By Jon Cronin
Joe Salvo, NYC Department of City Planning, presented new statistics on the population growth of aging immigrants within the borough of Queens at a conference Wednesday on immigrant aging presented by the Queens Coalition for Immigrant Aging and The Queens Forum at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing.
Salvo said the information he presented was, “the foundation of data to make your arguments.”
He noted that Queens, if it was independent, would be the fifth largest city in the nation at approximately 2.3 million people, next to Brooklyn at 2.5 million.
Salvo said most immigrants arrive in the city when they are youthful and ready to work, yet there is a, “less common discussion” on what happens to that population as they get older.
In Queens there are 315,000 people 65 years old and over. He said 58 percent of those people are foreign born. “People don’t leave en masse at 65,” Salvo explained.
“All people who to go to Florida are a tiny portion of the population,” he noted.
Salvo said when engaging immigrant seniors education level has to be taken in mind. Of the foreign born population over 65, 39 percent only have a high school degree. Much of the population also has limited English proficiency. Of the 175,164, over 60 percent, are foreign-born Queens residents, 105,753 of them have limited English speaking skill. The top two native languages of that demographic are Spanish and Chinese, which make up 28 and 26 percent limited English proficient seniors. The third most top spoken language is Russian whose demographic falls to 7.8 percent.
Salvo said the New York City is doing comparably well to the rest of the nation, including upstate New York, who’s which will see its over 65 demographic double.
In Queens, there will be an estimated 90,000 more foreign-born immigrants over 65 by 2040.
The Conference on Immigrant Aging in Queens ran from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel in Flushing. They also featured speakers on the Economics of Aging and behavioral health among seniors.
The Queens Coalition for Immigrant Aging Director Rabbi Bob Kaplan wrote in a statement that the conference is “designed to explore the multifaceted complexity of aging in immigrant communities in Queens.”
The Center for Community Leadership at the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY and LaGuardia Community College have run the Queens Forum for the past 15 years and created this conference to construct an understanding of the aging immigrant communities in Queens.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin