2011-04-08 / Editorial/Opinion

Census Numbers Do Not Add Up

The 2010 census numbers are in and they do not add up – not for the city, not for Queens and certainly not for Rockaway. The official numbers say that the entire Borough of Queens went up by only 1,343 people since the last census in 2000. “Could that be possible,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked, incredulous over the numbers. For once, he is right. Bloomberg claims that immigrants were vastly undercounted. We agree. For years, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announced population statistics based not on a census, but on the number of electrical connections made to homes in its coverage area. The last year that LIPA ran the numbers was 2008. At that time, they reported the population of Rockaway as 129,531, a oneyear growth of 9,048 residents and an eight-year gain of more than 30,000. At the time, there was some hope that the growth shown by LIPA would continue and, by the 2010 census, Rockaway might have the 150,000 residents it needs to get its own City Council member and Assembly member. It was not to be, at least according to the official federal census. Rockaway had, in 2010, 114,978 residents, far fewer than LIPA showed two years before. According to the Census, Arverne has shown an amazing gain in population since 2000. That is because Arverne by the Sea, which did not exist ten years ago, now has thousands of residents. In fact, the Census shows that Arverne in general and ABTS in particular gained more than 2,000 residents. How then, if Arverne gained 2,000 residents, did the entire borough gain only 1,343 residents? The numbers do not add up. Both the mayor and a number of our federal legislators have called for a recount. We believe that one is in order.

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