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Surprise! NYU-Sponsored Study Lauds NYU

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Though it's known as a hotbed of diversity, Greenwich Village is really quite homogeneous according to a new New York University-commissioned study by Appleseed, an economic analysis firm. Some highlights from The Economy of Greenwich Village: A Profile:

** The population of the Village last year was 72,025, virtually unchanged since 1990.
** Children under 18 comprise only 9.2 percent of the population, compared to almost 23 percent citywide. But between 2000 and 2009, the number of children under age 5 grew by 48 percent.
** Working age people (25-64 years) account for 69 percent of the Village population.
** Almost 80 percent of Village residents are white folks, 9.3 percent Asian, 6.2 percent Latino, 3 percent mixed race and 2.2 percent black.
** Village people have a median household income of just over $100,000 a year, more than double that of the rest of the city.
** 82.4 percent of Village residents have college degrees, beating even Cambridge (71.4 percent) and Palo Alto (78.7 percent).
** Ten percent of Village peeps work in the arts, recreation and hospitality industries compared to a whopping 18 percent in finance, insurance and real estate.
** Universities and colleges employ 10,350 people in the Village and their plans to expand are expected to stimulate growth in the local economy. "That's a significant infusion of money generating thousands of other jobs in the neighborhood and millions of dollars in tax revenue," according to NYU Senior Vice President Lynne Brown. "While it is obvious that NYU and other academic institutions are important contributors to Greenwich Village's economic well-being, this report documents just how significant they are."

That last inspired a howl of protest from Andrew Berman, Executive Director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "It's no surprise that a report commissioned by NYU would toe the party line of NYU's expansion mantra," he says. "The real question now is, should NYU's massive proposed expansion be focused on a neighborhood like the Village which would be overwhelmed and fundamentally changed by it, or would it be wiser for the long-term health of the city to look at the Financial District, which can absorb that kind of massive growth and would benefit much more from the additional people, space, and activity it would generate. In the Village, NYU's long-term growth plans are overkill and overwhelming."