2009-03-27 / Top Stories

Queens Not Growing So Fast, But Rockaway Still Is

By Nicholas Briano

Despite the ongoing population boom along the Rockaway peninsula, Queens as a whole is the slowest growing borough in the entire city, according to estimates released last week by the United States Census Bureau.

Since the year 2000, Queens has experienced a nearly three percent increase in population, slowest among the five boroughs. The borough still remains, however, the second largest behind Brooklyn and has added more than 63,000 residents since 2000. Brooklyn's estimated growth of more than 3.5 percent since 2000 adds up to more than 2.5 million residents ahead of the 2.2 million Queens residents.

The fastest growing borough, but still least populous, is Staten Island which grew by nearly nine percent since the last census year, but has still failed to reach 500,000 residents.

It is unknown exactly how much Rockaway contributes to Queens' three percent growth, but significant housing sales have brought in new residents, leading to a local population surge.

According to a Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) population study released last year, Rockaway has grown from 104,108 residents in 2000 to an estimated 129,531 residents in 2007. If these figures are correct, Rockaway is responsible for at least 25,423, or nearly 40 percent, of Queens' estimated new residents since the 2000 census. The peninsula is proving to be a booming region in an otherwise slow growing borough.

LIPA has not yet released a study for this year's population estimates, but it is anticipated that Rockaway has continued to grow, despite the recent economic decline across the city and nation.

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