"Demography" is the study of human populations, using statistics to describe
conditions of life. Demographers consider a range of information about the
size and density of populations, the ages of their members, and how
populations change. Births, deaths, disease, marriages, divorces,
immigration, economic standing, occupation, race, ethnic and country of
origin all are subjects for the demographer.
New York City is unique and fascinating demographically. Recently, it has
had large numbers of foreign immigrants arriving, many long-standing
residents leaving, an increase in the gap between the rich and the poor, and
a rise in the black middle class. It is a city of unique ethnic and racial
diversity; it has a large older population. It was the home of many
immigrants during the turn of the 20th Century. It was a destination for
many African Americans from the Southern United States. Many residents of
the City's suburbs fled New York City starting after World War II. In some
areas of the city there is rapid growth fueled by immigrants and their
children. Some areas are undergoing racial and ethnic transition; others
are gentrifying. These trends are important for understanding the Ccty and
Andrew A. Beveridge has taught
sociology at Queens College since 1981. Since 1993 he has done demographic
analyses and consulted for the New York Times. He has provided expert
testimony in districting and redistricting, housing discrimination, and
numerous other civil rights cases in the metropolitan area and elsewhere.
The opinions expressed in Topics are his alone.
9/11/01-02: A Demographic Portrait Of The Victims In 10048
The direct losses to New York and the United States from the WTC attack are
incalculable. Yet, as the first anniversary comes and goes, the calculations
go on apace.
More than two-thirds of the 2801 victims, or at least 1946, died on the upper
floors near or above where the planes crashed: the top 19 floors of the North
Tower and the top 33 floors of the South Tower. With the firefighters (343),
the police and other rescue workers (about 90) and the victims from the two
planes (157), and that accounts for about 90 percent of those who were
Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond trading firm, lost 658 employees, by far the
greatest number. Other companies and their losses:
Marsh and McLennan (the insurance firm) 295;
Aon (another insurance firm), 176;
Fiduciary Trust International (a financial firm), 87,
the Port Authority, 75;
Windows on the World restaurant, 73;
Carr Futures, 69;
Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, 67;
and Sandler O'Neil and Partners, 67.
All these were on high floors in one of the towers. Risk magazine, the trade
bible of derivatives industry, which defined much of finance in the 1990s,
was having a conference at Windows on the World. Everyone in attendance,
including many high executives, perished.
Given the firms for whom many of those in the World Trade Center worked (as
well as the large number of fire fighters and other rescue workers) the other
demographic facts should not be that surprising. The victims were
overwhelmingly male (about 75 percent), young (many under 40, most under 50),
and white (about 75 percent). Only about eight percent were black, nine
percent Hispanic, and about six percent Asian. About 75 percent were born in
the United States; the rest came from many countries. Together New York and
New Jersey accounted for about 87 percent.
We now know that the Upper East Side had the most losses (44), while Hoboken,
NJ had the highest proportion of loss of any area, losing 39 residents, or
about one per thousand. The number is probably even higher if parental
addresses are taken into account. It is not surprising that many of the
victims lived in very affluent parts of the metropolitan area, including the
Upper East Side and Basking Ridge New Jersey.
But those working at 10048 represented many aspects of New York City society
-- the wealthy older executives at the Risk conference or running some of the
firms, the young traders on the make, the lawyers, the computer techies, the
immigrants working in the service fields.
After 9/11, 10048 is no more.
Bureau -- The Census Web site is the premier site for data from the 2000 and earlier censuses,
and from a variety of other sources. The site is very well indexed and has a very good search engine.
You can order data, download data, make maps, download tables and publications, view publications, etc.
As with any source it may have both more and less than you want for any specific use.
The American Fact Finder is meant to be the Census Bureau's main access point to data from the Censuses, the American Community Survey and a variety of other sources. Some criticize it for being hard to use
for comparisons from one area to another. For a quick number or two it works like a charm.
of Labor -- Another exemplary source is the Local Area Unemployment
Statistics unit of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each month the
Bureau, in a joint undertaking with the State, provides county by
county estimates of the employment status of the working age
Commerce Department -- A comprehensive handle on where and how New
Yorkers earn their livings. Also features information on Big Apple
employers, salaries, industries and their revenues. Especially
recommended is a database maintained as part of Commerce's Regional
York Metropolitan Transportation Council -- One of the more
ambitious online undertakings in making regional and city statistical
data. Contains data on population, employment and income, to name a
few. Not always easy to use, but well worth the effort.
New York City Department
of Health -- Though the website of New York City's Department of
Health is utterly confusing, their annual publication, "Summary of
Vital Statistics for New York" is indispensable for would be students
of population dynamics. And it's free. Call the Press Office at
212-788-5290 and ask for the Office of Vital Statistics and
New York City Department
of City Planning -- The Department of City Planning has begun to update the data based upon
Census 2000. Following the links and you can find discussion of changing New York City and some
York City's Housing and Vacancy Survey -- Every three years or so
the US Census Bureau provides New York City with a census-type survey
of the city's households. Mandated by the rent regulation law, it
contains much that is of interest to those concerned with social and
economic change at the borough and neighborhood level. A compact disc
containing the microdata files for the 1991, 1993 and 1996 surveys can
be purchased from the Census Bureau. The 1999 survey tables and data re available for