Demographic history of New York City

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People waiting to cross Midtown Manhattan's Fifth Avenue

The racial and ethnic history of New York City has varied widely; from its sale to the Dutch by its Native settlers, to its acquisition by Britain, and its change to settlement by Germans and Irish under the American flag; from the immigration boom of the late 19th century and the Harlem Renaissance, to, most recently, the modern multi-cultural period.

Before World War I, all New York City's boroughs were overwhelmingly white, and most immigrants to the city before the end of World War II were from Europe. However, this changed in the decades after World War II, when all of the boroughs became much more ethnically diverse, and when immigration from places outside Europe became dominant. Manhattan was the first borough to begin significant racial diversification, while Staten Island was the last, due to the geography of New York City.

Overview[edit]

The population of New York City was overwhelmingly Non-Hispanic White until the post-WWII era.[1] Large numbers of non-whites only began settling in Manhattan in the 1920s and in the rest of NYC after World War II.[1] The slowest area in NYC to change its racial makeup was Staten Island, which was the only borough of New York City to retain a Non-Hispanic White majority after the 1980s.[1] Between 1900 and 2010, New York City's total black population increased by about thirty-five times, while its Asian population increased by over one-hundred-and-fifty times over the same period.[1] The large black migration to New York City helped cause the Harlem Renaissance, a rich cultural period for the African Americans living in NYC (especially in Harlem neighborhood, the namesake) between the end of World War I and the Great Depression. NYC's Hispanic population increased by almost twenty times between 1940 and 2010, while its total Non-Hispanic White population decreased by over 60% over the same time period.[1]

New York's five boroughs have had different settlement histories. The Bronx and Brooklyn were the most popular destinations for blacks to settle, while Queens was the most popular destination for Asian migrants to NYC and the Bronx was the most popular destination for Hispanic migrants to move to.[1] NYC's total population more than doubled between 1900 and 2010 (with a period of population stagnation between 1950 and 1990).[1] The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island experienced enormous population growth between 1900 and 2010, much higher than NYC's average population growth.[1] Brooklyn's population grew at a much slower rate during this time period, while Manhattan actually had fewer people in 2010 than in 1900.[1]

New York City has always had a much greater percentage of immigrants as part of its total population than the whole United States has.[2][3] Right before World War I over 40% of New York City's total population was composed of immigrants.[2] After immigration restrictions were passed in the 1920s, immigrants as a percentage of NYC's total population dropped to 18% in 1970, before bouncing back up to 36% in 2000.[2] The recorded increase in NYC's immigrant percentage after 1970 occurred after the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965 (which took effect in 1968) and at a time when a greater number of immigrants than before were coming to the United States.[2][4] Most of the earlier immigrants to New York City were from Europe (initially from Western Europe, and then more from Eastern Europe).[5] A large percentage of the immigrants that came to New York City after 1965 were from non-European countries.[5] Large numbers of Irish people arrived in New York City during the Irish potato famine in the 1840s, while Germans, Italians, Jews, and other European ethnic groups arrived in NYC mostly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[5] Because of the abolition of the National Origins Formula, a large percentage of the immigrants that came to New York City after 1965 were from non-European countries.[5]

New York City[edit]

Various places in New York City.

The following tables present a consolidated demographic profile of race and ethnicity in New York City which includes all five boroughs.[1][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

Year Population White
(includes White Hispanics)
 %
W
Non-Hispanic Whites  %
ANG
Black  %
B
Asian  %
A
Other or
Mixed
 %
O/M
Hispanic/
Latino
 %
H/L
Foreign
born
 %
FB
1900 3,437,202 3,369,898 98.04 N/A N/A 60,666 1.76 6,607 0.19 31 0 N/A N/A 1,270,080 36.95
1910 4,766,883 4,669,162 97.95 N/A N/A 91,709 1.92 5,669 0.12 343 0.01 N/A N/A 1,944,357 40.79
1920 5,620,048 5,459,463 97.14 N/A N/A 152,467 2.71 7,969 0.14 149 0 N/A N/A 2,028,160 36.09
1930 6,930,446 6,589,377 95.08 N/A N/A 327,706 4.73 12,972 0.19 391 0.01 N/A N/A 2,358,686 34.03
1940 7,454,995 6,977,501 93.59 6,856,586 91.97 458,444 6.15 17,986 0.24 1,064 0.01 120,915 1.62 2,138,657 28.69
1950 7,891,957 7,116,441 90.17 N/A N/A 747,608 9.47 21,441 0.27 6,467 0.08 N/A N/A 1,784,206 22.61
1960 7,781,984 6,640,662 85.33 N/A N/A 1,087,931 13.98 43,103 0.55 10,288 0.13 N/A N/A 1,558,690 20.03
1970 7,894,862 6,048,841 76.62 4,969,749 62.95 1,668,115 21.13 94,499 1.20 83,407 1.06 1,278,630 16.20 1,437,058 18.20
1980 7,071,639 4,294,075 60.72 3,668,945 51.88 1,784,337 25.23 231,501 3.27 761,762 10.77 1,406,024 19.88 1,670,199 23.62
1990 7,322,564 3,827,088 52.26 3,163,125 43.20 2,102,512 28.71 512,719 7.00 880,245 12.02 1,783,511 24.36 2,082,931 28.45
2000 8,008,278 3,576,385 44.66 2,801,267 34.98 2,129,762 26.59 792,477 9.90 1,509,654 18.85 2,160,554 26.98 2,871,032 35.85
2010 8,175,133 3,597,341 44.00 2,722,904 33.31 2,088,510 25.55 1,043,535 12.77 1,445,747 17.68 2,336,076 28.58

