Poland

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Manhattan Avenue, the heart of Little Poland

Manhattan Avenue, the heart of Little Poland

Population 68,656 people living in New York City were born in Poland.
Source: 2005-2007 American Community Survey
Neighborhoods Greenpoint, Brooklyn: 13,660
Ridgewood/Glendale, Queens: 3,774
Maspeth, Queens: 2,803
Borough Park, Brooklyn: 2,708
Williamsburg, Brooklyn: 2,079
Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf
Religion(s) Roman Catholic
Language(s) Polish
History
Late 1800s—Millions fled Poland to escape the rural economic hardships brought about by the industrial revolution and the political oppression being directed from Russia. 1930s—Wave of migration as Polish Jews fled from the growing threat of Hitler’s Nazi regime. Post WWII—Remaining Jewish citizens expelled by newly installed communist regime. 1980s—Government crackdown on Lech Walesa’s Solidarity movement caused another wave of migration. 1990s—U.S. Diversity Visa Program specifically tailored to Poland and Ireland provided a smoother pass to U.S. citizenship for families that had lost generational ties to the U.S. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf; Allen, Greg. “Culture Smart! Poland.” London: Kuperard, 2005

Population Facts:

  • The Polish-born community includes a high proportion (29.4%) aged 65 and over. This is a function of the high refugee flows during the 1980s and large number of pre-1980 entrants. According to 2000 census data, the 45-64 age group accounted for a further 27% of the population. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf.
  • Polish-born residents are as likely to own their own home as native-born New Yorkers, and less likely to suffer from overcrowding issues. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf
  • Polish-born migrants are among the highest foreign-born groups in graduating from high school. Conversely, Poland has one of the lowest drop-out rates for high school pupils. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf
  • The percentage of Polish-born residents being classified as living in poverty is significantly lower than the city average. This reflects a population that has earned a living and has reached or is reaching retirement age. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf

Fun Facts:

  • Annual Pulaski Day Parade takes place along 5th Avenue on the first Sunday of October.
  • The Chopin Society of New York aims to establish an international Chopin piano competition in New York by 2010—the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.
  • Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels and a New York radio talkshow host, is of Polish heritage.