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Indians in the New York City metropolitan region

Indians in the New York City metropolitan region

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Indians in the New York City metropolitan region
India Square, Bombay, in Jersey City, New Jersey, US,[1] is home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere,[2] and one of at least 24 Indian American enclaves characterized as a Little India which have emerged within the New York City Metropolitan Area, with the largest metropolitan Indian population outside Asia, as large-scale immigration from India continues into New York.[3][4][5][6]

Indians in the New York City metropolitan region constitute one of the largest and fastest growing ethnicities in the New York City metropolitan area of the United States. The New York City region is home to the largest Indian American population among metropolitan areas by a significant margin, enumerating 679,173 uniracial individuals by 2014 U.S. Census estimates.[7] The Asian Indian population also represents the second largest Asian American community in the New York City metropolitan area, following the also rapidly growing and hemisphere-leading population of the estimated 812,410 uniracial Chinese Americans in the New York City metropolitan area.[8] The U.S. state of New Jersey, most of whose population is situated within the New York City metropolitan region, has by a significant margin the highest proportional Indian population concentration of any U.S. state, with a Census-estimated 3.9% of New Jersey's population being an individual of Indian origin in 2016.[9]

History

New India House, the home of the Indian Consulate-General in New York, on East 64th Street, in the Upper East Side Historic District of Manhattan

The first Indian to become a naturalised citizen was Bhicaji Balsara, a resident of New York. [10]. However,this was after the Luce–Celler Act of 1946 that restored naturalization rights to Indian Americans in the United States.[11] A number of Indian Americans came to the U.S. via Indian communities from other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia, Singapore, Suriname, Guyana,[12] Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Jamaica. The quota on Indian immigration was removed in the 1960s, leading to exponential growth in the number of Indian immigrants to the United States.[13] While Indians prior to this time were primarily involved in agricultural endeavors or constructing railroads in the western United States,[13] the largest number hereafter came to New York City and its affluent suburban environs, consisting largely of professionals, including physicians, engineers, financiers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and lawyers, as well as businesspeople.[13]

Demographics

All except the pink/lavender-illustrated counties compose the New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island NY–NJ–PA Metropolitan Statistical Area, the most populous in the US:
     New York–Jersey City–White Plains, NY–NJ Metropolitan Division
     Dutchess County–Putnam County, NY Metropolitan Division
     Nassau County–Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division
     Newark, NJ–PA Metropolitan Division
     Remainder of the New York-Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA Combined Statistical Area

The New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area, consisting of New York City, Long Island, and adjacent areas within New York State, as well as nearby areas within the states of New Jersey (extending to Trenton), Connecticut (extending to Bridgeport), and including Pike County, Pennsylvania, was home to an estimated 659,784 Indian Americans as of the 2013 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau,[7] comprising by far the largest Indian American population of any metropolitan area in the United States;[14] New York City itself also contains by far the highest Indian American population of any individual city in North America, at approximately 207,000.[15] At least twenty four Indian American enclaves characterized as a Little India have emerged in the New York City metropolitan area. As of May 2018, Indian airline carrier Air India as well as United States airline carrier United Airlines were offering direct flights from the New York City Metropolitan Area to and from Delhi, Mumbai, and (Air India) Ahmedabad. Newark Liberty International Airport is the only airport in North America with non-stop flights to Mumbai.

