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Census Shows a South Fork Population Explosion

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 15:14
Of the nearly 400,000 workers in the district who are 16 or older, 288,758 drive to work alone, while only 28,447 carpool, according to a 2019 survey of housing units within the First Congressional District.
Durell Godfrey

Between 2010 and 2020, the population of East Hampton Town grew 32.3 percent, and of Southampton Town 21.6 percent, according to data released by the United States Census Bureau last Thursday. 

East Hampton Town's population increased from 21,457 to 28,385, and Southampton Town's from 56,790 to 69,036. 

"Frankly, I think [the population] is much greater," said East Hampton Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc at a town board meeting on Tuesday. Given that the census coincided with a pandemic, he wondered whether that affected the results.

The vast majority of town residents -- 70.6 percent -- are non-Hispanic white, according to the data. Hispanic and Latino people make up 23.7 percent of the population, 2.7 percent are Black, 2.2 percent Asian, just under 1 percent are two races or more, and one-tenth of a percent described themselves as Native American. In Southampton Town, 68.5 percent of residents are non-Hispanic white, 22.5 percent are Hispanic or Latino, 5.7 percent are Black, 2 percent Asian, 2.6 percent two races or more, and two-tenths of a percent Native American. 

The median household income (based on 2019 dollars) is $96,687 in East Hampton Town, and $95,281 in Southampton Town, far higher than the national median of $62,843. East Hampton's poverty rate also exceeded the national average. Nearly 11 percent of the town's population is living in poverty, compared to 7.6 percent in Southampton and 10.5 percent nationwide.

Nearly 27 percent of East Hampton Town residents are 65 or older, and 20.9 percent are under 18. In Southampton Town, 21.7 percent are 65 or older, and 24.6 percent are under 18. 

A survey of housing units within the First Congressional District that was compiled in 2019 showed that 203,473 units are owner-occupied, 49,157 are renter-occupied, and 63,771 are vacant. The median value of owner-occupied housing in East Hampton Town (based on data gathered between 2015 and 2019) is $869,600; in Southampton Town it is $671,600. The median rent is $2,068 in East Hampton, $1,819 in Southampton.  

The leading employers in the congressional district include the health care and social assistance sector with 56,872 paid employees, retail stores with 39,710, the hotel and food service industries with 28,269, and construction, with 21,459. Of the nearly 400,000 workers in the district who are 16 or older, 288,758 drive to work alone, while only 28,447 carpool. According to the study, the average commute time is 28.2 minutes for East Hampton residents and 28.7 for residents of Southampton.

With Reporting by Christopher Walsh

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