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December 13, 2006

Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary -- (212) 720-3471


December 13, 2006 - The Department of City Planning (DCP) today released population projections detailing the age and gender of the 9.1 million people expected to reside in New York City in the year 2030 with snap shots of the composition of each borough at five year intervals between 2000 and 2030.  The projected increase from 2000’s record high population of 8 million is spread throughout the five boroughs with the largest numerical increase in Queens at 336,000 and the largest percent gain, 24.4 percent, in Staten Island.  While projected changes in the numbers of school age children differ by borough, the City’s population will be older across the board with nearly 15 percent of the population over 65 in 2030, roughly the same share of the total population as the 5-17 age group.  Nearly 400,000 of the city-wide population gain of 1.1 million will be 65 or over. The City median age will rise from 34.2 in 2000 to 37.4 in 2030 with each borough seeing marked increases in the number and share of residents age 65 and over.  The City’s population growth trend and the challenges it portends to continue to sustain growth was the subject of a speech yesterday at Queens Museum by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

Mayor Bloomberg said, "With crime at record lows, student achievement climbing and our economy strong as a result of our five borough economic development strategy, confidence in New York City has soared along with our population.  Our momentum is likely to continue so we must make smart choices to sustain that growth so that it benefits us all. These population projections underscore the importance of ensuring that our children and grandchildren inherit a city greater than the one we love today, and help point the way to the challenges that lie ahead." 

City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden said, "This population analysis is vital for us as planners to create the conditions for growth and to meet the challenges that it brings.  Through an unprecedented number of rezonings we have sought to channel new housing and economic development opportunities near the City's extensive transit system while limiting growth in auto-dependent neighborhoods. We are also dramatically increasing and enhancing New York's open space and waterfront access so that people will have places for respite and recreation, even as our population expands.  With the Mayor’s leadership and by continuing our collaboration with local communities, we can meet future challenges."

City Planning Population Director Joseph Salvo said, "New York City is entering a new era in its demographic history, with a marked rise in population and increases in longevity.  These projections are a valuable tool in our efforts to continue to ensure that New York City remains the dynamic center of opportunity that draws so many people here, from other parts of the nation and other parts of the world."

Among the demographic projections:

Total Population

  • New York City’s population is projected to grow from over 8 million in 2000 to 9.1 million in 2030, an increase of 1.1 million or 13.9 percent.  As of July 1, 2005, the city’s population had already grown to an estimated 8.2 million.

  • Staten Island’s population, which reached 444,000 in 2000 and 475,000 in 2005, is projected to reach a new high of 552,000 in 2030. This translates to a 24.4 percent growth over 2000, the highest of any borough.   However, the average annual population growth will fall by about 50 percent after 2005, to about 3,100 persons per year.

  •  Manhattan will see the second highest post-2000 growth, 18.8 percent, with its population projected to increase to 1.83 million in 2030, well below its peak population of 2.33 million in 1910. Manhattan’s population was estimated at 1.61 million in 2005. 

  • Queens will increase 15.1 percent in the 30-year period, to 2.57 million in 2030, a new population peak.  This compares with an estimated 2.26 million in 2005.

  • Brooklyn will continue to be the most populous borough, adding another 10.3 percent after 2000 to achieve a population of 2.72 million in 2030, close to its 1950 historical high of 2.74 million.  Brooklyn was estimated to have a population of 2.51 million in 2005.

  • Although The Bronx will see the smallest growth during the 2000-2030 period (9.4 percent), its population is projected to reach 1.46 million in 2030, just under its 1970 historical high of 1.47 million.   The Bronx’ 2005 population estimate was 1.36 million.

  • In 2030, The Bronx will be the youngest borough with a median age of 33.3 and 27 percent of its population under 18.  By comparison, Manhattan’s median age is projected to rise from 35.8 to 39.5 and 16.1 percent of its population will be over 65.

  • Staten Island is projected to have the largest share of its population under 18 – 22 percent -- as well as the largest share 65 and over at 18.7 percent in 2030.

