Demographics of Brooklyn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Population trend[1]
Year Inhabitants
1731 2,150
1756 2,707
1771 3,623
1786 3,966
1790 4,549
1800 5,740
1810 8,303
1820 11,187
1830 20,535
1840 47,613
1850 138,822
1860 279,122
1870 419,921
1880 599,495
Year Inhabitants
1890 838,547
1900 1,166,582
1910 1,634,351
1920 2,018,356
1930 2,560,401
1940 2,698,285
1950 2,738,175
1960 2,627,319
1970 2,602,012
1980 2,230,936
1990 2,300,664
2000 2,465,326
2010 2,504,710
2015 2,636,735

The demographics of Brooklyn reveal a very diverse borough of New York City and a melting pot for many cultures, like the city itself. Since 2010, the population of Brooklyn was estimated by the Census Bureau to have increased 3.5% to 2,592,149 as of 2013, representing 30.8% of New York City's population, 33.5% of Long Island's population, and 13.2% of New York State's population.[2][3][4][5][6] If the boroughs of New York City were separate cities, Brooklyn would be the third largest city in the United States after Los Angeles and Chicago.

According to the 2010 Census, 35.7% of the population was non-Hispanic White, 31.9% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 10.4% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.4% from some other race (non-Hispanic) and 1.6% of two or more races (non-Hispanic). 19.8% of Brooklyn's population was of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race).


Of its 880,727 households 33.3% have children under the age of 18 living in them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. Of all households 27.8% are made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.41.

In the County the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.8% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.


The median income for a household in the County was $32,135, and the median income for a family was $36,188. Males had a median income of $34,317 versus $30,516 for females. The per capita income for the County was $16,775. About 22.0% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.0% of those under age 18 and 21.5% of those age 65 or over.

Race and ethnicity[edit]

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, White Americans made up 54.6% of Brooklyn's population. Black Americans made up 34.2% of Brooklyn's population; non-Hispanic blacks made up 32.9% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.3% of Brooklyn's population. Asian Americans made up 9.5% of the population; Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1% of the populace. Multiracial Americans made up 1.4% of Brooklyn's population. Hispanic and Latino Americans made up 19.6% of Brooklyn's population.[7]

European Americans[edit]

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, white Americans made up a majority (54.6%) of Brooklyn's population, of which 51.9% are non-Hispanic whites. Whites (both Hispanic and non-Hispanic) number near 1.3 million individuals, and there are nearly 1,150,000 non-Hispanic whites residing in Brooklyn. Brooklyn's European American population mainly consists of ethnic Europeans who are either from or descendants from Eastern and Southern European countries of Italy, Russia, Poland, Albania, and former Soviet Union countries, as well as Ireland. Northwest and the Southern half sections of Brooklyn are predominantly European American communities, and most of the borough's European American residents are of the Catholic or Jewish faith. Amongst Catholics, Italian Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, Bath Beach, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Williamsburg, East Williamsburg, Bergen Beach, and Mill Basin. Polish Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Greenpoint ("Little Poland") and Greenwood Heights; Russian Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay; and Irish Americans are the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Bay Ridge, Gerritsen Beach, and Marine Park. Brooklyn is 22.4% Jewish[citation needed] with Jews being the predominant ethnic group in neighborhoods such as Borough Park, Williamsburg, Midwood, Ocean Parkway, a portion of Crown Heights, and a portion of Flatbush. Although Northwestern and the Southern half sections of Brooklyn are mainly populated by European American communities, however they are not all exclusively European Americans as there are also a few large Latino communities that are intertwined with the European American communities in western Brooklyn such as Williamsburg/East Williamsburg and a portion of Sunset Park with some overlap into Greenwood Heights and Prospect Park. In the southern half of Brooklyn, there are several large Asian communities, mostly Chinese with some southeast Asians intertwined and surrounded by the European American communities mainly in a portion of Sunset Park and Bensonhurst/Gravesend and on a smaller scale Sheepshead Bay and Flatbush/Midwood.

Neighborhoods surrounding Bedford-Stuyvesant such as Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Bushwick, Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Canarsie, and East New York were previously overwhelmingly majority Jewish and Italian with Germans and Irish in some sections in early-mid 20th century, but in the later part of the 20th century they slowly shifted into majority Black communities with a few Puerto Rican communities interspersed in Bushwick and a portion of East New York.[8] However, a portion of Crown Heights and a portion of Flatbush still have a significant Jewish and European American communities and in Spring Creek, which is a subsection of East New York still have some significant scattered numbers of European Americans intermixed with the predominantly African American community. Within recent years, the Jewish population and other European Americans, mainly high income professionals has started regrowing in Fort Greene, Crown Heights, Flatbush and Bedford Stuyvesant in significant numbers due to the Jewish American population growing and spilling over from still existing Jewish communities nearby such as from Williamsburg, southern Crown Heights and on a smaller scale, Flatbush and as well as rapid gentrification has been happening since the 2000s. [9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, the six most common European ancestries were the following.[16]

