Weekend Surfing

From the M.A.S.’s couch to mine, from Television without Pity to the blogs, to A&E’s Flip this House to VH1 Soul, I’ve barely moved a muscle as I’ve consumed a tremendous range of information this weekend (not to mention about 50,000 calories, thanks to birthday party and hungover consumption of beer, cake, peanuts, chips, hotdogs and Vitamin Water, the latter doing little to counter the effects of the rest). 

I’ve posted a couple belated comments over at Ezra re: communal living and unionization and gender, a brief shout out to Brandeis over securing Anita Hill as a professor, and more rambling about my new cable offerings at NYC Weboy (soon to be a reality, sadly).  But I’ve got Matt Yglesias to thank for introducing me to this fun, fun comparative data site: ZIPSkinny, where you can enter your zip code and see how your neighborhood’s demographic profile compares to those around you.

No surprise – especially to my suburban cousin who informed me Friday night she hates my ‘hood because it’s so “crowded” – to find that Brighton (02135) is the third densest zip among its neighbors, at over 15,000 people per square mile (bordering Brookline and Allston are first and second, respectively).  She’s not the first visitor to comment on how dense it is.  My urban planning pals love it, and the M.A.S. and I also dig the vast sprawl of mostly pre-war, low- and mid-rise apartment buildings all over the neighborhood.  But after NYC, Brighton feels still feels green and relatively uncluttered.  My peep Nikki compared it to Brooklyn, and I’m going with that. 

Compared to our swankier neighbors, which include Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Chestnut Hill, Watertown and Allston, our only other Top 3 placement is in our poverty rate – third after two Allston zips.  So other than being one of the most crowded and least affluent (third lowest median income too) neighborhoods in western Greater Boston, we’re also more single, more transient, less educated (though this is relative, since over 50% of our residents have at least bachelor’s degree), and yet employed in greater numbers than our urban and suburban counterparts.  Did I mention I love my ‘hood?  🙂

I leave you with a brief demographic history of my zip codes (numbers rounded) after the jump.  Each new neighborhood has been less white, had more households in poverty, and more single people than the last.

Redstar’s ‘hoods: 

02184 (Braintree, MA):

  • 34,000 pp, 2,400 pp/sq. mi
  • 93% white/1% black/1% Hispanic/3% Asian
  •  4% below FPL, median income: $61k, unemployed: 1.5%
  • 32% bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 69% residency >=5 years, >50% married.
  • Age pretty evenly distributed.

10021 (Upper East Side, NYC):

  • 102,000 pp; 86k pp/sq. mi
  • 86% white/1% black/5% Hispanic/6% Asian
  • 5% below FPL; median income: $75k; unemployed: 2%
  • 75% bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 52% residency >=5 years, 42% married.
  • 10% pp under the age of 20.

10024 (Upper West Side, NY):

  • 61k pp; 63k pp/sq. mi.
  • 77% white/5% black/11% Hispanic/4% Asian
  • 8% below FPL; median income: $78k; unemployed: 3%
  • 74% bachelor’s or higher
  • 57% residency 5+ years; 41% married
  • 70% pp b/w ages 20-59. 

02135 (Brighton, MA):  

  • 44,000 people, 15,000 pp/sq. mi.
  • 73% white/4% black/7% Hispanic; 11% Asian
  • 20% below FPL, median income: $43k, unemployed: 2%
  • 56% bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 1/3 residency >= 5 years, 29% married.
  • 41% b/w ages 21-29; 15% ages 60+.

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