Doormen May Have Screwed Up the Census


When New York’s census results came back revealing unexpectedly low numbers, it seemed clear that something — possibly many somethings — was wrong. Now the Daily News reports that apparent housing losses in Manhattan’s most dense neighborhoods may be due to, you guessed it, human error, including extra-vigilant doormen who wouldn’t let in census workers to count or tally for “security reasons”; immigrants who may have avoided the census out of fear; and a failure among census workers to identify under-construction units as such, instead of as “vacant.”

Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to challenge the numbers, which claim a 45% increase in vacant housing units in New York and a population of 8.175 million instead of the city-estimated 8.4 million, numbers that just don’t jibe with city-dwellers’ reality.

Especially worrisome about the low counts is that census numbers determine how much federal money New York will get for various programs. Recount!

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 18, 2011

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