District Demographics Draft updated: 3.14.2018 (thanks for the advice and input!) If you would like to work on a Post Election 2020 update ahead of the release of the Census (2023), let me know.Rex Curry
The broad range of concerns affecting the constituency served by the NYC and NYS Congressional delegation are best seen through the lens of the Ninth Congressional District. It has wealth and poverty, it is enriched with new cultures, it is in good physical condition, but the cost is easily recognized in a growing rent burden.
New “resist” platforms for distributing research information combine well on digital platforms through block-by-block organizing and face-to-face dialogue. The priority is to have confidence in an advocate for change, beginning with the ability to legislate. Our capacity to express the needs, interests, and concerns of her constituency through research is paramount. They deliver, or they do not. It is that simple – four or five terms is all it takes. Funding will be helpful to move on to other CDs and seek alliances under the general heading of the NY Congressional Delegation.
Who We Are
The Ninth Congressional District (CD) is the only district in Brooklyn that is entirely within Brooklyn. In general, the boundary on the north is Atlantic Avenue and Dean Street, and to the south, the Shore Parkway. The eastern borders are Powell Street in Brownsville, Ralph Ave. in Wingate, Prospect Lefferts, and East Flatbush. The district narrows along several streets through Marine Park. The western boundary runs from Sixth Avenue in Park Slope, along with both sides of the Prospect Expressway and both sides of Coney Island Avenue to the west and south through Fisk Terrace, Midwood, Marine Park, Kings, and Sheepshead Bay. A fantastic, diverse set of neighborhoods.
CD9 shares a boundary with other representatives, Hakeem Jefferies (CD8), Nadia Valesquez (CD7), Jerold Nadler (CD10), and Greg Meeks (CD5). The idea is to get to know all of the NY Delegation. Step one is to define CD9 issues and support the Indivisible Ninth.
Look at the social characteristics and vital statistics of CD9. It reveals extraordinary diversity and significant economic power. The following are 2015 estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) of the U.S. Census based on sample surveys. Most of the numbers in this narrative are rounded to the nearest thousand or hundred as the ACS tables present margins of error.
As the saying goes, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics, so review this narrative as a general but reasonably factual description. Most importantly, think of the questions this information inspires.
Look at this resource: American FactFinder for more information about the choices we have in describing ourselves using the U.S. Census. (Contact Research for access to tables).
Note: See the Public Mapping Project for an analysis of the redistricting issue. The community formed by CD does not last. CD9 will be redrawn after 2020.
The “Ancestry Chart” above describes the total number of people who responded with a particular ancestry (413,000 people). For example, the estimate given for Russian represents the number of individuals who listed Russian as either their first or second ancestry.
Not everyone reports ancestry. The total estimated population of District 9 is 759,225, as estimated by the American Community Survey (2015), a division of the U.S. Census and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The “all other” group listed above are registered as Slovak, Danish, French Canadian, Lithuanian, Swiss, Portuguese, Czech, Welsh, Norwegian, Swedish, Greek, Dutch-Hungarian, and French (except Basque).
An interesting side note is the growing percentage of people who have decided to report their ancestry as “American” among the Ancestry groups. In one way, it says the USA is a very young country. In another way, it means how much we have yet to learn from one another.
Place of Birth
People born in South Central Asia are part of the CD9 community and among the 347,000 people that did not list ancestry, in preference to national origin.
We can describe our origins in many ways; as a place of ancestry or birth in another country. Data sets include our year of entry from one place to another as a matter of international or local migration and parsed by citizenship, race, ethnic or Hispanic origin, income, education, health, even family size.
- The chart above shows this data for South Asia, of which people from Pakistan represent a majority among a diverse population. Similar place of birth charts can be made for the 29,000 people born in other parts of Asia.
- People born in Europe represent 45,000 people, of which Eastern European represent the majority (36,000 people).
- The District has about 8,000 people born in Africa.
- People born in Latin America represent 195,000 people.
District 9 is a community of families. A third of our population is composed of children under the age of 18 years at 32%. About 7% of the population live with non-relatives, 11% with relatives, and 13% with a spouse.
Bottom line: those born in the United States represent 58% of the District’s population, and 39% were born in another country.
