New York City is also famous for its ethnic diversity, manifesting itself in scores of communities representing virtually every nation on earth, each preserving its identity. Little Italy and Chinatown date back to the mid-19th cent. African Americans from the South began to migrate to Harlem after 1910, and in the 1940s large numbers of Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic-Americans began to settle in what is now known as Spanish Harlem. Since the 1980s New York City has undergone substantial population growth, primarily due to new immigration from Latin America (especially the Dominican Republic), Asia, Jamaica, Haiti, the Soviet Union and Russia, and Africa.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.