New Immigrants to New York


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Joseph J. Salvo, the director of the Population Division at the New York City Department of City Planning and one of New York’s leading demographers, delivered this monologue as a lecture on March 12, 2009, to Wagner College's Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform.

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New Immigrants to New York

  1. 1. New Immigrants to New York Joseph J. Salvo Director Population Division of the New York City Department of City Planning and Arun Peter Lobo Deputy Director Population Division of the New York City Department of City Planning Research and publication was assisted with a grant provided by Consolidated Edison, Inc. The Hon. Jerome and Helene Berg Public Policy Papers on Government Reform Issue No. 6 Published by the Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform at Wagner College Staten Island, New York
  2. 2. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform at Wagner College Dr. Seymour P. Lachman Director The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform at Wagner College conducts non-partisan studies of state government and proposes ways to improve legislative and administrative effectiveness. Research and publication was assisted with a grant provided by Consolidated Edison, Inc. Wagner College One Campus Road Staten Island, New York 10301 Tel: 718-420-4131
  3. 3. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College New Immigrants to New York Joseph J. Salvo Director, Population Division of the New York City Department of City Planning 1 and Arun Peter Lobo Deputy Director, Population Division of the New York City Department of City Planning Since its inception, New York City has had an extraordinary capacity to accept newcomers and, over time, integrate them into the fabric of the city. Since the Immigration and Nationality Amendments of 1965, which repealed quotas that favored northern and western European immigrants, there has been a dramatic surge in immigration to the city from Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean. New arrivals bring in new languages, cultures, and histories, which serve to enrich our common identity as New Yorkers. The integration of immigrants allows New York to reinvent itself dynamically, decade after decade. A prerequisite to any discussion of integrating newcomers is an understanding of the forces that drive change in New York City’s demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Such data are crucial to address issues such as civic and political participation, which is usually the domain of political scientists. It is with this mindset that we present a portrait of the demographic forces that are at work in New York City, which will provide a useful framework to understand a host of issues pertaining to the social and cultural integration of immigrants. Dynamic Population Movements Let us start with the overall population of the city, which stood at just over eight million in 2000. In the next six years, the city added nearly one-quarter of a million people, reaching 8.25 million in 2006. Indeed, most people view the population of the City of New York as a big number to which a small piece is added each year. But, in fact, in the first six years of this decade, New 1 The views expressed here are those of the authors and may not represent the views of the Department of City Planning or the City of New York. 1
  4. 4. New Immigrants to New York York City lost nearly 800,000 people Figure 1. Estimated Components of Population Change for New through domestic migration (Figure York City, 2000–2006 1). In other words, 800,000 more residents left for our nation’s 50 states than have come in from the 50 states. Population Change But we have gained back a big portion of that loss — over 600,000 peo- Natural Increase ple—through immigration, our net ex- Net Migration change of people with other countries. The net result was a loss through Net International Migration migration of about 138,000 people. Net Domestic Despite this loss through migration, Migration the city’s population continued to -1000 -800 -600 -400 -200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 grow, thanks to natural increase Thousands (the difference between births and Source: U.S. Census Bureau Estimates Program Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning deaths) of over 380,000, resulting in a net population increase of 242,000. This is how the city’s population changes. This is the dynamic that makes New York City a really special place, because we have a constant injection of energy into the city. In effect, new people move to the city each day, while others leave. Some venture that there must be something wrong with a city that lost nearly 800,000 people in six years through domestic migration. But there is nothing inherently wrong with this dynamic. In fact, it is a sign that New York City is a dynamic and healthy place. A good way to illustrate this point is to examine the top ten cities in the U.S. in 1950. New York ranked number one in 1950, followed by Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles; Detroit was ranked fifth, followed by Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Washington, and Boston. But by 2006, only New York remained among the nation’s ten largest (Table 1). All the rest had lost population, with St. Louis, Detroit, and Cleveland losing Table 1. Top U.S. Cities in 1950 and Their Growth to 2006 more than half their 1950 populations. These cities Population did not have immigrants Rank 2006 Percent 1950 2006 City 1950 2006 % Growth Foreign-born coming in to replace those 1950-2006 leaving; indeed, but for 1 1 New York City, NY 7,891,957 8,250,567 4.5 37.0 Boston and Washington, 2 3 Chicago, IL 3,620,962 2,826,099 -22.0 21.8 3 6 Philadelphia, PA 2,071,605 1,450,708 -30.0 10.9 the percentage of foreign- 4 2 Los Angeles, CA 1,970,358 3,802,539 93.0 39.9 born in these cities’ 5 10 Detroit, MI 1,849,568 918,849 -50.3 4.5 populations was in the 6 20 Baltimore, MD 949,708 640,961 -32.5 6.1 single digits in 2006. In 7 40 Cleveland, OH 914,808 442,924 -51.6 4.9 8 52 St. Louis, MO 856,796 353,837 -58.7 6.4 contrast to these one- 9 25 Washington, DC 802,178 585,419 -27.0 12.7 sided population flows, 10 23 Boston, MA 801,444 595,698 -25.7 27.2 New York’s population movements are dynamic, Sources: 1950 U.S. Census, 2006 Census Estimates, and 2006 ACS Full Sample with immigrants re- Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning 2