The Indian American population in the New York City metropolitan region was second in its population as an Asian ethnicity only to the approximately 812,410 uniracial Chinese New Yorkers as of 2015.[7][8] However, while the presence and growth of the Chinese population is focused on New York City and Long Island in New York State, the gravitas of the Indian population is roughly evenly split between New Jersey and New York State.[16][17] Central New Jersey, at the geographic heart of the Northeast Megalopolis, has emerged as the largest hub for Indian immigrants to the U.S., followed closely by Queens and Nassau County on Long Island. Jersey City in New Jersey has the highest proportion of Asian Indians of any major U.S. city, comprising 10.9% of the overall population of Jersey City in 2010,[18] increasing to 11.4% by 2013.[19] Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York are home to the highest concentrations of Malayalis outside of India.[20] Smaller populations of Asian Indians reside in the Connecticut and Pennsylvania portions of the New York City metropolitan region. Monroe Township, Middlesex County, in central New Jersey, the geographic heart of the Northeast megalopolis, has displayed one of the fastest growth rates of its Indian population in the Western Hemisphere, increasing from 256 (0.9%) as of the 2000 Census[21] to an estimated 4,955 (11.6%) as of 2016,[22] representing a 1,835.5% (a multiple of 19) numerical increase over that period, including many affluent professionals and senior citizens. A community named Raajipo has emerged within nearby Robbinsville, in Mercer County, New Jersey, home of Swaminarayan Akshardham (Devnagari: स्वामिनारायण अक्षरधाम), inaugurated in 2014 as the world's largest Hindu temple.[23]

In 2014, 12,350 Indians legally immigrated to the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA core based statistical area;[24] in 2013, this number was 10,818;[25] in 2012, 10,550;[26] 11,256 in 2011;[27] and 11,388 in 2010.[28] These numbers do not include the remainder of the New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA Combined Statistical Area. A study by the Pew Research Center found that in 2013, New Jersey held the distinction of being the only U.S. state in which immigrants born in India composed the largest foreign-born nationality, representing approximately 10% of all foreign-born residents in the state.[29]

New York City boroughs

As the city proper with the largest Asian Indian population in the United States by a wide margin, with an estimated 227,994 individuals as of the 2014 American Community Survey,[30] and as the primary destination for new Indian immigrants,[31] New York City is subdivided into official municipal boroughs, which themselves are home to significant Asian Indian and other South Asian populations. Note that this list includes neither the large Desi populations of Pakistani Americans, Bangladeshi Americans, and Sri Lankan Americans, nor Indo-Caribbean Americans, Afghan Americans, and others of South Asian origin who make their home in New York City.

Rank Borough City Indian Americans Density of Indian Americans per square mile Percentage of Indian Americans in municipality's population
1 Queens (2014)[32] New York City 144,896 1,326.5 6.2
2 Brooklyn (2012) New York City 25,270 357.9 1.0
3 Manhattan (2012) New York City 24,359 1,060.9 1.5
4 The Bronx (2012) New York City 16,748 398.6 1.2
5 Staten Island (2012) New York City 6,646 113.6 1.4
Total (2014)[30] New York City 227,994 753.4 2.7

Medium and small-sized cities, as of 2012 American Community Survey[33]

New Jersey - (New Jersey, and Middlesex County in Central New Jersey), are home to by far the highest per capita Indian American populations of any U.S. state and U.S. county, respectively, at 3.9%[16] and 14.1%,[34] by 2013 U.S. Census estimates.

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New York

List of Little Indias

One of the most popular overseas branches of Saravanaa Bhavan, the world's largest Indian vegetarian restaurant chain, is located in Edison, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

In New Jersey[edit]

Bombay, Jersey City[edit]

Bombay,[1] in Jersey City, New Jersey, is home to the highest concentration of Asian Indians in the Western Hemisphere,[2] containing the rapidly growing Indian ethnic enclave of India Square. The neighborhood is centered on Newark Avenue, between Tonnele Avenue and JFK Boulevard, and is considered to be part of the larger Journal Square District. This area has been home to the largest outdoor Navratri festivities in New Jersey as well as several Hindu temples.[40] This portion of Newark Avenue is lined with grocery stores,[41] electronics vendors, video stores, import/export businesses, clothing stores, and restaurants, and is one of the busier pedestrian areas of this part of the city, often stopping traffic for hours. According to the 2000 census, there were nearly 13,000 Indians living in this two-block stretch of Jersey City, up from 3,000 in 1980, increasing commensurately between 2000 and 2010.[42] An annual, colour-filled spring Holi festival has taken place in Jersey City since 1992, centered upon India Square and attracting significant participation and international media attention.[43][44] Although India Square continues to represent the heart of Little India in Jersey City, situated between Tonnele Avenue and John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Little India itself has been expanding further eastward along Newark Avenue, through Jersey City's Little Manila, to Summit Avenue and the Five Corners neighborhood.

