When we chose our project to examine family demographic changes in the hipster area of Williamsburg, we knew that research was necessary to understand the area and its inhabitants. The information that we focused on includes age, income, marital/family status/household size and home/rent value. Data primarily came from census data concerning Brooklyn Community District 1 and the 11211 zip code area, which is the hipster area of Williamsburg. A large amount of data did not identify which years the data came from, except that it within the last 6 years.
The above map visually displays different demographic data sets centered around the hipster Williamsburg area. The most important categories are the household size, median income, median age, and median home value. Remember, the median is not always helpful.
Our initial findings on age in Brooklyn Community District 1 did not help because of the wide area that District 1 covers and due to the lack of census data for recent years. It only revealed that from 1990 to 2000 there was barely any change in age distribution. However, this chart does reveal that the amount of college graduates increased in the area, indicating the type of population that developed in the 90s (a student population/adult population that needed a cheap place to live in).
However, when we focused on zip code 11211, it revealed a prominent child population within the area. We concluded that there are more children than the amount of people in the 20s-30s (the hipster population), which could indicate an increase in families.
Income data reveals a lot about how the hipster area of Williamsburg has changed in terms of standard of living and as a result of gentrification. As seen on the map, the area generally has an income of over $50,000. While $50,000 is not a lot, it does show that the general standard of living in the area has increased compared to when the neighborhood was inhabited because the rents were cheap. According to city-data.com, as of January 2011, the standard of living of zip code 11211 was 181.6 (US average is 100).
The home and rent values are extremely high, which is no surprise with the high standard of living in the 11211 area. The map above indicates that most homes are above $250,000.
This chart also reveals that the median price of homes were around $400,000 to $500,000. Overall, there is a trend of increasing house prices and home ownership, which may be due the changing demographic of Williamsburg.
Despite the slight increase of home ownership, rentals still remain as the most preferred residence. About 83% of households live in rental apartments. However, the prices for apartments and lofts also reflect the changing standard of living. These rentals range from a low of $2,500 to $7,000.
When we searched for household data, we found that 43.8% of households in the area were family households. As of 2000, there were 21,219 married couples with children and 13,182 single-parent households. Williamsburg used to be known to be a haven for young, single, artists, and students, but some factors in the area lead to significant change. Although this data is from 2000, it indicates a shift towards family life as early as 12 years ago.
Our preliminary data was used to establish an understanding of Williamsburg, and to establish a hypothesis that Williamsburg is indeed changing into a family-based society.