Our work measures and visualizes the movements of groups of New Yorkers who share demographic characteristics.
New York City is home to an incredibly diverse population of over 8.5 million people. It serves as the catalyst of a dynamic region of roughly 18 million. Viewed through that lens—particularly as the driver of a regional housing marketplace—the city looks very different than when looking at its five boroughs in a vacuum.
CHPC made an important contribution to the study of New York City’s demographic change in the decade spanning 2000 to 2010 with the first Making Neighborhoods report and interactive map that we released in 2014. Since then, we have expanded our work to include the metropolitan area surrounding the city, which we are excited to present here with another interactive map, which is available at www.makingneighborhoods.org. Making Neighborhoods takes a unique approach by applying cluster analysis to measure demographic change on an intersectional level, allowing a much deeper understanding of the dynamics of the region than by focusing solely on race, income, or other demographic traits.
If there was one, overarching takeaway from our original Making Neighborhoods study of the five boroughs, it was that the housing market—reflected in where people live—is not dependent on formal, government-drawn boundaries. The analysis of New York City’s five boroughs showed us changes happening along the Queens-Nassau County border, and along the Bronx-Westchester County border. Those transitions compelled us to answer the question of what was happening just beyond those lines.
The project uses cluster analysis methodology–common in economic or marketing studies–to identify 14 distinct demographic groups, or “population clusters,” in 2000 and follow their locations in 2010. By comparing the two years, we can see which population types grew in number or geographic size, or moved into new areas; if their numbers declined or they retreated from their neighborhoods and were replaced by others; or if groups’ locations remained relatively unchanged in a decade. By following groups of people with shared characteristics, we see a different portrait of a changing city. It is one that New Yorkers will recognize, as it reflects the neighborhoods they make for themselves.