December 14, 2010 | New York Times | Original Article

A Portrait of New York in Numbers

How has your community changed since 2000? How many immigrants are there? And where have they come from? How much do your neighbors earn? What kind of jobs do they do? How many single women live around you? How about single men?

All that and more will be part of the most exhaustive look at New York and the rest of the country in years, a rich portrait of America by numbers contained in a trove of data to be released Tuesday by the federal government.

For the first time in a decade, the Census Bureau has drilled down to the neighborhood level to provide figures on income, housing, living arrangements, race, ethnicity, nativity, occupation and commuting in microscopic detail.

The bureau’s American Community Survey, which covers 2005 to 2009, that was released Tuesday vividly maps the spread of gentrification in communities like Harlem and brownstone Brooklyn and the diversity among racial, ethnic and immigrant groups in a growing number of neighborhoods in New York and its suburbs.

The collected data from five annual surveys offers a moving picture of how neighborhoods have evolved since 2000, and a snapshot of the city in the second half of the last decade. These surveys, which represent a sample of the population, are separate from the 2010 census, which is supposed to count people at every address and will be released beginning Dec. 21 with statewide population counts and details by smaller geographic areas early in 2011.

But that count is based on relatively short list of questions, while the American Community Survey is built on a much bigger trove of data. In fact it is the single largest release of data in the Census Bureau’s history.

Here are a few of the findings so far from the five-year study.

Three of the nine counties in the country in which people born abroad constitute one-third or more of the population are in metropolitan New York: Queens (with 47 percent, second only to Miami-Dade with 49 percent), Brooklyn (37 percent) and Hudson (40 percent) in New Jersey.

In the entire nation, residents of only four counties took 40 minutes or more to get to work: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, where, at 42.5 minutes, mean travel time was highest.

Manhattan, with 58 percent, was one of 17 counties in the country in which more than half the residents over 25 had a bachelor’s degree or higher.