Part two – at long last

To all five of my readers, I apologize for taking so long to post part two of the last post. Here it is:

The bigger question, to me at least, is why certain wards were developed and others were left alone.

My first instinct when I saw the census data was to try to figure out if there was any trend, but then I realized that was very difficult based on not knowing the previous boundaries of the wards and how they were expanded or broken up, and through that which wards were really growing and which wards were a product of other ward development and were only created in order to have some sort of “equality”. By this I mean that a certain population was living in a certain proportional square mileage. What then became very helpful was looking at another table that I found that had the number of occupants per square mile (also known as population density, with density being the raw population divided by the space the ward occupied), which I believe to be a much better representation of ward and population growth than the raw ward data that I found in the table 2.

Table 2

chart 2

Now this is all nice and good if you like looking at numbers, but it’s ultimately very difficult to visualize. To combat this, I copied the table into excel and created 3 corresponding graphs, with graph 1 incorporating wards 1 through 7, graph 2 using wards 8 through 15 excluding 12 (which was the upper part of the island so that does not have a good representation here) and graph 3 having the data from wards 16 through 22. Please find these graphs below:

Graph 1

Graph 1

As you can see above, it appears that wards 1-3 and 5 stay relatively constant. One thought as to why that occurs is because these were the original wards in lower Manhattan and once they were occupied they did not really have any other room for growth. Additionally, these wards mostly were inhabited by native New Yorkers, who were a bit elitist and didn’t really allow anyone into their wards. The 4th, 6th and 7th wards all occupied the Lower East Side, which, in my mind, were mostly made up of Irish Catholics and Jews, who lived in very cramped quarters and had lots of children and people living in small apartments (I may be overstating this a bit). However, you may notice that the 6th ward drops off between 1860 and 1870. This can be in response to the 6th ward being chopped in half, creating the 14th ward.

Graph 2

Graph 2

As you can see in this graph, wards 8, 9, 14 and 15 generally had upward trends, but that could mostly be regarded as normal growth. The 11th ward makes a huge jump between 1840 and 1850 and continues the upward trend it set in that decade, which again may have something to do with immigration numbers (I’d be curious to find out more of why this is). The 13th ward is also on the East side, but is smaller in terms of area, but does the same sort of jump that the 11th ward does. Finally, the 10th ward is what I find really interesting. There was a small drop from 1820 to 1830, but that may be attributed to the 13th ward cutting the population and area in half. From 1830 to 1840, this ward makes a huge jump, which again may be because of the Jews and Irish Catholics (and possibly some German immigrants – I don’t really know immigration numbers). From 1840 to 1850, it drops again, to which I have no answer other than the possibility that people began to move north up the Island. Finally, from 1850-1870, we see the steep acceleration of growth that has been seen so frequently in other wards.

Graph 3

graph 3

Finally, in this last graph we see the growth of the newest wards. First notice how the 16th and 17th wards were the only ones that had population data from 1840, and the 17th ward has a crazy population projection. I believe that in later years this tails off, mainly due to a max of the population. All other growth I believe is just a product of more and more people moving into Manhattan, and the only real open space was in the newer, more northern part of the island. Therefore, as time went on, the population would grow in these wards.

Now I realize that this may not be all that satisfying, so in my next few blog posts I will try to analyze the growth based on age in each ward, as well as comparing the growth of each ward to see if certain wards grew much more than others. Finally, I will try to examine if there is any correlation to where churches were located to where people moved, and vice versa (as in where churches were placed according to certain populations).


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