And Now for the Results: The New York, New York that Everybody Loves but Nobody Knows


Apparently even the New Yorkers among our readers don’t know the city all that well, because not one person got all of the answers right on last week’s survey about New York demographics. So, there are no winners for this contest.

I know you’re dying to have the answers to the questions, so here they are:

What is the largest European ethnic group in New York?
a) French
b) Irish
c) Italian holds first place
d) German

2. What percent of the city’s population is foreign-born?
a) 12%
b) 23%
c) 36% is the right number
d) 56%

3. Which of the following statements about New York are TRUE?

This is where everyone tripped up.  ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE TRUE!

a) The Puerto Rican population in New York is the largest outside Puerto Rico
b) There are more Jews living in New York City than in Jerusalem.
c) The New York metropolitan area has the largest Chinese population outside Asia.

4. Which of the following statements about New York are TRUE?
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS ARE TRUE!

a) While the percent of Americans who own their homes (versus renting) is about two-thirds, in New York City the numbers are almost the reverse; only 30% own, and 70% rent.
b) New York City’s population is larger than 39 U.S. states.
c) In Queens the median income among black households is greater than the median income of white households.

5. Which of the following statements about New York are TRUE?
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE TRUE!

a) In Manhattan there is currently a baby boom which is unique for a U.S. city: it is caused by affluent families with median incomes above $300,000 per year.
b) Manhattan, (New York County), is the richest county in the United States.
c) The disparity between rich and poor is greater in Manhattan than in any other county in the US.

In my last post I gave a short example of why this stuff is important: the manufacturer of a household product from Europe had a product that was a big hit across Europe and wanted to launch it here in the U.S. Without doing any homework about the characteristics of one market versus another, the company decided to start selling the product in New York City. If sales went well, they would expand across the country.

However, the product was one that only someone who owns his or her home would be likely to buy, since it was an item that would be used to upgrade the home – to make a capital improvement. See the answer 4 a. above. The number of homeowners versus renters in New York is the reverse of the national norm. People who rent an apartment don’t spend the money to make capital improvements on their homes. Therefore, using the New York area as a test market would provide this company with a big negative bias against the product just because of the demographics.

Lucy Siegel

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