Queens County, New York

Monday, April 26, 2010 - 11:30 AM

Your Anecdotal Census: A People's History of the New York City Area 2000-2010

Tell us about change that matters in your community. Here are some possible questions to answer. Add your story to the comments below!

How is your community different today than it was 10 years ago?

Who's moving in and who's moving out? 

How has the housing boom/housing bust changed your community?

How have the politics of your community changed? If power has shifted in your community, how and why?

How has 9/11 changed your community? 

Do you have a story about change in your own life over the last decade that you think represents a larger trend?

What's an untold story of change in your community that needs to be told? 

Dante's Take

As part of the Patchwork Nation project, Dante Chinni has been exploring demographic trends around the country. He tells us what to watch for in Queens County...

→ Visit the Queens County page on Patchwork Nation for lots more!

By The Numbers:

What story do you think this data tells? Do you think the data reflects what's really going on in your community?

Queens County, New York 1980 1990 2000 2008/2009
Total Population 1,891,325 1,951,598 2,229,379 2,306,712
Median Household Income (2008 adjusted dollars) $50,600 $59,400 $54,800 $55,599
% Foreign Born 28.6% 36.2% 46.1% 47.4%
% Under 18 Years Old 23.1% 20.9%% 22.8% 21.4%


Explore the Maps:

Queens County, New York - Median Household Income (2007)- Go to the Interactive Maps at Social Explorer

More Resources:

US Census Bureau QuickFacts

Social Explorer

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Comments [16]

Eddie O from Queens!

I used to be a Field Rep for the Census, where we did surveys via laptop computer all year, i saw some of the worst living conditions imaginable by immigrants, who took part much more readily and amiably than other "established" americans I found. My favorite story from years of doing it was getting the help of a young mexican kid in translating for his dad and mom. Kids always helped me as I only speak english. During a survey with a concentration on living conditions ( building cleanliness, upkeep, rent, utilities etc.) it came up their bathroom never worked...never fixed...i said " where do you go to the bathroom? a store? a neighbor? ...after much awkward translation....the kid finally got it and said " Oh, now i understand, Daddy says that when he has to use the bathroom he uses the park across the you say...the dog. Like the dog."

Now if thats not some field work proving the need for better housing AND parks, i dont know what is.

Sep. 07 2010 10:18 PM

Voted with my feet 25 years ago and have never looked back. My wife still has some family in Queens. On our occasional visits, I notice that English doesn't go nearly as far as it used to.

Jun. 26 2010 12:49 PM
Frank Senger from Astoria


The influx of artists and young professionals and the downturn in the economy has forced people to spend more time in the neighborhood rather than exclusively leisuring in the city. It has also brought in a number of new businesses which are more akin to what you might find in Manhattan or Long Island. Northern Italian, French, Moroccan, Japanese and Brick-oven Pizza restaurants are cropping up. Which is alright with me because I'm a bit of a foodie.

Jun. 15 2010 02:18 PM
MaxL from NYC

Thanks to Mayor Mike & Transportation secretary Sadik-Kahn, the biggest change in the last 10 years has been the addition of bicycle lanes in throughout the borough of Queens.

Jun. 15 2010 01:17 PM
Jeremy from Forest Hills

Forest Hills New York City, yes New York coty. I recently purchased a house in queens, December 2010, needless to say I still find it desirable. I am located in the center of Forest Hills, my mecca of sorts.
Overdevelopment is still my biggest concern, in particualr the traffic associated with all the new mall expansion in Rego Park, the revitalization of the old Heidelberg printing factories (love trader joes/Hate the parking and traffic). and I do however like the new modern building popping up here and there which may simply be because I am aproperty owner now....

Jun. 15 2010 12:53 PM
Jennifer Hickey from Bayside/Auburndale

I moved to Bayside w/ my husband (who grew up there) in 2004 to help take care of his elderly mother When my husnand was growing up (he's 40 now), Bayside was a "working/middle class" made up of predominantly Irish/Italian/Greek. There has been a large influx of Koreans over the past 10+ yrs, as is reflected in the changing faces/llanguages/small businesses in the community. I am originally from MA and came ot NYC 15 years ago, so I have a different perspective on the changing demographics than someone who grew up in the neighborhood. I see it as part of the experience. Neighborhoods are in constand flux, which is part of what makes NYC such a interesting place to live. However, as Paul from Bayside pointed out. There is this perception of some of those that grew up in Bayside/North Flushing in the 70s/80s (many of whom are the children of immigrants themselves) that there is an exclusivity of the Korean community that has come to dominate these neighborhoods. While I think it is partly due to the language differences and will change with the next generation, there is a resentment among some older residents that the newer residents want to remain separate from the rest of the community.