A demographic analysis by Congressional District and the many neighborhoods within its boundaries helps develop questions that define common concerns best put to our national representative. Representatives at the city and state level are best to press more urgent needs. Nevertheless, our civic responsibility is to forge unity among our representatives on vital issues; among these are continuous improvements in the quality of housing, education, and health.
The quality and condition of the housing stock define a neighborhood. Following are brief aspects of housing in CD9 – when did the people who live in CD9 get here? What are people paying for rent, and is it affordable? What is our educational attainment? What is our income? What do we do? How are we employed, and what businesses do we own or manage?
CD9 is a community of new people.
Over 65% of residents moved into CD9 since 2000.
The construction of new housing in Brooklyn since 2015 has been nothing but extraordinary. New housing is due (in part) to discretionary tax and zoning incentives throughout CD9. This district has 22,000 vacant housing units (for rent or sale) to produce a meager vacancy rate of 1.3% in owner housing and a 3.3% rental vacancy rate. Low rates tend to produce high rents. New construction should help retain some stability in the market. Nevertheless, the sense of displacement is upon many of CD9’s neighborhoods, despite city programs and the Rent Stabilization Law. Just 80,000 housing units are owner-occupied of CD9’s 304,000 unit total. Nearly 16,000 homes were occupied for the first time in 2015 or later and speaks, in part, to the rate of new construction. A drive down Ocean Avenue, the arterial spine of CD9, presents a series of newly built, modestly designed six to eight-story residential buildings. A new 236-unit, 28 story tower to the east on Voorhees Avenue in Sheepshead Bay speaks to housing increased development and affordability. A condo apartment reportedly begins around $700,000, while rental asking prices have yet to be revealed.
Only 8% of households pay monthly rents over $2,000, 31% of renters pay less than $1,000, and 61% pay between one and two thousand dollars per month.
There are 190,000 rental units of the 282,000 total in CD9.
In 2015, the community began to pay more for housing than it can afford. Nearly half of the district’s housing is governed by the Rent Stabilization Board. The major reason for the community stability is the restraint on greed managed through Rent Stabilisation. The number of rent-stabilized units in areas wholly or partially encompassed by the Ninth CD are as follows::
|Crown Heights North:||16,248|
|Crown Heights South:||9,254|
|Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate:||15,402|
|Ocean Parkway South:||1,776|
|Sheepshead Bay-Gerritsen & Manhattan:||3,725|
The number of occupied rental units in the Ninth District is offered in the following rent ranges in 2015. The stability and shelter affordability in the Ninth is directly the result of Rent Stabilization.
|Occupied Units for Rent||190,231|
|Less than $500||17,117|
|$500 to $999||41,149|
|$1,000 to $1,499||84,682|
|$1,500 to $1,999||31,601|
|$2,000 to $2,499||9,380|
|$2,500 to $2,999||3,729|
|$3,000 or more||2,573|
The good rule is to take 35% of your annual gross household income and divide it by 12 months. In 2015, the rent for almost half of the community’s 190,000 rental apartments was more than 35% of household income.
Reports of the Kushner real estate empire’s attack on rent-stabilized tenants is also a war on small businesses. See the article in The Guardian for details. (no paywall). It was widely reported in mid-March 2018 because of the growing odor of corruption swirling around the White House. Nevertheless, the real issue is the relentless increase in the cost of shelter, and flat wages lead directly to the rise of the “rent burden” in every community of New York City. When half of the households in a neighborhood pay more than half of their income for housing, the small businesses are hurt.
The latest data is from the 2010 Census. However, housing research specialists at the Furman Center project this issue could reach crisis proportions by 2020. Reach into your community’s feelings about rent and displacement from their homes, recognize the permanence of 40,000 people in shelters, and the answer to this problem is clear. First, the attack on the U.S. Department of Commerce budget for the implementation of the 2020 Census must end. Second, a new legislative initiative by city and state leaders will be devised to increase the pressure on the owners and developers of housing in New York City will be under increased private accountability and public scrutiny. (more here)
Advanced learning choices for people are a major urban asset. New York City is the premier center for education. Of Brooklyn’s fifteen institutions of higher education, CD9 includes Medgar Evers College (SUNY), the Health Science Center At Brooklyn Downstate (SUNY), and Brooklyn College (CUNY). CD9 has about 100,000 young people attending college or high school and a similar number of children in public schools.
