NYC population growth-compressed Photo: Andrew/Flickr

Over the last year, New York City’s population grew by 55,000 — an increase not seen since the 1920s when landmark immigration legislation brought new waves of people to the United States.

New data from the US Census Bureau say the city’s population has reached a high of 8,550,405, with increases across all five boroughs. Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx actually led the City and all New York State counties in population growth. Together, the three boroughs account for 84 percent of the city’s growth.

The increases are credited to a growing birth rate, declining death rate, more people moving to the city, and fewer people leaving the city. The trend has become more pronounced in the last five years in which the City’s population increased by 375,000 residents or about 4.6 percent.

And a recent City report says that by 2040, NYC’s population is projected to reach over 9 million, growing by 783,000 residents from 2010 levels.

A population growing at that rate also means growing demand on urban infrastructure. Improvements are already under way for the City’s gas lines, which are 56 years old on average, compared to 44 years old nationally.

Plans are also in place for city transit updates, including a years-long L train construction project meant to address overcrowding and a 16-mile waterfront streetcar line that will connect Brooklyn and Queens.

“The sustained population growth of our city is proof that New Yorkers not only want to remain at home, but that people are moving from all over to work and raise a family in the greatest city in the world,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He cites increased investment in affordable housing, disaster preparedness, and energy efficiency to balance the growth.“The long-term prosperity of New York City hinges on our ability to keep pace with the housing and infrastructure demands of an ever-growing population throughout the five boroughs.”

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