The School-Age Population (ages 5 to 17)

  • The school-age population, which numbered 1.40 million in 2000, is projected to increase to 1.43 million in 2005. This population is then projected to decline, reaching a low of 1.36 million in 2020.  These declines are a result of recent declines in childbirth rates, net migration losses, and the smaller cohorts of women of childbearing age.

  • As the large cohort of women born in the 1980s and 1990s enter their peak reproductive years, levels of childbearing will once again rise, increasing the number of school age children after 2020, to 1.40 million in 2030. Nevertheless, there will be slightly fewer school-age children in 2030, compared to 2000.

  • The projected population of school-age children differs markedly by borough. Compared to 2000, by 2030 The Bronx is projected to have a slight decline, less than 1 percent, in school age children while Manhattan is expected to have a slight increase.  The school-age population of Brooklyn will be 5.8 percent lower, while Queens and Staten Island are projected to be significantly higher.

  • The declines in the school-age population in Brooklyn and The Bronx will be largely offset by growth in Staten Island (7.4 percent), Manhattan (4.4 percent), and Queens (3.5 percent). Though the school-age population in each of these boroughs is projected to increase, other age groups are projected to increase even faster. As a result, the share of the school-age population in each of these boroughs is projected to decline between 2000 and 2030.

  • Given the expected growth in the total population, school-age children will comprise just 15.4 percent of the population in 2030, down from 17.4 percent in 2000.

The Elderly Population (ages 65 and over)

  • The number and percent of persons aged 65 and over is projected to rise substantially beginning in 2010. By 2015, the 65-69 age group will be at least 30 percent larger than that same age group in the year 2000.  The aging of baby boomers and improvements to life expectancy among other factors will increase the numbers of elderly New Yorkers as time goes on.  Between 2010 and 2020, the population 65 and over is projected to increase 13.3 percent, to 1.06 million, and by 28.1 percent in the following decade, to 1.35 million in 2030.

  • For the entire 2000-2030 period, while the overall population is projected to increase 13.9 percent, the elderly will increase by 44.2 percent. The aging of large baby boom cohorts, the recent declines in childbirth rates, and the improvements to life expectancy all contribute to a general aging of the population, despite more pronounced migration loss from 2010-2030.

  • By 2030, every baby-boomer will be at least 65 years old, and the share of the population that is elderly will increase from 11.7 percent in 2000 to 14.8 percent in 2030. Over one-third of the increase in the city’s population during this period will be among those ages 65 and over.

  •  Staten Island and Manhattan are the only boroughs projected to see increases each decade, 2000-2030. Staten Island will see the largest percentage increase, with the elderly population doubling, from 51,000 in 2000 to 103,000 in 2030. The elderly, who comprised 11.6 percent of Staten Island’s population in 2000, will account for 18.7 percent of that borough’s population in 2030, the highest in the city.

  • Manhattan’s elderly population is projected to increase 57.9 percent, to 295,000 in 2030 and account for 16.1 percent of the borough’s population, up from 12.2 percent in 2000.

  • Brooklyn will continue to have the largest elderly population in the city, numbering 410,000 in 2030, a 45 percent increase from 2000, while the elderly in Queens will see a 31.5 percent, to 372,000 in 2030. The Bronx will see the smallest increase (28.9 percent); its projected elderly population of 173,000 in 2030 will comprise just 11.8 percent of The Bronx population, the smallest share of any borough.

The methodology for these projections relied on standard demographic techniques that begin with existing groups, or cohorts, of age and gender groups and project them forward based on current rates of birth, death and different patterns of migration among age groups in each borough.  DCP demographers adjusted these figures in line with future increases in life expectancy. They further customized their methodology for New York City to account for projected changes in each borough’s land use.  By incorporating information on housing production, demand and future rezonings to accommodate greater capacity, DCP was able to project age/sex distributions for New York City and its boroughs through 2030, its first such population  projection. 

Further information on the methodology and detailed charts and analyses of projected population by borough are available.

Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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