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Who Lives on the Lower East Side? This Data Might Surprise You

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Screen shot: City Planning's updated Census tool.
Screen shot: City Planning’s updated Census tool.

The Department of City Planning last week launched an updated Census Fact Finder application, making it easier to access neighborhood-specific information. We pulled up the Lower East Side profile and found some pretty interesting facts and figures regarding our community.

The data offers a “deep dive” from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is conducted every year. The “Lower East Side” is defined roughly by the borders of Community District 3, encompassing the East Village, the LES below East Houston Street and most of Chinatown. Here’s a sampling:

  • Total population: 75,660.
  • About 18% of the population is under the age of 20.
  • 17.5% of the population is over the age of 65.
  • Ethnic breakdown: Latino (39.5%), Asian (25.4%), White (22.2%), Black (9.6%).
  • Residents with a college degree: 34%.
  • Residents lacking a high school diploma: 32%.
  • Foreign born population: 31%.
  • Language other than English spoken at home: 60%.
  • Population 16 and older not in labor force: 46.8%.
  • Annual household income: less than $10,000 (17.5%), between $14,000-$24,999 (11%), $100,000+ (17.6%).
  • Families/people whose income fell below the poverty level: 28.5%.
  • Homes valued above $1 million: 9% (426 units).
  • Renters paying less than $500/month: 35.2%.
  • Renters paying $1500 or more/month: 18.7%.

Here’s the link to the Fact Finder app if you’d like to check it out for yourself.

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  1. Makes no sense. Explain why my sister’s family just had to leave and move to Queens because their 2-bedroom rent was raised to $4000? Where are these $500 apartments?

  2. Those would include all the low-income NYCHA housing and section 8s, of which there are many on the LES, and probably some folks who’ve lived in the same apartment for 40 years under rent control. 35% does seems like a lot, though.

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