Here’s a First Look at Lower East Side-Chinatown Census Figures

When the federal government released the first comprehensive results from the 2020 U.S. Census earlier this month, there was definitely a sense of relief in New York. The city’s population rose to 8.8 million, adding nearly 630,000 people in the past decade. While the state will lose one congressional seat, the robust census report is good news for New York City in its quest for equitable resources from Washington.

The Department of City Planning has been been crunching the numbers to learn more about neighborhood-level changes in the past decade. Here’s a snapshot of the Lower East Side and Chinatown:

–About half of the gains citywide can be attributed to a large rise (more than 345,000 people) in the Asian population. So it’s notable that the Asian population of Chinatown, the Lower East Side and Soho declined since the year 2010. According to the census, there was a drop of 4.600 (14%) Asians in Chinatown-Two Bridges. There were 700 (-6%) fewer Asians on the Lower East Side and a drop of 1,200 in Little Italy-Soho. These were the only neighborhoods in the whole city in which there was a substantial drop in the Asian population.

–In spite of the declines, Chinatown remains home to a sizable Asian community: 27,200 people. Multiple neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn, however, have larger Asian communities, including: Elmhurst (55,000+), Flushing (54,000), Bensonhurst (46,000) and Sunset Park (31,000).

–The overall population in Chinatown dipped modestly in the past decade, by approximately 1,500 people.

You can see more data analysis from the city here.