Did Brooklyn Heights Lose Over 40% of its Population Because of COVID-19?

According to this story by Kevin Quealy in the New York Times, which has a very interesting map and graph, because of the coronavirus pandemic,

[r]oughly 5 percent of residents — or about 420,000 people — left the city between March 1 and May 1. In the city’s very wealthiest blocks, in neighborhoods like the Upper East Side, the West Village, SoHo and Brooklyn Heights, residential population decreased by 40 percent or more, while the rest of the city saw comparably modest changes.

As the next paragraph notes, “[s]ome of these areas are typically home to lots of students, many of whom left as colleges and universities closed.” The Heights does have a substantial student population.

The estimates of population loss by neighborhood were based on “an analysis of multiple sources of aggregated smartphone location data.”


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  • Banet

    40% feels about right, at least for the people I know. Our building, which has 16 families, has 6 or 7 families in residence. The others have retreated.

  • Cranberry Beret

    “Brooklyn had the second-highest number of mail-forwarding requests, which were concentrated in neighborhoods like Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights.”

    “As for their mail, it comes ‘maybe once a week,’ Mr. Gardner said. He and his wife filed mail-forwarding requests in mid-March, but he said much of his mail from March never arrived.”

    Good luck, the people who stayed only get their mail maybe once a week too! :)


  • South Brooklyn Boys

    Makes sense. It’s 50% in my building

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    I left for my upstate residence, got the rona anyway. Wasn’t too bad though, completely recovered now.

  • redlola

    doesn’t feel like it on the streets. feels like people are on every corner. hopefully, more will leave so those of who can’t can actually walk on streets without running into traffic to keep 6 feet

  • Susan O’Doherty

    The headline really scared me before I realized it was referring to people who had *moved*

  • Heightsman

    Non-residents on every corner. Just sayin.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Wonder what impact it is going to have on the real estate market in BH where streets are so narrow and people often have no way to pass each other without being in very close proximity.

  • Jorale-man

    Fortunately, traffic is way down, so it’s not so too hard to detour into the streets now. But as traffic inevitably picks up, the city should consider closing all streets in the Heights to through traffic, except for Montague and maybe Hicks, Henry and Clinton.

    And Heightsman may be right – there seemed to be a lot of visitors out for a stroll on the weekend.

  • redlola

    I see mainly residents at all times of the day. Been here for 18 years so know the difference. The visitors are mainly on the promenade, in the park and around Dumbo as per usual. I do walks around the street blocks and can barely get around the residents with dogs and strollers and couples who can’t seem to process the concept of a single file like they will die if they don’t walk side by side for a second.

  • Brooklyn Noob

    Two years from now this will be a non-issue. (And it is not much of one today as proven by multiple studies that there is close to zero chance of outdoor transmission in real life situations). People running for the exits will be the big losers. The dramatic headlines of the “death of cities” are just that — drama. The existential problems of global warming / limited fossil fuels will continue to drive urbanization. This is merely a speedbump.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    This pandemic, however, may permanently change the workplace arrangements for some businesses, and more people will start working from home. Given that, if, say, 10% of the 40% who have fled BH may decide to stay where they are long term, it fill certainly have an impact on the already overinflated real estate values in BH (at least short to mid- term).

  • http://www.yotamzohar.com StudioBrooklyn

    Glad you’re okay, Arch! I hope you’re continuing to self-isolate.

    A colleague of mine got it back in March. Then, after his symptoms dissipated and he’d been self-quarantined for two weeks, he visited his parents and gave it to them.

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  • Andrew Porter
  • Andrew Porter

    Lots of empty parking places on my block; some stay empty for hours at a time. Very unusual for BH.

  • Heightsman


  • Still Here

    One third of the tenants of our 80 apartment building are absent.

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    I would say that the occupancy of my 24 unit building is around 50%.

  • petercow

    Glad you’ve recovered. Stay safe.

  • Princeandrey

    Most of the time I am alone in my ca seven-apartment building. I. myself, left for a week to stay with my sister on the Connecticut shore, but I came back and stayed. I prefer it here.