  5. 5. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College placing those who leave. The city remains a magnet Figure 2. Estimated Components of Population Change for New York City, 1970-2000 for immigrants who come here to take advantage of the opportunities the city has 1970-1980 Population Change to offer. As a result of these flows, New York remained the Natural Increase largest city in the nation in 2006, followed by Los Angeles, 1980-1990 Net Migration which saw a near doubling of its Net International Migration population, also due to a heavy Net Domestic flow of immigrants. 1990-2000 Migration This population dynamic is not new. As Figure 2 shows, the city was a net exporter of -2 -1 Millions 0 1 Source: Census Bureau Enumerated Population adjusted for undercount Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning people in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. In the 1970s, however, a period of grave economic crises, immigration could not mitigate the large outflows from the city, resulting in a population decline of around 900,000. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, outflows moderated, and thanks to higher immigration and to natural increase, the city enjoyed renewed growth. While net population losses that are offset by natural increase are a continuing feature of New York City’s population growth, there is a new facet to population flows in the post-2000 period. In-flows to New York City are comprised of domestic migrants from the 50 states and immigrant flows from outside the U.S. In-migrants from the 50 states have traditionally had relatively high socioeconomic characteristics compared to those coming from abroad, which remains true even today. For example, domestic migrants entering between 1995 and 2000 had mean earnings of $64,000, compared to $41,000 for immigrants entering during this period. That differential has narrowed—though still present—in the most recent period. The lower earnings of immigrants helps pull down the overall socioeconomic profile of those entering the city. As Table 2. Economic Characteristics of In-Migrants to, and Out- a result, historically, those coming migrants from, New York City: 1985-1990, 1995-2000, 2005-2006 to the city have had lower socioeco- 1985-1990 1995-2000 2005-2006 Mean Earnings, 21 years and over nomic characteristics compared with In-migrants $42,918 * $55,117 * $52,975 those leaving the city. For example, in- Out-migrants $52,191 $58,824 $52,470 Median Household Income migrants during 1985-1990 had mean In-migrants $48,436 * $51,642 * $52,224 * earnings of $43,000 compared with Out-migrants $53,279 $55,997 $47,629 Percent Below Poverty $52,000 for out-migrants during this In-migrants 21.9 * 23.9 * 23.2 period; earnings for in-migrants during Out-migrants 17.2 15.5 20.6 Percent College Graduate+, 25 years and over 1995-2000 stood at $55,000 compared In-migrants 39.0 * 46.0 * 53.8 * with $59,000 for out-migrants (Table Out-migrants 32.4 37.4 39.6 2). Similarly, in-migrants during these * Difference with out-migrants is statistically significant at the .10 level All dollar figures in 2007 constant $ two periods had significantly lower household incomes compared with Sources: 1990, 2000 Census; 2006 ACS centered on 2005-2007PUMS out-migrants. However, more recently, Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning 3
  6. 6. New Immigrants to New York socioeconomic characteristics of in- Figure 3. Changing Origins of In-migrants to New York City, migrants in the 2005-2006 period were 1995-2000 and 2005-2006 either similar to those of out-migrants (in the case of mean earnings) or 1995-2000 2005-2006 superior (median household income). This was partly due to a shift in the sources of inflow to the city, with immigrants comprising a smaller Abroad 50 States share, and a concomitant increase in Abroad & Puerto 34.2% 50 States & 49.8% Rico the share of domestic migrants. While 50.2% Puerto Rico 65.8% immigrants remain an important part of the flow, the city has become a more attractive destination for domestic migrants, who now comprise a larger share of the total inflow to the city. Sources: 2000 U.S. Census, 2006 ACS centered on 2005-2007 PUMS Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning Figure 3 shows that between 1995 and 2000, domestic migrants comprised just over half of the inflow to the city, but in the most recent 2005-2006 period they accounted for close to two thirds of the flow. The superior characteristics of domestic migrants, and their increased shared of the inflow to the city, has helped increase the overall socioeconomic profile of in-migrants to the city. It remains to be seen whether this pattern will continue; but these changes are testament to the dynamic nature of migration flows to the city and the dramatic effect they can have on the city’s overall well-being. Secondary Effects of Immigration Immigration has not only directly helped shore up the city’s population. It has had an indirect effect as well through fertility. Immigrants tend to be in the younger child-bearing age groups and many immigrant groups have high levels of fertility. Table 3 shows that in 2006, 53 percent of the 119,000 births in the City of New York were to foreign- Table 3. Births in New York City to Foreign-born Mothers, 2006 born women—and 61 percent of these Number Percent children had a foreign-born mother Total births 119,359 100.0 or father. Women from five countries accounted for nearly one-quarter of all Foreign-born mothers 63,416 53.1 births in New York City: Mexico, the Mexico 8,146 6.8 Dominican Republic, China, Jamaica, Dominican Republic 7,683 6.4 China* 7,017 5.9 and Ecuador. Jamaica 3,273 2.7 Figure 4 (next page) shows Ecuador 3,116 2.6 that neighborhoods with the largest Guyana 2,338 2.0 Trinidad & Tobago 1,884 1.6 numbers of children born in 2006 Bangladesh 1,639 1.4 included Washington Heights and Haiti 1,497 1.3 India 1,381 1.2 Chinatown in Manhattan; the West Sources: NYC Department of Health *Includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan Bronx; Jackson Heights, Corona, and New York State Department of Health Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning 4
  7. 7. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College 5
