Brooklyn, New York, Borough Vital Facts and Higher Education Info

Oct 28, 2022

Information about Brooklyn

Brooklyn has about 2.6 million residents, according to 2021 U.S. census estimates. It is the largest borough in New York City by population. Brooklyn is diverse, with large populations of Jewish, African-American, Hispanic, Italian, Chinese and other ethnic groups spread out across the borough. As of the 2021 census, Brooklyn (Kings County) had over 33% African American residents and nearly 19% Hispanic residents. Brooklyn has attained a certain cachet among young urbanites throughout the U.S. The Williamsburg area in particular has drawn many musicians, students and artists to live in its once-dilapidated buildings.

Brooklyn has a number of attractions, including the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Coney Island, the nation's seminal weekend beach getaway, is on the eastern side of the borough. Brooklyn has also served as a home to a large number of musicians and writers, including Everything is Illuminated author Jonathan Safran Foer, Jonathan Franzen and the Beastie Boys. Its many neighborhoods, including Park Slope, Crown Heights and DUMBO, feature some of the best urban architecture in the country and are frequently featured as settings for movies and television shows.

Higher Education

Brooklyn is the seat of about 50 colleges, community colleges and universities, including four City University of New York schools: Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn College, Medgar Evers College and New York City College of Technology. Kingsborough Community College is the largest school in Brooklyn and enrolls almost 14,000 students.

Polytechnic Institute of New York University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Saint Joseph's College, the Pratt Institute and Brooklyn Law School all offer programs from Brooklyn locations. A large number of seminaries and rabbinical institutes are found in Brooklyn, such as the United Talmudical Seminary and the Talmudical Seminary of Bobov.

Nearby Manhattan is home to a large number of schools, such as New York University and Columbia University, both among the country's most highly-ranked universities, while the Bronx boasts Fordham University and the near northern suburb of Yonkers is home to Sarah Lawrence College.

Economy and Employment

A substantial number of Brooklyn residents commute to Manhattan for work, where many Fortune 500 companies are headquartered. According to a 2014 state government publication, health care and social assistance accounts for about 33% of the workforce, while retail trade accounted for about 13% as of 2012. According to the Wall Street Journal, the density of colleges in Brooklyn may play a major role in its thriving economy, with nearly $3 billion generated from student living in 2013.

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