Population - New York City Population

Decennial Census
2010 content limited to tables, maps, and reports on basic demographic & housing characteristics; more extensive data from earlier decades
American Community Survey
This nationwide survey provides annual estimates of the city’s demographic, social, economic, and housing characteristics
Population FactFinder
An interactive tool that creates demographic, social, economic, and housing profiles for neighborhoods and user-defined tract groupings
Current & Future Populations
For the city and boroughs, the latest population estimates, as well as population projections by age and sex through 2040
Visualizing NYC
Interactive maps and graphs
Reports & Presentations
Detailed analyses on selected demographic and socioeconomic issues
Geographic Reference
Reference maps, equivalencies, and notes regarding selected New York City geographies, including NTAs and Community Districts
Data Background and Archive
Background on subject matter appearing on this page, as well as archived content

Debunking the Claims of a Shrinking Millennial Population

Many recent news articles claim that New York City is losing its younger population. However, these findings are based on misinterpretation and misunderstanding of demographic data. The articles make comparisons between series of data that are not comparable and interpret uncertain short-term changes that might not be indicative of a trend.

Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau creates a new series of data containing current population estimates in addition to updated estimates for each year going back to the prior decennial census, in this case 2010. In some years, the methodology for creating these estimates changes. For example, the 2017 population estimate for the City was 8.6 million in the 2017 data series but was revised down to 8.4 million in the 2018 series. Therefore, a population estimate from one data series is not necessarily comparable to a population estimate taken from a different series, even for the same year. This is especially the case when looking at absolute numbers and characteristics of the population, such as age. In many of the articles we reviewed, the finding that the City is losing millennials is based on comparing estimates across different series.

Another issue we have encountered is the interpretation of small short-term changes from one year to the next. When taking into account uncertainty in estimates, it is difficult to determine the exact number of residents coming or going over a single year, especially with small estimated population changes. Regardless, the City has gained approximately 133,000 residents 25 to 39 years of age between 2010 and 2018; the longer-term trend is one of population growth.

Read a detailed assessment here of the major issues we found in recent articles claiming that New York City’s younger residents are leaving.

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About Population Division

The Population Division serves as New York City government's hub of demographic expertise. It is responsible for the compilation, analysis, and dissemination of census and related federal, state, and local data for city agencies, local communities, and the media. Within the department, the Population Division provides data for local and citywide planning studies, environmental review analyses, and capital planning strategies. In addition, the division provides other city agencies with data to address questions of concern involving needs assessment, program planning and targeting, and policy formulation. This includes the development of population estimates and projections for infrastructure and capital planning, such as projections for OneNYC, the long-term sustainability plan for New York City. The division works closely with the Census Bureau in an advisory capacity on the methods of data collection and dissemination for the decennial census and other federal surveys.