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Queens Week 2014: Borough's Diverse Population Now at All-Time High

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After showing very little growth in the 2010 Census, the government now says Queens is the second fastest growing county in the state with new numbers showing the borough accounted for a third of the 61,000 residents the city gained between 2012 and 2013. NY1's Ruschell Boone filed the following report.

It's called the borough of immigrants, but foreign born residents are not the only ones driving the rapid population growth in Queens which jumped nearly one percent between July 2012 and 2013 according to the latest U.S. Census estimates.

They still account for nearly half the residents here, but people who moved to Queens from other states are also staying longer.

"I'm from California actually originally. Los Angeles and Huntington Beach. I moved to New York about 10 years ago and after searching a couple of places me and my friend discovered Astoria," said one Queens resident.

Experts say the borough's real estate prices, diversity and proximity to Manhattan are some of the reasons newcomers find it attractive.

"If they are younger and they are not paired up they tend to live in the far west side of Queens around Astoria, Long Island City. If they are paired up they'll move to places like Bayside, Jackson Heights," said Andrew Beveridge, Professor of Sociology at Queens College.

At 2.3 million the population is at an all-time high. It's an increase of 2.9 percent from 2010, or about 65,000 people. It's a far cry from the 2010 Census which showed the population only grew by a little the decade before. Estimates now show the population growth between 2010 and 2013 in Queens accounted for nearly one quarter of the growth in New York State.

"The poverty rate in Queens is lower than New York overall. It's about 14 and change percent. That was true in 2000. It's still true today. So Queens is not an attractor of a large poor population," Beveridge said.

The borough's low poverty rate is helping to drive up the cost of living according to the experts - something many say is one of the downsides of living in a borough that's trending upwards.

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