Brooklyn's European American population mainly consists of ethnic Europeans who are either from or descendants from Eastern and Southern European countries of Italy, Russia, Poland, Albania, and former Soviet Union countries, as well as Ireland. Southern and Western Brooklyn is predominantly European American, and most of the borough's European American residents are of the Catholic or Jewish faith. Amongst Catholics, Italian Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Carroll Gardens, Gravesend and Manhattan Beach; Polish Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Greenpoint ("Little Poland") and Greenwood Heights; Russian Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay; and Irish Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge, Gerritsen Beach, and Marine Park. Amongst Jews, Brooklyn is 15.4% Jewish with Jews being the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Borough Park, Williamsburg, Midwood, Ocean Parkway, a portion of Crown Heights, and a portion of Flatbush.

Neighborhoods surrounding Bedford-Stuyvesant such as Brownsville, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Canarsie, and East New York were previously overwhelmingly majority Jewish and Italian in early-mid 20th century, but in the later part of the 20th century they slowly shifted into majority Black communities with a few Puerto Rican communities interspersed in Bushwick and a portion of East New York. [8] With the demographic shift that occurred between the 1950s and 1970s, the crime rate in Brooklyn increased and the borough lost almost 500,000 people, most of them White. [9] Those residents moved to neighboring boroughs of Queens and Staten Island, in addition to suburban counties of Long Island and New Jersey. However, a portion of Crown Heights and an even smaller portion of Flatbush still retain a significant Jewish community population and in recent years, they have started regrowing again.

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the six most common European ancestries were the following.[10]

Ancestry Number % of total population
Italian 157,068 6.1%
Irish 100,923 3.9%
Russian 88,766 3.5%
Polish 71,099 2.8%
German 53,188 2.1%
English 36,174 1.4%

African Americans

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, African Americans made up over one-third (34.2%) of Brooklyn's population. There are over 877,000 African Americans residing in Brooklyn. The historical cultural center of the borough has long been Bedford-Stuyvesant; African Americans became a majority in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the 1930s following the construction of the A line subway between Harlem and Bedford.[11] Neighborhoods surrounding Bedford-Stuyvesant in Northern and Eastern Brooklyn are also majority African American such as Brownsville, Canarsie, East Flatbush, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, East New York, Coney Island and Fort Greene. Together these neighborhoods have a population of about 940,000 and are roughly 82% African American, making it the largest African-American community in the United States.[12] The roads of Eastern Parkway, Malcolm X Boulevard, Kings Highway, Broadway, Atlantic Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Flatlands Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway connect several of these neighborhoods. In addition, Blacks make up a substantial percentage of the residents in public housing throughout the borough.

Caribbean Americans

According to the 2010 US Census data on there are approximately 370,000 (16.4%) Caribbean descendants in brooklyn. That figure includes persons who identify with the Dominican Republic (3.3%), but does not include the (7.4%) Puerto Rican population. Including Puerto Ricans there are approximately 560,000 (23.8%) persons of caribbean descent in Brooklyn. Similar, but not identical demographics in America can be found in Miami, but there are not as many Cubans in New York.

Hispanics and Latinos

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, Hispanics and Latinos made up nearly one-fifth (19.6%) of Brooklyn's population. Over 500,000 Hispanics and Latinos reside in Brooklyn. Nearly 190,000 Puerto Ricans call the borough home, and they make up 7.4% of the population. The borough's 91,000 Mexican Americans make up 3.6% of its population. Many neighborhoods in Eastern and Northern Brooklyn are home to a high number of Hispanics mainly from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central America. Hispanics are mainly concentrated in neighborhoods in the East and Northeast sections of Brooklyn. Hispanics have become the majority in former black neighborhoods such as Bushwick, East Williamsburg and Cypress Hills. Sunset Park, in South Brooklyn is also home to a large Hispanic community.

Asian Americans

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, Asian Americans made up 9.5% of the Brooklyn's population. Over 243,000 Asians live in the borough. The most numerous Asian American group are those of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans make up 6.4% of the borough's population, and they number over 163,000 individuals. Much of Brooklyn's Asian population is concentrated in Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Sunset Park ("Brooklyn's Chinatown"), Homecrest, Sheepshead Bay ("Avenue U Chinatown") and Bensonhurst.[13] The Chinese were second only to Queens among New York boroughs, meaning Manhattan's Chinatown is no longer the main residence of Chinese in the city. Approximately 19,851 Asian Indians live in Brooklyn. Approximately 9,681 Filipino Americans live in Brooklyn. Approximately 6,977 Korean Americans reside here. Brooklyn has the most Vietnamese Americans of any borough, they numbered over 5,700 individuals. The 4,704 Japanese Americans rounded out Asian American groups with over 1,000 people in Brooklyn.

There is Pakistani American community in the Parkville section of Brookyn [14] and there is a "Little Pakistan" on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.[15] Pakisatanis are concentrated heavily in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, and are one of the fastest growing Asian ethnic groups in Brooklyn alongside Bangladeshis.[16] Pakistanis number around 30,000 and counting in Brooklyn and their community is growing rapidly. Many halal restaurants, fabric stores, Pakistani clothing stores and mosques are centered on Coney Island Avenue.[17] A growing Bangladeshi community and ethnic enclave is centered in Kensington, as many Bangladeshi halal restaurants and stores also are flourishing in the Bangladeshi majority zone centered on McDonald Ave in Kensington.[18][19]

Brooklyn has been the city's largest borough since the mid-1920s. (Key: Each borough's historical population in millions. The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)


Brooklyn has a high degree of linguistic diversity. As of 2010, 54.12% (1,240,416) of Brooklyn residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 17.16% (393,340) spoke Spanish, 6.46% (148,012) Chinese, 5.31% (121,607) Russian, 3.47% (79,469) Yiddish, 2.75% (63,019) French Creole, 1.35% (31,004) Italian, 1.20% (27,440) Hebrew, 1.01% (23,207) Polish, 0.99% (22,763) French, 0.95% (21,773) Arabic, 0.85% (19,388) various Indic languages, 0.70% (15,936) Urdu, and African languages were spoken as a main language by 0.54% (12,305) of the population over the age of five. In total, 45.88% (1,051,456) of Brooklyn's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.[20]


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  8. ^ The Tipping Point, article copied from The New Yorker, June 3, 1996
  9. ^ The Ungovernable City: John Lindsay and His Struggle to Save New York
  10. ^
  11. ^ Bed-Stuy on the Move
  12. ^
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