|They All Come To
A Touch Of Every Culture And Every Nation
several ethnic groups in Queens have experienced large growth spurts
over the past 10 years, there are some that have remained relatively
small in number but essential in creating the most ethnically diverse
place on the planet.
and Anna Daniel, the great-great grandparents of Tribune
Production Manager Lianne Procanyn immigrated to the United States
in the 1800s.
ethnic groups, from Dutch to Swedish and from Swiss to Vietnamese, may
not have clear dominant communities — like the Chinese do in
downtown Flushing and Hispanics do in Corona — but according to City
Planning Population Division Director Joseph Salvo, they play a large
role in the dynamics of the borough.
a press conference in May, Salvo told the Tribune, “The
ethnic differences in Queens go way beyond solid groups. The people in
Queens are often descendents of those who came to America for a better
life, and once they got it, moved to Queens for a more peaceful,
to the 2000 Census, several races and ancestries claim less than one
percent of the total Queens population, which was counted at
2,229,379. Those groups include Vietnamese, Arab, Cuban, Czech,
Danish, Dutch, French, French Canadian, Hungarian, Lithuanian,
Norwegian, Portuguese, Scotch-Irish, Scottish, Slovak, Swedish, Swiss,
Ukrainian, and Welsh. Salvo said, “This is what makes Queens so
interesting. There’s a little bit of everything, even if it is just
a little bit.”
Queens Vietnamese population, which was counted at 3,268, is the
largest in all of the City, according to Census figures, as is the
Swedish population, which was counted at 3,079. Most Vietnamese tend
to live in middle class neighborhoods like Flushing and Bayside, while
many Swedes live in Western Queens.
numbers of Queensites who identify themselves as Scottish, Swedish,
Czech, Filipino and Trinidadian live in Western Queens, and are
members of the First Presbyterian Church in Newtown, which was built
in 1652 and is the oldest church in Elmhurst. Many Dutch Queensites
also live in Western Queens, and are members of the Dutch Reform
Church, which is a historic landmark.
of Queens’ Arab residents live in Jackson Heights, Long Island City
and Elmhurst, while most Swiss live in Eastern Queens, in Douglaston
number of Cubans in Queens has been kept down by the Communist
government’s restrictions, but the 12,793 that have made it into the
borough tend to live in Western Queens, which is evident by Cuban
stores that line the streets in Jackson Heights and Corona.
Europeans, such as the Ukrainians, Slovaks, Czechs and Lithuanians,
congregate in Western Queens and in Forest Hills, Rego Park and Ozone
Park, and have tight connections with the Russian community.
French tend to stay in Queens Village and Southeast Queens, according
to Census records, while Norwegians and the Welsh are spread out all
over the borough. Salvo said, “No two places in Queens are alike.
It’s truly an amazing place, and it’s the rich mix of cultures
that make it that way.”
Represents Queens Diversity
ethnic diversity doesn’t end at the borough’s borders. It is
carried across its bridges and spans through Manhattan into the City
Council chamber, where Queens elected officials spice up the City’s
14 men and women who represent the City’s most diverse borough in
the Council are a diverse group themselves, tracing their roots to a
variety of homeports, and speaking a variety of different languages:
Liz Goff and Angela Montefinise
||Languages Spoken Other Than English
a little Chinese
a little Italian
Lithuanian and Cuban
a little Spanish
a little French