Central Asians in the United States

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Central Asian Americans
Total population
Total: ~100,000
62,713 (Uzbek), 24,636 (Kazakh)
Regions with significant populations
New York City · New Jersey · Philadelphia · San Antonio · Houston · San Francisco · San Jose · Los Angeles · Washington, D.C. · Nebraska · Chicago · Northern Virginia
American English · Dari · Kazakh · Kyrgyz · Pashto · Russian · Tajik · Turkmen · Uyghur · Uzbek
Islam · Eastern Orthodoxy · Judaism
Ken Alibek a Kazakh American

Central Asians in the United States are Americans with ancestry from Central Asia. They include Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek individuals. People of Afghan and Uyghur descent are also sometimes classified as Central Asians. For the purposes of the United States Census, Central Asian Americans are classed under the "white" category rather than Asian American, which is limited to nations from Pakistan eastward. The Census Bureau stated that such classifications have no biological, anthropological or genetic basis but rather reflects a "social definition" of race.

Kazakh Americans

Kyrgyz Americans

The Kyrgyz population in the United States are one of the newer and smaller immigrant groups from Central Asia living in the United States. Kyrgyz Americans began to arrive in the United States after 1991, with the opening of the green card lottery.

Tajik Americans

Turkmen Americans

Uzbek Americans

Tandoori Food and Bakery, a kosher Bukharan Jewish Uzbek restaurant in Rego Park, Queens, June 2018

Uzbek Americans are the largest Central Asian population in the United States. 62,713 Uzbeks live in the US, with the largest community existing in the New York City metropolitan area. The New York area Uzbek community is diverse and has 3 main sub-communities: Uzbek Muslims who first came to the United States in the 1980s as political refugees from the Soviet Union living in Morris County, New Jersey, many of whom are staunchly anti-communist and upwardly mobile; newer Uzbek Muslim immigrants to New York City who have benefitted from the green card lottery, 20,000 of whom have settled in Brooklyn since the 2000s; and the Bukharan Jews who mostly live in Queens, many of whom have done well in real estate and the Diamond District.

Bukharan Jews

The United States has the largest community of Bukharan Jews in the world outside of Israel. 70,000 Bukharian Jews reside in the United States, with 50,000 living in the New York City borough of Queens alone. The Bukharan Jews are concentrated in the neighborhoods of Rego Park, Queens and Forest Hills.

Afghan Americans

Hazrati Abu Bakr Siddique, a mosque in Queens founded by Afghan, Turkistani, and Uzbek immigrants from Afghanistan, April 2009

Uyghur Americans

The Uyghur American population is small, but growing. Northern Virginia has one of the largest Uyghur populations in the United States. Around 1,500 Uyghurs live in the Washington metropolitan area, with the majority living in Fairfax County, Virginia. A small but notable community of around 150 Uyghurs live in the Boston area.

See also

External links