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New 2010 Census Data Show Increasing Diversity in New York City’s Asian Community

Today, the Census Bureau released 2010 Census population counts by detailed Asian ethnic categories for New York. The Asian American Federation analyzed the raw data in the Summary File 1 release of the 2010 Census to produce this summary of the growing Asian American population in New York City. We cover the growth in the twenty Asian ethnic categories the Census Bureau reports as well as identify the neighborhoods where each category has the largest number of residents. We used the single race definition of Asians and Asian categories for this release and adopted the New York City Department of City Planning’s Neighborhood Tabulation Areas (NTAs) as the working definition for city neighborhoods.

Bhutanese, Burmese and Nepalese Break Out From “Other Asian” Category

The Federation, through our relationship with the Census Bureau as a Census Information Center, advocated for Census Bureau to include the Bhutanese, Burmese, and Nepalese communities as separate categories in their 2010 Census data products. In previous Censuses, those three categories were tabulated in the “Other Asian” category because they did not meet national population thresholds. Immigration from the three countries has increased dramatically this decade, as shown through federal immigration statistics. We predicted that the communities would comfortably exceed the national population thresholds during the 2010 Census based on the number of Bhutanese, Burmese, and Nepalese entering the country on refugee or asylee visas or establishing legal permanent resident status and successfully argued for the three categories to be reported separately.

If we reconstitute the “Other Asian” category based on 2000 Census definitions, we find that the population in New York City quadrupled over the past decade. Nepalese were the largest portion of this category, with a population count of 5,681. Second were Burmese with 3,614 persons, followed by Bhutanese with 345 persons. The “Other Asian” category for the 2010 Census was down to 602 individuals.

More than one in three Bhutanese were found in the Hunters Point-Sunnyside-West Maspeth and the Elmhurst NTAs in Queens. Just over one in four Burmese New Yorkers resided in Elmhurst, Elmhurst-Maspeth, and Hunters Point-Sunnyside-West Maspeth NTAs in Queens. More than half of Nepalese lived in four NTAs in Queens: Hunters Point-Sunnyside-West Maspeth, Woodside, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights.

Four Largest Asian Categories in New York City Remain the Same

The Chinese community made up nearly half (47 percent) of all Asians in New York City. The community grew by 33 percent, slightly faster than the 31 percent for Asians as a whole in New York City. In 2010, the Census Bureau counted 474,783 Chinese in New York City, up from 357,243 in 2000.

The NTAs with more than 25,000 Chinese were Sunset Park East and Bensonhurst West in Brooklyn, Flushing in Queens, and Chinatown in Manhattan, accounting for more than one in four Chinese residents. For the first time, Sunset Park East and Flushing both exceeded Chinatown in Manhattan as the NTAs with the most Chinese residents. Sunset Park East grew from 19,963 Chinese in 2000 to 34,218 Chinese in 2010, increasing by 71 percent. Flushing’s Chinese population grew even faster, 93 percent from 17,363 in 2000 to 33,526 in 2010. In contrast, Chinatown’s Chinese population shrank from 34,554 in 2000 to 28,681 in 2010 for a decline of 17 percent.

The Indian, Korean and Filipino communities all grew slower than Asians as a whole in New York City. The Indian population was 192,209 in 2010, up 12 percent from 170,899 in 2000, to remain the second largest Asian category. South Ozone Park and Richmond Hill NTAs in Queens contained 15 percent of Indian New Yorkers. Both NTAs were more than double the size of the next largest Indian neighborhood of Jackson Heights. Koreans also grew by 12 percent to a population of 96,741 in 2010, up from 86,473. The third largest Asian category, one in four Korean New Yorkers were found in the Murray Hill, Flushing and Bayside-Bayside Hills NTAs of Queens.

Filipinos remained the fourth largest Asian category. The largest Filipino populations were in Elmhurst and Woodside NTAs in Queens, making up 13 percent of Filipino residents. Filipinos grew 22 percent to 67,292 in 2010, up from 54,993 in 2000.

