New York City Population Closes In On 8.5 Million

Earlier today, the U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates for 2014 and revised numbers for 2013, showing strong growth in New York City, and highlighting the continuing chronic housing deficit.

The five boroughs are near a population of 8.5 million, with 8,491,079 people counted within the city as of July 1, 2014 (all numbers are as of July 1 of each year). This represents a gain of 299,226 people since 2010, when the Census Bureau registered a citywide population of 8,191,853 (though it should be remembered that the decennial count was disputed by the city, which thought that the Census Bureau undercounted neighborhoods with growing immigration population and lots of new construction).

The total gain of nearly 300,000 residents since 2010 – around 75,000 a year – hasn’t even come close to being matched by new housing. The Department of Buildings has only approved permits for around 50,000 new dwelling units from July 2010 through June 2014 (which doesn’t take into account demolitions), enough to house just 120,000 people at a rate of 2.4 inhabitants per unit, which is the average occupancy of a house or apartment in the city. (And that’s assuming all of the units get built. Historically, around one-third of all units approved do not materialize.)

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