Albany population by place of birth

This is a treemap, it's like a square pie chart. You can click each ward block to "zoom in" on each category. To zoom out, right click (or on a Mac track pad, use two fingers and click). These figures each have a margin of error associated with them -- see below for details.

As it turns out, Tucker Carlson's understanding of Albany demographics is lacking

Central Ave Asian market

Central Ave has become a bustling center of Albany's immigrant communities.

Summer noticed something during Kathy Sheehan's appearance on Fox News last week about "sanctuary" cities that stuck out to us, too:

Clearly Tucker Carlson's assertion that "40% of Albany residents are foreign born" is a made up statistic. But I'm curious... Do we know what the real number is?

Whether Carlson made that number up (possible) or was just confused (also very possible), it is not correct.

The short answer

The number of residents of the city of Albany who were born outside the United States* was 11,283, according to the US Census Bureau's 5-year American Community Survey estimates for 2015. (Margin of error: 1,158). That's 11.5 percent of the city's population. About half of those people are naturalized citizens.

If you're more of a chart person, there's a clickable treemap -- like a square pie chart -- at the top in large format.

(* In this case "outside the United States" does not include people born abroad to a US citizen parent or parents.)

The somewhat longer answer

Here's a breakdown of Albany's population by place of birth from the Census Bureau numbers:

As it happens, the Census has even more recent numbers -- 1-year ACS estimates for 2016 -- that indicate the number of foreign-born residents of the city is increasing. The figure from that set of estimates is 13,920 (+/-2,742). Those one-year estimates have relatively large margins of error, though, so they're worth taking with multiple grains of salt.

That Albany's foreign-born population is increasing wouldn't be surprising. Many refugees have settled in the city over the last decade. And the last few years it has felt like there's a more prominent immigrant presence -- example: the section of Central Ave between Lake and Quail that's full of activity.

Albany compared to other places in the Capital Region

The percent of the population born outside the United States in Albany is relatively high for the Capital Region's four core counties. But it's not the highest rate. A ranking of the top five, according to the ACS 2015 five-year estimates:

1. Schenectady - 14.5 percent (9,514 people)

2. Niskayuna - 14.3 percent (3,143 people)

3. Albany - 11.5 percent (11,283 people)

4. Halfmoon - 10.4 percent (2,365)

5. Colonie - 10.3 percent (8,532 people)

If you just ranked by total number of people born outside the US, it'd be: Albany, Schenectady, Colonie, Troy, Niskayuna, Guilderland.


+ Finding Refuge


"Whether Carlson made that number up (possible) or was just confused (also very possible), it is not correct."

This phrasing is rather kind to Tucker Carlson. Much kinder than what he deserves.

No matter how you slice it the total number of illegal aliens that live in Albany should be zero. Have only met a few people against immigration....illegal immigration the real issue. Basically comes down to if you are for completely open borders and no national sovereignty or not.....if you are then agree with Mayor Sheehan if you’re not then agree with Tucker’s pretty simple stuff.

“The number of people in the city of Albany who are native-born citizens of the United State was is 11,283, according to the US Census Bureau's 5-year American Community Survey estimates for 2015. (Margin of error: 1,158). That's 11.5 percent of the city's population.”

I know it’s just a typo, but if you don’t add “not” before native-born, Fox News will just quote this as evidence that they were extra-right.

Please edit

The short answer

The number of people in the city of Albany who are foreign-born was 11,283, according to the US Census Bureau's 5-year American Community Survey estimates for 2015. (Margin of error: 1,158). That's 11.5 percent of the city's population.

For the foreign-born category, the statistics do not seem to include Americans and residents who were born in the Caribbean but aren't from the "Latin American" countries like Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Think English-speaking countries in the Caribbean/West Indies like Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, etc. If such people are accounted for in these statistics, I think you may find that the number of foreign-born Americans and residents may increase if said demographic is included because there's a good number of people of non-Latin Caribbean/West Indian origins in the capital region and certainly NYS. 1 Love.

