New Census estimates published last week showed that the population of New York City has grown to 8.49 million people as of July 2014. On Wednesday night, YIMBY put it together that if the city is growing at the same rate it in previous years, the city has potentially already surpassed the Census’ most recent prediction of the city’s population by 2020.

The 2020 population forecast, published in December 2013, estimated that the city’s population by 2020, the year of the next Census poll, would be 8,550,971. Last week’s estimate of 8,491,079 in July 2014 is a difference of just 59,892. If the population growth between 2014 and 2015 is close to what it was estimated to have been between 2013 and 2014, 52,700, the 8.5 million mark will be hit by the end of the year, if it hasn’t happened already.

This rapid growth is creating further strain on New York City’s already depleted housing stock. Construction of more affordable housing would help alleviate the shortage, but only so much: only ~3,000 affordable housing units were created via inclusionary zoning, which is when a percentage of market-rate units are set aside at a reduced rate for lower-income people, between 2005 and 2013, according to the New York Times.

The only solution: embracing life in a human ant farm.

(Photo: Stefan Georgi)