AMERICA'S MOST diverse county is booming in the new millennium.
That far outpaces the growth projected by the city, which estimated in 2006 that Queens would grow by 50,295 people by the end of the decade.
New Yorkers who may have considered moving to Sunbelt locales such as Florida, Nevada, California and Arizona chose to stay because those areas have borne the brunt of the recession, the Census report shows.
"We're seeing something remarkable in Queens - more immigrants are coming in than domestic migrants are leaving," said Joseph Salvo of the City Planning Department. "Even though we have foreclosures and other problems, it's not as bad as in other parts of the country."
The city as a whole has 355,432 more people than it did in April 2000, the report states.
Some of the city's projections are still on pace. The Bronx is slated to grow by 68,544 people by 2010.
Some locals hope the city will use the numbers to increase infrastructure funding.
"It's always been 'build first, ask questions later' in New York City," he said.
The Census report notes Queens grew by some 15,000 people between July 2007 and July 2008. Much of the growth was in the Rockaways, where hundreds of homes were built.
"In the last four years, our population went up at least 10,000 people because of all the building," said Jonathan Gaska, district manager of Community Board 14.
The peninsula is slated for even more construction.
"In a few years, Rockaway could have another 25,000 to 35,000 people," Gaska said.
"Between Jamaica Bay and the Grand Central Parkway, we are extremely underserved in the number of hospitals," said Corey Bearak, head of the Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization for community groups.
"It's clear that we need to be focused and prioritized on infrastructure."