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Korean Population in New York City

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Essay title: Korean Population in New York City

Korean Population in New York City

New York City is the haven for so many poor, hopeful, confused people who have gathered up the courage to leave their homes in their native countries and try to start anew. America has been named the "land of the free" because immigrants from all times and all places have the opportunity, optimistically, to be able to create a new life for themselves and their families, to make money, to live free from dictatorship, and to practice any type of religion they choose. One immigrant group that has spread throughout the United States in search of their "inalienable rights" is the Koreans. They have migrated for several different reasons and have stayed for several more. One of the push factors for the Koreans' migration was the turn the Korean economy towards a more industrialized state. Many Koreans were uprooted and had to relocate, thus making the move to America a fulfilling and beneficial option. Another push factor was the Japanese invasion of the Korean Peninsula. Once in America some of the pull factors were education, business opportunities, social networks, community organizations and religious freedom. Most of the Korean immigrants who arrived in New York City were students, Protestants, and political refugees. We will now explore the ways of life and the status of the Korean immigrant in New York City.

Koreans have situated themselves throughout New York State, particularly in New York City. In all of New York City there are a combined total of 90,896 Koreans. The five-borough-breakdown is as follows: 63,906 reside in Queens, 12,459 reside in Manhattan, 7,392 reside in Brooklyn, 3,750 reside in the Bronx, and in Staten Island there are 3,389. An astonishing 79% of the Korean population in New York City is foreign born, which is about 71,907 people. The population of Korean people is constantly growing. The 2000 census showed a 30% increase of recorded Korean residents from the 1990 census (2000 Asian American Federation of New York Census Information Center). The distribution of the Korean population in New York City seems to be most highly concentrated in Queens, mostly in Flushing. Flushing is both a residential area for them and a business area as well.

The 2000 information also shows that 10,140 adult Korean residents (aged 25 and older) in New York City have no High School Diploma. This averages out to about 16%. Another interesting statistic is the amount of Koreans in New York City that have a limited understanding of the English language. The total number of Koreans that do not speak English well or even at all is a shocking 29,454. This averages out to be about 40% of them. The Census Information Center also gives information on the incomes of this population in New York City. There are some 8,606 households with an income of less than $20,000, which averages out to be about 27% of all the Korean households in NYC. On the opposite side of the spectrum there are 3,580 households that earn more than $100,000, which averages out to be 11%. In the regular household the median income is $37,094.

Despite the American Dream that the Korean immigrants chase after, some families still live in poverty. The 2000 information shows that 15,002 Koreans are living in poverty in NYC alone. This translates to 17% of the NYC Korean population. The adult Korean immigrants are not the only ones who suffer from poverty. There are 2,532 Koreans under the age of 18 who are impoverished. Along with the children are the 1,716 elderly Koreans who live in poverty, which is about one-fourth of the elderly Korean population in NYC. Of the non-impoverished Koreans 32% hold white-collar jobs. We will now explore the business aspect of the Korean immigrants and residents in New York City.

The immigrants who arrive in the United States have a tendency to start up their own small businesses in whatever field they are most comfortable and experienced in. The Korean immigrants are no different. In fact the majority of them go into the field of entrepreneurship. Unlike the American small businesses that tend to service everyone, Korean immigrants have opened businesses that cater to their specific needs for their specific people. Not to say that American-born people are not consumers in these stores or of these services, but the purpose they hold is mainly to service the Korean population. Their social networks have enabled them to acquire property near other Korean businesses and in predominantly Korean neighborhoods. If you take a look at the typical Korean immigrant, you will notice that they arrive highly educated from their country and with a larger amount of money than most other immigrants, which puts them ahead once they arrive here. One interesting theory as to why it is so easy for Koreans to acquire the means to start their own business is

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