Monday, July 5, 2010

NYC's shifting demographics, and the vanishing middle class

I'm catching up on some news...The Times noted that for the first time since the 1970s, a majority of Manhattan's population is non-Hispanic white. According to census figures examined by the paper, the white share of the population rose to 51 percent last year from 40 percent in the 1990s. The rest of the borough's residents were 24 percent Hispanic, 14 percent black and 11 percent Asian.

Per the Times:

Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, expressed concern that the "conflation of luxury development and good strong public housing stock" means that "that the borough is becoming a place for very, very wealthy people and enclaves for poor people and that middle-income people are finding it impossible to stay here."

[Image via]


Anonymous said...

When will Bloomberg address this? Why is this being ignored! It tarnishes his reputation as well, he can't not be seeing this.

Jeremiah Moss said...

call it whitey-town

OneWhoRemembers said...

Did you think that maybe he wants this. He sees this as just?

Jeremiah Moss said...

call it whitey-town

prodigal son said...

Comment #16 summarizes in one paragraph exactly what people on this site and the linked sites have been complaining about.

There are a few other interesting comments. Someone pointed out how uninteresting and ugly the view of lower Manhattan now is, though at least that mostly is not Bloomberg;s fault.

There are a number of points that the European model of wealthy city centers/ poor people in the suburbs is not viable here, because public transportation can't support it. There are places in the Outer Boroughs where a commute to a job in Manhattan is not really viable, while the part of the Outer Boroughs within commuting distance is undergoing a hypergentrification similar to Manhattan's. I think this is driving up real estate prices in the center area even more, while pointing to a big flaw in this "development" strategy, in that someday essential service workers simply won't be able to afford to live here. One reason the public sector unions are going to the mat over what seem to be ridiculously high contracts, is that these contracts may be the only things enabling their members to live in New York.

The interesting bit of news in the article is that Manhattan's population has ceased growing. Actually, I find that encouraging. If a business starts price gouging, it should lose customers.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know, this has been the plan for quite some time. Do you think the Manhattan Institute guys are: A. Celebrating? or B. Celebrating?

Robert Fitch's The Assassination of New York, a book about the long term plans for the NYC development is pretty convincing about the reasons for the de-industrialization and de-unioning of NYC.

Oddly enough, there's a kinda interesting, though rather old, review of The Assassination of NY on, of all places, the CBS Money Watch site. It's lengthy but it covers most of the basics of Fitch's argument.;col1

(It shows up in google but doesn't seem to show up at all on the Money Watch search.)

In short, a group of really rich people have long wanted NYC for themselves and so, well, they took it. It's a conspiracy, yup, but it's a conspiracy that show up in some detail in most detailed histories of the city, not to mention, all the foundation reports over the years that Fitch focuses on. If you are concerned about housing and the future of NYC, it's a somewhat forgotten but vital book.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bloomberg has always been a, duh, free-market/invisible hand kind of guy...with a thin thin veneer of noblesse oblige city-planning--so long as the latter doesn't rock the businessman's boat. As far as he's concerned, if the rich want Manhattan, and are willing to pay for it, go for it!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

whites have increased only if you include jews as white. They are their own ethnicity and use the white racial identity as a hiding place from discrimination.