NYC is nearly 40% foreign-born highest in over a century: MOIA report

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moia reportNYC’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) issued its first-ever annual report, and states that for the first time in over a century “nearly 40 percent of our residents are foreign born.”

“New York City is proud to be the ultimate city of immigrants,” said Acting Commissioner Bitta Mostofi in the 37-page report.

The report warns of continuing challenges to the immigrant community. It says tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been affected by federal policy changes that have separated families and exacerbated fear and uncertainty for immigrants.

Key findings from the report:

• New York City is home to 3.1 million immigrants, the largest number in the city’s history.

• Approximately 1 million New Yorkers live in mixed-status households, where a household member is undocumented.

• Immigrants comprise nearly 38% of the city population and 45% of its workforce. Certain neighborhoods, especially in Queens and Brooklyn and parts of the Bronx and Manhattan, have particularly high concentrations of immigrant residents.

• Approximately 54% of immigrant New Yorkers are naturalized U.S. citizens. An estimated 660,000 immigrant New Yorkers who are lawful permanent residents (i.e., green card holders) are currently eligible to naturalize.

• New York City is home to approximately 560,000 undocumented immigrants, a decline from an estimated undocumented immigrant population of 618,000 in 2008.

• Approximately 62% of New Yorkers live in households with at least one immigrant, including approximately one million New Yorkers who live in mixed-status households (where at least one person is undocumented).

• The city has significant linguistic diversity, with more than 150 languages spoken. The top ten languages of foreign-born New York City residents are: Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Haitian Creole, Bengali, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Polish, and French.

• Approximately 49% of immigrants are Limited English Proficient (LEP), meaning that they speak English less than “very well.” Nearly 63% of undocumented immigrants are LEP.

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• Almost 50% of immigrant New Yorkers have lived in the United States for 20 years or more.

• Nearly half of immigrant New Yorkers age 25 years or older have graduated from college or have attended some college. These rates are notably higher for naturalized U.S. citizens.

• Nearly 37% of undocumented immigrants living in New York City have less than a high school degree, compared to approximately 33% of those with green cards and other status, 22% of naturalized U.S. citizens, and 11% of U.S.-born citizens.

• Nearly 94% of U.S.-born New Yorkers have health insurance, compared with just 69% of non-citizen New Yorkers…where only 42% of undocumented immigrants have health insurance.

• About 22% of immigrant New Yorkers reside in overcrowded households, defined here as more than one person per room.

• Foreign-born New Yorkers contribute significantly to the City’s economic health and vitality. Immigrants own 52% of New York City’s businesses, and in 2017, immigrants contributed an estimated $195 billion to the City’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or about 22% of the City’s total GDP.

• Over half of all New Yorkers – regardless of immigration status – are rent-burdened, defined by the Census Bureau as spending 30% or more of their household income on rent.

• Top 10 countries of origin for foreign-born residents – Dominican Republic, China, Mexico, Jamaica, Guyana, Ecuador, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Bangladesh, and India.

• Foreign-born workers make up 45% of the city’s labor force, up from 31% in 1990. — Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

© The FilAm 2018

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