Making Neighborhoods

Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) has undertaken an analysis of New York City’s people and housing to reveal changes that have occurred between the federal decennial census years of 2000 and 2010.

Census Tracts

By focusing our analysis at the census tract level, the work illuminates patterns of change that reflect who we are and where New Yorkers are really living, regardless of traditional neighborhood boundaries.

  Census Tracts

Community Districts

Government has many good reasons to create neighborhood boundaries. Such boundaries facilitate the collection of information and analysis. They help inform how government distributes resources and can reveal inequities and areas of need. However, these boundaries can also distort information, as they may not reflect the ever-changing realities of the population on the ground and the new communities that are emerging.

  Census Tracts
  Community Districts

Cluster Analysis

Our analysis began with 16 variables that reflect core demographic characteristics from the federal decennial census. As defined by the U.S. Census the variables capture information regarding race, household income and composition, educational attainment, age, and presence of foreign born household members. The combinations of characteristics shared by NYC residents resulted in the identification of each census tract in the city as belonging to one of 14 clusters, with race being the most significant driver of cluster identity

Trend One: 2000

A divergence occurred among predominantly Hispanic clusters: an increase of poor Hispanic clusters, which in 2010 were the largest in number (exceeding 1 million people) such as in East Harlem in Manhattan, East New York in Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, Queens—at the same time as Hispanic working class tracts changed to a higher-income cluster, such as in Washington Heights in Manhattan, Elmhurst in Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

  Majority Hispanic/low-income/families & singles
  Majority Hispanic/low-middle-income/families

Trend One: 2010

A divergence occurred among predominantly Hispanic clusters: an increase of poor Hispanic clusters, which in 2010 were the largest in number (exceeding 1 million people) such as in East Harlem in Manhattan, East New York in Brooklyn, and Ridgewood, Queens—at the same time as Hispanic working class tracts changed to a higher-income cluster, such as in Washington Heights in Manhattan, Elmhurst in Queens, and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

  Majority Hispanic/low-income/families & singles
  Majority Hispanic/low-middle-income/families

Trend Two: 2000

The city’s black population citywide fell by 5%, including the transition of traditionally middle-income black areas to a greater racial mix, as well as wealthier black clusters shading poorer at their borders such as in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Hollis and Jamaica, Queens, and Woodlawn in the Bronx;

  Majority black/low-income/families & singles
  Predominantly black/upper-middle-income/families

Trend Two: 2010

The city’s black population citywide fell by 5%, including the transition of traditionally middle-income black areas to a greater racial mix, as well as wealthier black clusters shading poorer at their borders such as in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Hollis and Jamaica, Queens, and Woodlawn in the Bronx;

  Majority black/low-income/families & singles
  Predominantly black/upper-middle-income/families

Trend Three: 2000

Despite an overall decline by 3% of the city’s white population, four majority-white clusters increased in population. The decade saw increasing concentrations of predominantly white, upper-middle income homeowner areas—located in places like Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, Midwood and Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn, and Pelham Bay in the Bronx;

  Predominantly white/upper-middle-income/families
  Predominantly white/high-income/singles, families, & non-families
  Predominantly white/high-income/middle-aged & elderly/families & singles
  Majority white/middle-income/families & singles

Trend Three: 2010

Despite an overall decline by 3% of the city’s white population, four majority-white clusters increased in population. The decade saw increasing concentrations of predominantly white, upper-middle income homeowner areas—located in places like Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, Midwood and Windsor Terrace in Brooklyn, and Pelham Bay in the Bronx;

  Predominantly white/upper-middle-income/families
  Predominantly white/high-income/singles, families, & non-families
  Predominantly white/high-income/middle-aged & elderly/families & singles
  Majority white/middle-income/families & singles

Trend Four: 2000

The largest numerical increases occurred among population clusters that are largely white and mid- or high-income, as in Long Island City, Queens, Lower Manhattan, and Clinton Hill and Williamsburg in Brooklyn;

  Majority white/high-income/singles & non-families
  Predominantly white/upper-middle-income/families

Trend Four: 2010

The largest numerical increases occurred among population clusters that are largely white and mid- or high-income, as in Long Island City, Queens, Lower Manhattan, and Clinton Hill and Williamsburg in Brooklyn;

  Majority white/high-income/singles & non-families
  Predominantly white/upper-middle-income/families

Trend Five: 2000

Two predominantly white clusters made a subtle transition to being more mixed communities of white and Asian households that are similar in non-racial aspects, such as North Riverdale in the Bronx, Middle Village, Queens, Yorkville in Manhattan, and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

  Predominantly white/upper-middle-income/families
  Predominantly white/high-income/middle-aged & elderly/families & singles
  Majority white/upper-middle-income/families & singles

Trend Five: 2010

Two predominantly white clusters made a subtle transition to being more mixed communities of white and Asian households that are similar in non-racial aspects, such as North Riverdale in the Bronx, Middle Village, Queens, Yorkville in Manhattan, and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn

  Predominantly white/upper-middle-income/families
  Predominantly white/high-income/middle-aged & elderly/families & singles
  Majority white/upper-middle-income/families & singles

Map Your Neighborhood

Taken together, the insights this study unearths can change the way New Yorkers see their city. It can help residents, civic groups, and policymakers see through the lens of residents rather than government boundaries created long ago.

Try our interactive map to get in depth information about our changing city ▸