The Melting Pot: New York City

New York City is commonly referred to as the “Melting Pot” of America because of it’s massive diversity. There are over 8 million people living in the city currently and there are over 800 languages spoken within the city. The term melting pot originated in 1908 by Isreal Zangwill. At first, it was used as a metaphor to define the union of several cultures, ethnicities, and nationalities. The opportunities in New York have previously attracted and still do bring massive amounts of immigrants to the United States. Within New York City there are several small cultural communities such as China town and Little Italy in which ethnic groups have gathered to share their traditions.

Immigration to New York was at an all-time high in 1910 when 41% of New Yorkers were immigrants. Several ethnic groups from eastern and southern Europe were migrating to the United States for the promise of “new opportunities” and freedoms. Currently, over 5 million people, sixty percent of the population, are immigrants or children of immigrants. In 2000, the top three ethnic groups within the city were Jamaicans, Chinese, and Dominicans. The mixture of ethnicities allowed for several new trade skills to be introduced to the city. Religion across the city is so diverse that many traditional holidays from Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and other religions are traditionally respected in places of employment and across the city.

Food typically brings people from all backgrounds together. New York has a vast variety of restaurants and food because there are so many people from different cultures residing within the city. In “Little Italy”, the area is dedicated to traditional Italian lifestyle and dishes. The same goes for China Town, the people share their culture and traditions in a small part of New York. Today, the city embraces its cultural diversity and deems itself as the melting pot of America. The history even dedicates a week to immigrants called Immigrant History Week where the slogan last year was “New York loves Immigrants”.

New York: A Unique Immigrant City. (n.d.). In Footnotes . Retrieved February 23, 2020, from

New York City Melting Pot . (n.d.). In American Egg Board. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from

Singh, P. (2015, February 5). A Melting Pot of Immigrants . In The Peopling of New York City 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2020, from


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