Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Nueva York City?

A new report shows the changing demographics of New York City:

The report, called Newest New Yorkers 2000, was released by the New York City Department of City Planning. It used the 2000 census to give a detailed breakdown of the city’s growing immigrant population.

The Dominican Republic was the largest source of immigrant residents, numbering 369,200, or 13 percent of the total. The next highest percentage of immigrants came from China (262,600), followed by Jamaica (178,900), Guyana (130,600), and Mexico (122,600).

Azibo Zuke, an 11-year resident of the Upper West Side, said he chose to move here from Jamaica because of the neighborhood’s mix of cultures. “I knew New York’s diversity would ensure my family’s acceptance into American culture,” he said. “There was no discussion over where in the states we would live. It was always New York.”

Manhattan’s foreign-born population comes primarily from Latin America and Asia, making up 44 percent and 27 percent of the borough’s immigrants, respectively. Dominicans are by far the largest single immigrant group, accounting for 28 percent of Manhattan’s foreign-born inhabitants. Their presence is strong throughout the Upper West Side, particularly in Washington Heights, Hamilton Heights, and Inwood, where Dominicans number over 100,000. Since the 1990 census, population pressures in the Dominican enclave in northern Manhattan have fueled the rapid growth of new neighborhoods across the Harlem River, in the west Bronx.

“The [Dominican] population was vibrant when I got here in the ’80s and it’s just as strong today,” said Carlos Ordehi, a Dominican-born 22-year resident from the Upper West Side. “My family has been coming to the Upper West Side from the Dominican Republic since the late ’70s.”

Manhattan’s Washington Heights is the largest immigrant neighborhood in the city, housing 90,300 foreign-born residents. The next largest immigrant neighborhoods are in Queens and Brooklyn.

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