Home Population Growing Asian-American population of Greenwich “attracted by opportunity as well as openness”

Growing Asian-American population of Greenwich “attracted by opportunity as well as openness”

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GREENWICH – The Asian population, ranked third among the city’s groups, has grown by 18% over the past decade in Greenwich, with the highest population growth recorded in three neighborhoods, according to the most recent US Census data .

“My first thought is that I’m happy that Greenwich is branching out,” said Christine Kim, a Chinese-American woman who lives in Cos Cob. “Our country is becoming more and more diverse racially and in other ways, so it’s reasonable for Greenwich to follow suit.”

Kim, who moved to town in 1999, said she made lifelong friends in Greenwich and enjoyed the perks of living in a well-off town with access to star parks, a beach, libraries, a museum and more.

Several local residents and politicians who identify as Asian Americans have discussed census data in recent interviews and cited other reasons for population growth. The city’s top-notch schools, proximity to New York City, and good public transportation were mentioned by many, along with the small-town tranquility and coastal location of Greenwich.

In terms of diversity, the number of Greenwich residents who identified as Hispanic in the census increased 36% from 2010 to 2020. Hispanics now make up about 13% of the city’s residents, the second largest group. behind those who identified as multiracial, according to the data.

Residents who identify as Asian American are the second largest group, making up about 7% of the city’s 63,518 residents, according to census data..

The largest increase in the Asian population in terms of number of residents as well as percentage change over the past 10 years has occurred in three census tracts. Decadal 2020 data released by the US Census Bureau last month shows Greenwich became more diverse from 2010 to 2020.

Census Tract 10102, which includes part of Greenwich’s hinterland and downtown, saw a 50.24% increase in the population who identify as Asian American, with 106 residents more than 2010 to 2020 in this region, according to data.

Census tract 10900, which includes part of Riverside and North Mianus, saw an increase of 43.93%, or 235 more people, according to the data. Census tract 11000, which encompasses Old Greenwich, jumped 51.71%, or 121 more residents, according to the data.

Find a home

Robert Reiner, 66, who lives in the hinterland, said it can be difficult to theorize about census results and the growth of the Asian-American population at first glance.

“One of the biggest challenges is understanding what it means to be Asian American or AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) because it is such a large community,” said Reiner, who identifies as Japanese American.

“Someone from Burma has a very different experience than someone from Korea, for example, in terms of date of arrival in the country, level of education and level of income,” he said. .

Robert Reiner, who identifies as Japanese American, poses at his home in the hinterland of Greenwich, Connecticut on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. A recently released census shows significant growth in the Asian population in the rear -country and mid-country of Greenwich, Riverside, North Mianus, and Old Greenwich.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Reiner moved to Greenwich from New York shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. When the second plane struck the World Trade Center, it was working in the building opposite and the windows exploded.

He and his wife decided not long after to seek a calmer life. They had already spent many years looking for the perfect place to live, but always felt that they should give up something important – a great view, a large space or a good neighborhood, for example, did -he declares.

“When we got to Greenwich we had a lot of choices of great places we wanted to live, and the hinterland was really wonderful,” said Reiner, who collects comics that deal with social issues and the censorship and said the comics helped him succeed.

Neither of his parents completed high school, he said, but he earned two master’s degrees.

“They helped me learn to read,” Reiner said of the comics. “I learned to draw from comics, which allowed me to finance my studies as a graphic designer and art director. So, I have great reverence for the ability to tell stories through graphic means.

As Reiner and his wife approach retirement, they wonder about their next step. They discussed moving overseas but couldn’t find the right place, he said.

“So that’s a good placeholder,” he said of Greenwich, “where we could actually spend the rest of our lives.”

Asian lawmakers

In Greenwich, two lawmakers who represent the city at State House also identify as Asian Americans.

State Representative Kimberly Fiorello, R-149, said the reasons many Asian Americans move to Greenwich are not unique.

“To understand why people move here, I never assume that because we share a culture we think the same,” said Fiorello, who was born in Korea and now lives near the Greenwich Library.

“A lot of decisions about moving to a city are related to people’s work, their school choices, their individual tastes for the cities they love,” she said. “I think Asian Americans are just like anyone else who settles here.”

State Representative Harry Arora, R-151, said he frequently studies immigration data.

“Why did I choose Greenwich or why did a lot of my friends choose Greenwich? Said Arora, who identifies as an American Indian and lives in the middle of the country.

“These are people who are drawn to the opportunity as well as the openness, in general, of Fairfield County. Here in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan, people will say these communities are closed. But for American Indians, we find them to be good communities, good schools, open cities and generally very good cities, ”he said.

Harry Arora poses in his office in downtown Greenwich, Connecticut on Monday, December 30, 2019. He is now the Republican State Representative in the 151st House District.

Harry Arora poses in his office in downtown Greenwich, Connecticut on Monday, December 30, 2019. He is now the Republican State Representative in the 151st House District.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media Photo File

Arora said he immigrated to the United States from India as a student 28 years ago.

A significant wave of immigration from India occurred between the mid to late 1990s, he said, as US companies recruited computer scientists to address Y2K issues that threatened computer systems, Arora said.

“The year 2000 started a trend of technology outsourcing from India. And while a lot of American Indians are here because of the Y2K push and are into tech, there are plenty more who are pursuing other fields, ”he said.

As a result, many Indians who moved to the United States during this technological surge had a high level of education, he added.

“For this demographic, because they’re pretty educated themselves… they tend to gravitate towards areas where school districts are strong,” Arora said.

Support other Asian Americans

Fiorello, who moved to Greenwich ten years ago from Scarsdale, NY, said she discovered that some Connecticut residents were thrilled to realize that she was the first and only Korean American woman to sit on the State General Assembly.

After eight people, including six Asian women, were killed by a gunman at three massage parlors in Atlanta in March, several Asian American residents of Connecticut were asked to contact Fiorello, who spoke to them in Korean.

Kimberly Fiorello poses in Greenwich, Connecticut on Monday, August 31, 2020. She is now the Republican State Representative in the 149th House District.

Kimberly Fiorello poses in Greenwich, Connecticut on Monday, August 31, 2020. She is now the Republican State Representative in the 149th House District.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media Photo File

“It had to do with the fact that they felt they were being discriminated against,” Fiorello said. “I guess it helps people feel that there is someone there who can relate to.”

Like everyone else interviewed, Fiorello said she was happy to see the increased diversity in the city.

“I think it’s wonderful that this region is developing,” she said. “To have a thriving economy you need capital and people, so it’s a very encouraging thing that people are coming to Greenwich, and I’m delighted and welcome them and look forward to representing those who are in my district. “

[email protected] @TATIANADFLOWERS


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