New York is the most populous city in the United States, with an estimated population, according to the US Census Bureau, of 8,336,697 in 2012.
This is equivalent to about 40% of the population of New York State. Over the past decade the city’s population has grown rapidly, and demographers estimate that New York’s population will reach between 9.2 and 9.5 million by 2030.
Two demographic points illustrate the city’s density and ethnic diversity. In 2000, the city had an extremely high population density of 10,194 inhabitants per square kilometer, about 10,000 more people per square kilometer than the next most populous American city, San Francisco. Manhattan’s population density is 25,846 people per square kilometer, the highest of any area in the United States.
The population of New York is extremely diverse. Throughout its history, the city has been an important entry point for immigrants. More than 12 million European immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1924. The term “melting pot” was first used to describe the densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side.
About 36% of the city’s population was born abroad. Among American cities, this percentage is higher only in Los Angeles and Miami. While the immigrant communities in these cities are dominated by a few nationalities, in New York there is no one country or nationality that dominates. The largest ethnic groups in New York are African Americans, Italians, Jews, and Irish. The New York area continues to be the primary metropolitan gateway for legal immigrants admitted to the United States.
The New York metropolitan area is home to the largest Jewish community outside of Israel, and the city contains the largest Jewish community in the world. It is also home to 1/4 of the entire country’s South Asians, the largest African-American community of any city in the country, and as of 2008 the Chinese population stands at 659,596, most of them non-Asian. There is also a significant community from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Another historically important ethnic group is the Italians, who immigrated to the city in large numbers at the beginning of the twentieth century, mainly from Sicily and southern Italy.
The Irish also have a significant presence. One in 50 New Yorkers of European descent carries a genetic signature on their Y chromosomes inherited from the clan of Niall of the Nine Hostages, an Irish king of the fifth century AD. or from one of the related clans of UI Briúin and UI Fiachrach.
New York City has wide income disparities. In 2005, the median annual household income in the wealthiest areas according to the census was $188,697, while in the poorest it was $9,320. The difference is due to wage increases in high income brackets, while wages have remained stagnant for middle and low income earners.
In 2006 the average weekly wage in Manhattan was $1,453, the highest of the largest boroughs in the United States. Manhattan is experiencing a birthrate that is unique among American cities. Since 2000, the number of children under 5 living in Manhattan has increased by more than 32%.