Skyline of New york with Empire state building

Cultural Diversity In New York

The big apple, a city filled with different traditions, food and religions. This city in the USA sees many linguists from different cultural backgrounds! This makes New York a warm, friendly and culturally diverse city to live in.

New York, is also one of the most developed cities in the world. Home to people of all walks of life, the cultural diversity in New York is so common that you can see this just by walking around! From the food to the clothing stores, you will be sure to see people of different ethnic backgrounds!

With its excellent economy and a top operational choice of many prestigious companies, New York sees migrations of many foreigners. This is one of the main reasons why the cultural diversity in New York is so prominent. It is no wonder why the culture in New York makes it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the USA.

Times Square featured with Broadway Theaters and LED signs
NEW YORK CITY, NY – NOVEMBER 25, 2015: Times Square is featured with Broadway Theaters and LED signs as a symbol of New York City and the United States, September 5, 2009 in Manhattan, New York City.

The population in New York

As mentioned above, New York city sees people from all walks of life. Unlike other states in the USA, New York has a higher population of “people of colour” than caucasians. Besides this, it is actually one of the most populated cities in the USA, with close to 9 million residents. That means that there are actually 29 thousand people per square kilometre!

To give you a simple breakdown of the population you can take a look at the race demographics here:

  • White: 42.73 percent
  • Asian: 14.09 percent
  • African American: 24.31percent
  • Other races: 14.75 percent
  • Two or more races: 3.63 percent
  • Native American: 0.43 percent
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.06 percent

Melting pot

The term melting pot is defined as a city where people from a variety of cultures, races and traditions, blend into the society together and live harmoniously with one another. The cultural diversity in New York, is an excellent example of a melting pot society.

The city consists of 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. Boroughs are towns that have their own unique government. With over 800 languages spoken and where everyone respects each others’ cultures, a harmonious society exists.

New York is a city where people have a mutual understanding of each others’ ethnic backgrounds. You can see this by simply walking through Little India or even Little Odessa, a Russian hot spot in NewYork. Moving to a city with a melting pot society, makes you feel more at home.


New Yorkers have a deep understanding of religions as well. With over 6000 places of worship, the city has many different types of religions which exist harmoniously in the community.

There are approximately 60% of Christians that makeup of the population. Followed by 8% who are Jewish, also 3% of the population are Muslim and 3% are Hindu. The other parts of the population are from unaffiliated religions or are atheists.

There are a few places of worship you must visit whilst in New York. For the Christians, visit the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, built-in 1892, the architecture of the church is beautiful and unique. For the Jews, you can check the Central Synagogue, one of the most popular synagogues in NYC. As for the Hindus, be sure to visit the Hindu Temple Society of North America it has a canteen in the basement that serves authentic south-Indian food! For the Muslims, the Islamic Cultural Centre Of New York is a sight to see because of its beautiful interior.


People and cars move alongside the Little Italy Mulberry street by evening in the New York City
New York, United States – June 18, 2015: People and cars move alongside the Little Italy Mulberry street by evening in the New York City.

Besides its hot dogs and mouth-watering pizzas, New York offers authentic dishes prepared by people of different ethnic backgrounds. From Indian to Mexican, here are some of the best eats in NYC. This shows how amazing the cultural diversity in New York is!

1. Chinatown

It is safe to say that most New Yorkers have their favourite go-to Chinese food joint. It’s the fortune cookies and mouth-watering Xiao Long Baos for us that keeps our tummies full and our moods happy. To gain the best and most authentic experience of Chinese food whilst in NYC, visit Chinatown!

2. Halal food carts

This one for our Muslim readers. If you’re having hunger pangs, look for The Halal Guys! They serve halal-certified sandwiches as well as their famous and delicious chicken rice dish. However, if you do walk around, you will notice a few carts serving food from other cuisines. The most famous cuisine would be the Mediterranean, so get yourself some hummus and sit by Central Park whilst observing NYC!

3. East Village

Head down to the East Village in New York to get yourself a hot bowl of Ramen. Since the 80s many students moved to this area due to its cheap rent, like the saying goes, when there’s a surplus, there’s a demand and so, Japanese cuisine followed. East village is a must-go if you are looking for Izayakas or sushi bars!

4. Little Italy

As for the name, you can expect pizzas and pastas cooked by chefs from Italy! Walk down little Italy and you will smell the fresh pizzas in the oven or the plates of pasta that the Italian chefs cook up. Definitely a must-try for authentic Italian food


There are many festivals in New York to see, during each cultures’ special occasion, you will see many people despite being of different ethnic backgrounds, celebrating with one another. It makes it a sight to see!

Some of the famous ones include:

1. Chinese New Year

During Chinese New Year, there will be a parade where you will see lions and dragons dancing and flowing through the sea of martial artists and Chinese dancers. This parade goes through Chinatown and Little Italy. If you want to see fireworks, be sure to head down to Sara D Roosevelt park to see the sky light up during the Chinese new year.

2. St. Patricks Day

This festival has over 150,000 people dressed in traditional Irish wear, marching down the streets of New york. They resume their parade this year after a hiatus due to the covid-19. If you’re free every March 17, check out where the parade will occur so that you can watch the beautiful parade!

Battling discrimination

New Yorkers have close to no tolerance for racial discrimination. People are treated fairly regardless of race and colour. New York aims to continue its beautiful cultural diversity.

The campaign #YouHaveRightsNYC was created to create awareness of everyones’ legal rights should they face racism. It is an anti-discrimination campaign that recognizes every New Yorker’s right to live work or pray. Their messages are usually broadcasted through PSA videos and community events.

This city is beautiful and it’s no wonder why people love to stay in the city so much. We definitely recommend New York if you’re someone who loves living a life of a movie and possibly the American Dream.

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