HISTORY OF CHINATOWN
Chinatown New York City
The Chinese first arrived in the US in the early 1800s. Many of these new immigrants worked during the gold rush in mining, manufacturing, and building railroads. The Chinese in the U.S., were largely self-supporting, with a growing internal structure of governing associations and businesses that provided jobs, economic aid, social services and protection. Life became more difficult with the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882-1943), limiting the growth of Chinatown.
Chinatown has been growing steadily since the elimination of the immigration quota in 1968. Today Chinatown is home to hundreds of garment factories that have an annual payroll bill of over $200 million, a jewelry district that rakes in approximately a $100 million in gold and diamond sales per year, over 200 restaurants that attract thousands of tourists, and 27 banks, by far the highest bank-per-capita ratio in the city.