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A Decade After 9/11 Lower Manhattan Is a Magnet

Since the September 11 attacks, the areas in and surrounding Lower Manhattan have experienced an increase in the population of young, educated workers, reports Sam Roberts. Farther-off suburbs are seeing their share of such high-value workers shrink.
October 23, 2012, 6am PDT | Jessica Hsu
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"After suffering through a loss of jobs and residents in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks," writes Roberts, "Lower Manhattan has undergone a renaissance." According to the Census Bureau, the population within a two-mile radius of City Hall has increased by nearly 40,000 people in the past decade. A separate analysis by the Downtown Alliance found, "[t]oday, Lower Manhattan is surrounded by communities that have an increasing share of the region's high-value workers."

Lower Manhattan has grown "in part as a result of incentives, including subsidies and mass transit improvements, intended to spur a rebound after Sept. 11," notes Roberts. Within a 30–minute commute of downtown, the biggest population gains have happened in the Newport-Grove Street-Jersey City Heights area on the New Jersey waterfront and in Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn. Many parents are choosing to raise their families closer to the city as opposed to the suburbs, citing diverse communities and shorter commutes as benefits.

The Downtown Alliance found that the number of "college-educated people between 18 and 44 living within a 30-minute commute of Lower Manhattan" increased by more than 172,000 people between 2000 and 2010. "If these growth trends continue," the Downtown Alliance analysis said, "it will not be long before the young, educated population of areas surrounding Lower Manhattan outranks that found in all of Long Island; Hudson Valley, N.Y.; and southern Connecticut combined."

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Published on Friday, October 19, 2012 in The New York Times
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