Dominion of New York

The 411

October 5, 2011

Census: Black Home Ownership Up In NYC

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Written by: Kelly Virella


ew York is one one of the most expensive cities in the world. But that and the gloomy economy aren’t keeping blacks here out of the housing market.

Despite the havoc that foreclosures have wrought in the city’s black neighborhoods since 2007, census data reveals that black home ownership rates in New York City increased between 2000 and 2010. Foreclosure struck parts of black Brooklyn and black Queens particularly bad, decimating home ownership in many predominantly black neighborhoods. But overall, the city’s black home ownership rate edged up 1.6 percent in 2010, to 26.1 percent.

The Mathematics of Home Ownership

home ownership rate = number of homeowners at one point in time/number of homeowners and renters

expansion in home ownership = an increase in the number of people owning homes

contraction in homeownership = a decrease in the number of people owning homes

The 2010 black home ownership rate is about 5 percent lower than the citywide rate of home ownership — 31 percent — and about 18 percent lower the national black home ownership of 44 percent. In New York City, Asian householders had the highest rate of home ownership in 2010, at about 38 percent. White householders came in second, at about 37 percent. The data for Latino householders is not available.

Of the city’s 756 predominantly black census tracts, 49 percent experienced a decrease in the rate of black home ownership, with losses as high as 20 percent in some neighborhoods. But in 38 percent of the predominantly black census tracts, the rate of black home ownership increased, with gains as high as 28 percent, offsetting the contraction.

In fact, a broad expansion in black home ownership occurred in four of the city’s boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island.

The borough experiencing the most expansion in black home ownership between 2000 and 2010 was Manhattan, where the number of blacks owning homes in predominantly black census tracts — i.e. Harlem — increased 28 percent and the home ownership rate increased 4 percent. Queens experienced the greatest contraction in black home ownership during this time: the number of blacks owning homes there decreased 10 percent between 2000 and 2010 and the rate of home ownership shrank 3 percent.

Still New York City’s black home ownership rate remains highest in Queens, where 44 percent of black householders own their homes and lowest in Manhattan, where only 11 percent do.

Zoom into the maps below to find out how your neighborhood did. The home ownership data in them comes from 2009, but is consistent with the 2010 data.

If you’re a homeowner, leave us a comment saying when and where you bought your house. If you’re renting, say whether you have plans to buy soon.

Changes 2000-2009

Powered by, an online mapping tool and data warehouse.

Rate in 2009

Powered by, an online mapping tool and data warehouse.


About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, left to right. Photo courtesy of Flickr/Azipaybarah