Jun. 15 2010 12:47 PM
Mark Victor from Astoria

The biggest change I have seen in my area of Astoria, Queens is the loss of single, two, and three family homes. Almost to a fault, these structures, many of which were in good to excellent condition, have been replaced by large apartment/condo buildings. I used to park behind a 2-family home when I owned a car. Typical for what happens to these homes, the owner decided she wanted to move to the suburbs and a more sedate lifestyle. She was offered cash for her home and took it on the spot without knowing or asking about the fate of her home that she had lived in for forty years and in which she had raised a family. Within a month, the house was torn down and a hole dug, damaging the foundation of the 2-family next door. What was built was an abomination: a property line to property line apartment house which has no architectural relation to any of the buildings either next door or in the immediate vicinity. It is ugly. Of course, the loss of these houses and their replacement buildings are changing the nature of the neighborhood. Less families, more single persons ("yuppies"). I don't know whether the change in population is so bad, but it is a darned shame that so many perfectly good homes need to be destroyed in the quest for a profit in the real estate market.

Jun. 15 2010 10:16 AM
Candice from Glendale

I grew up in a small and perhaps not very well-known neighborhood of Queens called Glendale, where my family has owned a home for nearly 40 years and where I now live again after college, graduate school and several jobs took me to other parts of the country.

Our house is on the Forest Hills/Rego Park border and, while a lot has changed, a lot has remained the same.

Changes: Much more shopping, big box stores and independent businesses. New restaurants along Metropolitan Ave. that seem unaffected by the recession judging by the crowds on Friday and Saturday nights.

Much more diversity: Eastern Europeans, Russians, Latinos, Southeast Asians in addition to the Germans and Italians who have lived here for years. More people using Forest Park, which has been revitalized (we didn't get the Olympics but we have an awesome park now).

But a lot has stayed the same: Houses are passed down for several generations on our block. Or there are three generations living under one roof. Grandparents are very much a part of the child-care plan — and that seems universal no matter what the family's ethnicity.

It may be one of the only stable housing areas in central Queens where young professional people can afford to buy a detached, single-family home. I see these professionals at Trader Joe's and they are a great addition to the future of this community.

Jun. 14 2010 12:49 PM
Miriam from Woodside

Miriam from Woodside, NY
I moved to Woodside (the western edge, coming up against Sunnyside) in 2001, from Stuy Town in Manhattan so I haven't lived here all that long. But in the past 9 years I've been here, I would say that in my Woodside neighborhood, relatively little has changed.we remain a very diverse neighborhood, with a predominant mix of folk from southern Asia, India, Ireland, S. America and plain old caucasian Americans. Many residents own their own apts. or houses and there are many families. We have had very few changes in shopping/stores. In fact, in my neighborhood (Skillman Ave. near 51 St) we have only added two new restaurants, an Asian "bistro" and another chinese take-out joint. We desperately need a book store! The biggest change for me - and a very welcome one - is that the 7 line has finally made it really easy to tell whether a train is express or local. I live at a local stop and coming home from Grand Central or Queensboro Plaza, it had been a nightmare to try to figure out whether to get on the train or not. Now the 7 line displays bright green neon circles on every car's windows for local, and bright red diamonds for express. This may seem like a tiny thing but to me it is a big help.
Our neighborhood is blessedly quiet, with very old, tall trees lining the streets. It is wonderful to come home to after a hectic day.

Jun. 12 2010 02:33 PM


Jun. 11 2010 06:13 PM
Marie from Ravenswood

Until recently, Queens had a unique system for addresses. The first part of an address indicated the cross street. Next came a dash, and then the house number. The Post Office has removed the dashes to make Queens addresses conform to their system. Now Queens addresses are just as confusing as everyone else's, only longer.

The Post Office has also taken away our neighborhood names. Ravenswood is not part of Astoria. Both neighborhoods are part of Long Island City.

