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Making sense of the Census — A special report • Brooklyn Paper

Making sense of the Census — A special report

Izzy Martinez (right) and and Ray Krawiec represent the old guard, fighting on at the VFW post on Van Brunt Street.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

You know as well as we do that the only constant in Brooklyn life is change. So we’d like to introduce you to 2010 — a more dynamic, evolved, though less-diverse Brooklyn than the one in 2000.

The feds released their preliminary census count this week, offering a small glimpse into the ethnic, fiscal and demographic changes we’ve experienced over the last decade.

But we know you’re not a statistic. You’ve got character, and so do your 2,567,097 neighbors. That’s why we’ve broken down the numbers into the real stories of the borough — the struggle, the joy, the gentrification.

We should note that the numbers cited here are based on preliminary surveys taken up to 2009, when Census teams took small population samples and analyzed them as if they were entire neighborhoods. Using that data, we hit the streets to see if the government bean counters were right.

It’s all here in our massive overview:

In Canarsie, Caribbean and West Indian immigrants are the new face of the neighborhood — nearly 95 percent of the neighborhood is black, a jump of 18- to 28-percent since 2000; Bensonhurst has become a haven for Asian workers and their families; Red Hook is becoming whiter (but you knew that); Marine Park’s average income is skyrocketing; and Latinos are moving in droves to Williamsburg (and the hipsters are moving to Bushwick).

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