Aside from this little guy, there are 1,999,999 more rats in New York City, according to a new study. That's still significantly less than tales of 8 million. iStockphoto hide caption toggle caption iStockphoto The Two-Way Rats! New York City's Population Might Be Seriously Overestimated November 4, 2014 If one urban legend is to be believed, there are as many rats as people — 8 million. Statistician Jonathan Auerbach decided to test that idea.