Long Island Home to Growing Asian-American Communities

March 17, 2002

Source: The New York Times

On March 17, 2002, The New York Times reported that "Indians are the fastest-growing Asian community on Long Island, nearly doubling in population from 17,523 in 1990 to 34,333 in 2000, according to the 2000 census. Asian Indians, who include Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and Christians, are now the largest Asian group on Long Island, followed by the Chinese and the Koreans... These Asian groups have grown enough in recent years to support their own supermarkets, language schools, churches, temples and mosques on Long Island, making the weekly trips that many families used to make to ethnic enclaves in Queens unnecessary... Many of the Island's Asian families first settled in the ethnic enclaves in Queens and, following a time-honored pattern, migrated to Long Island in search of the suburban ideal -- a single-family home, a patch of lawn and better public schools... But unlike previous generations of immigrants eager to assimilate into mainstream America, these latest arrivals are doing their utmost to hang onto and transmit their cultural heritage to their children... Asians, including some 16 different census groups, increased by nearly 58 percent on Long Island in the last census, from 62,050 in 1990 to 97,851 in 2000, with about two-thirds of that number residing in Nassau County... In Suffolk County, the State University of New York at Stony Brook has become a magnet for many Asian groups. A university survey in 1997 found that roughly 22 percent of undergraduates were Asian, and the incoming freshman class that year was 30 percent Asian. The changing demographics have led to the creation of programs that position Stony Brook to become an East Coast hub for Asian-American studies."