Ancestry Number % of total population
Italian 157,068 6.1%
Irish 100,923 3.9%
Russian 88,766 3.5%
Polish 71,099 2.8%
German 53,188 2.1%
English 36,174 1.4%

African Americans[edit]

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, African Americans made up over one-third (34.2%) of Brooklyn's population. There are over 877,000 African Americans residing in Brooklyn. The historical African American cultural center of the borough has long been Bedford-Stuyvesant; African Americans became a majority in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the 1930s following the construction of the A line subway between Harlem and Bedford.[17] [18][19][20]As a result, Bedford Stuyvesant, which is in the northern section of Brooklyn was an extension of Harlem's black community as well as Brooklyn's earliest first established large African American community, although some of their population did intermix into other surrounding neighborhoods which were then heavily dominated Jewish and Italian communities including some Germans in Bushwick, Fort Greene, Ocean-Hill, Brownsville and East New York during the early part of 20th century. [21] Neighborhoods surrounding Bedford-Stuyvesant in Northern, Central and North Eastern sections of Brooklyn such as Ocean Hill, Brownsville, Canarsie, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, East New York, Spring Creek and Fort Greene, which were still dominantly Jewish and Italian communities along with some Irish and Germans and continued to surround Bedford Stuyvesant's large African American community until the 1950s-70s also began to get large influxes of African Americans starting in the 1950s until the 1970s as large numbers of African Americans continued to move into Brooklyn with their desire to be near Bedford Stuyvesant's African American community and eventually they all also transitioned into majority African American communities by the 1980s-2000s with a portion of Crown Heights that has still remained Jewish, however there are also large Caribbean/West Indian black communities intermixed in, which most of them are in East Flatbush, Canarsie and a portion of Crown Heights. [22] After Bedford Stuyvesant, which was once mostly populated by upper class Europeans, Jewish, and Italians became the first Brooklyn area to become a majority African American neighborhood during the 1930s-40s, nearby neighborhoods going further northeast of Brooklyn such as Ocean-Hill, Brownsville and East New York sections including a portion of Crown Heights just below Bedford Stuyvesant, which were all formerly majority Jewish and Italian neighborhoods until the 1960s were the next following areas to transition into African American communities, which started happening in the 1950s, but it was more towards the late 1960s and early 1970s when they fully became majority African American communities. East Flatbush and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, which are located in the central portion of Brooklyn just south of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights and were majority Italian/Jewish/Irish neighborhoods until the early 1970s became the later sections to become majority African American and West Indian/Caribbean black communities, which the transition happened more towards the mid 1970s to 1980s. Canarsie, which is located in the far eastern portion, but upper middle of Brooklyn below East New York and east of East Flatbush in northeast Brooklyn was mainly a Jewish and Italian majority neighborhood until the 1990s was the final large neighborhood in northern Brooklyn to become a majority African American and West Indian/Caribbean black community by the mid 1990s-2000s. As a result, most of the northern half of Brooklyn is dominated by African American including Caribbean Black communities clustered all together although there is still a Jewish enclave in a portion of Crown Heights now overwhelmingly surrounded by Brooklyn's majority African American and West Indian/Caribbean neighborhoods and as well as there are still significant scattered numbers of European Americans in Spring Creek's majority African American enclave, however the very northern sections of Brooklyn such as Bushwick, Cypress Hills and a portion of East New York are primarily Latino communities and north west sections of Brooklyn such as Williamsburg, Green Point, Cobble Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope are still mainly European American communities with a large Latino community in East Williamsburg and some Latinos intermixed in Carroll Gardens/Park Slope/Gowanus until this day, although they have become a lot more gentrified now. Red Hook, which is in the western northern part of Brooklyn at the very western tip by the ocean also has a significant African American population, however it is a little bit distant away about a mile or more from most of the predominant African American communities of Brooklyn since Red Hook is surrounded by predominantly European American, now very gentrified communities of northwest Brooklyn. In the very southern tip of Brooklyn, Coney Island also has a significant African American population, which is a lot more far away from most of the dominantly African American neighborhoods in northern Brooklyn since the southern half of Brooklyn is still mostly European American communities largely Jewish and Italian, but also with Eastern Europeans and Greeks and now also more recently emerged Asian American communities, mainly Chinese with some southeast Asians. Together all these predominantly Black neighborhoods have a population of about 940,000 and are roughly 82% African American, making it the largest African-American community in the United States.[23] The roads of Eastern Parkway, Malcolm X Boulevard, Kings Highway, Broadway, Atlantic Avenue, Linden Boulevard, Flatlands Avenue and Jackie Robinson Parkway connect several of these neighborhoods. However, due to recent years of gentrification going on in these areas particularly Fort Greene, Bedford Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and Flatbush, the African American communities have been declining as the high income professional white population residents have been soaring largely in these areas since the 2000s. [24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