  8. 8. New Immigrants to New York Flushing in Queens; and Sunset Park and Flatbush in Brooklyn. These were largely immigrant neighborhoods, reflective of high immigrant fertility in the city. One of the ways of estimating the size of some of New York’s smaller immigrant groups is by looking at the number of births, which are a pretty firm number since births are almost always recorded. The number of children born to a group allows us to estimate a population that would be large enough to result in the given number of births—a population that would include undocumented immigrants and others who may be wary of being included in population surveys that may involve door-to-door canvassing. Immigrant Population in 2006: Diversity and Settlement As of 2006, the city’s foreign-born population was over three million, an all-time high. The high in the previous century was in 1930, during the waning years of the large flows from Southern and Eastern Europe, when the foreign-born population stood at 2.4 million. The surge in immigration in recent decades is a result of the Immigration and Nationality Amendments of 1965, which repealed immigration quotas favoring northern and western Europeans and placed all countries on an equal footing. Immigrants constituted 37 percent of the population in 2006; the record in the 20th century was 41 percent, reached in 1910. The share of the foreign-born never rises much above that because the children of immigrants born in the U.S. are native-born Americans, which serves to cap the percentage of the foreign-born. The Dominican Republic was the largest source country of New York’s immigrants in 2006, accounting for 378,000 residents or nearly 13 Figure 5. Top Sources of New York City’s Foreign-born percent of the city’s foreign- Population, 1970 and 2006 1970 2006 born (Figure 5). The second Dominican Italy Republic largest source country was Poland China China (303,000), followed Former by Jamaica (175,000), Mexico USSR Soviet Union (170,000), and Guyana Germany Jamaica (143,000). As recently as 1970 Ireland Mexico the top five source countries Cuba Guyana were all European: Italy Dominican (212,200), Poland (119,000), Republic Ecuador United Trinidad & the U.S.S.R. (117,000), Kingdom Tobago Germany (98,000), and Austria Haiti Ireland (69,000). By 2006, Jamaica India no European country made 0 100,000 200,000 300,000 0 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 the top 10 list of immigrants Sources: 1970 Census and 2006 ACS Full Sample Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning in the city, though if the constituent states of the U.S.S.R. were treated as one entity, it would rank third. Thus, there has been a dramatic shift in the composition of the city’s immigrant population in the past few decades. A significant feature of New York’s immigrant population is its unique diversity, which will 6
  9. 9. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College significantly shape civic participation in the city. The top ten immigrant groups account for just over half of all immigrants in the city. The manner in which these myriad constituencies coalesce will have major repercussions on the city’s body politic. It is instructive to examine New York in comparison with other cities in the Figure 6. Top Sources of the Foreign-born for Major U.S. Cities, nation. Los Angeles 2006 had 1.5 million foreign- Dominican born residents in New York City Total=3,038,073 Republic 12.5 Los Angeles Total=1,507,032 2006, and just two China, total* 10.0 groups, Mexicans and All other 27.5 Mexico 40.1 Salvadorans, made All other 51.0 Jamaica 5.8 Iran 3.1 up the majority of Mexico 5.6 Korea 5.2 its foreign-born Guyana 4.7 Philippines 5.6 Ecuador 4.2 population (Figure Trinidad and Guatemala 6.8 El Salvador 11.7 Haiti 3.0 Tobago 3.3 6). In Chicago, the Chicago Houston nation’s third-largest Total=599,802 Total=576,035 city, Mexicans alone All other 31.4 All other 23.5 accounted for close to Mexico 47.8 China, total 3.1 Mexico 51.6 Guatemala 3.3 half of all immigrants. Vietnam 4.3 In Houston, the India 3.1 Honduras 4.9 Philippines 3.5 next-largest city, China, total 4.6 El Salvador 9.4 Source: 2006 ACS Full Sample Poland 9.6 * Includes mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning Mexican immigrants accounted for over half of foreign-born residents. Most other cities have one or two dominant groups, compared to the myriad ethnic constituencies that characterize New York’s immigrants, each of which has a substantial population. Not only is the city’s immigrant population diverse, but it has become even more so in recent years, thanks to the diversity visa program. This program provides an entry path for immigrants with no close relatives in the U.S., and who were unable to take advantage of family-based visas under the 1965 law. 2 Initially, the program benefited European groups, primarily the Irish and Poles, many of whom no longer had close relatives in the U.S., but who could now avail themselves of these new visas. But these visas have also helped immigrants from countries such as Bangladesh and the nations of West Africa, particularly Ghana and Nigeria, to gain a firm foothold in New York. Given that these visas are aimed at those underrepresented in the immigration steam, it is a built-in mechanism in immigration law to further diversify the sources of immigration. New York also has a significant flow of undocumented immigrants, most of whom enter the country with a valid visa. But by overstaying their visas, i.e., staying in the U.S. beyond the required 2 Under the Immigration Act of 1990 law, 40,000 diversity visas were available through a lottery during the 1992-1994 period, with 40 percent reserved for natives of Ireland. From 1995 onward, 55,000 visas were available annually for nations whose immigrants numbered fewer than 50,000 over the previous five years, with each nation limited to seven percent of the total pool. Immigrants who were exempt from numerical limits, such as immediate relatives or refugees, were not counted toward the 50,000 threshold. Most countries competed for an allotment under the diversity visa program, with the federal government establishing ceilings by region of the world. 7