There are 522,000 people over 25 years of age, of this just 15% are without a high school education. (see below)
Employment, Income and Business
Of the 364,000 people at work, 278,000 are private wage salary workers, 58,000 people work for the government, and 28,000 are self-employed. The majority of people (230,000) get to work using public transportation ( subways/buses) to work.
Of the people at work in CD9 who are 16 years and over, most are in management, business, science, and arts (151,000). Another 92,000 people work in service occupations, of which health service employment is significant. Sales and office jobs represent 73,000 people in the district.
Education, health, and social service industries employ the most people (123,000). The second-largest source jobs are in professional, science, management, and waste management service (46,000). The third-largest employers are Retail Trade businesses (32,000 people), followed by the arts, entertainment, and recreation industries, including accommodation and food services (29.000)
CD9 has 282,000 households with a median HH income of $51,000. Just 24,000 of these HH have income and benefits of $100,000 or more. The businesses located in CD9 employ 114,000 people. The largest employers are in the healthcare and social assistance sector (51,000). Retail Trade follows with 16,000 employed. Accommodation and Food services employ 9,000 people. About 12,200 businesses employ these 114,000 people. They bring home a payroll of $4.3 billion to the district.
CD9 supports five Business Improvement Districts aimed at local employment, small business services, training, education, and design assistance services.
The Brooklyn Health Complex
Aside from the BIDs above, the single greatest asset in CD9 is a vast combination of health service institutions that is, in part, a testimony to the chaos of the American Health System on the one hand and a story of extraordinary health service heroism in the United States.
The ACS estimates that 691,000 have health insurance, of which 430,000 have private insurance, and 318,000 have public coverage. About 65,000 people are without coverage in CD9. The Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, the Kings County Hospital Center, and the Downstate Medical Center is the district’s largest employer and an excellent partner in defining the impact of the repeal/replace initiative over the next year or two.
Downstate has a student body of nearly 1,800 and a staff and faculty community of about 8,000. No other organization in the entire state would be more informed regarding health issues. It maintains Brooklyn’s only Medical History Library.
The central location of these multiple facilities in Brooklyn presents an opportunity for a major urban design solution based on the provision of multiple surface transportation systems and services to reduce and eliminate private automobile traffic within the complex.
How many people are served in this complex? Can services be provided to get people into preventative care and long-term health insurance services? Who bears the cost of the uninsured?
CENSUS SOCIAL MEDIA
A general overview of our Congressional District and the many neighborhoods included within its boundaries by answering the questions about who we are as voters in a district.
The Census provides useful online resources for examining a community. The American Community Survey and the American FactFinder have many tools that provide a detailed look at our social and economic lives that anyone in the world can see. The Congressional District tool is a good example. You can embed this tool into your website. Summary of all twenty-seven Congressional Districts is provided using this resource (here). Participants are encouraged to become familiar with this information.
The Official City Map
For more detailed and localized data, the NYC Map resource gives you the location of local capital projects, community facilities, and a host of other location-based resources (here).
The map above is vast, covers the whole city and a wide range of topics. For example, if you wanted to compare census tracts of Indivisible Ninth meeting places.
Data Tools and Apps
The link “Website” will take you to U.S. information pages. Goes to the interactive applications to get statistics on where you live. Here is one of them. 2010 Census Interactive Population Map It uses 2010 data, the charts above are based on the estimates made by the American Community Survey.
The Official City Map can help you identify everything from public meeting places to the boundary of your election district. All of the community services and facilities listed above receive Federal support, such as capital funding for projects. Research and technical services, but NYC rank very low among municipalities in per capita funding. Reasons for this include the suburban nature of Congress and lack of unity among the NY Delegation.
The NYC Planning Department provides residents with neighborhood information organized from the Census and various sources for our use (HERE). The Community Districts connect city agencies with neighborhood residents with the help of volunteer boards, a District Manager, and minimal support staff.
For example, our CD9 area includes small parts of Park Slope, Crown Heights, and East Flatbush. Summary demographics of each community provide a reasonable description of the community districts by numbers, such as the type of housing units, participants in Medicaid and SSI, etc.
Take a look. The tear sheets are available for download at the link above. They look like this:
If you would like to recommend a demographic analysis project, assign one of your students or do it yourself. Please do and lets us know. Or if you want to call out a typo or an awful sentence, that’s OK too.