Jun. 09 2010 03:59 PM
Sheila from Little Neck

I have lived in Little Neck for 47 years. The major change in the past ten years is that it is now an Asian neighborhood. It used to be almost all white and largely Jewish; now the people are Chinese and Korean. When I moved here I thought it was a boring neighborhood with no diversity, but it is quite different now.
However, when a house is sold, it seems that it is almost always demolished, and a "mc mansion" is built in its place. Perfectly good houses are being destroyed!

Jun. 08 2010 08:40 PM
Evie McKenna from Jackson Heights

My small family moved to Jackson Heights ten years ago, far away from our "tribe". The shopping and restaurants were authentic and odd and affordable- definitely not chic. Commuting to work in midtown on the 7 reminded me of felt where all types of fabric can be boiled into one. Now we are having a baby boom which is welcome as it has brought with it cafes, exercise classes, CSA's, greenmarkets all while encouraging all to hold their place in the community's mix.Not seeing visible displacement and the newer residents want to be inclusive, not exclusive, which is to me now, very chic.

Jun. 06 2010 09:48 PM
Marianne from Rego Park

Rego Park still has a strong housing market, as far as I can tell. Houses seem to sell quickly, and the prices have stabilized but not gone down.

I would say in the last ten years (we've lived here for 30 years) there is much more of an Eastern European presence, though Rego Park has always been very diverse. There seem to be more Russian stores and restaurants and a multitude of Russian materials in the public library.

There has been a lot of renovation of the older houses, often into ornate, light brick Italianate kind of styles that frankly I don't much like. They often clash with the surrounding houses, and I've seen so many beautiful azaleas and rhododendrons and other shrubbery ripped out and paved over. It seems a shame.

There has been an explosion of shopping around here, too, with the revamped Queens Center Mall and shopping centers like Target and the new Century 21. It's incredible how much shopping there is just walking distance from my house! I wonder if this indicates the relative affluence of Queens. People have money to spend, and that can't be bad.

You can see the diversity of the neighborhood, and of course Queens itself, from the shoppers. They are Hispanic, Asian, Russian, West Indian, and every other nationality there is under the sun. I like that!

In general, I see Rego Park as relatively stable. New immigrant groups come in but then, they always have. There are also long-time residents; a nice mix.

May. 29 2010 05:10 PM
Paul from Bayside

I worked in Astoria/LIC for about 20 years (until the fall of 09) and saw the changes that Elena above mentioned. The area where I worked was mostly warehouses and repair shops when I began and a rather frightening place after nightfall. By the time I left, stores, restaurants, coffee shops and bars had opened up and had made the streets much more lively in the evening. Unlike Astoria, however, Bayside's influx of various ethnic groups has been an odd change. Perhaps it's merely my impression but it seems that the predominantly Korean transplants tend to want their own community within the larger community. Whereas different groups in Astoria cater to anyone who will walk in to their establishment, I find that the sub-culture in Bayside is less welcoming -- something I don't notice in the Indian, Pakistani or Japanese people I've gotten to know in my neighborhood. Perhaps it will take until the children of these folks grow up as New Yorkers rather than "Korean" that things will meld and mix.

May. 13 2010 08:55 AM
Elena from Astoria, NY and Delray Beach, FL

I grew up in Astoria and when I graduated from college in 1998, none of my classmates knew where my neighborhood was. At the time, it was a place of ethnic enclaves, Greek, Croatian, Italian, Spanish, Egyptian, which basically did not interact with each other.

Once the young professionals started moving in during the 2000s, those very ethnic enclaves became part of the attraction. I had lived in Astoria all my life, maybe attended one birthday party in the Bohemian Cultural Center, but it was only when my college friends moved to the neighborhood that I actually went to the Bohemian beer garden, or ate in a Greek restaurant, or had tea in an Egyptian cafe.

The upside of these changes is all the ethnic interaction, the great cafes and food. The downside is the fact that the people I grew up with in the neighborhood can no longer afford to live in Astoria if they're not living with their parents! The re-zoning has also meant that the lovely small brick houses are being destroyed to build very ugly concrete (or castle-like) apartment buildings. (I suppose we have the Vallones to thank for that.)

So I have a feeling that the ethnic enclaves and family-style neighborhood that attracted all those young professionals will eventually be destroyed by the influx of college-educated young people. I hear a similar thing is happening in Washington Heights and Harlem, but that's its been a slower transformation. And, I don't get the impression that Astoria is a haven for young professional families with kids like places in Brooklyn.

May. 04 2010 11:34 AM

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