  10. 10. New Immigrants to New York Table 4. Borough Foreign-born by Place of Birth, 2006 Number Percent Number Percent Bronx Population 1,369,859 100.0 Brooklyn Population 2,520,835 100.0 Foreign-born 434,251 31.7 Foreign-born 942,921 37.4 Foreign-born 434,251 100.0 Foreign-born 942,921 100.0 Dominican Republic 139,429 32.1 China 98,125 10.4 Jamaica 48,383 11.1 Jamaica 67,695 7.2 Mexico 38,249 8.8 Haiti 60,273 6.4 Ecuador 17,805 4.1 Trinidad & Tobago 54,806 5.8 Guyana 15,683 3.6 Dominican Republic 53,420 5.7 Ghana 12,634 2.9 Ukraine 51,796 5.5 Honduras 11,924 2.7 Mexico 50,202 5.3 Italy 9,118 2.1 Guyana 46,913 5.0 Bangladesh 7,517 1.7 Russia 43,356 4.6 Trinidad & Tobago 5,642 1.3 Poland 26,818 2.8 Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Manhattan Population 1,613,257 100.0 Queens Population 2,263,858 100.0 Staten Is. Population 478,501 100.0 Foreign-born 457,360 28.4 Foreign-born 1,093,622 48.3 Foreign-born 100,020 20.9 Foreign-born 457,360 100.0 Foreign-born 1,093,622 100.0 Foreign-born 100,020 100.0 Dominican Republic 109,118 23.9 China 120,658 11.0 Mexico 9,275 9.3 China 65,242 14.3 Guyana 77,814 7.1 Italy 7,410 7.4 Mexico 20,927 4.6 Ecuador 77,032 7.0 China 7,367 7.4 United Kingdom 14,282 3.1 Colombia 58,231 5.3 Ukraine 5,551 5.5 Ecuador 13,225 2.9 Dominican Republic 54,521 5.0 Russia 4,717 4.7 Japan 11,667 2.6 India 54,089 4.9 Poland 4,218 4.2 Korea 10,656 2.3 Mexico 48,315 4.4 India 4,217 4.2 India 9,436 2.1 Korea 47,927 4.4 Philippines 3,812 3.8 Germany 8,309 1.8 Jamaica 47,661 4.4 Yugoslavia 3,507 3.5 France 7,959 1.7 Philippines 34,390 3.1 Korea 3,166 3.2 Source: 2006 ACS centered on 2005-07 Full Sample Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning departure date, they become part of the undocumented population. The total undocumented population is conservatively estimated at 500,000. With respect to settlement patterns of immigrants, each borough had a distinct pattern of settlement. Immigrant groups were concentrated in specific boroughs, and often in specific neighborhoods. In some boroughs a few groups were predominant, while other boroughs had a more diverse immigrant population. The largest immigrant populations were in Queens and Brooklyn, which were home to over two-thirds of the city’s immigrants. Over one million immigrants lived in Queens, where large immigrant settlements developed in Flushing, Astoria, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights (Table 4, above, and Figure 7, next page). China was the largest source country of immigrants to Queens, accounting for 11 percent of the foreign-born, with a significant concentration in Flushing, one of New York’s three Chinatowns. The Chinese were followed by immigrants from Guyana, Ecuador, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. Together, these countries accounted for just 36 percent of the overall foreign-born population of Queens, indicative of the diverse nature of the foreign-born in the borough, where no single group is dominant. Brooklyn had the second largest contingent of immigrants (943,000), heavily concentrated in neighborhoods such as Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Canarsie, as well as in Sunset Park, also known as Brooklyn’s Chinatown. The source countries of the top foreign-born groups in Brooklyn were China, followed by Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic, which together accounted for 35 percent of the foreign-born in the borough. Manhattan had 457,000 immigrants, the largest neighborhoods being Washington Heights and Chinatown. Washington Heights and its environs were home to large numbers of Dominicans, 8
  11. 11. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College 9
  12. 12. New Immigrants to New York who were the largest group in Manhattan, and accounted for nearly one-quarter of the borough’s foreign-born. The Chinese were the second largest foreign-born group, comprising 14 percent, and concentrated heavily in Chinatown in lower Manhattan. The next largest immigrant groups were those from Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Ecuador. These top five groups accounted for close to half of the borough’s foreign-born. The Bronx was home to 434,000 immigrants, primarily in the western and northern sections of the borough. The Dominican Republic alone accounted for nearly one-third of all immigrants in the Bronx, followed by Jamaica, Mexico, Ecuador, and Guyana. These top five countries comprised 60 percent of the borough’s foreign-born. The city’s emerging West African presence can be seen in the Bronx, with Ghana ranked sixth. Staten Island’s 100,000 immigrants were heavily present in the northern part of the borough. The diversity of Staten Island’s growing immigrant population rivals that of Queens and Brooklyn. The top five source countries in the borough were Mexico, Italy, China, Ukraine, and Russia, which together accounted for just over one-third of the borough’s foreign-born; the top ten countries accounted for just over half of its foreign-born. In terms of the share of immigrants in the total population, Queens was the most “immigrant” borough. The one million immigrants in Queens comprised 48 percent of the borough’s population, followed by Brooklyn (37 percent), the Bronx (32 percent), Manhattan (28 percent), and Staten Island (21 percent). In recent years, both Staten Island and the Bronx have seen a major increase in immigrant concentrations. Newly arrived immigrants to the city usually succeed longer resident groups, both native- and foreign-born, who have left the city. These outflows take place for a host of reasons, including the desire for more affordable housing, new jobs, and retirement. Immigrants move into housing vacated by those leaving the city, a process of residential succession that has been relatively smooth in recent years. The city’s largest immigrant groups tend to live in their own enclaves. These include Washington Heights, home to the largest Dominican concentration in the city, and the city’s three Chinatowns, which are home to immigrants from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as from the far-flung Chinese diaspora. But other neighborhoods house immigrants with diverse origins. As a result, many neighborhoods, especially in Queens, tend to have a multiethnic and multiracial composition, which epitomize the “melting pot” nature of the borough. Indeed, by many measures, Queens is the most diverse county in the U.S. Socioeconomic Characteristics of Immigrants Given that the foreign-born comprise such a large share of the city’s population, it should not be surprising that only 52 percent of the city’s population ages 5 and over speaks only English at home (Figure 8, next page). Of the remaining 48 percent who speak a language other than English at home, about half, or 24 percent of the entire population of the city, is limited English- 3 proficient (LEP), defined as speaking English “less than very well.” The LEP population in the 3 Those who were ages 5 and over and spoke a language other than English at home were asked whether they spoke English “very well,” “well,” “not well,” or “not at all.” According to the Census Bureau, data from other surveys suggest a major difference between the category “very well” and the remaining categories. Thus, those who were limited English-proficient were defined as persons who spoke a language 10
