Queens Census 2010 - working draft
For Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Flushing & Woodside
Continued. October 25, 2011 / Jackson Heights Neighborhood / Real Estate in Jackson Heights / Queens Buzz. I just returned from a fascinating look into the Census data for Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, Flushing and Woodside. I arrived at the Jewish Center in Jackson Heights on time for this presentation. Arturo kicked off the hour long presentation by outlining why this presentation was important – to enhance our understanding of the community so we can operate more effectively in it - as well as the format of the presentation. Arturo adopted delved into the data from several perspectives during his segment of the presentation, including a personal one [Columbian immigrant with his family many years ago], as well as from one of the roles he plays today, as a member of Community Board Three.
The presentation was built off the census bureau data, and like a good researcher Steve talked about the limitations of this data. One of the key points was that some of the questioning had changed which generated more accurate answers about ethnicity. And, it is believed, there was some significant undercounting in Queens, which becomes apparent in this presentation.
GENERAL CENSUS TRENDS IN CB3&4 NEIGHBORHOODS
On a general level, in the Community Board Three and Four communities of Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Corona, Flushing and Woodside, there were significant declines in both the White and African American populations. More than offsetting these declines, there were significant surges in the populations of Asians and Latin Americans. Another big shift, we were told, is that Jackson Heights has become more Asian than Hispanic. And another was that African Americans have migrated out of East Elmhurst, which has become predominantly Latin American from various countries.
In reading the maps in this report and the slide show, the colors generally represent: 1) Pink is Asian including Middle Eastern, Indian Ocean and Pacific Rim peoples, 2) Green denotes Latin ethnicity of all nationalities, 3) Yellow / Brown denotes African American and 4) Blue denotes European descent.
LATIN AMERICANS demographics in Queens
Arturo dove into the many shifting layers of the ethnic demography. On a general basis he noted that Ecuadorians were the fastest growing group in the CB3&4 [Community Boards 3 & 4] areas. Congregating along the #7 subway line, specifically in Corona. On the other hand, the Latin population has declined a bit in Jackson Heights as this neighborhood has undergone significant gentrification over the past decade. As rents have risen, the Hispanic population has moved east into Corona.
At this point Arturo stopped to talk about the Census Data versus other conflicting sources of information. The Census Data indicates that there were increased vacancy rates in Jackson Heights, which the U.S. postal service statistics do not confirm [not sure if I have this right]. Arturo suggested that this was likely due to highly mobile resident populations that include younger workers starting their careers, and documented and undocumented immigrants.
Ten years ago the Ecuadorians and the Columbian population segments were about the same size in these communities. The Ecuadorian group doubled in size, while the Columbian group stayed about the same. Arturo suggested that these population trends were visible when he attended the Ecuadorian and Columbian parades in Queens this year.
The second fastest growing ethnic group in the CB3&4 areas were the Mexicans. Hence there’s a growing cluster of Latin cultures in the Corona area, dominated by the Dominicans which have been here longer, followed by the Ecuadorians and Mexicans who are now growing much more quickly. As a member of the community board, Arturo pondered aloud whether these groups would work together, united by Latin cultures, or compete along national lines.
Arturo noted that the Columbians, the fourth largest group, have been in the area for a longer period of time and hence have, as the American dream goes, assimilated and become upwardly mobile. Many have moved out of Queens to more distant pastures throughout the nation.
One of the points made throughout the presentation was that the more educated, affluent and documented a person / family unit was, the more likely they were to be counted. An example given was of the concentration of Columbians in Jackson Heights in the historic district, which is affluent. These people show up en masse in the census. But south of Roosevelt in Elmhurst, many of the Columbians living and working there may not.
The fourth largest demographic group of the Latin segment of the market in these communities is Puerto Ricans. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens by virtue of the Foraker Act of 1900 and hence documented. Hence Puerto Ricans show up well in the census.
The counter point to this is that the two fastest growing Latin groups, Ecuadorians and Mexicans are newer groups and hence many are undocumented. As such, it is believed these two groups are significantly undercounted in the census. Hence NYC is challenging the Census in order to ensure going forward that steps may be taken to correct this discrepancy. Census numbers are used as one of the tools to decide how to allocate public funding.
The All Other Hispanic segment of the population fell significantly. Steve noted that this is likely to the change in the census form itself, which made selecting the proper identifier more intuitive.
ASIAN demographics in Queens
The Bangladeshis replaced the Indians as the fastest growing ethnic group in Jackson Heights. Many of them are well educated and own homes, some of which are in the historic district.
This will be completed the week end of January 15th, 2012.
Click here to view the slides of the 2010 Queens census data in a photo album where they will max up to a larger size. Also click here to go to www.urbanresearchmaps.org/plurality.
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