Jans Martense Schenck house, Flatlands, built 1675, formerly at Avenue U and East 63rd Street
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Brooklyn 18|
|• Total||2.2800 sq mi (5.9053 km2)|
|• Density||28,000/sq mi (11,000/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Area codes||718, 347, 929, and 917|
|New Netherland series|
|The Patroon System|
|People of New Netherland|
Flatlands is a neighborhood in the southeast part of the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. The current neighborhood borders are roughly defined by the Bay Ridge Branch to the north, Avenue U to the south, Ralph Avenue to the east, and Flatbush Avenue to the southwest.
Flatlands is part of Brooklyn Community District 18 and its primary ZIP Code is 11234. It is patrolled by the 63rd Precinct of the New York City Police Department. Politically it is represented by the New York City Council's 45th and 46th Districts.
Flatlands was originally known as Nieuw Amersfoort, after the Dutch city of Amersfoort, and was established as a farming community in 1636 when Wolfert Gerritse Van Couwenhoven and Andries Hudde purchased 15,000 acres of land centered on what is now the intersection of Kings Highway and Flatbush Avenue.
Though the area was purchased from Lenape Native Americans, there is no definitive evidence that the area was actually inhabited by them, as the notion of land ownership in Lenape culture differed substantially from that of Europeans and they may have been a transient population.
The town’s growth and development came late, largely due to the lack of a transit system or set of roads connecting it with other parts of Brooklyn. Flatlands was annexed by the city of Brooklyn in 1896.
Crops typically grown in the area were beans, corn, marsh hay, squash, potato bean and tobacco. Oysters and clams were also farmed and harvested from Jamaica Bay, surrounding marshes and basins. The land-controlling families of Nieuw Amersfoort also kept black slaves to work their farms until the state declared emancipation of all slaves in 1827, after which black laborers took up farming jobs, many times on the farms they worked on as slaves.
Other historic structures are the Hendrick I. Lott House (East 36th Street between Fillmore Ave and Ave. S, built around 1720), which was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Flatlands Dutch Reformed Church, founded by Pieter Clausen Wycoff.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Flatlands was 64,762, a decrease of 1,964 (2.9%) from the 66,726 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,249.32 acres (505.58 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 51.8 inhabitants per acre (33,200/sq mi; 12,800/km2).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 18.2% (11,793) White, 66.3% (42,935) African American, 0.2% (158) Native American, 4.0% (2,577) Asian, 0.0% (16) Pacific Islander, 0.5% (334) from other races, and 1.8% (1,196) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.9% (5,753) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 18, which comprises Canarsie and Flatlands, had 165,543 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 82.0 years.:2, 20 This is slightly higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 25% are between the ages of 0–17, 29% between 25–44, and 24% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 9% and 13% respectively.:2
As of 2016, the median household income in Community Board 18 was $76,647. In 2018, an estimated 15% of Canarsie and Flatlands residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. One in eleven residents (9%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 50% in Canarsie and Flatlands, lower than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], Canarsie and Flatlands are considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
The main shopping streets in Flatlands are Utica Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, Avenue N, and Ralph Avenue. Residents also commonly shop at the nearby indoor mall, Kings Plaza, located at the border of Flatlands and Marine Park, while being across the water from the neighborhood of Mill Basin.
Flatlands is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 63rd Precinct. The precinct also covers Marine Park, Mill Basin, and Bergen Beach. The 63rd Precinct ranked 31st safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. With a non-fatal assault rate of 46 per 100,000 people, Canarsie and Flatlands's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 380 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 63rd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 85.9% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 5 murders, 14 rapes, 88 robberies, 131 felony assaults, 92 burglaries, 495 grand larcenies, and 62 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm births are more common in Canarsie and Flatlands than in other places citywide, though teenage births are less common. In Canarsie and Flatlands, there were 89 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 11.6 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 Canarsie and Flatlands has a relatively low population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 21%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Canarsie and Flatlands is 0.0071 milligrams per cubic metre (7.1×10−9 oz/cu ft), lower than the citywide and boroughwide averages.:9 Fifteen percent of Canarsie and Flatlands residents are smokers, which is slightly higher than the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In Canarsie and Flatlands, 30% of residents are obese, 14% are diabetic, and 37% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 21% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-one percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is lower than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 77% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," slightly less than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in Canarsie and Flatlands, there are 9 bodegas.:10
Canarsie and Flatlands generally has a similar ratio of college-educated residents to the rest of the city. Though 40% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 13% have less than a high school education and 48% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of Canarsie and Flatlands students excelling in math rose from 40 percent in 2000 to 57 percent in 2011, though reading achievement decreased from 48% to 46% during the same time period.
Canarsie and Flatlands's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is slightly lower than the rest of New York City. In Canarsie and Flatlands, 17% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 80% of high school students in Canarsie and Flatlands graduate on time, equal to the citywide average of 75% of students.:6
Flatlands contains the following public elementary schools which serve grades PK-5 unless otherwise indicated:
The following schools are located nearby:
The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) has two branches in Flatlands. The Flatlands branch is located at 2065 Flatbush Avenue near Avenue P. It was opened in a former Prudential Savings Bank branch in 1949, and moved to its current 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) space in 1955.
The Paerdegat branch is located at 850 East 59th Street near Paerdegat Avenue South. It opened in 1950 and moved to its current building in 1959.
No New York City Subway service runs into Flatlands. However, many residents live within walking distance of the IRT Nostrand Avenue Line (2 and 5 trains) which terminates at the junction of Flatbush and Nostrand Avenues; others use buses to get to the BMT Brighton Line (B and Q trains) or the BMT Canarsie Line (L train). Local and express buses are also used as a means of travel in and around the area. As of August 2019[update], the buses that serve Flatlands are the B2, B3, B6, B7, B9, B41, B44, B44 SBS, B46, B46 SBS, B47, B82, B82 SBS, B100, B103, BM1, BM2 and Q35.