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Asian Immigration Surges In New York

From World Journal
May 24, 2002

The history of immigration in New York has turned a new page in recent years as a new wave of Asian immigration surpasses that of Europe. Of the Asian countries, immigration from Bangladesh has shown the fastest growth in the past decade.

According to the latest census statistics, one out of every 10 New Yorkers is Asian. 45 percent of New York’s Asian population is made up of people of Chinese descent, with a 53 percent growth in the past 10 years. Indians, the second largest Asian immigrant group, make up 22 percent of the city’s Asians after an 80 percent growth in the same period.

Immigration from Bangladesh has shown remarkable growth, resulting in the tripling of the population from 10 years ago.

The statistics was released by the Census Bureau on May 23 and is compiled from the 700,000 long forms, which include demographic details, from the Census 2000.

Meanwhile, people in nearly half of the households in New York City use languages other than English at home. Seven out of every 100 New Yorkers use Asian languages at home. And, most noticeably, four out of seven New Yorkers using Asian languages at home consider their English less than fluent.

Among the five boroughs of New York City, nearly half the population of Queens, 47 percent, were born overseas. In Brooklyn, 38 percent of the population is foreign-born while 29 percent of Manhattan residents were born outside of the United States.

Fifteen percent of New Yorkers arrived in New York City in the last 10 years and as much as 20 percent of New York City’s residents are not U. S. citizens.

Forty-seven percent of New Yorkers over the age of five use languages other than English at home, most of them Hispanic. 12 percent of New Yorkers speak Spanish at home and consider their English less than fluent.

From the Census 2000 statistics, 10 percent of the U. S. population is foreign-born. In New York State, 20 percent were born outside of the United States and as much as 37 percent in New York City are foreign-born.

Foreign language-speaking families make up 50 percent of all New York City households. 30 percent of households in New York State speak non-English languages at home, more than most other states.

18 percent of the U. S. population over the age of five speaks foreign languages at home, and among them, 60 percent are Hispanic. Los Angeles outnumbered New York in bilingual population, with nearly 60 percent of its population speaking foreign languages at home. Among them, more than 70 percent speak Spanish.

Ma Pan-ti, a civil rights lawyer at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), said half of the population in New York speaks foreign languages and among them, 15 percent use Asian languages. The statistics showed that most Asians in New York speak two languages at home and it will be used as a reference when AALDEF demands that the government uses a bilingual format more often when issuing public notices.

Translated from Chinese by Larry Tung

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