Census 2010 data is in, and it confirms what most of us have known for a while: Western Brooklyn is gentrifying! Or it's at least filled with people who chose to fill out the Census and self-identify as "non-Hispanic white." And though there are more minorities than ever, Brown Professor John Logan tells the Times, “New York is among a group of metropolitan regions where the Great Migration created large black ghettos, and where very high levels of segregation have proved very resistant to change." Here are a few key points from the newly released data:
- The proportion of non-Hispanic white New Yorkers increased slightly, to 35.5%. The number of Hispanic residents increased to about 27%.
- The number of non-Hispanic whites has increased in Brooklyn since 2000.
- Sunset Park could be seeing some gentrification. The number of non-English speakers decreased.
- Bronx is mostly Hispanic, though it has changed to predominantly Dominican and Mexican from Puerto Rican.
- The black population shrunk in Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and central Harlem, but rose in Canarsie, Flatlands and Springfield Gardens.
- There has been a large increase in minority populations in suburbs like Camden, NJ and New Haven, CT.
- There were large population gains in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Williamsburg, but the Hispanic residents decreased in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint.
- Manhattan is fully half non-Hispanic white for the first time since the 1970s.
Though most people would look at the data as just more evidence of the city losing its reputation as a melting pot, New York looks on the bright side and praises the city for having two boroughs competing for the most diverse counties in the world. They write, "The textural change in Brooklyn is driven by 'churn,' or the constant inflow of immigrants that offsets the steady leak of New Yorkers to other parts of the country. Without that foreign-born influx, Brooklyn would have lost more than 300,000 people in the past decade, instead of gaining 100,000 as it did."
They also note that even if they don't live in the same neighborhoods, most people can get along. Rabbi Bob Kaplan said of Brooklyn's Jewish and Muslim populations, "No group is in control here. They’re all here to participate in the American lifestyle.” That is, until the "non-Hispanic whites" push them farther out of the island.