The number of foreign-born people who call New York their home has gone up almost half a million since 2000
Lisa L. Colangelo:
While the number of black New Yorkers and white New Yorkers has dropped slightly, the number of Asians has boomed, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
"Immigrants are not only our history but our destiny," said Marcelo Suarez-Orozco, founder of the Harvard Immigration Project who co-directs immigration studies at New York University.
"If you dig a little deeper into the numbers, it shows women of Mexican, Dominican and Chinese origin are having babies at a rate much higher than other ethnicities," he said. "This is a city where, once again, immigrants will reshape its future."
Joseph Salvo of the City Planning Department said the numbers also show more foreign-born New Yorkers are becoming naturalized citizens.
"This is good news for the city," he said. "People are becoming incorporated into the city."
Salvo said the number of Hispanics (2.2 million) probably does not accurately reflect the large number of Mexicans moving into the city.
"With the new anti-immigrant initiatives, people are afraid, they are hiding," said Suarez-Orozco. "This is going to be a big headache for the statisticians."
Starting this year, the annual survey of about 3 million households offers yearly data on communities of 65,000 or larger. The data cover race, immigration, education and age.
In recent years, the city - which receives federal funds based on population counts - has successfully challenged census figures, saying their methodology results in an undercount. Last year, the Census Bureau revised the city's population to 8,168,338.
Next month, the city will once again challenge its numbers, saying the population is closer to 8.2 million.
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