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Chinese New Year ornaments are on sale year-round at A Dollar More Store on Mulberry Street in Chinatown, NY.

Chinese New Year ornaments are on sale year-round at A Dollar More Store on Mulberry Street in Chinatown, NY.

Population 362,587 people living in New York City were born in China.
Source: 2000 United States Census
Neighborhoods Chinatown, NY: 42,389
Flushing, Queens: 27,056
Sunset Park, Brooklyn: 19,451
Source: New York City Department of City Planning
Religion(s) Buddhist, Daoist, Confucianist, Christian
Language(s) Cantonese, Mandarin, and other regional Chinese dialects
History
“According to a 1990 census, 529,837 Chinese-born people were living in America. Searching for work and a fresh start, a new wave of Chinese immigrants is pouring into the West Coast and especially New York. About 12,000 arrive in Manhattan’s Chinatown legally each year. Just as many come in illegally … Lower Manhattan’s crowded tenements have seen many waves of poor immigrants – Irish, Germans, Italians, and Eastern Europeans. Each neighborhood has nearly dissolved as successive generations move on. Chinatown, however, has expanded. Many workers are not required to speak English, nor provide proof of legal status. A construction worker earning $10.00 per hour can earn more in a week than the average yearly income of a person in his home village. Although many immigrants are paid far below minimum wage, their strong work ethic sees them through.” Source: “The Eagle and the Dragon: U.S. Relations with China,” an exhibit documented online at the website of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and museum.

Population Facts:

  • The median age of the Chinese population is older than that of other immigrant populations (45.2 years old, as opposed to 36 for all foreign-born New Yorkers). Source: 2005-2007 American Community Survey.
  • The Chinese population includes fewer children (4.5% of the population is under the age of 17, as opposed to 23.1% among all foreign-born New Yorkers). Source: 2005-2007 American Community Survey.
  • More Chinese women are in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (15.7% of Chinese women, as opposed to 4.2% among all foreign-born women). Source: 2005-2007 American Community Survey.

Fun Facts:

  • In Chinese culture, the number 4 is considered unlucky, because the word “four” sounds similar in pronunciation to the word meaning “death.”
  • On the other hand, the number 8 is considered lucky because it sounds similar to a word meaning, roughly, “to hit the jackpot.” For this reason, the date of last year’s Beijing Olympics — August 8, 2008 — had special significance in Chinese culture.
  • For dumpling lovers who want to try something more daring than the typical steamed pork variety, Shanghai-style “xiao long bao” soup dumplings might be the perfect new addiction. Each dumpling is thinly wrapped and must be eaten very carefully to avoid an explosion of tongue-scalding (or shirt-destroying) soup. Think dumplings (and hot soup) meet Fruit Gushers. Daring dumpling-eaters should try “Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao” in Flushing, Queens, or “Evergreen Shanghai Restaurant” in Murray Hill for the most authentic flavor.