The Census released a report in December on the New York City neighborhood known as Little Italy. Popular for its Italian restaurants, grocery stores and culture, the neighborhood used to be the center of Italian-American life in the United States. That, however, has changed.
- The Census report found that just 5 percent of the residents of Little Italy identify as Italian-American.
- Sadly, the report could not find a single person who was actually born in Italy.
- The neighborhood currently has around 8,600 residents. 4,400 of them were foreign-born. Of that group, 89 percent were born in Asia.
Many of the stores are still owned by Italian pe0ple, but the community has grown increasingly fragmented. Just last year, a Korean immigrant won a tenor competition and a Chinese immigrant was elected to represent the area on the city council.
The numbers are shocking because of how quickly the area has changed. In 2000, just 6 percent of the people identified as Italian-American. A half century earlier more than half of the residents of Little Italy identified that way.