“Good morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. For more than 60 years – going back to the days when the Dodgers and Giants played baseball here in Gotham – one thing has been true. Year after year, more people have left New York City than came here to live. That’s been a given – that is, until now.
“Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest estimate of our population – and two big facts stood out. The first is that today more people live in the five boroughs than ever before – close to 8.34 million people by the Census Bureau’s reckoning. And the second is that for the first time since before 1950, the flow of people into New York City is greater than the passage of people out.
“What the Census Bureau found, in short, is that New Yorkers – and also people from across the country and around the world – are voting with their feet. And they’re voting to remain, or become, New Yorkers. That’s also a vote of confidence in the city’s future – one based on our record-setting achievements over the past 11 years in improving the quality of life and creating opportunity of all New Yorkers.
“For example: We’ve reduced crime to record lows – and so far this year, murders are down nearly 29 percent from last year’s already record-setting low levels. Under our Administration, New York hit a new record high in private sector jobs – most of them created outside Manhattan. And so far in 2013, we’re continuing to outpace the nation as a whole in new job creation. Our high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, and we’re offering more and better public school choices – good reason for families to stay in New York City instead of moving to the suburbs. Our investments in parks and cultural institutions also give people more good reasons to live here. We’ve made our streets cleaner and safer than ever for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. And because we’ve driven crime to record lows – including on our transit system – ridership on the subways has hit a 62-year high.
“All that progress is reflected in the substantial growth in our population estimated by the Census Bureau – a jump of more than 161,000 people in the two years since the last official Census was taken in 2010. To put that number in perspective, consider this: The estimated increase in New York City’s population over the past two years is greater than the entire population of the city of Hartford, Connecticut.
“Immigration accounts for a lot of that growth – because to people all over the world, the words ‘New York’ continue to mean: A better and freer life. Our population also has climbed because life expectancy is going up so dramatically here. On average, it’s now more than two years longer than in the nation as a whole. Better health for New Yorkers means a healthier outlook for New York, period. A growing population is the single best indicator of any city’s prospects. And today, New York City’s future is brighter than ever.
“This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all.”