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Queens Chronicle

City’s population at an all-time high

Boastful mayor points to quality of life improvements as the reason

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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:30 am, Thu Mar 28, 2013.

You’re one in a million, people probably have told you at some point, whether they meant it as a compliment or ... something else.

Well, if you’re a New York City resident, you’re now one in 8,336,697, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the latest estimate on how many people live in the five boroughs.

If you feel like the subways are getting more crowded, traffic is getting heavier and it’s harder to get a seat at your favorite restaurant, it just may be true. The Census Bureau’s population estimate is the highest ever recorded for the city. In 2010, when the full Census was conducted, the population was estimated at 8,175,133, meaning it increased 2 percent over the next two years.

And those who follow public affairs know that when the Census was conducted, city officials insisted the population was undercounted, especially in Queens neighborhoods such as Flushing and Jackson Heights.

The recorded numbers for Queens show a 1.9 percent increase from 2010 to 2012, from 2,230,722 to 2,272,771. It’s the second most populous borough, trailing only Brooklyn, which is believed to have 2,565,635 residents, 2.4 percent more than in 2010.

The citywide figures say that more people are moving into New York than out of it, for the first time in more than 60 years.

Mayor Bloomberg, in announcing the figures March 14, says they are driven by improvements in the quality of life here, ones he says derive from his administration’s policies in a wide variety of areas.

“For the first time since before 1950, more people are coming to New York City than leaving,” Bloomberg said in a prepared statement. “We have many indicators of quality of life in the city — record low crime, record high tourism, record high life expectancy, record high graduation rates, record job growth and more — but there’s no better indication of the strength of our city than a record high population and a net population influx. People are voting with their feet.”

The city’s share of the overall population of New York State increased from 42.2 to 42.6 percent between 2010 and 2012, the mayor noted, and the Big Apple accounted for 84 percent of the Empire State’s population growth. Annual subway ridership, according to figures he cited that came from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was nearly 1.7 billion in 2012, the highest number recorded in 62 years.

Bloomberg cited the following quality of life measures specifically as making people want to come here and stay when they do.

•A record low murder rate of 419 in 2012.

• A record low incidence of shootings in 2012: 1,353.

• A record low incarceration rate of 474 inmates per 100,000 city residents, in 2011.

• A record low teen pregnancy rate of 72.6 pregnancies per 1,000 girls in 2010.

• A record low average emergency response time of six minutes and 30 seconds in 2012.

• A record low number of fatalities from fires: 58 in 2012.

• A record high number of private sector jobs: 3.2 million.

• A record high life expectancy of 80.9 years on average.

• A record high number of tourists, 52 million, in 2012.

• A record high graduation rate from city high schools of 65 percent.

• A record number of New Yorkers who live within a 10-minute walk of a park: 76 percent.

“A growing population is the single best indicator of any city’s prospects,” Bloomberg said March 17 on his weekly radio address. “And today, New York City’s future is brighter than ever.”

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