Where New Asian Residents Are Transforming New York City

Asians were the only major racial group in increase in population in all five boroughs of New York City since 2010. Long Island City in Queens saw a fivefold increase of Asian residents.

October 20, 2021, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A photo of a bridge reading Long Island City in front of high-rise buildings glittering in a sunset.

The new residential high-rises that have grown up in the industrial shadow of Long Island City are part of the city's appeal to a new generation of Asian residents. | fotomak / Shutterstock

Nicole Hong reports on the booming population of Asian Americans in New York City—particularly in the neighborhood of Long Island City.

"Asian residents were the driving force behind an unexpected 7.7 percent increase in New York City’s overall population since 2010, according to Census Bureau data released in August, upending predictions by demographers that the city’s population was shrinking," writes Hong.

"The census data also showed that among New York City neighborhoods, Long Island City experienced the fastest growth in residents who identified as Asian, a fivefold increase since 2010," adds Hong. "The nearly 11,000 Asians who live in the neighborhood make up about 34 percent of its population."

While this story focuses on New York and Long Island City, people identifying as Asian are also moving to cities and metropolitan areas as disparate as Los Angeles and Houston as well as states like North Dakota and Indiana, according to the article.

At the neighborhood level, the influx of Asian Americans has had an obvious impact in New York City, with the potential to reshape numerous facts of life in the nation's largest city—from the housing market to the small business economy to political representation.

The signs of the demographic influx are obvious in Long Island City, explains Hong. "Local businesses are racing to meet the demands of the changing demographics. Along Jackson Avenue, a main commercial corridor, signs on vacant storefronts advertise new businesses opening soon: Dun Huang, a hand-pulled Chinese noodle chain; Paris Baguette, a Korean bakery chain; and Mito, a sushi lounge."

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