Caribbean Americans[edit]

According to the 2010 US Census data on there are approximately 370,000 (16.4%) Caribbean descendants in Brooklyn. That figure includes persons who identify with the Dominican Republic (3.3%), but does not include the (7.4%) Puerto Rican population. Including Puerto Ricans there are approximately 560,000 (23.8%) persons of Caribbean descent in Brooklyn. Similar, but not identical demographics in America can be found in Miami, but there are not as many Cubans in New York. A large population of Brooklyn's Caribbean decedents are of Trinidadian, Jamaican, Barbadian, Haitian, Saint Lucians and Guyanese immigrants.

Hispanics and Latinos[edit]

According to the 2009 American Community Survey, Hispanics and Latinos made up nearly one-fifth (19.6%) of Brooklyn's population. Over 500,000 Hispanics and Latinos reside in Brooklyn. Nearly 190,000 Puerto Ricans call the borough home, and they make up 7.4% of the population. The borough's 91,000 Mexican Americans make up 3.6% of its population. In the Northern sections of Brooklyn such as Bushwick, East Williamsburg, Cypress Hills and a portion of East New York are home to most of Brooklyn's large Hispanic communities mainly from Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Central America and have become the majority in these neighborhoods, which were formerly majority African American neighborhoods during the 1960s-70s and before the African Americans, they were formerly majority Italian/Jewish/German neighborhoods from the 1920s-60s. The Hispanic/Latino communities in North Brooklyn are mostly located very north of the currently existing African American communities of Brooklyn such as Bushwick in the very north central section of Brooklyn and Cypress Hills/north portion of East New York in very northeastern section of Brooklyn as most of the northern half of Brooklyn, which were formerly Jewish and Italian majority neighborhoods are currently majority African American/Caribbean black neighborhoods although some of the Latino and Hispanic populations do spillover into the predominant black communities such as Brownsville/East New York near Cypress hills and Bedford Stuyvesant next to Bushwick. However the Hispanic/Latino community in Williamsburg/East Williamsburg, which is in northwest of Brooklyn are intertwined between many European American enclaves consisting of Jewish and Italians including many high income professionals known as hipsters as the northwestern portion of Brooklyn are still mainly European American enclaves, however some of the Latino/Hispanic population do intermix into Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Boerum Hill, Red Hook, and Prospect Park sections, which are all in the northwest portion of Brooklyn, but due to the gentrification that is happening rapidly in northwestern sections of Brooklyn, the Latino/Hispanic population is facing a threat of decline in those sections. However, in Southwest Brooklyn, there is also a large Hispanic community in Sunset Park, which is neighbored by Brooklyn's largest Chinese enclave known as Brooklyn's Chinatown to the east of Sunset Park and neighbored by a few small scattered enclaves of European Americans to the north of Sunset Park and north east heading into Park Slope. In recent years, a growing number of Hispanic/Latinos, mainly Mexicans and other Central Americans have started appearing significantly in other parts of the southern half of Brooklyn, but at this time, they still have no newly emerged large enclaves except for Sunset Park since they are scattered and are integrated in Bensonhurst/Gravesend/Bath Beach's currently majority Italian/Jewish and Chinese enclaves; also including small numbers of Muslims and Arabs. Brighton Beach, which is in the southeast portion of Brooklyn and is mainly populated by Russians and other former USSR nationalities also has a significant scattered Latino/Hispanic population. Sheepshead Bay, which is also in southeast Brooklyn is also populated by many Russian speakers and also has a small significant Latino/Hispanic population. [31][32][33]

Asian Americans[edit]

Over 243,000 Asians live in the borough. The most numerous Asian American group are those of Chinese descent. Chinese Americans make up 6.4% of the borough's population, and they number over 163,000 individuals. Much of Brooklyn's Asian population is concentrated in Southern Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Sunset Park ("Brooklyn's Chinatown"), Homecrest, Sheepshead Bay ("Avenue U Chinatown") and Bensonhurst. ("Bensonhurst Chinatown")[34] The Chinese were second only to Queens among New York boroughs, meaning Manhattan's Chinatown is no longer the main residence of Chinese in the city. So far, Sunset Park, which was formerly a Norwegian neighborhood and is located in the southwestern portion of Brooklyn carries the largest Chinatown of Brooklyn since the Chinese population began growing in Sunset Park during the 1980s-90s and is neighbored by a large Latino/Hispanic community to the west of Sunset Park. Bensonhurst, which is located in the southern central part of Brooklyn and Sheepshead Bay, which is located in southeastern Brooklyn were formerly majority Italian and Jewish enclaves until the 2000s did not get the large influx of Chinese until more towards the mid 1990s, but spiked more towards the 2000s resulting now in several small newer Chinatowns in several sections of Bensonhurst and a section of Sheepshead Bay. However, Bensonhurst's Chinese population all together is enough to create another large Chinatown and even outnumber Sunset Park's Chinese population, however they are more spread out and intermixed with still some existing Italian, Jewish, and Russian enclave clusters unlike Sunset Park's Chinese population that concentrate amongst each other. Sheepshead Bay's Chinese population, although significant is comparatively a lot smaller than Bensonhurst or Sunset Park and mainly concentrate around the Avenue U area. [35] Approximately 19,851 Asian Indians live in Brooklyn. Approximately 9,681 Filipino Americans live in Brooklyn. Approximately 6,977 Korean Americans reside here. Brooklyn has the most Vietnamese Americans of any borough, they numbered over 5,700 individuals. The 4,704 Japanese Americans rounded out Asian American groups with over 1,000 people in Brooklyn.

