How the rat population in New York City grew by 800% and infested the city in less than 65 years

  • New York City’s rat population has grown exponentially since the mid-20th century.
  • In 1950, some 250,000 rats lived in the city. By 2014, there was an estimated 2 million.
  • The increase is due in part to changes in the way the city handles trash and how quickly rats breed.

New York City rats are relentless. They’re everywhere, too: in sewers and parks, underfoot, in the subway, and even on walls.

They’ve been in New York since the 18th century and have become firmly entrenched: current estimates put the rat population at around 2 million in 90% of the city, according to the atlantic.

For as long as the rats have run through the city, politicians and locals have vowed to destroy them. But so far, no one has succeeded.

This is how the rats took over the city and why they don’t want to let it go.

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