Census 2000 Second in a Series
Local Hispanic Population Grows; Asians Increase Too
By HANNAN ADELY
Both Bedford Park and Fordham Bedford saw a rise in its total population, particularly in Hispanic residents, and a drop in non-Hispanic white residents, according to Census 2000.
The change was most evident in Bedford Park - between Mosholu Parkway and Bedford Park Boulevard - which saw a drastic shift in its racial makeup over the past ten years.
Ten years ago, the non-Hispanic white population made up 47 percent of Bedford Park, with 7,837 people. Now, whites constitute just under 20 percent of the area, numbering 3,801 residents.
While whites departed from Bedford Park, the Hispanic population almost doubled, jumping from 4,870 to 9,190. Hispanics now make up close to half the area's population; in 1990, the group made up 29 percent of area residents.
"The white population is disappearing very fast from areas where perhaps the nature of housing was such that they didn't have too big a stake in the areas," said William Bosworth of the Bronx Data Center at Lehman College.
In Fordham Bedford, the white population shrank from 13 percent to 6.5 percent of the population. But even 10 years ago, the area, which stretches from Bedford Park Boulevard to Fordham Road, between Jerome and Webster avenues, was overwhelmingly Hispanic. The Hispanic population in Fordham Bedford increased by 6 percent to make up 66 percent of the total population in 2000. Now, the area is home to 29,907 Hispanics.
"We're certainly seeing a Mexican influx, but it's nothing like the Dominican influx," Bosworth said. "And Puerto Ricans by far remain the dominant Hispanic group in the Bronx."
The Bronx differs from other boroughs in that it has much less variety in its ethnic groups, Bosworth added. Many areas in the Bronx are either predominantly Hispanic or black, with small figures in other groups. "The Bronx has historically been an area where there is a simplification of ethnicity," Bosworth said. "... Everybody else is maybe 5 percent."
Even the remaining white population in the Bronx is made up mostly of two groups - either Irish or Italian, Bosworth said.
And while many other boroughs saw a huge increase in Asian population, locally, the increase was slight. In Bedford Park, there was a minor rise from 1,187 Asian residents in 1990 to 1,347.
The Asian population in Fordham Bedford, meanwhile, increased from 3,430 to 6,469. Asians now constitute approximately 14 percent of the area, up from 8 percent in 1990. (More precise statistics indicating country of origin will be available from the Census soon.)
Another population trend is that the non-Hispanic black population in the Bronx has held steady over ten years, Bosworth said. In Fordham Bedford, the black population rose slightly from 7,223 to 8,213 residents. In Bedford Park, the change was bigger, from 2,619 residents to 4,176.
Overall, Bedford Park grew by 16 percent, and is home to 19,362 residents. Fordham Bedford saw a 9 percent increase in its total population. The densely populated area is now home to 45,173 residents.
All of New York City showed an unexpected rise in population, resulting partly from higher levels of immigration. In the Bronx, the number of residents grew 7 percent to 1.3 million.
Ed. note: This is the second article in an ongoing series looking at the results of Census 2000. The first article analyzed the changes in Norwood.
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