Bronx Population Reaches Record High; Would be 7th Largest City in the Country

According to the latest data released on the 2020 Census, The Bronx continues to grow and has achieved a population record set in 1970 when 1,471,701 were recorded living in the borough.

Today, according to the 2020 Census, The Bronx has a record-high population of 1,472,654 who call our diverse borough home.

This represents a 6.3 percent increase from the 2010 Census when the population was 1,385,108 (an increase by 87,546 residents.

Back then, if The Bronx were a city of its own, it would have been the 9th largest city but with the population growth since 2010, the borough and birthplace of Hip Hop and Salsa would now be the 7th largest city in the United States after Philadelphia.

Neighborhoods Fueling The Growth

The population growth over the past decade was seen across the entire borough but in terms of numbers, the Port Morris-Mott Haven area along with Morrisania, and Williamsbridge-Olinville each saw an increase of about 5,000.

The Crotona Park East neighborhood was one of the fastest growing in The Bronx, fueled by new affordable housing construction in the past decade

In the Port Morris-Mott Haven area, this increase was helped by real estate developers turning their eyes on the area and the influx of hundreds of units of luxury housing with thousands currently under construction. During the same period, Morrisania saw a significant increase of affordable housing helping drive the increase in that area.

In terms of percent change, Morrisania was the fastest growing neighborhood in The Bronx with an increase of 22 percent, followed by Crotona Park East with an increase of 15 percent. Both of these neighborhoods have seen an explosion of new affordable housing developments in the past decade.

Decreasing White Population While Hispanics Solidify Majority

As for key racial demographic statistics, The Bronx continues to be a predominantly Hispanic borough with 54.8 percent of the population identifying as such, an increase of 8.8 percent from 2010. While the number of people identifying as Black increased in The Bronx by 2,698, the share of the borough’s population dropped from 30.1 percent in 2010 to 28.5 percent in 2020.

The largest increase of the Hispanic population in the borough, which increased by 65,050 individuals, was felt the most in the northwest Bronx neighborhoods of Riverdale-Spuyten Duyvil with a 59% increase followed by Pelham Bay-Country Club-City Island with a 50 percent increase, and Morris Park with a 38 percent increase. Hunts point actually saw a 5 percent decline.

The largest decline of the Black population in The Bronx was felt in many West Bronx neighborhoods like Norwood and University Heights-Fordham each with an 11 percent decline, Concourse-Concourse Village with a 7 percent decline. Meanwhile, the Black population saw a marked increase in Morrisania and West Farms with an increase of 22 and 20 percent respectively.

Across the city, the Black population saw a decline of 4.5 percent with Brooklyn having the most dramatic drop with a decrease of 8.7 percent.

City Island (together with Pelham Bay and Country Club) saw a decline of 20% of its White population from 2010 to 2020 while experiencing a 50% increase in its Hispanic population during the same period

The White population in The Bronx continues to decline and it was the largest such decline of the 5 boroughs with a drop of 20,413 individuals identifying as White, or a 13.5 percent decline. The White population now only accounts for 8.9 percent of the overall population of the borough and is the lowest in New York City. Queens, which has the second-lowest percentage of White people, now has 22 percent of the population identifying as such making The Bronx, by far, the home to the most BIPOC community in the city.

Pelham Gardens saw the largest drop of the White population with a decline of 23 percent followed by Throggs Neck-Schuylerville with a 21 percent loss, and Pelham Bay-Country Club-City Island with a 20 percent drop.

Asians See a Marked Increase in The Bronx

Parkchester saw a 130% increase in its Asian population, the largest such increase in the borough.

Asians had the highest increase in The Bronx out of the four main groups with a 43.2 percent increase fueled by a 130 percent increase in Parkchester and 99 percent increase in Castle Hill-Unionport although these significant jumps were due to the borough’s relatively lower-than-average Asian population.

In our borough, Asians account for only 4.6 percent of the overall population as of 2020 which increased from 3.4 percent in 2010 from 47,335 to 67,766 identifying as such.

Other Key Indicators

The Bronx’s increase of 6.3 percent was below the city’s increase of 7.7 percent. Brooklyn saw the largest increase at 9.2 percent, followed by Queens at 7.8 percent, Manhattan at 6.8 percent, and Staten Island at 5.8 percent.

According to the New York City Department of City Planning, one in six New York City residents live in The Bronx.

The number of residents under the age of 18 saw the largest decline in The Bronx of all the five boroughs dropping from 26.6 percent of the population to 23.7 percent representing an overall decrease of 5.1 percent. This downward trend in this category was in line with the rest of the city.

The population of residents under the age of 18 dropped in The Bronx by 5.1%, the largest such decline in New York City between 2010 and 2020

From 2010 to 2020, The Bronx saw an increase of 35,134 units of housing, a 6.9 percent increase with the vast majority in the South Bronx. As for vacancy, The Bronx had the lowest such rate at 4.5 percent well below the city average of 6.9 percent and by far lower than Manhattan’s 10.5 percent vacancy rate.

The Road Ahead

With the construction of thousands of luxury units of housing along the Harlem River in the South Bronx over the course of the next years with thousands more planned, it will be interesting to see if the White decline will continue or will it reverse.

In parts of the city that are experiencing high gentrification, there has been a significant drop in the local Black population like Bushwich and Bedford-Stuyvesant which saw a decline of 26 and 26 percent respectively between 2010 and 2020 while the White population increased by 351 percent and 445 percent respectively in those same neighborhoods. The Hispanic population also dropped by 19 percent in Bushwick during this same period and was Brooklyn’s largest decline of Hispanics.

2401 Third Avenue, the end (or the beginning) of the avenue in The Bronx where 1,500 units of luxury housing are being constructed in Port Morris.

These scenarios are playing out across historically Black and Brown neighborhoods across the city that are now deemed as desirable by developers who are changing the historic working-class fabric of these enclaves with luxury housing.

One thing remains for sure, however, is that we are still a pretty diverse borough made up from peoples across the globe who decided to call The Bronx home.

You can view the full data from New York City’s Department of Planning here.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.