By borough[edit]

The Bronx[edit]

Year Population White
(includes White Hispanics)
 %
W
Non-Hispanic Whites  %
ANG
Black  %
B
Asian  %
A
Other or
Mixed
 %
O/M
Hispanic/
Latino
 %
H/L
Foreign
born
 %
FB
1900 200,507 197,923 98.71 N/A N/A 2,370 1.18 208 0.10 6 0 N/A N/A 61,258 30.55
1910 430,980 426,650 99.00 N/A N/A 4,117 0.96 189 0.04 24 0.01 N/A N/A 149,427 34.67
1920 732,016 726,990 99.31 N/A N/A 4,803 0.66 215 0.03 8 0 N/A N/A 267,742 36.58
1930 1,265,258 1,251,823 98.94 N/A N/A 12,930 1.02 476 0.04 29 0 N/A N/A 479,451 37.89
1940 1,394,711 1,370,319 98.25 N/A N/A 23,529 1.69 801 0.06 62 0 N/A N/A 463,453 33.23
1950 1,451,277 1,351,662 93.14 N/A N/A 97,752 6.74 1,249 0.09 614 0.04 N/A N/A 373,894 25.76
1960 1,424,815 1,256,284 88.17 N/A N/A 163,896 11.50 3,544 0.25 1,091 0.08 N/A N/A 306,592 21.52
1970 1,471,701 1,080,859 73.44 N/A N/A 357,681 24.30 7,792 0.53 25,369 1.72 N/A N/A 229,210 15.57
1980 1,168,972 554,046 47.40 396,836 33.95 371,926 31.82 15,163 1.30 227,837 19.49 396,353 33.91 215,313 18.42
1990 1,203,789 430,077 35.73 272,503 22.64 449,399 37.33 35,562 2.95 288,751 23.99 523,111 43.46 274,793 22.83
2000 1,332,650 398,003 29.87 193,651 14.53 475,007 35.64 41,503 3.11 418,137 31.38 644,705 48.38 385,827 28.95
2010 1,385,108 386,497 27.90 151,209 10.92 505,200 36.47 50,897 3.68 442,514 31.95 741,413 53.53

Brooklyn[edit]

West Indian parade in Brooklyn.
Year Population White
(includes White Hispanics)
 %
W
Non-Hispanic Whites  %
ANG
Black  %
B
Asian  %
A
Other or
Mixed
 %
O/M
Hispanic/
Latino
 %
H/L
Foreign
born
 %
FB
1900 1,166,582 1,146,909 98.31 N/A N/A 18,367 1.57 1,300 0.11 6 0 N/A N/A 355,697 30.49
1910 1,634,351 1,610,487 98.54 N/A N/A 22,708 1.39 1,010 0.06 146 0.01 N/A N/A 574,730 35.17
1920 2,018,356 1,984,953 98.35 N/A N/A 31,912 1.58 1,459 0.07 32 0 N/A N/A 666,188 33.01
1930 2,560,401 2,488,815 97.20 N/A N/A 68,921 2.69 2,539 0.10 126 0 N/A N/A 881,571 34.43
1940 2,698,285 2,587,951 95.91 N/A N/A 107,263 3.98 2,608 0.10 463 0.02 N/A N/A 778,054 28.84
1950 2,738,175 2,525,118 92.22 N/A N/A 208,478 7.61 2,514 0.09 2,065 0.08 N/A N/A 630,526 23.03
1960 2,627,319 2,245,859 85.48 N/A N/A 371,405 14.14 6,540 0.25 3,515 0.13 N/A N/A 516,349 19.65
1970 2,602,012 1,905,788 73.24 N/A N/A 656,194 25.22 16,138 0.62 23,892 0.92 N/A N/A 456,636 17.55
1980 2,230,936 1,249,486 56.01 1,085,233 48.64 722,812 32.40 42,965 1.93 215,673 9.67 392,118 17.58 530,973 23.80
1990 2,300,664 1,078,549 46.88 923,229 40.13 872,305 37.92 111,251 4.84 238,559 10.37 462,411 20.10 672,569 29.23
2000 2,465,326 1,015,728 41.20 854,532 34.66 898,350 36.44 187,283 7.60 363,965 14.76 487,878 19.79 931,769 37.79
2010 2,504,700 1,072,041 42.80 893,306 35.67 860,083 34.34 263,519 10.52 309,057 12.34 496,285 19.81