In New York[edit]

Culture

New York City's annual India Day Parade, the world's largest Indian Independence Day parade outside India,[51] marches down Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The parade addresses controversial themes, including racism, sexism, corruption, and Bollywood.
The Hindu Temple Society of North America, representing Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam (Tamil: ஸ்ரீ மகா வல்லப கணபதி தேவஸ்தானம்), the oldest Hindu temple in the United States, in Flushing, Queens, at top. Further east on Long Island, in Melville, one of the world's largest BAPS temples opened in October 2016;[52] and Swaminarayan Akshardham (Devnagari: स्वामिनारायण अक्षरधाम) in Robbinsville, Mercer County, New Jersey, inaugurated in 2014 as the world's largest Hindu temple,[23] below.

Indian Independence Day Parade

The annual New York City India Day Parade, held on or approximately every August 15 since 1981, is the world's largest Indian Independence Day parade outside of India[51] and is hosted by The Federation of Indian Associations (FIA). According to the website of Baruch College of the City University of New York, "The FIA, which came into being in 1970 is an umbrella organization meant to represent the diverse Indian population of NYC. Its mission is to promote and further the interests of its 500,000 members and to collaborate with other Indian cultural organization. The FIA acts as a mouth piece for the diverse Indian-Asian population in United States, and is focused on furthering the interests of this diverse community. The parade begins on East 38th Street and continues down Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan until it reaches 28th Street. At the review stand on 28th Street, the grand marshal and various celebrities greet onlookers. Throughout the parade, participants find themselves surrounded by the orange, white and green colors of the Indian flag. They can enjoy Indian food, merchandise booths, live dancing and music present at the Parade. After the parade is over, various cultural organizations and dance schools participate in program on 23rd Street and Madison Avenue until 6PM."[53]

Arts, entertainment, and media

In September 2014, approximately 19,000 Indian Americans attended a speech delivered onstage by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan.[54][55] This appearance was televised live worldwide and was estimated to have been watched by a billion-strong global audience of Indians in India and overseas. The annual Miss India USA pageant is headquartered in New York City and is often held in Middlesex County, New Jersey or on Long Island.[56]

News publications in English[edit]

Languages

Indians in New York and New Jersey, as in the United States as a whole, are highly fluent in English. However, multiple Indic (Hindi (हिन्दी), Gujarati (ગુજરાતી), Marathi (मराठी),[57] Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ), and Bengali (বাংলা)) and Dravidian (Tamil (தமிழ்), Telugu (తెలుగు), Malayalam (മലയാളം), and Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ)) languages are spoken at home and with local media incorporating these languages available for viewership.[58] In Middlesex County, New Jersey, election ballots are printed in English, Spanish, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi.[59]

Cuisine

Indian cuisine is very popular among Asian Indians in the United States. The growth in the New York City metropolitan region's Asian Indian populace has been accompanied by growth in the number of Indian restaurants, located both within and outside of traditional Indian enclaves, such that within New York City proper alone, there are hundreds of Indian restaurants.[60] According to David Shaftel of The New York Times in December 2014, the food at New York City's many chain restaurants is worthy of their flagships in India; the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood south of Murray Hill, namely Rose Hill, has been nicknamed Curry Hill, and provides an abundance of multinational India-based chains specializing in South Indian cuisine.[60]

In 1968, a family of Bengali brothers inaugurated the restaurant Shah Bag at 320 East 6th Street in the East Village of Lower Manhattan, followed by others, with the intention of "making an Indian street".[50] In time, this stretch of East 6th Street between First and Second Avenues evolved the nickname Curry Row, with a dense collection of North Indian restaurants.