  13. 13. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College Figure 8. English Language Ability of Persons Ages 5 and Over city totals nearly 1.8 million and speaks a host of in New York City, 2006 languages at home—over half speak Spanish, 14 percent speak Chinese, 7 percent speak Russian, 3 Not English percent speak Korean, and roughly 2 percent each Proficient Speaks Speaks speak Italian and French Creole (Table 5). Thus language 23.5% only other than 1,791,664 English these six languages account for nearly 80 percent of English at home at home English the LEP population. proficient 52.2% 47.8% 3,986,074 While 24 percent of the entire city’s 3,651,805 24.4% population is LEP, about half of the foreign-born 1,860,141 population is so classified. Over eight of every ten Mexican immigrants are LEP, as are over seven of Total: 7,637,879 Source: 2006 ACS every ten immigrants from China, Ecuador, the Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning Dominican Republic, and Colombia (Table 6). On Table 5. New York City’s Limited English Proficient Population by Nativity and Language, 2006 the other hand, immigrants from English-speaking Number Percent Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago have low levels Total LEP 1,791,664 100.0 Native-born 294,603 16.4 of LEP. Foreign-born 1,497,061 83.6 A high level of LEP among immigrants is Top LEP Languages 1 Spanish 910,264 50.8 accompanied by low educational attainment. Just 2 Chinese 256,613 14.3 3 Russian 121,104 6.8 72 percent of immigrants had completed high 4 Korean 53,281 3.0 school, compared to 84 percent of the native-born; 5 Italian 41,132 2.3 6 French Creole 38,115 2.1 for those with a college degree, the figures were 7 Bengali 30,500 1.7 8 Polish 27,261 1.5 26 percent and 37 percent, respectively. Among 9 French 26,130 1.5 10 Yiddish 24,875 1.4 the top ten immigrant groups, only Asian Indians Source: 2006 ACS PUMS had educational attainment higher than that of Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning the native-born, with nearly half having Table 6. Selected Socioeconomic Characteristics of New York completed college. City’s Top 10 Immigrant Groups, 2006 Given the lower socioeconomic characteristics of immigrants, it is not surprising that they have a lower median Education Poverty and Income % Limited % High household income ($41,000), compared Total English School % College Poverty Household Population Proficient Graduate Graduate Rate Income with the native-born ($50,000). Total, New York City 8,214,426 23.5 78.6 31.9 17.2 $45,800 However, Guyanese household income Native-born 5,176,287 6.4 84.3 37.2 18.0 $50,000 Foreign-born 3,038,139 49.7 72.2 25.9 15.8 $41,000 was similar to that of the native-born, Dominican Republic 378,384 73.4 56.8 12.6 25.2 $26,000 China 303,462 78.4 62.0 22.8 18.6 $40,800 while Asian Indian household income Jamaica 174,861 1.5 76.0 17.5 11.1 $47,000 Mexico 169,572 86.5 47.1 6.0 23.5 $35,000 was substantially higher ($61,000). Guyana 142,946 1.1 73.7 13.9 11.6 $50,000 Ecuador 128,623 78.2 53.8 11.6 14.5 $40,000 Despite the lower median household Trinidad and Tobago 99,596 0.9 79.7 16.3 10.4 $44,800 Haiti 91,571 46.8 79.5 21.0 10.4 $45,180 income for immigrants, they had a India 74,476 39.0 84.6 49.4 14.1 $61,200 Colombia 73,809 69.9 74.0 19.5 11.6 $41,000 slightly lower poverty rate vis-à-vis the Source: 2006 ACS PUMS native-born: 16 percent compared with Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning other than English at home and who spoke English less than “very well”; i.e., they included those who spoke English “well,” “not well,” or “not at all.” The percentage of the population that was limited English- proficient was calculated based on the populations ages 5 and over to obtain the percent LEP. 11
  14. 14. New Immigrants to New York 18 percent. Income among the native-born was concentrated, while the income distribution was more equitable among immigrants, resulting in a lower poverty rate. Dominicans and Mexicans were the only two groups in the top ten who had a higher poverty rate than the native-born. Immigrants arrive in the U.S. with disparate skills, which accounts for differences in socioeconomic attainment among immigrant groups. It is also pertinent to note that over one of every five immigrants arrived in 2000 or later. Becoming integrated into the city’s economy is a formidable undertaking, eased by the passage of time. Differences in socioeconomic attainment among immigrant groups are thus also related to the fact that some groups are disproportionately recent entrants who have not yet integrated into the U.S. labor market. The city’s economy is sustained by immigrants, who account for 47 percent of the labor force. It is instructive to examine the niches workers occupy by industry, which is defined as the kinds of business conducted by a person’s employing organization. Immigrants account for more than 60 percent of all workers in construction and in manufacturing (Figure 9). The largest employer in New York’s economy is Educational, Health, and Social Services, with 978,000 resident workers. This industry employed the highest number of immigrants (435,000, or 46 percent of the total), primarily in fields such as hospitals, elementary and secondary schools, home health care, nursing facilities, and colleges and universities. The second largest industry grouping was Accommodation, Food, and Other Services, with 614,000 workers; immigrants accounted for 360,000, or 59 percent of the total, primarily in restaurants and other food establishments. Thus, immigrants have not only stabilized the city’s population, but now buttress its labor Figure 9. New York City’s Industry Groups by Nativity, 2006 Percent Foreign- born = 65.9 65.2 50.6 50.5 22.7 39.9 35.7 44.5 58.6 26.1 1,000 900 800 47% of all workers were foreign-born 700 Thousands 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Construction Manufacturing Wholesale & Transportation Information FIRE & Rental Professional* Educational, Accommodation, Public Retail Trade & Warehousing, and Leasing Health & Social Food, & Other Administration and Utilities Services Services** * Includes Professional, Scientific, Management, Administrative and Waste Management Foreign-born Native-born ** Includes Arts, Entertainment, Recreation, and Other Services (Except Public Administration) Source: 2006 ACS. Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning 12