Manhattan[edit]

Little Italy in Manhattan around 1900.
Year Population White
(includes White Hispanics)
 %
W
Non-Hispanic Whites  %
ANG
Black  %
B
Asian  %
A
Other or
Mixed
 %
O/M
Hispanic/
Latino
 %
H/L
Foreign
born
 %
FB
1900 1,850,093 1,808,968 97.78 N/A N/A 36,246 1.96 4,861 0.26 18 0 N/A N/A 789,626 42.68
1910 2,331,542 2,266,578 97.21 N/A N/A 60,534 2.60 4,260 0.18 170 0.01 N/A N/A 1,116,477 47.89
1920 2,284,103 2,168,906 94.96 N/A N/A 109,133 4.78 6,003 0.26 61 0 N/A N/A 950,264 41.60
1930 1,867,312 1,633,329 87.47 N/A N/A 224,670 12.03 9,124 0.49 189 0.01 N/A N/A 689,506 36.93
1940 1,889,924 1,577,625 83.48 N/A N/A 298,365 15.79 13,467 0.71 467 0.02 N/A N/A 582,895 30.84
1950 1,960,101 1,556,599 79.41 N/A N/A 384,482 19.62 16,083 0.82 2,937 0.15 N/A N/A 461,102 23.52
1960 1,698,281 1,271,822 74.89 N/A N/A 397,101 23.38 25,487 1.50 3,871 0.23 N/A N/A 374,698 22.06
1970 1,539,233 1,089,302 70.77 N/A N/A 380,442 24.72 47,332 3.08 22,157 1.44 N/A N/A 307,630 19.99
1980 1,428,285 841,204 58.90 713,854 49.98 309,854 21.69 72,884 5.10 204,343 14.31 336,247 23.54 348,581 24.41
1990 1,487,536 867,227 58.30 726,755 48.86 326,967 21.98 110,629 7.44 182,713 12.28 386,630 25.99 383,866 25.81
2000 1,537,195 835,610 54.36 703,873 45.79 267,302 17.39 145,607 9.47 288,676 18.78 417,816 27.18 452,440 29.43
2010 1,585,873 911,073 57.45 761,493 48.02 246,687 15.55 180,425 11.38 247,688 15.62 403,577 25.45

Queens[edit]

Year Population White
(includes White Hispanics)
 %
W
Non-Hispanic Whites  %
ANG
Black  %
B
Asian  %
A
Other or
Mixed
 %
O/M
Hispanic/
Latino
 %
H/L
Foreign
born
 %
FB
1900 152,999 150,235 98.19 N/A N/A 2,611 1.71 152 0.10 1 0 N/A N/A 44,812 29.29
1910 284,041 280,691 98.82 N/A N/A 3,198 1.13 149 0.05 3 0 N/A N/A 79,329 27.93
1920 469,042 463,661 98.85 N/A N/A 5,120 1.09 214 0.05 47 0.01 N/A N/A 112,171 23.91
1930 1,079,129 1,059,804 98.21 N/A N/A 18,609 1.72 679 0.06 37 0 N/A N/A 268,358 24.87
1940 1,297,634 1,270,731 97.93 N/A N/A 25,890 2.00 947 0.07 66 0.01 N/A N/A 278,937 21.50
1950 1,550,849 1,497,126 96.54 N/A N/A 51,524 3.32 1,444 0.09 755 0.05 N/A N/A 288,197 18.58
1960 1,809,578 1,654,959 91.46 N/A N/A 145,855 8.06 7,084 0.39 1,680 0.09 N/A N/A 335,623 18.55
1970 1,986,473 1,695,288 85.34 N/A N/A 258,006 12.99 21,940 1.10 11,239 0.57 N/A N/A 416,887 20.99
1980 1,891,325 1,335,805 70.63 1,172,511 61.99 354,129 18.72 93,780 4.96 107,611 5.69 262,422 13.88 540,818 28.59
1990 1,951,598 1,129,192 57.86 937,557 48.04 423,211 21.69 238,336 12.21 160,859 8.24 381,120 19.53 707,153 36.23
2000 2,229,379 982,725 44.08 732,895 32.87 446,189 20.01 392,831 17.62 407,634 18.28 556,605 24.97 1,028,339 46.13
2010 2,230,722 1,060,000 45.72 616,727 27.65 426,683 19.13 513,317 23.01 404,669 18.14 613,750 27.51

