New York City’s people make up about half the population of the larger New York State, most of which belong to major ethnic groups – about 52% are white, though non-Hispanic whites are not in the majority overall. Blacks count for around 29% of the people, and Asians 7%. Hispanic people of all races make up 24% and about 1 million people belong to other racial groups; which all makes New York city a varied, cosmopolitan and rich cultural environment.
A sizeable section of New York’s population is still made up of foreign immigrants, around 28%, it is estimated that in the early 1990s the greater amount of immigrants were from the Dominican Republic – around 25,000 – and most of them went to live in Washington Heights. There has also been a large migration of West African blacks since the late 1990s, mostly settling in Harlem, New York’s most famous African American region; around the same time the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn experienced an influx of 20,000 citizens from the former Soviet Union. Similar numbers of people from Taiwan, China and Hong Kong, came to live in Chinatown, pushing the borders of the area northward towards the East Village.
The federal ‘Green Card Lotteries’ have also been responsible for a large amount of Polish and Irish immigrants; the Irish live all over the city but many move to their traditional area in New York, the Riverdale section of the Bronx; and the new Polish citizens mostly settle in Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.
The East Village has seen over 5000 middle-class, young Japanese move into the area, along with many Japanese restaurants. The Japanese are attracted by the comparatively low rent and the strength of the Yen against the dollar, they can sometimes be seen adopting certain New York styles of dress such as Hip Hop and even large Afro hair styles, which some may find amusing.
New York has representatives from the far reaches of the globe, if there were people from other planets they’d probably come settle in the city too; it is a truly diverse city with all the cultural liveliness you’d expect from such a place. New York has the largest Chinese population in the US, the largest Asian Indian representation; the largest Jewish population in the world other than Israel; more native Greeks than anywhere outside Athens; more native Russians than anywhere outside Moscow; and maybe (no one can be sure) more native Irish outside the United Kingdom. Hundreds of thousands of Caribbean-born residents attend the Caribbean Day parade through Brooklyn on Labor Day. It is difficult to gather exact statistics on the many and varied cultures of New York city, but a tour of all the boroughs will show any visitor exactly how diverse and interesting a population the city hosts.