Communities Vary Widely
From the World Journal
In a speech on June 19, demographer Joseph Salvo pointed out that a
phenomenon of social polarization is occurring among Chinese Americans. Among
the three largest Chinese American neighborhoods in New York City, residents of
Flushing, especially the Bay Side area, have the highest income and most education.
This contrasts with the largely low income and less educated Chinese American
populations in Chinatown and Sunset Park.
According to the newest published
census data, 36 percent of Flushing Chinese Americans are professionals, concentrated
in accounting and computer science; 38 percent have degrees above college level,
with an average household income of $36,000. In addition, 38 percent of Flushing
residents came to United States in the last decade; a percentage similar to that
in other Chinese American neighborhoods in New York City.
In comparison, only
14 percent of Chinatown Chinese Americans are professionals, and only 7 percent
have degrees above college level, with an average household income of $24,000;
39 percent are new immigrants. Among Chinese Americans in Brooklyns Sunset
Park, only 8 percent are professionals; 8 percent have degrees above college level,
with an average household income of $23,000; 45 percent are new immigrants.
contrast becomes even sharper when Chinatown and Sunset Park are compared with
the Chinese Americans in the Bay Side area of Flushing. In Bay Side, 46 percent
of Chinese Americans are professionals; 42percent have degrees above college level,
with an average household income of $69,000. Only 18 percent are new immigrants.
a New York City population analyst and professor, was invited by the New York
Chinese American Association to talk on this topic. He said that the concentration
of high income and educated Chinese Americans in Flushing had to do with the fact
that the area was populated by Taiwanese students and merchants early on. However,
he added, the population of Taiwanese Americans is small and cannot explain the
areas unique quality. Salvo agreed with a suggestion by the audience that
many city residents from Mainland China who speak Mandarin are attracted to Flushing.
to Salvo, analyses of census data have not yet included illegal immigrants, about
400,000 of whom live in New York City. He estimated that among these illegal
immigrants, about 20 percent to 30 percent come from Mainland China.
predicted that the fastest growing Chinese American community in New York City
in the near future would be Bensonhurst in Brooklyn Long-time Italian American
residents have mostly moved out of the area, and a likely scenario is that it
will be populated by Chinese and Russian Americans.
Regardless of their income,
40 percent of Chinese Americans buy their home, a rate surpassing that of average
New Yorkers. For instance, in low income Sunset Park, 28 percent of Chinese Americans
buy their own house. In Flushing that number reaches 47 percent 84 percent
in Bay Side. Chinatown is exceptional, with only 4 percent of its residents owning
their home. This has to do with the fact that Chinatowns residential buildings
have already bought up by the landlords.
Translated from Chinese by
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