  15. 15. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College force. Immigrants will play an even greater role in the city’s economy as aging baby boomers begin to enter retirement in greater numbers. Impact of Immigration on Race, Ethnicity, and Ancestry In just over four decades since the passage of the landmark 1965 Immigration and Nationality amendments, population flows from Latin America, Asia, and the Caribbean have totally reshaped New York, transforming it from a white-majority city to one with no racial/ethnic majority. In 1970, 63 percent of the city’s population was white, but by 2006, whites accounted for just 35 percent of the population. Figure 10 shows that Hispanics were the largest minority group in the Figure 10. New York City’s Race/Hispanic Groups by Borough, 2006 city, with a 28 percent share, followed by blacks Population (millions) 8.25 1.37 2.52 1.61 2.26 .48 (24 percent) and Asians and others (13 percent). 100% Multiracial, (These figures include both the native- and non- Hispanic foreign-born in each group.) 75% Asian, and other non- In 1970, each of the boroughs had a white Hispanic 50% Black, non- majority, and the role of immigration in the Hispanic remaking of New York can be discerned from Hispanic 25% the unique changes in the racial/Hispanic composition of each of the boroughs. Immigra- 0% White, non- Hispanic tion to the Bronx is primarily from Latin NYC Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Staten Island America and the non-Hispanic Caribbean. By Source: 2006 ACS Full Sample Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning 2006, Hispanics comprised just over half of the population of the Bronx, while blacks accounted for under one-third. In Brooklyn, where immigrants are primarily from the non-Hispanic Caribbean and Europe, whites and blacks each comprised over one-third of the population. Whites in Manhattan comprise just under half the population, but Hispanics and Asians have a strong presence thanks to immigration. In Queens, Asia and Latin America are the top sources of immigration, and these flows have transformed the borough. While whites still comprise a plurality—30 percent of its population—Hispanics and Asians each account for roughly one-quarter of the population, and blacks for under one-fifth. Staten Island is the only borough in the city Figure 11. New York City’s Race/Hispanic Groups by Age, 2006 where whites comprise a majority, but their two- thirds share is down from 90 percent in 1970. While whites comprise a plurality in the 100% Multiracial, non- city, they are older than average and are aging Hispanic 75% Asian, and out, which will result in further changes in the other non- Hispanic racial/Hispanic composition of the city. This can 50% Black, non- Hispanic be clearly seen in Figure 11: whites are 35 percent of the overall population, but they comprise a 25% Hispanic majority of those ages 65 and over, a cohort that White, non- represents the city’s demographic past. On the 0% Total Under 18 18-24 25-44 45-64 65+ Hispanic other hand, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are underrepresented among the city’s elderly and Source: 2006 ACS Full Sample Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning 13
  16. 16. New Immigrants to New York overrepresented among children, a group that represents the city’s demographic future. Hispanics, who account for 28 percent of the city’s overall population, comprise over one-third of children under the age of 18, while blacks account for over one-quarter. In the coming decades, as the white population ages out, the city’s overall population will reflect the racial/Hispanic makeup of these younger age groups as they ascend the age distribution. While immigration has helped make the city racially diverse, it has also brought about unprecedented ethnic diversity within each of the major race/Hispanic groups. The Afro- Caribbean population, which comprised less than 10 percent of black non-Hispanics in 1970, now accounts for over one-third of this group (Figure 12). Among Hispanics, Puerto Ricans, who once comprised the overwhelming majority, now account for just over one-third, with newer entrants such as Dominicans accounting for one-quarter, and Mexicans for over one-tenth. While the Asian presence is still dominated by the Chinese (46 percent of all Asians), other major groups include Asian Indians (22 percent), Koreans (11 percent), and Filipinos (8 percent). New York’s white population is a blend of the descendants of earlier immigrant streams from Italy and Ireland, along with more recent streams from Russia and Eastern Europe. We noted earlier that New York has dynamic population movements, with tens of thousands of people leaving the city each year and others entering to take their place. In the 1970s, when the city was facing a fiscal crisis and an uptick in crime, most of those leaving the city were white, and the phrase “white flight” was often used to describe these outflows. As described earlier, the out-migration of whites and the entry of non-European immigrants dramatically altered the racial/ethnic composition of the city. The process in which people who leave the city are replaced by immigrants continues, but it is Figure 12. New York City’s Race/Hispanic Groups by Ethnicity and Ancestry, 2006 White Black Total = 2,854,736 Total = 1,947,388 Italian Other 19.2% 19.3% Caribbean Irish 35.5% Other 48.3% 9.9% Southern Russian U.S. 6.7% 41.4% Polish African 5.4% 3.8% British German 5.2% 5.3% Hispanic Asian Central Total = 2,276,640 Total = 956,218 American Pakistani Other Other 6.2% 3.2% 10.5% 10.0% Colombian Filipino Puerto 4.4% 7.5% Rican Chinese Ecuadoran 34.7% 46.5% 7.2% Korean Mexican 10.5% Asian 11.6% Dominican Indian 25.4% 22.4% Source: 2006 ACS Full Sample Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning 14
  17. 17. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College worth noting that it is not an issue Figure 13. In-, Out-, and Net Migration by Race/Hispanic Origin of “white flight” anymore. Blacks and New York City, 2005-2006 Hispanics have the highest population losses through out-migration (Figure 13), usually involving the native-born, Hispanic while whites now experience the lowest losses, and Asians continue to Asian, non- have net inflows into the city. With Hispanic In-migrants Out-migrants continued immigration from Latin Net Black, non- America, Asia, and the non-Hispanic Hispanic Caribbean, there is foreign-for-native replacement within the black and White, non- Hispanic Hispanic populations. It is also worth noting that migration decisions for -150 -100 -50 0 50 100 150 blacks and Hispanics are primarily Thousands Source: 2006 ACS centered on 2005-2007 PUMS Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning related to where they are in the life cycle, whether it is moving to the suburbs for housing opportunities, to Florida for job opportunities (Hispanics), or to the South to retire (blacks). The Effect of Immigration to New York on the Region The entry of immigrants to New York has had a major impact on the wider New York metropolitan region, an area that encompasses 