Which Neighborhood Has the Most Immigrants? It's Not Chinatown.

New York City's Immigrant Population Hits New High

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Dominicans are the city's largest foreign-born group, but could lose that status to Chinese immigrants in the coming years. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The city's foreign-born population has crossed the 3 million mark, a figure without precedent in municipal history and indicative of a decades-long metamorphosis of New York's character. 

The milestone is one of many figures contained in a newly released report, "The Newest New Yorkers," published by the city's Department of City Planning. The report is based on data from the 5-year American Community Survey, taken between 2007 and 2011. The city's previous report was released in 2005.

Some highlights:

  • 37.2% of the city's residents are foreign-born, the highest proportion since 1910. In 1970, it was just 18 percent.
  • Washington Heights has the largest number of foreign-born of any city neighborhood (80,174), followed by Bensonhurst, Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights.
  • Elmhurst has the highest proportion of foreign-born residents of any NYC neighborhood, 71 percent. 
  • The foreign-born population from China grew by 34 percent between 2000 and 2011, and by 52 percent for people from Mexico.
  • At present rates, Chinese New Yorkers are set to become the city's largest immigrant group within a few years, overtaking Dominicans.
  • The boroughs with the highest rate of foreign-born growth were the Bronx (22 percent) and Staten Island (36 percent).
  • The immigration in-flow is strong across the metropolitan region: Hudson County in New Jersey is 40 percent foreign-born, higher than any county in the region but Queens.
  • Immigrants from India have the highest median household income, at $83,000. The native-born median is under $55,000.

Visit the City Planning Commission website for an interactive map.


More in:

Comments [2]


These are quite valid comments, if WNYC had an ombudsman s/he would be looking into them all. My "pet peeve" is the false parallelism that is followed with devotion between the Israeli military and the so called Palestinian militants.

Just when you think WNYC (and more often, NPR news staffers) are just spacey or ill-informed, they deliver biased propaganda that is PC-acceptable. If you are Chinese, brace yourself, as the city's economy is more and more effected by "environmental immigrants" (as are my Harbin neighbors, who came for the air and stayed for the relative lack of corruption, they say).

Dec. 20 2013 06:55 PM

Did this segment really have to end with an anti-Chinese remarks? Couldn't you just state the facts about the various neighborhoods and not try to leave listeners with the feeling that Chinese people are (legally!) "sneaking" their way into the country (and implying that they are overtaking NYC) while completely ignoring the fact that other groups are totally illegally sneaking their way into the country?? I mean, even the bullet point above says Mexican immigrant population grew by 52%, 1.5 times more than the Chinese population, but the end of this report focuses on the "huge influx" of the Chinese immigrants?

Now that I think about it, another anti-Asian sentiment I heard on WNYC was on the election night. The reporter (Andrea Bernstein?) said only Asians are into self-identity politics while other racial groups are not. But how can she say blacks voting for de Blasio are not into self-identity politics when he paraded his black family around to show how black he is to win black votes? Makes no sense!

Maybe it's just me, but WNYC seems to be OK with beating up on Asians while being so circumspect about how blacks are portrayed. In the report about the Short Hills Mall carjacking/murder, they can't even bring themselves to say that the suspects are black (Am I supposed to believe the wife didn't see the race of the people who shot her husband in the head?). Then the reporter says the "campaign to emphasize the penalties for carjacking" are targeted to "young people prone to car jacking" when they are, in fact, targeted to young black guys because they are the ones do most of the carjackings and murders, especially around Newark! It's like WNYC wants to gloss over who is actually committing the violent crimes but when it comes to legal immigration and who's "taking over NYC", they absolutely want to point out that it's the Chinese and they are doing it in a sneaky way through a loophole (do people form other countries not use loopholes? Is this asylum visa mentioned in the report really a loophole? If so, how is it a loophole??).

In the stop and frisk reports, WNYC has emphasized how high the percentage of people stopped and frisked are black/Hispanic, but WNYC, with its investigative news team and maps, can't find out the percentage of suspects who are black/Hispanic? Can't find out what types of people do get put away because of stop and frisk? Wouldn't comparing the percentage of suspects' race vs percentage of race of people stopped only show a fairer and whole picture of the whole situation?

If WNYC is so post-racial that they can't bring themselves to say anything negative about blacks in their reports, they should apply that same kindness and reasoning to other racial groups and stop insinuating negative things about Asians on the air.

Dec. 19 2013 10:13 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


Latest Newscast




WNYC is supported by the Charles H. Revson Foundation: Because a great city needs an informed and engaged public


Supported by