Does this 11.5% US Census figure include illegal immigrants as well?

Your "short answer" has a missing word: "The number of people in the city of Albany who are native-born citizens of the United States was is 11,283,.."

I think you meant who are NOT native-born citizens.

And I concur with Bob.

"The number of people in the city of Albany who are native-born citizens of the United State was is 11,283, according to the US Census Bureau's 5-year American Community Survey estimates for 2015. (Margin of error: 1,158). That's 11.5 percent of the city's population."

Wow, we are a city of immigrants if only 11.5 percent of us were born here.

Also why is Puerto Rico listed as "outside the US" ? Puerto Rico is a part of the USA.

Just curious....simple show of hands....
I am for.....
a. No national borders open immigration and no national sovereignty
b. National borders no open immigration and maintaining national sovereignty

Thank you, everyone, for the heads up about the typo in the short answer. That was my fault. It's fixed now.

Regarding other questions about some of the category definitions, here's the Census explainer this topic.

@Jonathan: "The U.S. Census Bureau collects data from all foreign born who participate in its censuses and surveys, regardless of legal status. Thus, unauthorized migrants are implicitly included in Census Bureau estimates of the total foreign-born population, although it is not possible to tabulate separate estimates of unauthorized migrants."

@Brian: That's a good point. People from Puerto Rico are categorized as native born, but the Census categorizes their place of birth as "outside the United States," I suspect to differentiate that they're not born in one of the 50 states. (The way the Census handles all sorts of stuff regarding race and origin is often less than ideal.)

Hey BS- Just out of curiosity, do you realize the overwhelming majority of immigrants who are currently illegal did not come here illegally?

How do you feel about the Haitans who have been here for 7 years and are getting their legal status revoked?

Trying to frame the issue as "open borders" and "national sovereignty" is simply not accurate.

Oh the "open borders" nonsense always makes me chuckle. Fox News really does a bang-up job constructing a strange bogeyman Democrat. Read a newspaper folks, policy is nuanced for a reason.

JB - hard to believe that is the case. Haiti example is a good one, but Haiti is not among top 10 countries of origin for illegal immigrants.

Nice bit of quick research on your part. Good job, AOA.
I didn’t watch the interview. Did Sheehan call him out on his fake data?

JB, aha, got it.
You're probably referring to the fact that for the past few years visa overstays are more common that cross-border trips.
However, that doesn't mean the overall balance is the same - 60% are in US for more than 10 years, and back then cross-border flow was much stronger.
Thinking about it, probably original post refers to the similar issue with broken communication. 14% of US population is foreign born, and I can easily see 14 becoming 40...
Speaking of which... Looks like area lacks diversity with that percentage being well below national average...

A quick google search shows that 63% of Albany’s population is white.I’m sure Mr. Carlson just can’t tell the difference.

Hey JB not sure what Fox reference you refer to but if you can’t control your bordersyou are no longer a country.....for the sake of debate.....please just answer what number of immigrants the USA should accept LEGALLY every year....1.....100,000.......1 million........if no limit then as the MSNBC CNN. PBS NYT Washington Post mantra is to be believed then no one” is illegal.....please answer exactly how many??

Dogwhistling past the graveyard.

Do the right-wing people on here realize that the U.S. had pretty much no immigration laws until the 1920s? So, if you managed to get to the U.S. you were now legal. There was no "documented" versus "undocumented" status. All these Irish, Polish, and Italians pretty much just landed here.

Yeah and there was no welfare section 8 housing Medicaid SNAP and on and on and if they thought you had bad teeth or a cough at Ellis island they stopped you there and sent you back....your point is??? We now have laws....again just someone answer the many immigrants should into the US yearly 10....100,000....1 million.....10,000,000.....please just provide a number so I have some idea of what the goal is....there are probably about 6 billion or more people who should come because of poverty, war, famine, religious persecutation...should we just take the 6 billion??? Please someone clarify...

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