Why’s New York City’s Population Growth Slowing? Abortion.

Here’s something I thought I’d never see: the New York Times is lamenting slow population growth.  In New York City, no less.

It turns out, the reasons for their concern are political — the Times is worried about a less political powerful New York, and what that means for the DNC (although they stop short of saying this last part).  In particular, the Times is running an article on the dramatically slowed growth of New York City between 2000 and 2010, noting that “New York City’s population reached a record high for a 10-year census of more than 8,175,133, according to the 2010 census released on Thursday, but fell far short of what had been forecast.” In particular, for “the first time since the draft riots during the Civil War, the number of black New Yorkers has declined, by 5 percent.”  The number of white New Yorkers also fell (by 3%), but that decline was actually much smaller than in prior decades.

Even though this was in the news section, the Times made clear that this slow growth was a bad thing:

City demographers offered a number of explanations for the disappointingly low figure, ranging from the possibility that the 2000 census had overestimated the population to the likelihood that many addresses where tenants live in overcrowded and illegally divided apartments and basement cubicles, particularly in Queens and Brooklyn, were overlooked even after aggressive efforts last year by census takers. 
While population growth is not always good, it is considered a byproduct of a robust economy. Fewer people also can mean less federal aid and political representation when Congressional and legislative districts are reapportioned.

In all, the article looks at all sorts of reasons for the decline.  Frankly, I don’t doubt that there were a number of illegal immigrants who avoided reporting themselves in the Census, out of fear of deportation. But I also that there were a lot of people similarly situated in 2000 (which is why I don’t think the 2000 Census “overestimated” at all).  You probably have a chronic underreporting problem, which doesn’t really account for the slow growth very well at all.  In fact, the economic slump should have produced a much larger NYC population than we’re seeing:

If the 2010 official count is sustained, it would suggest that the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, coupled with the impact of the nationwide economic collapse during the second half of the decade, produced much slower growth since 2000 than in the 1990s — even as the recession and housing crisis prompted more New Yorkers to remain in the city rather than retire elsewhere or move to usual job magnets in the South and West.

In the end, the Times was stumped. Of course, there is one possibility that the New York Times didn’t touch, at least, not this month.  From last month’s New York Times:

At a time when evidence suggests that people in New York City are smoking less, eating better and biking more, one health statistic that has not budged is the abortion rate.

Two of every five pregnancies in the city end in abortion, a statistic that has barely changed in more than a decade. At a news conference last month, Timothy M. Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, called the city’s 41 percent abortion rate “downright chilling.” And on Thursday, State Senator Rubén Díaz Sr. of the Bronx brought up the figure repeatedly as he urged a group of anti-abortion ministers to spread the word that abortion was nothing less than an attack on minorities.

“They might think that we will take over, and that they’ve got to stop us,” said Mr. Díaz, who also is a minister. “What they did, they are killing black and Hispanic children.”

So maybe the problem isn’t that New Yorkers are leaving town or failing to report for this year’s Census. Maybe the problem is that they’re being killed en masse in the womb through abortion-on-demand.  This problem is particularly acute amongst African-American New Yorkers, who are now more likely to be killed in the womb than to live to childbirth. Seriously: an abortion rate of 60%.  “Safe, legal, and rare,” my foot.

In a healthy city, much of the population growth occurs through childbirth, not just new waves of outsiders.  Both figures — the 2010 Census and the 41% abortion rate — suggest that New York is not a healthy city right now.  And the implications of that are much graver than simply “less federal aid  and political representation when Congressional and legislative districts are reapportioned.” Fortunately, we’ve got a small but dedicated band of pro-lifers trying to save the city’s soul.  Unfortunately, the city’s pulling back the welcome matand how.

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