econgator wrote:cheezguyty wrote:Austin Powers wrote:Haven't seen the episode, but I will mention that there is a hidden clue in the FJ clue - 1880 is an awfully precise year - but then there was a census that year.

That would probably explain why the clue didn't give the exact year the population hit one million

(most likely 1874, with the annexation of Morrisania, West Farms, and Westbridge) (scratch that, those towns were part of New York County but not the island of Manhattan; it was definitely 1875 then).

Why "defintely" 1875?

The population of New York County on June 1, 1875, as given by the 1875 State Census, is 1,046,037. New York County is equivalent to the borough of Manhattan (and the entirety of New York City at that time), but it is not entirely coterminous with the island of Manhattan. The 23rd and 24th Wards are not on the island, so subtracting those gives us a total of 1,009,831. Randall's Island and Wards Island are part of the 12th Ward; I could not find an exact breakdown for that ward, but seeing as the current population of those two islands is just 1,386, I think 1,000 is a fair estimate. I don't know the number of soldiers stationed at Fort Jay on Governors Island, but safe to say it would be less than 8,000.

So we're left with a population on the island of Manhattan on June 1, 1875 of just over 1 million. The population from the 1870 U.S. Census for the entire county is listed as 942,292, for an average annual growth rate of about 20,750. Take away five-twelfths of that from our June 1875 number and you can see that the population at the beginning of the year had to be less than the million mark. (Okay, okay, I'll change that to "almost certainly 1875"

).