There is Pakistani American community in the Parkville section of Brooklyn[36] and there is a "Little Pakistan" on Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn.[37] Pakisatanis are concentrated heavily in the Midwood section of Brooklyn, and are one of the fastest growing Asian ethnic groups in Brooklyn alongside Bangladeshis.[38] Pakistanis number around 30,000 and counting in Brooklyn and their community is growing rapidly. Many halal restaurants, fabric stores, Pakistani clothing stores and mosques are centered on Coney Island Avenue.[39] A growing Bangladeshi community and ethnic enclave is centered in Kensington, as many Bangladeshi halal restaurants and stores also are flourishing in the Bangladeshi majority zone centered on McDonald Ave in Kensington.[40][41]

Currently, the Brooklyn Asian enclaves are scattered and intertwined with the predominant European American communities in southern Brooklyn.

Arab Americans[edit]

Arab Americans currently reside in the western and southern central parts of Brooklyn, with a small population in eastern Brooklyn. Bay Ridge currently holds the highest percentage of Arab Americans, with its main thoroughfare being 5th avenue. Other neighborhoods include Boerum Hill, which historically held the largest Yemeni population, but now many Yemeni Americans have moved to Bay Ridge due to the increase of rent in Boerum Hill. Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, parts of Sunset Park, Dyker Heights Park Slope, and East New York also hold a large amount of Arab Americans.

Brooklyn has been the city's largest borough since the mid-1920s. (Key: Each borough's historical population in millions. The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island)


Brooklyn has a high degree of linguistic diversity. As of 2010, 54.12% (1,240,416) of Brooklyn residents age 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 17.16% (393,340) spoke Spanish, 6.46% (148,012) Chinese, 5.31% (121,607) Russian, 3.47% (79,469) Yiddish, 2.75% (63,019) French Creole, 1.35% (31,004) Italian, 1.20% (27,440) Hebrew, 1.01% (23,207) Polish, 0.99% (22,763) French, 0.95% (21,773) Arabic, 0.85% (19,388) various Indic languages, 0.70% (15,936) Urdu, and African languages were spoken as a main language by 0.54% (12,305) of the population over the age of five. In total, 45.88% (1,051,456) of Brooklyn's population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.[42]


  1. ^ ""Notes Geographical and Historical, relating to the Town of Brooklyn, i" by Gabriel Furman and Paul Royster (transcriber & depositor)". 2006-03-21. Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  2. ^ "State and County QuickFacts: New York (city), New York". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  3. ^ "Kings County, New York QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 17, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  4. ^ "Queens County, New York QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  5. ^ "Nassau County, New York QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  6. ^ "Suffolk County, New York QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  7. ^ American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "Kings County, New York - ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2009". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  8. ^ The Tipping Point Archived October 10, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, article copied from The New Yorker, June 3, 1996
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "Kings County, New York - Selected Social Characteristics in the United States: 2009". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ Bed-Stuy on the Move
  22. ^
  23. ^ "11203 - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ Ramirez, Jeanine (May 21, 2012). "Asian American Week: Chinese Population In Brooklyn Broadens, Ages". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  35. ^
  36. ^ Khan, Shazia (May 23, 2012). "Asian-American Week: Parkville Pakistani Community Expands Again". Archived from the original on September 8, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  37. ^ Gonnerman, Jennifer (August 27, 2011). "Dragnets: A season of suspicion in Little Pakistan". Retrieved May 29, 2012.
  38. ^ "Little Pakistan rises from the ashes".
  39. ^ "Little Pakistan bounces back". Gotham Gazette.
  40. ^ "Little Bangladesh grows". NY1. Archived from the original on 2014-09-27.
  41. ^ "Is Kensington Banglatown?". The Brooklyn Ink.
  42. ^ "Kings County, New York". Modern Language Association. Archived from the original on June 19, 2006. Retrieved August 10, 2013.