The Bronx is a borough of New York City that has seen a number of population changes since its inception. In the mid-late 1960s, some parts of the Bronx experienced a sharp decline in population, housing, and quality of life. This trend continued through the 1970s, and the centralized government of New York City was responsible for providing public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and social services in the Bronx. Before the pandemic, The Bronx had the highest number of pending, scheduled, and executed evictions of any county in the US, even though it had fewer rental units than any other county except Staten Island. The Census Bureau defines 55 neighborhoods throughout the city (10 of them in The Bronx) called microdata areas (PUMAs) for public use.
These boundaries are similar to those of the community districts of New York City in all but four cases (two in Manhattan and two in The Bronx). At the end of World War I, The Bronx hosted a small 1918 World's Fair on 177th Street and DeVoe Avenue. The middle and end of the century were difficult times for The Bronx. It went from being a predominantly moderate-income area to a predominantly low-income area with high rates of poverty and violent crime in some areas. The life of gangs in The Bronx was described in Richard Price's 1974 novel The Wanderers and its 1979 film adaptation. On January 1, 1898, the consolidated city of New York was born.
This included The Bronx as one of five distinct districts (at the same time, its territory passed from Westchester County to New York County). One is located on the Bronx River while the other strictly separates the South Bronx from the rest of the borough. During the pandemic, The Bronx had higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths than other counties in New York City. On average from March to August 2020, 70 percent of Bronx zip codes had hospitalization rates that were in the highest third of all 177 zip codes in NYC. The Bronx Museum of Art was founded in 1971 and exhibits contemporary and 20th-century art. Since its separation from New York County on January 1, 1914, The Bronx has had its own criminal court system and district attorney who is elected by popular vote.
Of the 289 census districts in The Bronx District, 7 districts lost more than 97% of their buildings to fires and abandonment between 1970 and 1980; 44 other districts saw more than 50% of their buildings suffer a similar fate.