Who We Are

Visualizing NYC by the Numbers

Through August 23, 2020

Map describing languages spoken in NYC. Click to go to interactive webpage.

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New York City is a dense, chaotic mosaic of some eight and a half million people, each with their own individual stories. How can we possibly understand and describe this endlessly complex collectivity – what we share and what distinguishes us? Census data has long been a resource used to draw out unexpected and provocative patterns, connections, and insights about who New Yorkers are since our nation’s first count in 1790. 

In anticipation of the 2020 census, Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers showcases work not just by data analysts and demographers, but also by cutting-edge contemporary artists and designers who use these tools to enliven and humanize statistics and to shed new light on how we understand our urban environment and ourselves. Together, these intriguing and varied works demonstrate the power and importance of numbers in helping us understand who we are.

"Languages of NYC," Jill Hubley, 2019. Courtesy the artist.

In Depth Stories

Why the Census Matters

Our state's future funding, city planning, and political representation all rest upon a full and accurate enumeration.

The Art of Data

Artists visualize data in novel and interactive forms to show the dimensions of urban life that usually go unnoticed.

Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers

To mark the 2020 census, artists and designers demonstrate the power of numbers in helping us understand New York and New Yorkers.

That's So New York: Museum of the City of NY: Who We Are
The Museum of the City of New York presents Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by The Numbers, a multimedia exhibit on the importance of the 2020 Census. (NYC Media)


Public programs inspired by Who We Are are made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Who We Are is made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, An Anonymous Family Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The New York Community TrustZegar Family Foundation, Charles H. Revson Foundation, and Blair and Cheryl Effron.

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