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We're No 1: New York is biggest city in the country

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The latest data from the Census Bureau confirms what everyone already knew: New York is the most populous city in the country -- and growing.

The city that never sleeps now has 8,175,133 residents, a 2.1% increase over the year 2000, and more than twice runner-up Los Angeles' 3.8 million headcount.

Staten Island led the way with a 5.6% increase, followed by the Bronx at 3.9%. Manhattan grew 3.2% while Brooklyn lagged with just 1.6%. The population was essentially flat in Queens, gaining only 0.1%.

But some -- including Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- are saying the census count is way too low.

Getting an accurate count in densely populated areas is tough for the Census Bureau, and New York especially so. In the borough of Queens alone, more than 140 languages are spoken in the public school system.

The stakes are high. Changes in population can result in redistricting (something of special interest to politicians) and the amount of federal aid cities receive.

The more people, the more money. And that's one reason why Bloomberg isn't happy with the 166,855 person increase.

"[T]he Census Bureau determined that the population of Queens increased by only 1,300 people. Think about that," Bloomberg said in a speech at city hall on Thursday. "1,300 people over ten years ... it doesn't make any sense."

The mayor wasn't the only elected official to complain. Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat and resident of Brooklyn, also got in on the act.

"The Census Bureau has never known how to count urban populations and needs to go back to the drawing board," he said in a statement. "It strains credulity to believe that New York City has grown by only 167,000 people over the last decade. To claim that growth over the last decade in Brooklyn was 1.6% and growth in Queens was .1% flies in the face of reality." To top of page

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