Youngest and Safest: Boro Park Comes in First in Key NYC Data Set
By Meir Sternhill
From the youngest to the oldest, Boro Park tops the charts of key categories in a recent report detailing New York City’s statistics.
The neighborhood densely populated with Orthodox Jews had the most babies, fewest homicides and lowest drug fatality rate in the city, according to the latest Annual Summary of Vital Statistics released by the Health Department. The data covers the year 2020, and it is the first summary to formally specify the horrible toll that the Covid pandemic had on the city.
Of the city’s more than 250 neighborhoods, the greater Boro Park area — with a population of 212,365 — saw 4,759 births, nearly 5 percent of the 100,000 babies born in the city in 2020. This birth rate of 22.4 births per 1,000 residents is the highest in the city. By way of comparison, the runners-up are Williamsburg/Greenpoint at 16.7 births, and about 13 for Battery Park/Tribeca, Bedford Stuyvesant, East Tremont and Mott Haven.
The district with the lowest birth rate was Bayside, Queens, with 3.7 births per 1,000 people, a tad lower than the Lower East Side with 5.2.
Boruch Hashem, the infant mortality rate for Boro Park is low, at 2 per 1,000 births.
Maimonides Medical Center again boasted the second highest birth rate in the city, at 7,098 live births, behind Long Island Jewish Medical Center in the Bronx, which had 7,406 births.
In the city overall, there were 4,701 births by mothers who identified as Jewish.
The average Boro Parker born in the last decade can expect to live to the ripe old age of 84.7 years, among the highest in Brooklyn and a full seven years above the city’s life expectancy overall. It is lower than the longest average of 89.7 achieved in Sunnyside, Queens. The lowest life expectancy at birth was in Brownsville, at 75.6, the Rockaways at 76.6 and Harlem at 77.
Boro Park also got top marks for safety — it has the lowest homicide rate in the city, with an average of one homicide every two years, one of just ten neighborhoods with such a designation. The citywide average was 4.1 deaths per 100,000 residents, fueled primarily by Brooklyn’s Brownsville with 17.8 deaths, Bedford Stuyvesant at 9.8, and East New York at 9.7.
The number of deaths in Boro Park stood at 1,441, mostly from old age-related causes. The neighborhood has the lowest drug-related death toll in the city, at about eight.
The vital statistics report laid bare the toll taken by Covid on the city — 2020 was the deadliest virus to strike the Big Apple, beating even the Spanish Flu of 1918. The pandemic resulted in a mortality rate of 241.3 deaths for every 100,000 residents, exceeding the 1918 mortality rate of 228.9 deaths.
The pandemic contributed to New York City cutting its overall life expectancy for the first time in modern history, falling to 78 years, nearly 5 years below the 2019 average. Whites can expect to live to 80 Hispanics to 77 and blacks to 73.
Boro Park had 232 Covid deaths in 2020 for each 100,000 residents, a bit above the citywide average of 203. Hardest hit by the virus was the Rockaways, at 349 deaths.
The statistics show that despite a reputation for kvetching, Boro Park is a vibrant neighborhood, with a hefty percentage of children and young people living alongside seniors in a safe environment.