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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Brooklyn Demographic Stuff

There are a lot of images in this post. So apologies in advance to those of you reading this on dial-up.

Anyways, this is something of a sequel to my June 9th post on racial segregation in Brooklyn (it's been a month already? My God!). I'm vaguely thinking of gathering together all of this data for a single post on GNXP, but that's up to Razib really. Clicking on most of the images on this post will take you to a larger, clearer version.

One of the things that I found quite interesting in looking at the data on residential housing segregation was how unlikely Asians were to live in majority black neighborhoods. As I pointed out:

While 69% of Brooklyn's Asian population lives in majority white zip codes (including 57% in zip codes that are over 65% white), only 8% live in majority black zip codes, lower even than the proportion of whites who live in such areas.

So, just to show this distribution, here is a map of where Asians live in Brooklyn by zip code:

As you can see from this, the vast majority of Brooklyn's Asian population lives in the south of the borough, an area that is, generally speaking, also the whitest part of Brooklyn. The two exceptions to this trend are in the northwest corner of the borough, in Greenpoint (11222) and Williamsburg (11211), two areas that have large white populations and negligible Asian communities. In addition, minuscule numbers of Asians (less than 1% per zip code) live in central Brooklyn, in the heart of the borough's black community. On a post by Thrasymachus I speculated that the reasons for Asians to be so unequally distributed in Brooklyn were "anti-black racial prejudice, relative affluence (thus being able to avoid living in the cheapest, and worst, neighborhoods), and the desire for ease of access to the best schools in the borough." I am not sure if this is something that is repeated across the board in America, but you certainly do see similar residential patterns here in Queens, with few Asians living in black neighborhoods like Jamaica, Hollis, Rosedale, or Cambria Heights.

So, how is wealth distributed in Brooklyn? Well, I've got a map for that as well!

As you can see, again, the most solidly middle-class part of Brooklyn is the south. If you are interested, the three areas with the highest median household income are Brooklyn Heights (11201), which has long been the most affluent area of Brooklyn, and was, until the last ten or so years, the only part of Brooklyn that 'yuppies' would willingly live in instead of Manhattan or the suburbs, Park Slope (11215), that bastion of middle-class white liberalism, and Marine Park (11234) in the southeast corner, which I know nothing about, really. The two poorest zip codes are 11206, which covers part of Bushwick, which only seventy years ago was a solidly German-American working-class neighborhood, but is today pretty terrible (although as Williamsburg continues its upward ascent it is seeing some revitalization), and 11239, which is in the ever-notorious (but crime-wise better than it used to be) East New York neighborhood.

Speaking of crime, here is a map of crime rates in Brooklyn, by police precinct.

To get these numbers I took each precinct's population figures, as shown on its profile page, divided the number by 100,000, and then multiplied the result by the 2004 totals of murders, rapes, robberies, felonious assaults, grand larcenies, and grand larceny autos as reported on a precinct's statistics page to get the number of crimes per 100,000 residents for 2004. As you can see from this map, southern Brooklyn is the safest part of the borough as well as the most solidly middle-class (and whitest). The lowest crime rate in the borough can be found in the 66th Precinct, which is located in a neighborhood known as Borough Park, which is one of the three big centers, along with Williamsburg and Crown Heights, of Brooklyn's Hasidic Jewish community. Not surprisingly, the precinct where they are most numerically dominant is the safest in the borough, with only 853.41 crimes per 100,000 residents last year. The highest crime rates are to be found in the 84th Precinct, which is Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn, the borough's busiest district, with hundreds of thousands of people passing through on a daily basis (thus distorting the per capita crime rate), and the 73rd Precinct, in the ghetto neighborhood of Brownsville (the area that gave the world Mike Tyson).

Ok, what next? How about the schools? It is no surprise that New York City's school system is quite segregated, especially between whites and blacks. One of the salient factors about New York City is that, despite having a plurality of non-Hispanic whites in the population at large, white parents have abandoned the city in large numbers. Despite making up about 35 or so percent of the city population, the school-age population is less than 25% non-Hispanic white, of whom 40% attend private schools, with the end result that city-wide the public school system is only about 15% non-Hispanic white. Yet the schools are not uniformly 15% white, with many school districts educating minuscule numbers of white students. This city-wide reality is, of course, reflected in Brooklyn. Below you will see an ethnic/racial breakdown of the public school population in Brooklyn side-by-side with one of the Catholic school system operated in Brooklyn and Queens by the Diocese of Brooklyn that serves 70,000 students in the two boroughs.

You can see a much larger list of private schools in Brooklyn here, where you will also notice the absolutely enormous number of private schools run by the Ultra-orthodox Jewish community, who are the only white group in the city to have lots of kids. So, anyways, Brooklyn's public school student body is 14% non-Hispanic white, 47% non-Hispanic black, 28% Hispanic, and 11% Asian and other. But how are these students distributed? Well, yeah, you guessed it, not exactly equally across the borough. Before I break down the breakdowns by district, here's a map of the way New York City's public school system is set up, by region and district:

So now you can see the various districts across the city, and how several of the Brooklyn school districts are in regions that overlap with other boroughs. Here's the ethnic/racial breakdown of each of the Brooklyn school districts:

As you can see from this map, there is hardly an equal distribution of students by ethnicity across the borough - hardly surprising considering residential segregation patterns. Of the twelve school districts in the borough, five are over 80% black, and the majority of white students are to be found in the three southernmost school districts. Unsurprisingly, again, Asian students are mostly to be found in those same three districts in the southern part of the borough. The two most heavily Hispanic districts are located in the northern part of the borough, in the 14th District, which takes in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and part of Bushwick, and the 32nd District, which takes in the rest of Bushwick. The 14th District is actually situated in an area with a very sizeable non-Hispanic white population, but this is not reflected in the makeup of the public schools for several reasons. Williamsburg has a very large community of Hasidic Jews, but their children attend yeshivas within their own community. This is similar to the situation for two of the other white communities in the area, of Italian-Americans in Williamsburg and Polish-Americans in Greenpoint; for the most part, their children go to private (especially parochial) schools rather than to the local public schools. The final large white community is of the hipsters, artists, musicians, and hangers-on of Williamsburg, who are mostly childless twenty-something hedonists, people who are for the most part divorced from local issues of education. The 32nd District, in Bushwick, is located smack-dab in the middle of Brooklyn's most heavily Hispanic neighborhood.

Here's a graph, by district, of the proportion of students eligible for free school lunches:

As you can see, the three districts with the lowest levels of free school lunch eligible children are the three southernmost districts, in the borough's most solidly middle-class belt. Yet even in those districts over 60% of students are eligible for free school lunches - more evidence of the middle classes' abandonment of the public school system.

How good are the schools? Here are some graphs, by district, showing results on various city and state tests.

And here are maps of the geographical distribution of the highest level test results:

There, that's enough for tonight. Lots and lots and lots of information to chew over.

|| RPH || 5:24 AM || |