Neighborhood Comparative Analysis One the Island of Essay

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Neighborhood Comparative Analysis

One the island of Manhattan, each neighborhood contains a distinct demographic makeup and the character of a neighborhood can change almost by the block. To see how the relationship between these highly disparate neighborhoods functions, one can compare two neighborhoods in order to reveal the symbiotic interaction between them. By comparing census data from one postal code of the Upper West Side, 10025, with that of its next door neighbor Harlem (postal code 10026), it will be possible to see how these extremely different neighborhoods can exist side by side in a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The Upper West Side neighborhood of New York includes multiple postal codes, ranging from West 59th street in the south to West 125th street in the north and bounded by Central Park and the Hudson River on the east and west. For the purposes of this study, the focus will remain only on the 10025 postal code which goes from 91st street until it hits the other neighborhood serving as a focus of this study, Harlem, at 109th street. Harlem encompasses much of the northern portions of Manhattan, but the postal code selected for this study is 10026, which covers 109th to 119th street in between 5th and 9th avenue. These two areas were chosen due to their proximity and the fact that these two postal codes only touch each other; there is less chance of additional neighborhoods influencing the results from these neighboring blocks. It will be useful to examine the neighborhoods individually before moving on to a comparison and analysis.

According to the U.S. Census, the area in the Upper West Side covered by 10025 is 61% white, 15.9% black, with no other specified race or ethnicity making up more than 7% of the population (U.S. Census 2000). The total population was 97,086 as of the year 2000. 61% of the population is employed, with a median income of $49,733 but 12.2% of families and 15.
4% of individuals living under the poverty line. The residents are generally well-educated, with 83.6% having graduated high school and 58.4% with at least a bachelor's degree. The most popular industry is education, health, and social services, with 28.9% of the population working in this field. After that, the most popular fields are professional, scientific, management, administrative, and waste management services (17.7), arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services (11.4%), and finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (11.1%). Finally, 68% of residents take public transportation to work.

The 10026 postal code, covering part of Harlem, provides starkly different Census information. The total population is 30,377, with 74.4% black and "some other race" making up a larger portion than white (9.4% to 8.6%). Only 44% of the residents are employed and the median income is $22,491, less than half than that of the Upper West Side. 32% of families are below the poverty line, with 34.7% of individuals under as well. 64.8% are high school graduates, and only 19.7% have a bachelor's degree or more. The largest portion of the workforce is in education, health, and social services (26.2%), followed by retail (11.1%), arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services (10.6%), and finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and leasing (9%). 73.4% take public transportation to work.

According to a recent study (Levin 2003), the Upper West Side underwent "considerable gentrification during the 1990s" For instance, "in that decade, the monthly rent for studio apartments soared well above $1,000, while rents for larger units rose proportionately," and by 2000, "young, well-educated, relatively affluent singles and young families were gradually displacing a large Hispanic population as well as many older residents of Irish and Jewish descent, who had earlier been the primary residents of the area" (Levin, p. 324). Harlem, on the other hand, saw different.....

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