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Illustrated Explorer’s Guide to Williamsburg & Greenpoint

Think of Brooklyn Community District 1 as a city with over 173,000 people in 2010. Part 1 of A Journey through Williamsburg-Greenpoint religions.

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Brooklyn 1

Williamsburg - Greenpoint area of Brooklyn is something of a boomtown of luxury condos, designer stores, art, video and music studios, design shops and the like.

Consequently, the population of the area is increasing. Between 2000 and 2010 the population grew 7.9% reaching 173,083 people. The number of White non-Hispanics and Asian Americans coming into Williamsburg & Greenpoint, which is Brooklyn Community District 1, has increased much more quickly than for other groups.

The largest groups (see the Brooklyn Community Report below) residing in the area are Hassidic Jews (around 16%), Polish (13%), workers in arts and culture (12%), Puerto Ricans (10%), Dominicans (6%), and Italians (ancestry mainly from the Naples area, 6%).

Chart: A Journey through NYC religions

Chart: A Journey through NYC religions. Data: US Census

Between 2000-2009 median household income increased 27%, poverty dropped by 20%, and housing values increased from $193,558 in 2000 to $582,700 in 2006. Seems to look pretty good, but...

The boom has not treated all areas of the northwest Brooklyn area equally. There are really three Williamsburg - Greenpoints: a middle class lodged particularly in the north part; an upper class in the center and nearest Manhattan; and a poverty band in the south and east. Students and young professionals receive low incomes with shaky expectations of a higher permanent income.

The area is poised in a zone of transition. The rich are infiltrating in, the young professionals and students are moving further and further east, and the poor hang onto their housing but have lost much of their community space. In an odd erasure of community solidarity sociologist Richard Cimino noticed that the real estate dealers populated their come-hither maps with eating places, fancy shops, and the like but erased all mention of religious congregations in the area. Yet, contrary to secular expectations, religious groups in the area have grown in numbers and attendance after a long decline.

The line between the past and future is well represented by the fact that by 2000 72% of the households were childless, reflecting the presence of retired ethnics and the single and newly married young professionals and rich. The possibility of an organic neighborhood of singles, families and retired seems to be emerging if the new toy shops and children clothing boutiques are any indication.

Williamsburg IncomeE2

Source: American Community Survey 2008-2012 as analyzed by A Journey through NYC Religion

Note: this report often relies on statistics from the estimates of the American Community Survey and other data collections which may differ from the U.S. Census statistics of 2010. The American Community Survey, real estate surveys, and other data collections have some highly useful statistics that are not available in the U.S. Census statistics.

  • Magnificent

  • Thanks, Professor Blasi. We are working our way through a project on how to provide statistics that are most helpful for our readers. If you have any comments on this project, we will welcome them.

  • This is great. I plan to use it in a religion and society class today or Wednesday.

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