Demographics of a Typical New Yorker

Despite being only the 27th largest state in the United States, New York has the third largest population after California and Texas. It has a population of over 20 million people after adding over ~400,000 people since 2000. From 2000 to 2006, there was a natural increase of ~600,000 people to New York and a loss because of ~422,000 people migrating out of the state.

So, what are the demographics of a typical New Yorker? Here’s an in-depth analysis.


The Empire State is the 3rd most popular state in the country, with an overall population density of 421 people per square mile. New York City also happens to be the most densely populated major city in the country. Approximately 43% of New York’s population lives in New York City. The second largest city in New York is Buffalo, with just over 250,000 residents. This makes New York City 33 times larger than the second-largest city in New York. Furthermore, New York’s state capital Albany has only 100,000 residents.

New York’s most populated counties are Kings County with 2.6 million people, Queens County with 2.4 million people, and New York County with 1.7 million people.

Gender Ratios

New York State has 100 women for every 94 men, with approximately 10.2 million women and 9.6 million men. This means there are over 583,705 more women than men in New York. The gender ratio of 94 men to 100 women is lower than the country’s national average of 97 men to 100 women or 0.97.


English is not the only spoken language in New York because the region is inhabited by thousands of inhabitants from around the world. According to the US Census of 2000, 13.61% of the population over the age of 5 speak Spanish at home, and 2.05% speak Chinese (including both Mandarin and Cantonese). The typical New Yorker is more likely to speak English, but they may also speak some Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, and Hindi, among others.


New York State boasts a high degree of religious diversity. Catholics account for 1/3rd of the state’s residents, accounting for a larger proportion of the state’s population than Catholics. The typical New Yorker is less likely to identify as white mainline Protestant (at 7%) or white evangelical Protestant (at only 5%).

Black Protestants only make up 10% of New Yorkers, while Jewish Americans make up 5% of the population.

It is worth noting that 25% of New Yorkers do not have a religion. This indicates that the typical New Yorker is more like you to be religiously unaffiliated. The religious composition of New York has undergone significant changes marked by a sharp decline in Catholic followers, which coincided with a rise in the religiously unaffiliated. 18% of New Yorkers are white catholic compared to over 26% in 2007. ¼ of the population is religiously unaffiliated compared to 17% in 2007.

Race and Ethnicity

For the purposes of fair housing, the average New Yorker is likely to belong to four major racial groups as follows:

  • Hispanic of any race
  • Non-Hispanic people (Asian)
  • Black
  • White

In this section, we’ll talk about New York City since it is one of the most diverse cities in the state.

According to the most recent estimate, there are nearly 3.463 white people in New York City. This is followed by nearly 2.42 million Hispanic people. There are nearly 2 million black people in New York. The rest of the races make up the remainder of the population of about 2 million people comprising Asians, American Indians, and Alaska natives.

The typical New Yorker is more likely to be white, followed by black, followed by Hispanic, followed by Asian, and followed by other races, in that order.

The population distribution across New York State is more skewed toward white people, with 10.6 million people in 2021. This is followed by Hispanic or Latinos (of any race) with 3.9 million people. African Americans trail behind Hispanics with 2.7 million people. People of Asian origin account for 1.7 million people. New Yorkers of mixed races (two or more races) account for 764,906 people.

New York has the largest population of Puerto Rican Americans in the United States. Most Puerto Ricans are concentrated in pockets of NYC, such as Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. New York also has the largest population of Dominicans, who mostly live in NYC’s Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. NYC has many individuals with roots in the Caribbean Islands, such as Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, and Haiti.

New York State has over 600,000 Chinese Americans, of which 520,000 live in New York City. Pakistani and Bangladeshi Americans are also grown at the highest rate in the country, with an appreciably large Indian American population, mostly living in NYC.

Ethnic Groups of Foreign Origin

New York is also known for its large immigration popular as well. Its most populous immigration center is known as Ellis Island, which first opened in 1892 but was closed in 1954. New York continued to be a prominent destination for immigrants. This is mostly because of marketing campaigns advertising it as the hub of economic opportunity, partly because of the diverse ethnic communities that have made the transition to American life for new immigrants easier.

A 2013 census found that there were more immigrants in New York than there were people in Chicago. In fact, 23% of New Yorkers in 2018 were immigrants. The demographic breakup of these immigrants is as follows (for 2018):

  • 2.3 million women
  • 2 million men
  • 206,980 children

Where Do New Yorkers Live?

If the past few years are any indication, it has become less likely for any single racial group to predominate the region. Surveys have shown that there has been a sharp rise in the population of racially mixed communities in New York with a decline of the majority while and majority non-white communities.

The number of racially mixed neighborhoods have been on the rise. Regions that were predominantly White (such as Staten Island) and non-white are now in decline. The Race and Ethnic Neighborhood Typology 2012-2016 maps show an increase in multi-racial neighbors with White people accounting for 25% to 50%, mostly in Eastern Queens and Downtown Brooklyn.

Orange County serves as the most populous region of New York. Nearly 64% of the state’s population lives in the metropolitan area of New York City and 40% in New York City.

Studies indicate that The Bronx has many African American residents of Latin American origin. This is followed by Manhattan and Brooklyn, which have been mostly inhabited by black majority neighborhoods since the 1920s and have the largest Black population of any state. Cities such as Rochester and Buffalo are mostly made up of African Americans, Hispanics, and various European ethnic groups. Southeast Asians and Eastern Europeans also have a sizable presence.

Poverty Patterns in New York

According to a recent DiNapoli report, about 2.7 million new Yorkers lived in poverty in 2021. This means that a whopping 13.9% of the state’s population lives in poverty compared to just 12.8% of all Americans. The pandemic worsened the financial crisis in many households.

The report found that Hispanic New Yorkers are more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to live in poverty. Although there are a few differences in challenges faced by residents of both urban and rural communities, the aggregate poverty rates were similar in 2020.

Some cities have a higher poverty rate than others, with Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester having some of the highest poverty rates.

It was found that one in five families in Rochester and one in four in Syracuse were living in poverty in 2021. Families with female heads of households that lacked spousal support saw more poverty at more than two times the rate for other families and four times the rate of married couples. Children were more likely to live in poverty compared to adults and seniors. In 2021, the percent of people under 18 who lived below the poverty level in New York was 18.5%.

It is worth noting that the poverty rate declined as the level of education increased. In 2021, less than % of people with a bachelor’s degree or higher were in poverty. However, the rate for those with less than a high school degree was much higher.

Wrapping Up

New York State is often referred to as the pelting pot of America because of its immense diversity, with New York City being the most popular region. People from all walks of life with different belief systems contribute to New York’s growth. According to the above data, the typical New Yorker may be just as likely to be white, black, or White. They are less likely to have a religion and tend to live in New York City.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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