31 counties across 12,600 square-miles in portions of New York State, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The region had a population of 22 million in 2006, including over eight million in New York City. While the impact of post-1965 non-European immigration was felt primarily in New York, over time many of these immigrants left the city and settled in the suburban counties of the region. Their numbers have been supplemented by immigrants who bypassed the five boroughs and settled directly in these counties, resulting in immigrant enclaves across the region. The counties closest to the city, labeled the “inner counties,” were one-quarter immigrant in 2006 and include Hudson County, across the river from New York City, which was over 40 percent foreign-born—higher than any county in the region, except for Queens (Figure 14, next page). The counties that were farthest from the city, labeled “outer counties,” were 11 percent foreign-born. Immigrant neighborhoods in the region tend to be low-income, and have housing stock that includes older, multifamily rental units, which produce high population densities. On the other hand, many of these neighborhoods had socioeconomic characteristics superior to those of the subregion in which they were located. The inner counties have been historical recipients of outflows from New York, resulting in a demographic makeup which, over time, begins to resemble that of the city. In the 1970s, a period marked by a severe fiscal crisis in New York, the city’s population declined by more than 10 percent, primarily caused by massive outflows to the inner counties. Despite these flows to the inner counties, many inner counties lost population, as their own residents moved farther out, often to the outer counties. As with New York City, immigration played a crucial role in reversing 15
  18. 18. New Immigrants to New York Figure 14. Percent Foreign-born in the New York Metropolitan Region by County, 2006 Ulster Litchfield Dutchess Sullivan Orange Putnam New Haven Fairfield Westchester Sussex Rockland Passaic Bergen Warren Morris Essex Suffolk NYC Nassau Union Hunterdon Somerset Middlesex Percent Foreign-born Hudson Mercer Monmouth Total Foreign-born Percent 25% or more Inner Population Population Foreign-born Counties 15% to 24.9% NY Metro. Region 22,105,536 5,733,701 25.9 10% to 19.9% New York City 8,214,426 3,038,139 37.0 Outer Ocean Inner Counties 8,394,250 2,088,112 24.9 Counties Less than 10% Nassau 1,325,662 268,252 20.2 Inner County Westchester 949,355 213,164 22.5 Boundary Outer Counties 5,496,860 607,450 11.1 Suffolk 1,469,715 196,965 13.4 New York City Source: 2006 ACS Full Sample. Population Division, NYC Dept. of City Planning population losses in many inner counties. In contrast, the outer counties have continued their long pattern of growth, also aided by an increasing immigrant presence. As in New York City, the entry of non-European groups had altered the racial/Hispanic composition of the region. Whites still comprise a majority in the region, though their share has declined from 77 percent in 1970 to only 54 percent in 2006; the share of whites in the inner counties has fallen from 86 percent to 59 percent. In the outer counties, while the number of whites has increased, their share has declined from 91 percent to 77 percent during this period, primarily due to the faster growth of other groups. New York to 2030: A Growing City that Continues To Be Defined by Immigration In the past decade, New York has witnessed a building boom, which saw privately-owned residential building permits surge, from fewer than 4,500 annually in 1994 to nearly 31,000 in 2006 (Figure 15, next page). These permits are not concentrated in Manhattan; rather, they have been issued for all five boroughs, leading to significant new construction across neighborhoods in the city. This new residential construction has been able to accommodate population growth in the city. In the opening decade of the 21st century, however, New York is unlikely to see the torrid, immigrant-fueled growth it saw a century earlier, when the city’s population increased by 39 percent between 1900 and 1910. But neither is it likely to experience the steep decline of the 1970s. In the coming decades, we project that immigration will continue to play a crucial role in the city’s growing population, which will be shaped by 16
  19. 19. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College low fertility, continued net out-migration, and an aging population. New York City’s enumerated population, which stood at over eight million in 2000, was estimated at 8.25 million in 2006. Between 2006 and 2010, according to the New York City Department of City Planning, the city is projected to add another 150,000 residents, to reach 8.4 million. The city’s population is projected at 8.7 million in Figure 16. Enumerated, Estimated, and Projected Populations 2020 and at 9.1 million in for New York City and Boroughs, 2000-2030 9,119,811 2030 (Figure 16). Thus, over 9 Staten 8,250,267 8,402,214 three decades (2000-2030), 8 8,008,278 Island the city is projected to add 1.1 7 Queens million residents, an increase 6 of 13.9 percent. The dynamic 5 Millions population flows that have Manhattan 4 defined New York for over half 3 a century are likely to continue, Brooklyn with substantial outflows from 2 the city offset by immigration 1 Bronx and natural increase. Thus, 0 2000 2006 2010 2030 immigration will continue to play a crucial role in the city’s Sources: Data from Census 2000 enumeration 2006 Estimate from US Census Bureau Population Estimates Program 2010 and 2030 NYC DCP Population Division Projections growth. Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning 17
