East Harlem sees growth in Asian residents

February 25, 2013 02:30PM

The number of Asian — mainly Chinese — residents in East Harlem has boomed in the last decade, with the population doubling on the southern end of the neighborhood and tripling on the northern end, the New York Times reported, citing U.S. Census figures. Many of the residents came by way of public housing: Over the past five years, Asian residents of New York City Housing Authority properties in East Harlem increased by 68 percent, the Times said.

The demographic shift is partly the result of immigrants being priced out of Chinatown and moving to neighborhoods with easy subway access to the gentrifying Downtown area.

“This is not Harlem, it’s Spanish Harlem” Paul Lee, an East Harlem resident, told the Times. “This section has got to be Chinese Harlem,” he told the paper with a laugh.

In the last Census, 8.5 percent of residents in southern East Harlem were registered as Asian — a rise from 4.6 percent in the decade prior. In the north of the neighborhood, a total of 3 percent of residents tallied were Asian — a jump from 1 percent over the past decade.

Still, despite the growth, East Harlem’s number of Asian residents are lower than those recorded in known Asian neighborhoods, such as Flushing, Queens and Sunset Park in Brooklyn. [NYT]Zachary Kussin