Bangladeshis Leapfrog Pakistanis and Japanese to Fifth Largest Category

The Bangladeshi community continued their rapid population growth in New York City. Nearly tripling in size, the Bangladeshi community stood at 53,174, up from 19,148 in 2000. The Bangladeshi community was more spread out, with more than 2,500 to 4,000 residents in the following NTAs: Briarwood-Jamaica Hills, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Jamaica, and Woodside in Queens; and Kensington-Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn. These six NTAs made up 37 percent of the Bangladeshi community in New York City. In addition, there is an emerging Bangladeshi neighborhood in the Bronx around the Parkchester NTA, quadrupling in size from 353 residents in 2000 to 1,630 in 2010.

Bangladeshis had the second highest growth rate among the specific Asian categories, behind Hmong who grew from a very small base. Bangladeshis also had the second highest numerical increase, behind only the Chinese. Bangladeshi went from the seventh largest Asian category in 2000 to the fifth largest, passing the Pakistanis and Japanese.

Pakistanis also continued to growth rapidly, increasing 74 percent from 2000 to 2010. Pakistanis now numbered 41,887; up from 24,099 in Census 2000. Pakistanis had the fourth highest numerical increase from 2000 to 2010, behind Chinese, Bangladeshis and Indians. The largest counts of Pakistanis were found in the Flatbush, Brighton Beach, and Midwood NTAs in Brooklyn and Jackson Heights NTA in Queens. The four NTAs accounted for one in five Pakistanis.

The Japanese community had the lowest growth rate among the 20 Asian categories at seven percent, nevertheless handily out-pacing the overall city growth rate of 2 percent. Japanese residents reached 24,277 in 2010, from 22,636 in 2000. The Japanese population was spread throughout the city, with Astoria and Forest Hills NTAs in Queens and the Upper West Side and Yorkville NTAs in Manhattan, accounting for 18 percent of Japanese residents.

Vietnamese and Taiwanese Exceed Ten Thousand Residents in New York City

The Vietnamese community grew 18 percent, a slower pace than Asians overall. There were 13,387 Vietnamese in New York City for the 2010 Census, up from 11,334 in 2000. The Vietnamese community was also diffused across the city favoring neighborhoods in the Bronx and Brooklyn, with the largest population of Vietnamese in the Kingsbridge Heights NTA of the Bronx.

The Taiwanese community saw a surge in numbers, more than doubling from 2000 to 2010. The Taiwanese community reached 11,680 in 2010, up from 4,288 in 2000. The Taiwanese community was centered on the Flushing NTA.

Emerging Asian Categories Post Rapid Growth

The Asian categories with less than ten thousand residents in New York City all registered higher growth rates than the city as a whole. Only the Cambodians did not grow as fast as the overall Asian population in New York City.

The Thai community, with one in six Thai living in the Elmhurst NTA, grew from 4,169 in 2000 to 6,056 in 2010, up 45 percent.

Indonesians went from 2,263 in 2000 to 3,785 in 2010, for an increase of 67 percent. One in four Indonesians lived in the Elmhurst NTA.

Sri Lankan grew 82 percent, going from 2,033 in 2000 to 3,696 in 2010. Staten Island was home to 42 percent of all Sri Lankans in the city; the largest neighborhood was the New Springville-Bloomfield-Travis NTA.

The Cambodian community grew by 22 percent, increasing from 1,771 in 2000 to 2,166 in 2010. Cambodians were found throughout the Bronx and Brooklyn, with the largest population in the Bedford Park-Fordham North NTA in the Bronx.

Malaysians were found in many of the same neighborhoods as Chinese. More than one in three Malaysian New Yorkers resided in the Flushing, Chinatown, Elmhurst, and Sunset Park East NTAs. Malaysians numbered 1,368 in 2000 and increased 54 percent to 2,100 in 2010.

The Laotian and Hmong communities in New York City were very small in number. In 2000 there were 234 Laotians and 8 Hmong enumerated. In 2010, Laotians were 440, for an increase of 88% and Hmong were 59, for an increase of 638%.

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