Staten Island[edit]

An old historic house in Staten Island.
Year Population White
(includes White Hispanics)
 %
W
Non-Hispanic Whites  %
ANG
Black  %
B
Asian  %
A
Other or
Mixed
 %
O/M
Hispanic/
Latino
 %
H/L
Foreign
born
 %
FB
1900 67,021 65,863 98.27 N/A N/A 1,072 1.60 86 0.13 0 0 N/A N/A 18,687 27.88
1910 85,969 84,756 98.59 N/A N/A 1,152 1.34 61 0.07 0 0 N/A N/A 24,394 28.38
1920 116,531 114,953 98.65 N/A N/A 1,499 1.29 78 0.07 1 0 N/A N/A 31,795 27.28
1930 158,346 155,606 98.27 N/A N/A 2,576 1.63 154 0.10 10 0.01 N/A N/A 39,799 25.13
1940 174,441 170,875 97.96 N/A N/A 3,397 1.95 163 0.09 6 0 N/A N/A 35,318 20.25
1950 191,555 185,936 97.07 N/A N/A 5,372 2.80 153 0.08 94 0.05 N/A N/A 30,487 15.92
1960 221,991 211,738 95.38 N/A N/A 9,674 4.36 448 0.20 131 0.06 N/A N/A 25,428 11.45
1970 295,443 277,604 93.96 N/A N/A 15,792 5.35 1,297 0.44 750 0.25 N/A N/A 26,695 9.04
1980 352,121 313,534 89.04 300,511 85.34 25,616 7.27 6,709 1.91 6,262 1.78 18,884 5.36 34,514 9.80
1990 378,977 322,043 84.98 303,081 79.97 30,630 8.08 16,941 4.47 9,363 2.47 30,239 7.98 44,550 11.76
2000 443,728 344,319 77.60 316,316 71.29 42,914 9.67 25,253 5.69 31,242 7.04 53,550 12.07 72,657 16.37
2010 468,730 341,677 72.89 300,169 64.04 49,857 10.64 35,377 7.55 41,819 8.92 81,051 17.29
A performance in New York City in the late 1940s.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "New York – Race and Hispanic Origin for Selected Large Cities and Other Places: Earliest Census to 1990" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gibson, Campbell; Kay Jung (February 2006). "Table 23. Nativity of the Population for the 50 Largest Urban Places: 1870 to 2000" (in American English) (Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850-2000). Washington, DC 20233-8800: U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ Gibson, Campbell; Kay Jung (February 2006). "Table 14. Nativity of the Population, for Regions, Divisions, and States: 1850 to 2000" (in American English) (Historical Census Statistics on the Foreign-Born Population of the United States: 1850-2000). Washington, DC 20233-8800: U.S. Census Bureau Population Division. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Legal Immigration to the United States: Fiscal Years 1820 to 2011 (in millions)". Migration Policy Institute. 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d Bloch, Matthew; Gebeloff, Robert (March 10, 2009), Immigration Explorer, The New York Times, retrieved January 21, 2013 
  6. ^ American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau. "New York City Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000". Factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ "New York City Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010". Factfinder2.census.gov. October 5, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Total and Foreign-born Population: New York Metropolitan Region by Subregion and County, 1900–2000" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Bronx County Population by Race". Censusscope.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Kings County Population by Race". Censusscope.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ "New York County Population by Race". Censusscope.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Queens County Population by Race". Censusscope.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Richmond County Population by Race". Censusscope.org. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Race/Ethnicity Counts: Counties" (PDF). Retrieved January 4, 2012.