New York City’s Pet Population
As New York City’s dog lovers anxiously await the crowning of this year’s “Best In Show” at The Westminster Kennel Club’s 136th Annual Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, we estimated the number of pets (dogs and cats only) that call New York City their home.
Based on our analysis, we estimate that there are approximately 1.1 million pets in the City (600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats), or an ownership rate of about one pet for every three households. This figure is lower than the national average (about 60%), as you might expect given the City’s tighter living quarters and that some apartment buildings still do not allow pets. As shown in the above map, dogs and cats seem to really enjoy living near Central Park and the back yards of Staten Island.
To arrive at this number, we examined data on the typical profile of pet owners from the U.S. Census based on a survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). As reported in the survey, pet ownership varies with demographic factors such as household income—households with higher incomes tend to have more dogs—household size, and race. Then, using the data on pet owner profiles and households from the 2010 American Community Survey, we estimated the number of cats and dogs by neighborhood.
Did you know that the pet-related industry, which includes pet care (e.g., groomers), pet shops and veterinaries, has experienced some of the fastest growth rates of any industry in both the city and the nation? From 2000 to 2010, employment in the pet-related industry grew by more than 30% locally and nationally, reflecting both growth in the pet population and increased spending per pet by households. We further estimate that spending in this industry in New York City exceeded $1.5 billion in 2010 or roughly $1,350 per pet, though we’re certain that figure is much higher for this year’s winner of the title Best In Show.
StatsBee is a column featuring interesting statistics about NYC, written by economists at the Economic Research & Analysis department within NYCEDC’s Center for Economic Transformation.