  20. 20. New Immigrants to New York Two boroughs, Queens Figure 17. New York City Population and Staten Island, are likely by Borough, 2006 and 2030 Bronx to see new population peaks in 1,371,353 1,457,039 2030, reaching 2.57 million and 552,000 in 2030, respectively. Manhattan 1,612,630 Manhattan is projected to see 1,826,547 New York City its population hit 1.83 million 2006: 8,250,267 2030: 9,119,811 Queens in 2030, well below its peak 2,264,661 population of 2.33 million in 2,565,352 1910 (Figure 17). Brooklyn Brooklyn should still be the most pop- 2,523,047 2,718,967 Staten ulous borough, with 2.72 mil- Island lion in 2030, close to its 1950 478,876 551,906 historical high of 2.74 million, while the Bronx is projected to reach 1.46 million, just under Sources: 2006 Census Bureau Estimates, 2030 DCP Population Projections Population Division, NYC Department of City Planning its 1970 historical high of 1.47 million. While the overall pop- ulation of the city will in- crease, the number of resi- dents under the age of 18 is projected to decline slightly, from 1.96 million in 2006 to under 1.95 million in 2030 (Figure 18). The largest decline in the number of children will be in Brooklyn, followed by the Bronx; but these declines will be largely offset by growth in Staten Island, Manhattan, and Queens. Given the growth of the overall population and the decline in the number of children, the share of children in the overall population is projected to decline from 24 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2030. The decline in the number of children will be accompanied by a dramatic increase in the city’s elderly population. The number of persons ages 65 and over is projected to rise from 921,000 in 2006 to 1.35 million in 2030, an increase of 432,000 or 47 percent (Figure 19, next page). The share of the elderly in the city’s population is projected to increase from 11 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in 2030. The largest percentage increase in the elderly will be in Staten Island, which will see a near doubling of its elderly population, from 53,000 in 2006 to 103,000 in 2030. Aging baby boomers, fertility decline, and higher life expectancy all contribute to an aging of the population, which will 18
  21. 21. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform • Wagner College mark a new demographic era in the city. Conclusion The racial and ethnic diversity of New York brings to mind the words of Major Samuel Shaw of Boston, who referred to the city as “a motley collection of all the nations under heaven.” The major was describing New York in 1776, and if anything, those words are even truer in the first decade of the 21st century. This increased diversity in recent decades is a result of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Amendments, which opened up immigration to non-Europeans. The 1965 law has altered the city’s population, from one that was largely descended from European immigrants, to a city with no dominant immigrant or migrant heritage. Immigrants from Latin America, Asia, the non-Hispanic Caribbean, and Eastern Europe have transformed the city’s ethnic composition to a point where no simple categorization fits. The diversity visa program, which provides visas for those underrepresented in the immigration stream, has further diversified the flow of immigrants, who now include Bangladeshis as well as West Africans from Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. Back in 1970, New York City’s population was largely of European-origin, descendants of earlier waves of immigrants. The city was also home to sizable black and Hispanic populations who, by today’s standards, were relatively homogeneous: a black population with links to the great migration from the southern states, and a Hispanic population that was largely from Puerto Rico. Over time, and against great odds, increases in civic participation among native-born black and Hispanic New Yorkers have led to numerous high-level positions in city government, including commissioners of various city agencies, City Council members, borough presidents, deputy mayors, and ultimately, an African American mayor in 1990. Newer immigrant groups can take advantage of the earlier struggles won by black and Hispanic New Yorkers and walk the path they have laid. From a demographic perspective, immigrants will have many opportunities to do so. But sheer numbers do not immediately translate into civic participation. Many immigrants are not naturalized and hence cannot vote. Moreover, many immigrants are young, and the young have relatively low rates of voting. On the other hand, native-born groups are older and tend to vote. But immigrants have built-in demographic advantages, and it is a safe bet that political and civic life will eventually reflect demographic realities. First, the city’s second- and third- generation descendants of earlier European immigrants are aging. Second, continued outflows from the city and immigrant-for-native replacement will magnify the effects of immigration, not only 19
  22. 22. New Immigrants to New York demographically but also socially, economically, and eventually, politically. Indeed, many of the more recent immigrant groups are already taking an active role in civic groups, including community boards, not-for-profit community associations, and union organizations. Immigrant enclaves give many groups a natural “leg-up” in the political process, since they often provide the numerical strength to elect one of their own. For example, the influx of Dominicans into Washington Heights helped elect the first Dominican to the City Council, while Flushing eventually elected the first Chinese-American council member. There is a possibility that in 2009, New York City will elect an Asian American to city- wide office, another potential first. Immigrants of Caribbean origin have also been elected to the City Council from Brooklyn, as well as to Congress. Neighborhoods—both from the standpoint of spatial propinquity and a sense of community—allow groups to coalesce around common interests. But it is also worth noting that the most successful groups have attained influence only because they have built coalitions with others. In a city with no ethnic or racial majority, this is the key to city-wide success. The secret of New York has always been is its ability to rise to the challenges that new communities of people put before us. If people in new immigrant communities do come forward and participate in social, economic, civic and political life, the energy and dynamism that is unleashed will continue to propel the city forward, with benefits far exceeding the costs of meeting these challenges. The key is that when people have access to opportunities, upward social mobility and prosperity follow, which in turn reinvigorate the city for all. In a city of 8.3 million diverse people, the challenges are more difficult than ever, but the payoff for being successful is even more impressive, and has the capacity to take the city to heights perhaps not seen in its history. • 20
  23. 23. The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform at Wagner College Dr. Seymour P. Lachman Director Adam Simms Senior Research Fellow Senior Policy Analyst Robert Polner Senior Research Associate Joshua Spivak Research Fellow Susan Rosenberg Administrator The Hugh L. Carey Center for Government Reform at Wagner College conducts non- partisan studies and proposes ways to improve legislative and administrative effectiveness. Wagner College One Campus Road Staten Island, New York 10301 Tel: 718-420-4131