Some blocks and neighborhoods in New York City are so full of rich people that the Census Bureau can’t reveal exactly how rich they are.
The Census Bureau recently released data from the 2009-2013 American Community Survey. The survey provides an amazingly comprehensive look at the demographic, social, and economic makeup of the country. In this data set, for the first time, the Census Bureau has released ACS estimates at the block group level. A block group for an urban area is essentially a block, small group of blocks, or a small neighbourhood. Previously, data at this fine geographic scale was only available from the results of the full Census, performed every 10 years.
One of the many variables the ACS investigates is household income. As part of the Census Bureau’s mandate to protect survey respondent confidentiality, income estimates are “top-coded:” in areas where the median household income is higher than $US250,000 per year, the Census Bureau simply indicates this, rather than providing an actual estimate.
In New York City, there were a handful of block groups with populations of at least 500 that fell into this top-coded median income category. One was in Brooklyn, and the rest were in Manhattan. Here they are: