Central Asians in the United States

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Central Asians in the United States
Total population
Total: ~100,000
62,713 (Uzbekistani),[1] 24,636 (Kazakhstani)[1]
Regions with significant populations
New York City · New Jersey · Philadelphia · San Antonio · Houston · San Francisco · San Jose · Los Angeles · Washington, D.C. · Nebraska · Chicago · Northern Virginia
Russian · Kazakh · Kyrgyz · Tajik · Turkmen · Uzbek · Bukhori · American English
Islam · Eastern Orthodoxy · Judaism

Central Asians in the United States are Americans with ancestry from Central Asia. They include Kazakhstani, Kyrgyzstani, Tajikistani, Turkmenistani, and Uzbekistani individuals. People of Afghan and Uyghur descent are also sometimes classified as Central Asians. Central Asians in the United States are classified as white by the United States Census, rather than as Asian American.

Kazakh Americans[edit]

Kyrgyz Americans[edit]

The Kyrgyz population in the United States are one of the newer and smaller immigrant groups from Central Asia living in the United States. Kyrgyz Americans began to arrive in the United States after 1991, with the opening of the green card lottery.[2]

Tajik Americans[edit]

Turkmen Americans[edit]

Uzbek Americans[edit]

Tandoori Food and Bakery, a kosher Bukharan Jewish Uzbek restaurant in Rego Park, Queens, June 2018.

Uzbek Americans are the largest Central Asian population in the United States. 62,713 Uzbeks live in the US[1], with the largest community existing in the New York City metropolitan area. The New York area Uzbek community is diverse and has 3 main sub-communities: Uzbek Muslims who first came to the United States in the 1980s as political refugees from the Soviet Union living in Morris County, New Jersey, many of whom are staunchly anti-communist and upwardly mobile; newer Uzbek Muslim immigrants to New York City who have benefitted from the green card lottery, 20,000 of whom have settled in Brooklyn since the 2000s; and the Bukharan Jews who mostly live in Queens, many of whom have done well in real estate and the Diamond District.[3]

Bukharan Jews[edit]

The United States has the largest community of Bukharan Jews in the world outside of Israel. 70,000 Bukharian Jews reside in the United States, with 50,000 living in the New York City borough of Queens alone. The Bukharan Jews are concentrated in the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Queens and Forest Hills.[4][5]

Afghan Americans[edit]

Hazrati Abu Bakr Siddique, a mosque in Queens founded by Afghan, Turkistani, and Uzbek immigrants from Afghanistan, April 2009.

Uyghur Americans[edit]

The Uyghur American population is small, but growing. Northern Virginia has one of the largest Uyghur populations in the United States.[6] Around 1,500 Uyghurs live in the Washington metropolitan area, with the majority living in Fairfax County, Virginia.[7] A small but notable community of around 150 Uyghurs live in the Boston area.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "PLACE OF BIRTH FOR THE FOREIGN-BORN POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES, Universe: Foreign-born population excluding population born at sea, 2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  2. ^ "CENTRAL ASIAN DIASPORA IN THE USA: THE CASE OF KYRGYZ AMERICANS". Columbia University. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  3. ^ "ISIS at the Gyro King". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  4. ^ "Now Americans, Bukharian Jews face new set of challenges". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  5. ^ "In Bukhara, 10,000 Jewish Graves but Just 150 Jews". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  6. ^ "Uyghurs in America Aim To Keep Language Alive". Voice of America. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  7. ^ "'We're A People That Are Grieving': Local Uighurs Have Escaped China, But Still Fear Repression". DCist. Archived from the original on 2019-06-16. Retrieved 2019-06-13.
  8. ^ "Local Uyghur Restaurant Owner Speaks Out: 'I Should Fight For My Father'". WGBH (FM). Retrieved 2019-06-13.

External links[edit]