Origins of New York City's Immigrants

Origins of New York City's Immigrants - - Infographic


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Within 50 years, Italy has dropped from the #1 country of origin for foreign-born New York City immigrants to #20.

Today, the immigrants arriving in New York City are quite different from those of a few decades ago, with a downtick of immigrants coming from European countries (Italy, Poland, the U.S.S.R., Germany, and Ireland) and a huge uptick from China and island nations (Dominican Republic, Jamaica).


There are 8.8 times more people coming to NYC from the Dominican Republic than in the 1970s.

The Dominican Republic is the #1 source of foreign-born New York City residents today. The number of New Yorkers originally born in the Dominican Republic has ballooned to 453,176, representing 13.7% of all foreign-born locals. Back in the 1970s, Italians represented 14.8% of immigrants, and they now represent only 1.5%.


We also have 8.9 times more Chinese people and 4.6 times more Jamaican people.

Mexican immigrants are #4 in NYC, even though they’re the largest immigrant group for the United States by far.


Island nation immigrants have increased as a whole in New York City.

There’s been an increase of people coming from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Philippines. It’s important to note that this data does not include Puerto Ricans, who have also fled to the city since Hurricane Maria. It’s possible that NYC will be the home of more island nation resettlers as their countries feel the strain of climate change.

Meanwhile, the number of immigrants in New York City has increased overall: Roughly 3 million people in the Big Apple are foreign-born, more than the entire population of Chicago.


The demographics of NYC are shifting and changing, with a generally far more diverse immigrant base that the mostly European visitors of decades past.

The New York City immigrant population of yesteryear might’ve passed by The Statue of Liberty or through Ellis Island in droves from Europe, but today, the immigrant experience — and the immigrants themselves — have changed a great deal. This will have a huge effect on our culture for years to come, changing the flavors of the American melting pot overall.