Jackson Heights: A Melting Pot in Queens, New York

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Located in the northwestern part of the New York City borough of Queens, Jackson Heights is a bustling neighborhood known for its cultural diversity, rich history, and historic architecture. From its inception as a planned development to its evolution into one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in the United States, Jackson Heights represents the ever-changing landscape of New York City.

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  • Early Development: Jackson Heights was primarily farmland until the early 20th century. The Queensboro Corporation began developing the area in 1916, turning it into a planned community with a series of garden apartments.
  • Growth and Diversity: After World War II, the demographics of Jackson Heights began to change, as immigrants from around the world began to settle in the area. This has continued into the present day, making Jackson Heights one of the most ethnically diverse communities in the United States.
  • Historic District: In 1993, parts of Jackson Heights were designated as a historic district, due to its unique garden apartment buildings and architecture.

Ethnic Communities

Jackson Heights is celebrated for its cultural diversity. Some of the prominent ethnic communities in the neighborhood include:

  • Hispanic/Latino community: A large and vibrant community with origins from various Latin American countries.
  • Indian community: Often referred to as “Little India”, this community boasts many Indian shops, restaurants, and cultural centers.
  • Bangladeshi community: Another prominent South Asian community, sometimes called “Little Bangladesh”.
  • Nepalese community: A growing community in Jackson Heights.
  • Pakistani community: Significant in numbers and cultural influence.
  • Tibetan community: One of the largest Tibetan communities outside Asia.
  • Korean and Chinese communities: Although smaller compared to Flushing, they have a significant presence in Jackson Heights.

Notable Attractions

  • Diversity Plaza: A public space that acts as a gathering place for community events and cultural celebrations.
  • Jackson Heights Shopping Center: A shopping center with a variety of stores and restaurants.
Ethnic CommunityNotable Features
Hispanic/Latino communityJackson Heights is known for its vibrant Hispanic/Latino community, with a large number of restaurants, shops, and cultural events showcasing Latin American culture. The neighborhood is especially famous for its Colombian and Ecuadorian presence and cuisine.
Indian communityThere is a significant Indian community in Jackson Heights. The area known as “Little India” has a plethora of Indian restaurants, grocery stores, and clothing shops. Indian festivals such as Diwali and Holi are celebrated with great enthusiasm here.
Bangladeshi communityThe Bangladeshi community is prominent in Jackson Heights, with many Bengali restaurants, groceries, and clothing stores. The community also celebrates traditional Bangladeshi festivals like Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year).
Nepalese communityJackson Heights is home to a growing Nepalese community. There are several Nepalese restaurants and stores selling traditional Nepali goods. The community often organizes cultural events and celebrates festivals like Dashain and Tihar.
Pakistani communityThe Pakistani community is also significant in Jackson Heights. Pakistani cuisine is well-represented, and there are several mosques catering to the community. Events like Pakistan Independence Day are celebrated with parades and cultural programs.
Tibetan communityThe Tibetan community, although smaller, is vibrant in Jackson Heights. There are several Tibetan restaurants and stores in the area. The community is actively involved in advocating for human rights and autonomy in Tibet.
Korean communityJackson Heights has a growing Korean community, with Korean restaurants and stores offering traditional Korean goods. The community celebrates Korean cultural events and holidays, such as Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving).
Chinese communityThe Chinese community is a significant part of Jackson Heights. There are many Chinese restaurants and stores selling traditional goods. Chinese New Year is celebrated with lion dances, parades, and other cultural activities.

Statistical Data

  • Population: Jackson Heights has a population of approximately 108,000 people.
  • Demographics: The neighborhood is incredibly diverse with Hispanics making up the largest ethnic group, followed by Asians, Whites, and African Americans.
  • Income: The median household income in Jackson Heights is around $54,000, which is lower than the New York City average.
  • Transportation: Jackson Heights is well connected through public transportation, with various subway lines (7, E, F, M, R) and numerous bus routes.


Jackson Heights is not only a neighborhood but a representation of the American melting pot. Its rich history, cultural diversity, and unique architecture make it an essential part of New York City. Whether you are visiting or planning to make it your home, Jackson Heights offers a vibrant community with a global perspective.

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