Woodhaven By The Numbers
Some people think statistics are boring or misleading. I believe that numbers tell a fascinating and revealing story about Woodhaven.
In my experience, few Woodhaven residents can provide good estimates about the neighborhood’s composition and other numerical attributes. But these numbers matter for a variety of reasons. This was hammered home three times in the past two years when our Congressional, State Senate and City Council representation were all sliced and diced by gerrymanders.
Like it or not, numbers in a spreadsheet play a huge role in determining who represents us, how much funding is allotted to us and what services we receive. And statistics can lay bare certain facts about communities that do not always arise in the public dialogue.
I think it is important for Woodhaven residents to be familiar with the numbers that describe our neighborhood. So I sifted through the census data. Such statistics are imperfect; some people do not return their census forms, and others might include incorrect information on them. Plus, the most recent census was in 2010, so its results are a few years old now. Still, census data provide the best quantitative portrait of the area available.
Here’s some of what I found.
Woodhaven’s official population is approximately 38,400, and the actual total is almost certainly higher than that-likely around 39,000. As I’ve written in a previous column, if we were located in Wyoming, we would be the state’s third-largest city. If we were in Delaware, we would be the second-largest city.
Woodhaven’s population has been growing, and there was a surge between 1990 and 2000. The 2000 census had a population of just over 37,000. The 1990 census placed the neighborhood’s total at around 29,000. And the 1980 census indicated that approximately 28,100 people lived in Woodhaven.
Now let’s return to the present day. Nearly 62 percent of our current total is represented by Council Member Eric Ulrich, and more than 38 percent is represented by Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. Woodhaven comprises about 15 percent of Ulrich’s total constituency and approximately 9.5 percent of Crowley’s overall district.
Girls and women have a slight numerical edge over boys and men: 50.6 percent of the neighborhood is female, and 49.4 percent is male.
Over 56 percent of Woodhaven’s population identifies as Hispanic or Latino. (This number was 43.7 percent back in 2000.) Those who are in the census’s “non-Hispanic white” category make up about 18.5 percent of the neighborhood (as opposed to 32 percent in 2000). People categorized as “non-Hispanic Asian” comprise 15.5 percent of Woodhaven. The “non-Hispanic black or African American” category comprises nearly 8 percent of the population.
More than 64 percent of Woodhaven is age 25 or older. Of that group, 78 percent have at least a high school diploma, and 22 percent do not. Nearly 46 percent have some college education. Woodhaven also boasts 118 holders of doctorates.
Over 43 percent of the neighborhood’s households include at least one person who is less than 18 years old. Of the households with at least one minor, almost 62 percent include a married couple.
About 1,320 Woodhaven residents have served our country in the armed forces. And 470 Woodhavenites were over 85 years old as of 2010.
Of the 9,035 families in Woodhaven, over 12 percent of them reported incomes below the poverty level. About 46 percent of the neighborhood’s households reported an annual income below $50,000, and over 55 percent drew an income below $60,000. A total of 260 households reported a total annual income of over $200,000.
The data contain far more information than can fit in this column. I found even this small collection of statistics to be interesting and, though I’ve resided here my whole life, I learned new things about this neighborhood. I hope you did too.
Editor’s note: The next Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association meeting is on Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m., at Emanuel United Church of Christ (91st Ave. & Woodhaven Blvd.) in the downstairs meeting room. Blenkinsopp is member of Community Board 9 and director of communications for the WRBA. For additional information on the WRBA, visit www.woodhavennyc.org.
–CONTINUED FROM PG. 10- Saeed Nieves as its Cop of the Month for several good arrests the officer made in November.
That month, he took down an entire house of squatters by himself, Tasso said.
Nieves executed a search warrant on a vacant house in Bushwick, arresting squatters and prostitutes and seizing guns and drugs.
Later that month, Nieves “went above and beyond” by investigating a residential burglary, Tasso said.
Nieves obtained security footage from buildings near the break-ins location. When he showed the footage to the victim, the victim recognized the perp, and Nieves made an arrest.
The Cop of the Month plaque was donated by the Times Newsweekly.
The 83rd Precinct had a banner year in 2013, finishing the year with a 6.5 percent crime reduction over 2012.
In 2013, Bushwick saw the lowest number of shootings and burglaries since the NYPD began keeping comprehensive crime statistics in 1993, he said. The neighborhood also saw the second fewest robberies in 20 years, he added.
Lately, cell phone thefts and other grand larcenies are driving crime in the precinct, Tasso explained.
Residents should not bury their face in cell phones while walking the streets or taking mass transit, said Crime Prevention Officer Christopher Iannotti.
He added that unattended property thefts are another major issue for the neighborhood, reminding residents to keep an eye on their belongings in public places.
For the 28-day period ending Jan. 19, however, crime took a bit of an upswing.
There were more felony assaults, burglaries, grand larcenies and auto thefts than this time last year, according to police records.
Notably, there were eight auto thefts this time last year and 21 this year.
Several commanding officers throughout the Times Newsweekly’s coverage area have gone on record saying that many such auto thefts are a crime of opportunity made worse by the cold. While making short trips into stores, people often leave their cars running to keep warm, enticing would-be thieves into action.
Tasso advised keeping valuables out of vehicles, even if the doors are locked.
“Nothing is ever secure in a vehicle,” he said.