Religion

Parallelling India's religious constituency, most Indians in the New York City metropolitan region practice Hinduism, followed by Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zorastrianism, Atheism, and irreligion. The Hindu Temple Society of North America, representing Sri Maha Vallabha Ganapati Devasthanam (Sanskrit: श्री महावल्लभ गणपति देवस्थानम्, Tamil: ஸ்ரீ மகா வல்லப கணபதி தேவஸ்தானம்), in Flushing, Queens, is the oldest Hindu temple in the United States, and its canteen feeds 4,000 people a week, with as many as 10,000 during the Diwali (Deepavali) holiday.[61] Further east on Long Island, in Melville, one of the world's largest BAPS temples opened in October 2016.[52] Central New Jersey has large temples of Venkateswara and Guruvayurappan in Bridgewater and Morganville, respectively, and Sai Baba mandirs abound throughout the metropolitan area. BAPS also built the world's largest Hindu temple in Robbinsville, Mercer County, in Central New Jersey.[62] Numerous mosques, churches (geared significantly toward a Keralite membership), Sikh gurudwaras, and Jain temples are also situated in the New York City metropolitan area.

Education

Indians have been attaining school board membership positions on various boards of education in New Jersey and on Long Island.

Deepavali, Eid/Ramadan as school holidays[edit]

Momentum has been growing to recognize the Hindu holy day Deepavali (Diwali) as a holiday on school district calendars in the New York City metropolitan region.[63][64] Passaic, New Jersey established Diwali as a school holiday in 2005.[63][64] South Brunswick, New Jersey in 2010 became the first of the many school districts with large Indian student populations in Middlesex County to add Diwali to the school calendar.[64] Glen Rock, New Jersey in February 2015 became the first municipality in Bergen County, with its own burgeoning Indian population post-2010,[35][65] to recognize Diwali as an annual school holiday,[66][67] while thousands in Bergen County celebrated the first U.S. county-wide Diwali Mela festival under a unified sponsorship banner in 2016.[68]

Efforts have been undertaken in Millburn,[63] Monroe Township (Middlesex County), West Windsor-Plainsboro, Bernards Township, and North Brunswick, New Jersey,[64] Long Island, as well as in New York City,[69][70] among other school districts in the metropolitan region, to make Diwali a holiday on the school calendar. According to the Star-Ledger, Edison, New Jersey councilman Sudhanshu Prasad has noted parents' engagement in making Deepavali a holiday there; while in Jersey City, the four schools with major Asian Indian populations mark the holiday by inviting parents to the school buildings for festivities.[64]

In March 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio officially declared the Muslim holy days Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha holidays on the school calendar.[69] School districts in Paterson and South Brunswick, New Jersey observe Ramadan.[64]

Cricket

Cricket is one of the fastest-growing sports in the New York City metropolitan region. In 2016, a public park was expanded in Monroe Township, Middlesex County in central New Jersey to accommodate a designated cricket pitch, among other recreational facilities.[71]

Economic developments

Indian pharmaceutical companies are coming to New Jersey to gain a foothold in the United States.[72] Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, based in Hyderabad, set up its U.S. headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey.[73] Kitex Garments, based in Kerala and India's largest children's clothing manufacturer, opened its first U.S. office in Montvale, New Jersey in October 2015.[74] Pharmaceutical company Aurobindo, also headquartered in Hyderabad, has established its U.S. headquarters in the Dayton section of South Brunswick, Middlesex County, New Jersey, and is implementing a multimillion-dollar expansion of these Central New Jersey operations.[75]

Airline connections with India

A majority of Indian Americans in the New York region are recent immigrants or children of such from India. In that context, travel between the USA and India has developed strong cultural connections, and, in more recent years, business traffic for expatriates. As of May 2018, Indian airline carrier Air India as well as United States airline carrier United Airlines were offering direct flights from the New York City Metropolitan Area to and from India. United Airlines operates non-stop flight service both between Delhi and Newark and between Mumbai and Newark.[76] Air India offers a direct flight between JFK and Mumbai via Delhi[77] and also between Newark and Delhi via Mumbai[77] and more recently commenced direct, one-seat flight service between Ahmedabad and Newark, via London Heathrow International Airport.[78]

Notable people

Business

Education

Entrepreneurship and technology

Health

Law, politics, and diplomacy

Media

Arts and culture

See also

References

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