Greeks in Astoria


Image courtesy of USA and Greece Stock Photos

There are a number of ethnic groups that have, over the course of many years, settled in Astoria1. In fact, Alexandra Starr refers to Astoria as an “urban United Nations” with people from approximately 100 different countries living there (Starr)10. Nowadays, Greeks are moving in again. Their number continues to rise as the debt crisis in Greece increases 5,8. Despite the influx of many other immigrant groups, Astoria has still retained its Greek flavor and is referred to by some as “Little Athens in the Big Apple” (Cotsis)6. Its main streets represent a microcosm of the Greek community in Astoria. This is evident in the vast array of stores and services that are present along main streets, especially Ditmars Boulevard, which contains many Greek stores. The hub of these Greek businesses and institutions along Ditmars Boulevard reflects the surrounding residential streets where many Greeks reside. Other major streets in Astoria where there are many Greek restaurants and establishments are 23rd and 30th avenues (“A Mixture; “Exploring New York City”)1,7. There are approximately 165,589 people living in Astoria. Of this population, approximately 10.1% are of Greek heritage (“Welcome to Infoshare”)11.

Below is a map that depicts, based on coloration, the density of the Greek population as currently located in four zip codes that make up Astoria. The darker the coloration, the higher the percentage of Greeks living in that area 2,3
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The table below represents a demographic breakdown of the total population of people, as well as the  percentage of people of Greek heritage living in each of the zip codes of Astoria as portrayed by the color density map. These statistics are based on a five year average ranging from 2009-2013 (“Astoria Long Island City”; “Astoria, New York”; “Percentage of Greeks”)2,3,9.Kree


The highest percentage of the Greek population of Astoria lives in zip code 11105; this approximates 17.39% of the population in this area. (“Astoria Long Island City”; “Astoria, New York”; “Percentage of Greeks”)2,3,9. This area is bounded by the East River and includes Ditmars Boulevard from its beginning at 21st Avenue to its approximate end at Hazen Street. Another major street that this zip code includes is Steinway Street from its beginning until its ends at the Grand Central Parkway (“Boundary Map”)4. Of note, this zip code includes two of the major streets containing the majority of Greek establishments, Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue. Similarly, a high density of Greek stores is found along 30th Avenue, which is included in zip codes 11102 and 11103 (“Boundary Map”) 4. Approximately 8.8% of the Greek population lives in zip code 11103, and 8.42% live in zip code 11102. In contrast, zip code 11106 has the lowest percentage of Greeks; it represents only 5.01% of the total population in this area. In general, there appears to be a correlation between where the greatest percentage and number of Greeks in Astoria live and where the highest numbers of Greek cultural establishments and institutions are located.

Based on the above table of the total population in each of the zip codes in Astoria and the percentage of Greeks living there, the total number of Greek people living in each of the zip codes can be determined. Zip code 11105 has approximately 7, 324 Greeks, zip code 11103 has a Greek population of 3,905, zip code 11102 has an approximate Greek population of 3,056, and zip code 11106 has the smallest Greek population of 2,161. The number of Greeks living in each zip code parallels the percentage of Greek people living in each zip code, with by far the greatest number living in zip code 11105. This approximates to a total of 16, 446 who identify themselves as Greeks across the four different Astoria zip codes.


Author: Sarah Ginsberg