Imagine if everyone in New Orleans uprooted and moved to New York City and you’ll begin to understand how our population is growing.

Preliminary census numbers obtained by NY1 show that the city’s population jumped from 8.2 million to 8.6 million from 2010 to 2017 – a growth rate New York hasn’t seen since the turn of the 20th Century.

As Courtney Gross reported this morning, every single borough experienced significant growth – with immigration being the driving force behind the boost.  

These numbers have more than a “gee whiz” aspect to them. As Gross points out, population determines how much state and federal funding the city gets. By all accounts, we deserve a lot more.

But one big potential roadblock in the official count in 2020 is proposed language in the census. For the first time, the Commerce Department is considering have census workers ask people whether or not they’re American citizens. It’s hard to imagine that a question like that will make the count easier in a city where there’s an estimated 500,000 immigrants who are here illegally.

The decision about that troubling question is due at the end of the month. If we want a real count, let’s not try to scare the people who are already here. If we want fake numbers, let’s give bullying a spin.


Bob Hardt