New York City Hourly Influx

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Influ of People: New York City

Manhattan is the heart of New York, and on an average workday it plays host to 3.94 million people. All the other boroughs of New York experience a net population loss. Unfortunately, the last census was in 2010, it is due this year, but this is the most recent available data. Regardless, the influx of people into New York each day is over three times that of its closest city. The numbers reveal some interesting trends around the habits of New Yorkers.


  • Based on numbers from the last census, on weekdays, Manhattan has a population comprising 778,000 visitors, 1.61 million commuting workers, 70,054 commuting students, 18,236 hospital users, and 1.46 million local residents, for a total of 3.94 million. The visitors include 404,256 from out of town and 374,223 day-trippers.
  • Over the weekend, it has a population of 2.9 million, with 778,000 visitors, 565,000 commuting workers, hospital users 18,236, and 1.54 million residents contributing to the total. The visitors include 404,256 from out of town and 374,223 day-trippers.
  • On any given weeknight Manhattan has a population of 2.05 million, which includes 436,000 visitors, 1.58 million residents, and 17,747 commuting night workers. The visitors include 404,356 from out of town and 31,863 on day-trips.
  • Certain events or day-trips push Manhattan's population higher, with estimates suggesting when big events are happening, there can 4-5 million people in Manhattan.

Daily Variations in Manhattan

  • The number of people in Manhattan varies depending on the day of the week. Wednesday sees the greatest influx with a population of nearly 3.69 million. Tuesday is the second busiest day, with a daytime population of 3.68 million. Thursday is also busy, with a population of 3.68 million during the day.
  • Saturday and Sunday see Manhattan becoming less crowded, with daytime populations of 2.68 million and 2.58 million, respectively.
  • The working week builds slowly with Monday's daytime population of 3.67 million slightly down of the peak times midweek. Friday sees Manhattan slow as it eases into the weekend, with a daytime population of 3.65 million.
  • The average population density for Manhattan on weekdays ins estimated at 980,000 per square mile. This does not include the visitors to Manhattan, which, if included, would see the number top 1 million per square mile.

Peak Times and Events

  • On 7 February 2012, Manhattan had a population of 4.35 million, up considerably on a regular Tuesday. The city had experienced a 2.3 million influx overnight. They were all there for the New York Giants ticker-tape parade in Lower Manhattan.
  • Being present in Times Square as the ball drops, sees Manhattan host 3.35 million, with 1 million attending Times Square.
  • The Macy's Thanksgiving Parade has an attendance of 3.35 million, seeing the daytime population of Manhattan swell to 5.01 million.

Manhattan's Hourly Influx

  • A visual graphic representing the hourly population movement in Manhattan has been created. Unfortunately the numbers are unable to be determined by the graphic.

The Boroughs of New York

  • All the other boroughs in New York experience a net population loss during the day.
  • Queens has a net population loss of 365,000, with 614,000 people leaving and 249,000 entering on an average weekday.
  • Brooklyn has 539,000 people leaving and 232,000 entering the suburb on an average weekday. This is a net population loss of 297,000.
  • 268,000 people leave Nassau, while 197,000 enter, on an average weekday, which is a net population loss of 71,000.
  • Bergen has a net population loss of 4,000, on an average day, with 190,000 people leaving and 186,000 arriving.
  • Westchester sees 160,000 people leave, and 155,000 arrive on any given weekday for a net population loss of 5,000.
  • Hudson has 163,000 departures and 129,000 arrivals for a net population loss of 34,000.
  • Meanwhile, the Bronx farewells 291,00 people and greets 129,000 for a net population loss of 162,000.
  • Staten Island has 114,000 people leave daily, and 26,000 arrive, equating to a net population loss of 88,000.

General Observations

  • 80% of commuters to Manhattan travel via public transport. 50.1% travel by subway, 17.1% by rail, 16.2% by car, and 13.8% by bus. The greatest increase in the number of subway trips, perhaps surprisingly, occurs between 1900 and 0600 and on Sundays, when there is a 38% increase in riders.
  • The tunnel and the bridge are vital links, 269,000 commuters each weekday rely on them. George Washington Blvd has 300,000 vehicles travel on it on weekdays. The San Francisco bridge only has 270,000.
  • Manhattan's workday influx of over 1.4 million is over 3 times that of any other US City. The closest is Washington DC, who have 440,000 people commute to the city on a workday, a difference of 960,000.
  • Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx have the highest number of people leaving on any given workday. The next closest US city is Riverside, California, which is still 30,000 behind.
  • Manhattan is the only place in the US that has day to night population ratio greater than 1:30.

Research Strategy

We reviewed the data from the last US Census in the hope it might include data around the influx of people into New York. The available data was substantial but would have required hours of analysis to make broad generalizations at best. Information regarding the population of New York was available and grouped by Borough.

Next, we reviewed a range of industry publications to locate any studies or reports that might have discussed the influx of people into New York. One report from 2012, based on the analysis of the US Census data, provided some pertinent details. The information was not based on the hourly influx, but it did contain information about the daily influx. We had some concerns, given that it is eight years old. However, a range of different resources confirmed this to be the most recent data. We have provided a comprehensive summary.

Our third strategy saw us review relevant media articles, government statements, and information from the local administration. Media articles often contain details of studies, government policy, briefings, and different trends. We hoped that there would be a reference to the number of people entering New York. We located a couple of articles reporting that a graphic had been created showing movement by the hour. Unfortunately, when we reviewed the graphic, it was mostly for visual effect and the hourly influx could not be extrapolated. We attempted to trace the data used to the source as it contained the key information. Unfortunately, this information is not in the public domain.

The data we have presented focuses mostly on Manhattan as that sees the most significant influx, and for many is New York. We have also provided details of the other Boroughs