NYC's Population Hits New High, More than 8.5 Million, With the Bronx Leading the Way

The Big Apple is now the Bigger Apple. The Census Bureau says the city's population has reached a new high thanks in part to the Bronx, which is now the fastest-growing borough. NY1's Bronx reporter, Erin Clarke, filed the following report.

The city that never sleeps doesn't seem to stop growing. 

The Census Bureau announced Thursday that the city's population jumped by 21,171 in the year that ended July 1, 2016, to an estimated 8,537,673 - an increase of about a quarter of one percent.  

So far this decade, the Big Apple's population has swelled by more than 360,000. "We're averaging an increase of about 58,000 a year," says Joseph Salvo, of the Department of City Planning.

While the city is losing people to death and migration to other parts of the country, those losses are being more than made up for by births and people moving here, many from overseas.

"Every year there is something like 60,000 more births than deaths in the city, so we add essentially this very big population to our city by way of births -- and by the way, over half of those births are to women who are foreign born," Salvo says.

The census numbers also show that the Bronx is now the fastest growing borough.

The borough added 6,524 people in the year than ended last July 1, an increase of nearly one-half a percent. Queens slipped to second place, adding 5,826. And Brooklyn fell to third, with a gain of 4,209.

Manhattan added 2,566 and Staten Island added 2,046..

"This is a shift from the days when everybody was trying to leave the Bronx," says Clara Rodriguez, a Sociology professor at Fordham University

The Bronx is now the state's fastest-growing county this decade, its population surging more than 5 percent since 2010, the Census Bureau says.

Though the city's population is growing, the rate of growth is slowing down. The latest increase - about a quarter of a percent - is the smallest this decade. Still, the city is doing better than the rest of the state.

Virtually all the state's population growth since 2010 has come from the five boroughs: The city's population has increased by 362,540, and by just 4,647 everywhere else, the Census Bureau says. In most areas upstate, the population has declined.

This means when the next Congressional and state legislative districts are drawn at the start of the next decade, more power will shift to New York City.

"Most of the counties outside of New York City in New York State are either at zero in terms of their population growth, that haven't grown much or they're losing population."

Last year, the Census Bureau estimated that the city's population had grown in 2015 to 8.55 million -  a figure higher than the nearly 8.54 million announced Thursday. The city Planning Department said that after last year's announcement, the Census Bureau adjusted its estimate downward. That is why the bureau said the city's population grew in the year that ended July 1, 2016, but was less than the population announced a year ago, for the year that ended July 1, 2015.

While the year-over-year population increase in the city is not as large as in the past... experts say the growth likely will continue, because the city is a magnet drawing people from across America and the world

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