Urban legend says that there are more rats than people in our fair city. That means 8 million-plus people, and at least that many rats. But then a 26-year-old dude who is trained in statistics published an award-winning paper, which, of course, got written up in the New York Times, arguing that, in fact, there are a mere 2 million large rodents scurrying around the streets. Fewer rats means fewer weird scary vermin-borne bugs, right?
AddressReport used 311 reporting to create a map of where in Manhattan you'll find the most rats, and Columbia Ph.D. candidate Jonathan Auerbach combed the same trove of data to make his guesstimation. At least until the next research gets published, it's good-bye, one-rat-per-New-Yorker myth. We won't be missing you.
· 8 Million Rats for 8 Million New Yorkers? Data Suggest a City Legend Is Flawed [NYT]
· And the Neighborhood With the Most Rats in Manhattan Is... [Curbed]
· Rats! archive [Curbed]