For our first survey of 1998, we went back to the beginning of The Bronx Board and reissued this survey about where and when we lived in the Bronx, and when and why we left. Our intention was to allow the latest audience to share this interesting data with us, and share it they did. In only five days we received 162 usable responses, almost three times as many as we received last year. This robust turnout highlights the growing popularity of the board.
Overall, the results seem to mimic those of the first survey, with some minor but interesting differences. A few new questions were added this time around.
The total number of unique, usable responses was 162.
The average of the span of years of people living in the Bronx was 1949 through 1971, which is exactly the same as the first survey's result. The earliest year anyone reported living in the Bronx was 1922, and the latest was 1997. The average number of years we lived in the Bronx was again 22.
The neighborhood breakdown was as follows:
|Bronx Park East||3||2%|
How old were you when you left the Bronx?
|Age||Count||Younger than 12
||12 - 20
||21 - 30
||31 - 40
||41 - 50
||Older than 50
What were the reasons you left the Bronx?
(Multiple responses were allowed, so the sum of the percentages exceeds 100.)
|A Better Life||60||37%|
|Crime/Lack of Safety||33||20%|
|Educational Opportunities (i.e. better schools)||15||9%|
|Family Obligations (parents/marriage/divorce/etc.)||55||34%|
|General Deterioration of the Neighborhood||44||27%|
|Hated City Life||2||1%|
|Just Needed A Change||13||8%|
*Many responses providing "other" reasons were moved into one of the above categories, especially those stating that they left when their parents moved (those were added to "Family Obligations"). Here's a sampling of some of the "Other" reasons for leaving:
When you left the Bronx, were you sure that you'd never live there again?
When you left the Bronx, did you leave behind any family?
Which, if any, of the following expressions would be closest to describing the feeling you had on the day you finally left the Bronx for good?
||It's been a long time coming!
||So long, I hate to have to leave ya!
||I'll be back...
||I'll never love anyplace more than this...
||None of the above
Thanks again to those who participated. Apparently, putting words into people's mouths was not a good idea, judging by the "None of the Above" responses to the last question. It was interesting to note the swell of numbers of people from Parkchester/Marble Hill, Pelham Parkway, Tremont and Morrisania sections. The enormous number of us who left family behind makes clear not only that our roots were well planted in the Bronx, but that our need to leave (and therefore sever our lives from those roots) was somewhat compelling.