Brooklyn’s population increased by over 230,000 people in the past decade, marking the biggest increase of any borough in New York City, and far outpacing expectations, according to newly released 2020 Census data.
Kings County’s population now stands at 2,736,074 people — a 9.2 percent jump from the 2010 population of 2,504,700 as recorded in that year’s Census. Brooklyn remains the most populous borough in the city, which overall saw its population swell by about 630,000 people, to a historic high of 8.8 million people.
Brooklyn’s growth is both the largest numerical and proportional population increase for any of the five boroughs. Moreover, Kings County’s head count grew at a significantly higher rate than statisticians forecasted, as a 2019 estimate by the Census Bureau pegged Brooklyn’s population as 2,559,903, representing a much smaller increase of 2.2 percent. Brooklyn’s 2020 population is just shy of its historic high, which was set in 1950 when the population was 2,738,175.
The borough and the city outpaced both the state and the nation in population growth over the last decade, Census statistics show. City officials were quick to credit both policies implemented in the last decade and the city’s robust Census outreach effort aimed at producing an accurate count, which has major implications for federal funding.
“The Big Apple just got bigger,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Twitter. “The new US Census Bureau data shows New York City grew to 8.8 million New Yorkers, and we love every single one of you (yes, even YOU)! This is what happens when you invest in pre-K for all, safe streets and working families.”
“It’s not easy counting 8.8 million people,” Hizzoner continued. “From our census outreach teams, to NYC Planning, to every City worker who made this record-breaking count possible: thank you. This number will ensure our city gets the federal resources we need to keep moving forward.”
Borough President and Democratic nominee for Mayor Eric Adams said that Brooklyn’s significant population increase was a testament to city leaders making the borough both safer and “a more attractive place to work, learn, and play.”
“Brooklyn’s robust population growth over the last decade — a 9.2 percent recorded increase in the most recent Census — is a reflection of how hard we have worked to make this borough a safer place to raise healthy children and families, and a more attractive place to work, learn, and play,” Adams said in a statement.
“We are now effectively tied with Chicago as America’s third-largest city, and Brooklynites should be as proud of that as we are the incredible diversity that we represent,” Adams continued. “I want to again thank everyone who participated in last year’s Census count, including the hard-working volunteers on our #MakeBrooklynCount committee. Our mission in the decade to come must be to uplift Brooklyn’s welcoming brand, while advancing real affordability that will support families and small businesses who have made that brand possible.”
Brooklyn remains one of the most diverse counties in the country, but its demographics are changing, the data show. Most striking is the fact that Brooklyn’s Black population has declined substantially in the past decade: the non-Hispanic Black population dropped by nearly 70,000, from 799,066 to 729,696, going from 31.9 percent of the borough’s population to 26.7.
Despite that, African-Americans remain the second-largest demographic group in the borough, after white people. The borough’s non-Hispanic white population increased from 893,306 to 968,427. Hispanic and Latino Brooklynites, the third largest demographic group, saw their numbers increase in the borough as well, from 496,285 to 516,426. Both whites and Latinos, however, saw their demographic proportions decrease slightly: whites declined from 35.7 to 35.4 percent, and Latinos declined from 19.8 to 18.9 percent.
While still the fourth largest demographic group in the borough, the Asian population in Brooklyn increased substantially in the past decade: Asian Brooklynites now number at 373,680, a 42.5 percent, or 111,404 person, increase from the 2010 population of 262,276. Percentage-wise, the population of Brooklyn is now 13.7 percent Asian, up from 10.5 percent in 2010.