Queens is the most ethnically diverse
urban area in the world with a population of over 2.2 million, 48% of whom are foreign-born,representing over 100 different nations and speaking over 138 different languages.
If each New York City borough were an independent city, Queens would be America's fourth most populous city, after Los Angeles, Chicago, and Brooklyn. Queens has the second-largest and most diversified economy of all the five boroughs of New York City.
The differing character in the neighborhoods of Queens is reflected by its diverse housing stock ranging from high-density apartment buildings, especially prominent in the more urban areas of central and western Queens, such as Astoria, Long Island City and Ridgewood, to large free-standing single-family homes, common in the eastern part of the borough, in neighborhoods that have a more suburban layout like neighboring Nassau County, such as Little Neck, Douglaston and Bayside.
The Unisphere in Flushing Meadows - Corona Park.
Open-air ballpark Citi Field - home of the Mets.
US Open's Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
Residents of Queens often closely identify with their neighborhood rather than with the borough or city. The borough is a patchwork of dozens of unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity:
- Howard Beach and Middle Village are home to large Italian American populations.
- Ozone Park and South Ozone Park have a large Hispanic and Guyanese population.
- Rockaway Beach and Woodside have large Irish American populations.
- Astoria, in the northwest, is traditionally home to one of the largest Greekpopulations outside Greece, it also has large Spanish American and Italian American communities, and is also home to a growing population of Arabs, South Asians, and young professionals from Manhattan.
- Maspeth and Ridgewood are home to many Eastern European immigrants such as Romanian, Polish, Albanian, and other Slavic populations. Ridgewood also has a large Hispanic population.
- Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, and Corona make up a conglomeration of Hispanic, Asian-American, and South Asian communities. Woodside is also home to a large Filipino American community.
- Flushing is one of the largest neighborhoods in Queens that has a large Asian community. The community consists of Chinese and Koreans, and Hispanics. The neighborhood historically contained Italians and Greeks.
- Richmond Hill in the south is often thought of as "Little Guyana" for its large Guyanese community.
- Rego Park, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Kew Gardens Hills have traditionally large Jewish populations (many of these communities are Jewish immigrants from Israel, Iran and the former Soviet Union). Also known for large and growing Indian and Hispanic/Latino communities, mainly immigrants from India and South America.
- Jamaica Estates, Hillcrest Fresh Meadows and Hollis Hills are also populated with many people of Jewish background. Many Asian families reside in parts of Fresh Meadows as well.
- Jamaica is home to large African American and Caribbean populations. There are also middle-class African American and Caribbean neighborhoods such as Saint Albans, Queens Village, Cambria Heights,Springfield Gardens, Rosedale, Laurelton, and Briarwood along east and southeast Queens.
- Bellerose and Floral Park, originally home to many Irish-Americans,is home to a growing South-Asian population, predominantly Indian-Americans. There are some less diverse, but still prosperous part of Queens, such as South Jamaica.
- Corona/Corona Heights- Once considered the "Little Italy" of Queens, Corona was a predominantly Italian community with a strong African American Community in the northern portion of Corona and adjacent East Elmhurst. From the 1920s throughout the 1960s Corona remained a tight close-knit neighborhood. Now an emerging Chinatown is developing in Corona.
- Bayside is home to many Italian-Americans, Greek-Americans, Irish-Americans and Asian-Americans.
Several of these neighborhoods are home to a diverse mix of many different ethnicities.