New York is still attracting those who yearn to breathe free — but now our immigrants are often American. The city’s population gains are due in part to “domestic migrants” who flock here, according to city records.
The push from other regions comes as arrivals of foreign immigrants have declined. The number of Americans who moved to New York City has increased from around 60,000 in 2000 to 80,000 in 2010, Joseph Salvo, director of the City Planning Department’s Population Division, said. These homegrown immigrants skew younger than the traditional non-American newcomers and tend to live in “non-family households,” either alone or with roommates.
“Aspiring young people are coming to the city, seeking out opportunity,” Salvo said.
Among them is Claire Bunkers, 21, an aspiring human rights worker, who moved here in 2012.
“There’s more opportunity here,” said the Santa Ana, Calif., native, who hopes to work at the United Nations. Bunkers, who lives in Ridgewood, Queens, first fell for big-city life at age 11.
“After the first time I saw New York, that was it,” she said. “It was the coolest place in the world. We stayed in a suite in a hotel. We ate Indian food.”