The Rich Diversity of New York

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

New York is the largest city in America, with over 8.5 million inhabitants. That’s more than twice the size of America’s second largest city, Los Angeles. In density, that translates into 27,000 people per square mile, though that is the average for the entire 5 boroughs. In Manhattan alone, borough of 1.5 million, the density is 72,000 per square mile. One in 37 Americans is a New Yorker. A New Yorker is born every 4.4 minutes, though every 9.1 minutes a New Yorker dies.

More than 3 million New Yorkers were born overseas. When you consider how many citizens here were born in other parts of the country, the non native population is well over 50%.

There are 800 languages are spoken here, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world. Many of those are close to extinction, and our City University has a graduate program in its Linguistics department called the Endangered Languages Initiative. Locals says there are 167 languages spoken in the Queens of neighborhood Jackson Heights alone. Fully half of New Yorkers speak a language other than English in their homes.