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Lewyn Addresses America

A little politics, a little urbanism- I also blog 100 percent on urbanism at and

I’ve been skimming Kenneth Jackson’s Almanac of New York City.  Lots of interesting trivia:

*Manhattan is the place to be for non-local Americans.  22% of Manhattan residents were born in a state outside New York, as opposed to only 6% of residents of Queens or Staten Island (Brooklyn and the Bronx are in the 7-8% range).   However, lots of outer-borough people are foreign-born- about 43 percent of Queens residents as opposed to about one-third of Manhattanites.

*If you look at migration patterns city-by-city, the same pattern holds. For example, of Los Angeles residents who moved to NYC, almost 2/3 moved to Manhattan.  New residents of the outer boroughs tended to come from elsewhere in the city: new Brooklyn and Bronx residents from Manhattan, new Queens and Staten Island residents from  Brooklyn.

*Queens lost more people to Florida than any other borough.  The three major Miami-area counties (Dade/.Broward/Palm Beach) gained 2549 people from Queens in 2005, and only 1752 from Manhattan. 

*Out-migrants from more suburban boroughs tended to more suburban destinations.  The District of Columbia gained 931 people from NYC and almost 60% of them were from Manhattan.  By contrast, suburban Fairfield County got more people from Queens than from Manhattan.

On another note… in 1950 only 25.8 percent of the average New Yorker’s spending was on housing, about the same as for the average American (and about the same as in 1901)  Today its 37 percent (32 in the rest of the nation).  So when I hear someone say that density automatically equals high housing costs, I now realize that argument is a load of rubbish.

On to politics- the last time a Republican nominee carried any borough that wasn’t Staten Island was 1972 (when Nixon carried Queens- though Reagan came close, and Queens voted R consistently from 1940-56).  

The last Republicans to win citywide were Harding and Coolidge, both of whom carried all five boroughs.  In those days, Staten Island wasn’t the most Republican borough.  Coolidge won Staten Island about 54-46 (not counting third party votes) but won Queens about 63-37.  

The only other Republican presidential candidates to win citywide were McKinley in 1896 and Taft in 1908.  (1900 was closer than usual; the Democratic nominee in all three elections, William Jennings Bryan, had a hostile relationship with Tammany Hall).


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