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!