Where do New Yorkers come from?

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Throughout it’s nearly 400-year history, New York City’s demography has been characterized by an ever-changing series of immigration waves, coming from all corners of the globe.

The graphic shows how these waves of immigration have varied over time. The circles represent each group’s share of New York City’s foreign-born population in the given year.

What About the Native Americans?

The Dutch purchase Manhattan Island
A 1626 letter to the Dutch government describing the purchase (translation)
Native Americans are not included in the chart because their population went to zero as soon as the Dutch bought Manhattan Island in 1626. At that time, and until the five boroughs were consolidated in 1898, New York City included Manhattan only.

However, they did continue to inhabit the lands around Manhattan, and had a quite significant impact on the City’s history.

In 1641, an attempt by the Dutch to solicit taxes from the natives led to a violent conflict known as Kieft’s War, which nearly wiped the Dutch out.

The Dutch ultimately beat the natives, but they were left in a weakened position, one which the British took advantage of in 1664 when they captured New Amsterdam and renamed it New York.

The number of the Inhabitants in this Province are about 3000 families* where of almost one halfe are naturally Dutch a great part English and the rest French.
* The total population of the province as it existed in 1698, was 18 067. In 1703 they numbered 20 749 and in 1723 was 40 564.

Prior to 1776, all New York City residents are treated as foreign born.

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