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Census stats indicate borough draws most immigrants in city

By Sarina Trangle

When it comes to attracting immigrants, the borough reigns supreme.

Population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau March 27 show Queens continued to attract the most international migrants — 24,324 — among New York counties from July 2012 to July 2013.

Queens’ population grew 20,286 in the last year, mostly due to “natural” increases buoyed by residents giving birth to enough babies to more than double the number of deaths in the borough. Newcomers accounted for about 7,605 of the additions to Queens last year, with international migrants believed to have vastly outnumbered those leaving for other parts of the country.

Queens, now home to 2,296,175 people, according to census estimates, was second to Brooklyn in terms of which counties grew the most over the past year.

Andrew Beveridge, a professor of sociology at Queens College, said the data suggests a return to the pattern of more people moving to Queens than moving out, which was interrupted by the Sept. 11 attacks and 2008 financial crisis.

A drop in the net migration out of Queens underscores the pull on young Americans from new housing developments in western Queens, according to Beveridge.

“Queens will get more yuppified,” he said. “They’ll be able to afford it.”

But Beveridge said he did not believe the influx or its anticipated inflation of housing costs would threaten immigrant enclaves in the borough.

“A lot of the New Yorkers that come in are quite accomplished,” he said, noting that foreign-born Asians tend to be born better off than native whites in the borough.

Borough President Melinda Katz said the population increase shows the borough remains an attractive place to live and raise a family.

“The data also underline the fact that we need to act quickly to provide our fast growing population with more housing opportunities, better transportation and improved services for our immigrant community,” Katz said in a statement. “I will continue to strive to address these important priorities.”

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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