Using the data from the recent 2005-2007 ACS, we can see the standards and the changes of the Korean community within Queens County of New York.
In terms of total population of the county, there has been a slight increase since 2000 of 2,229,379 to a total of approx. 2,263,858, a gain of 40,000. However in terms of the Korean community, estimates put the community at approx. 59,438, which is a loss of approx. 3,000 from the total in 2000 of 62,130.
On average, there are slightly more female Koreans than male Koreans, with the median age gravitating at 38.9 years old, meaning there is a large middle-aged community of Koreans in Queens, with the bulk of the community, 36.1%, between the ages of 34 to 54. The next largest age group seems to be the 25 to 34, young adult crowd, at 15.9% and the 5 to 17 group, clocking in at 13.6%.
Within the home, estimates put almost all of the Koreans living in a married family unit, 52.9% as head of the household or spouse, and 26.5% as child, with some families taking in extended family members and other relatives, 14.4%.
Out of the total estimated 20,565 Korean households in Queens county, 72.6% are a full family unit households, with 50.4% of those married-couple families. Unfortunately, 12.2% of family households only have the female present, no husband for various reasons. In regards to non-family households, more women are householders than men, at 17.2% and 10.1% respectively.
The average Korean household size was 2.88 (approx. 3 people) and average family size was 3.32 (approx. 3 people).
Of the 20,565 estimated occupied Korean housing units, 75.3% are being rented, where as 24.7% are actually owned by the resident, with the average household size of owner-occupied unit at 3.13 (approx. 3 people) and average household size of renter-occupied unit at 2.69 (approx. 3 people).
In regards to the number of units per structure in which these Koreans reside, 50.2% are in 5 or more units (referencing to apartment structures or other mass-multi family buildings), 31.4% are in 2 to 4 units (referencing to dual or quad co-op buildings or two to four family houses), and 18.3% are in 1 unit, detached or attached (regarding single houses, either separate or connected as in certain closed communities). From this we can see that more than half the community lives within some sort of housing project or apartment complex.
The age of the buildings and homes in which these Korean reside are as follows: 34.7% built between 1940 to 1959, 23.3% built between 1960 to 1979, 22.7% built before 1939, 10.0% built between 1980 to 1989, 4.7% built between 1990 to 1999, and 4.6% built 2000 or later. From this we can clearly see that most Koreans currently reside in homes and buildings at least 30 years old.
Among the 58,976 estimated householders, 80.2% have been residing in the same residence within the last year, 17.9% have moved to another within the US, with 14.6% within the same county. Only 1.9% have moved from abroad to a new residence.
Of the 51,371 marriage legal Koreans (15 and over), more than half, 55.1%, are married, 5.5% are separated and divorced, 1.3% are married but separated, and 32.3% have never married. Between the two, more Korean women than men have been divorced, at 7.4% and 3.1% respectively.
Members of the Korean population 3 years and over enrolled in school is estimated at 15,516, with 40.6%
enrolled at a college or university, 30.5% at an elementary/middle school (Grade 1-8), and 19.7% enrolled in high school (Grade 9-12).
With educational attainment of the Korean population 25 years and over, 34.1% hold Bachelor’s Degrees, 28.7% hold High School Diplomas (or equivalents), 18% have some college or an Associate’s Degree, 9.7% hold Graduate or Professional Degrees, and 9.4% have less than a High School Diploma, which equates to 90.6% of the Korean community with a High School Diploma or higher.
Of the total 59,438 estimated Koreans, only 11,001 are reported to be native-born, leaving us with 48,437 foreign-born. Amongst the foreign-born, 46.3% have entered the US before 1990, 32.0% between 1990-1999, and 21.7% during 2000 or later. An estimated 21,244 have been naturalized as a US citizen, 27,193 have not.
Of the Korean population over 5 years of age, estimated at 57,364, 94.1% speak a language other than English and an astounding majority, 65.2% speak English less than “very well” (aka Limited English Proficient).
Regarding the workforce within the Korean community, ages 16 and over are estimated at 50,609, with 62.7% in the civilian labor force (non-governmental jobs) and 59.1% employed during this survey. Women ages 16 and over are estimated at 27,378, with 54.2% in the civilian labor force and 51.7% employed during this survey.
The occupation breakdown of the estimated workforce, civilian employed population 16 years and over, 29,906, is as follows: Sales and office occupation at 35.5%, Management, professional, and related occupations at 30.6%, Service occupations at 20.8%, Production, transportation, and material moving occupations at 8.6%, and Construction, extraction, maintenance, and repair occupations at 4.5%.
In a more detailed breakdown of the industry, regarding the most popular within the Korean community: Retail trade at 20.7%, Other services (except public administration) at 18.6%, Educational services, and health care and social assistance at 13.1%, Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation and food services at 8.5%, and Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and leasing at 8.1%. We can clearly infer from these findings that a large majority of Koreans own small businesses (such as delis, green groceries, liquor stores) and other businesses which provide services to the community (such as taxi services, dry cleaning, hair and nail salons).
The major majority of these Korean workers, 84.6%, are private wage and salary workers, 9.4% are self-employed workers in own not incorporated business, 4.7% are government workers, and the remaining 1.4% are unpaid family workers.
The 2005-2007 American Community Survey (ACS) three-year estimates are based on data collected between January 2005 and December 2007 which is only published for selected geographic areas with populations of 20,000 or greater and represent the average characteristics over the 3-year period of time.
For areas with a population less than 20,000, five-year estimates will be available. The first five-year estimates based on ACS data collected from 2005 through 2009 will be released in 2010.
These are the estimates and findings for the Korean community in Queens County, New York. Please note that this information was taken directly from the Census.gov website and do contain margins of error as explained on their website. (http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS/accuracy2005-2007.pdf)