The 2010 census showed that the total population of Fort Greene, Brooklyn is 179,161. However, the census shows that Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s black population has declined by a third since 2000. The black population in the census tracts that make up the geographic boundaries of those neighborhoods dropped by 31.4 percent. However, in 2000, blacks made up 65 percent of the population with 34,570 people. Now they only make up 47 percent, with 23,713 residents. This decrease is much more extreme than the overall black population decline in Brooklyn of 4 percent. And citywide, the black population decreased by 2 percent. New York City’s population grew by 2 percent in the last decade, according to the 2010 census, but Fort Greene and Clinton Hill lost 4 percent of its residents. The population went down from 52,600 in 2000 all the way to 50,431 residents in 2010.
“There used to be a time you could… when $2 and $1, you could get by. You can’t do it anymore. So, if New York City is not affordable then the great art that we have is not going to be here, because people can’t afford it.
So, I know what you’re saying, but I don’t see a lot of good coming from gentrification for the people living in those neighbourhoods.”
-Spike Lee view on the changing cost of living at Fort Greene
No longer predominantly black, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are becoming more demographically diverse, the census shows. Whites, who made up 18 percent of the entire population in 2000, now make up 36 percent. Since the last census, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill’s Asian population has experienced a significant bump in numbers too. Once 1900 residents, now Asians in the neighborhood are a little over 3000 people. In 2000, people of multiracial decent were 4.4 percent of the population, and they are now about 4.9 percent. Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are more multiracial than most of the city. For example, Brooklyn and Manhattan are about 2 percent multiracial, according to the 2010 census, Queens is 3 percent multiracial, and the Bronx and Staten Island are 1 percent multiracial. Furthermore, people who checked their race as other have decreased from 7.3 percent to a 5.5 percent in 2010, but Fort Greene and Clinton Hill still had many more “others” than the rest of the city in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, less than 1 percent checked “other,” and in the Bronx and Queens, only 1 percent did.
“So, why did it take this great influx of white people to get the schools better? Why’s there more police protection in Bed Stuy and Harlem now? Why’s the garbage getting picked up more regularly? We been here!”
-Spike Lee view on the changing demographic of the neighborhood and its affects