Update: This story was updated on March 30 with figures from the recently released 2010 census.
Over the past decade, Cedarhurst remained a stable, family-friendly community, with some small but notable changes, according to the 2005-2009 estimates from the American Community Survey and the recently released 2010 census.
The biggest shift of all: a sharp increase in the community’s Orthodox Jewish population. While there’s no precise data to quantify the trend, Mayor Andrew Parise guesses that Cedarhurst is now 70 to 75 percent Orthodox. He said that demographic change has changed the town in at least one significant way.
“A lot of shops have closed on Saturdays,” Parise, who has been mayor since 1995, told Patch. “Ten years ago there were very few shops that would close on Saturday. Now a lot of them are. … Sunday here is shopping like a normal shopping day anywhere else.”
The mayor attributes the Orthodox migration into Cedarhurst to many of the same factors that have traditionally made the Five Towns such an appealing destination for religious families.
“It’s because of the proximity to the city. Maybe parts of their family may still be in Brooklyn or wherever they come from,” Parise said. “Maybe it’s because of the [new] houses of worships.”
In addition to the expansion of the Cedarhurst Orthodox community, there were other notable changes over the past decade. Most regrettable among them: a marked increase in commute for residents, from an average of 33.5 minutes in 2000 to an estimated average of 41.5 minutes from 2005-2009.
The increased commute contrasted with a drop in the Cedarhurst labor force, from an estimated 62.7 percent of the population in 2000 to an estimated 60.1 percent from 2005-2009.
The population jumped to 6,592 from the 2000 total of 6,164, according to the 2010 census. Some 6,517 individuals identified with a single race, 5,790 of which identified as “white alone;” 342 residents checked off “some other race,” while census data shows 237 Asians and 145 African-Americans in the village. An estimated 4,668 residents were 18 and over.
The other notable population shift over the course of the 2000s was a flip-flop in the ratio of males-to-females in Cedarhurst. While women had a slight edge over men in 2000, at 52.4 percent of the population to 47.6 percent, men became the majority from 2005-2009, at approximately 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent, the ACS found.
Strangely, the increase in the male population occurred alongside a sharp decrease in married males, from 62.1 percent of the population in 2000 to 53.5 percent, according to the estimates.
Additionally, the census found there to be a total of 2,375 housing units in the village, 2,242 of which (94.2 percent) were occupied when the data was compiled last year.
Parise, however, cautioned against making too much out of the census data.
“I don’t understand it all,” he said. “Reading these figures is like Greek to me.”