Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Koreans and Bangladeshis Vie in L.A.

The Los Angeles neighborhood known as Koreatown has the largest concentration of Koreans in the country (Difficult to believe it has more than Flushing)

In the last 30 years or so, a six-square-mile area west of downtown Los Angeles has become an enclave of some 50,000 Korean-Americans, the largest concentration of Koreans in the country. The district is now commonly known as Koreatown.

A 2000 study shows the Korean population of NYC: 2000 Alone or In-Combination Population in New York City 90,896 and Queens (as a Percentage of NYC Population) 63,906 (70%). Most of that number must be Flushing, and that was in 2000.

The last official count of the Bangladeshi population, in the 2000 census, showed only 1,700 in all of Los Angeles County. But the Bangladeshi consul general here, Abu Zafar, estimates that there are now 10,000 to 15,000 in Los Angeles and some 25,000 in Southern California, making the region the nation’s second-largest home to Bangladeshis, after New York City.

“This cross-ethnic tension is somewhat new,” said Jan Lin, a sociology professor at Occidental College here whose specialty is ethnic enclaves. “Historically, it’s been whites against nonwhites as new immigrants move into established white neighborhoods.”

But the tension is not surprising, Mr. Lin said, given the tendency of immigrant groups to live in close proximity to one another. In Hollywood, Thai Town is inside Little Armenia. Little Tokyo and Chinatown occupy distinct but neighboring spaces downtown. And a Salvadoran business corridor lies adjacent to Koreatown.

Same as in Queens.

“It’s nice to embrace other communities,” said Brad Lee, a member of the Koreatown neighborhood council’s board, “as long as it’s not in our backyard. Or in our front yard.”

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