Fresh Meadows is a residential neighborhood in the northeastern section of the New York City borough of Queens. Fresh Meadows is located in the south part of Flushing and is bordered to the north by the Fresh Meadows Playground and Horace Harding Expressway, to the west by South Flushing and the sub-neighborhood of Hillcrest, to the east by Cunningham Park, and to the south by Union Turnpike and St. John’s University.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Fresh Meadows (including Utopia but excluding Hillcrest) was 17,812, a change of 439 (2.5%) from the 17,373 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 636.38 acres (257.53 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 28 inhabitants per acre (18,000/sq mi; 6,900/km).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 32.9% (5,864) White, 7.6% (1,355) African American, 0.1% (17) Native American, 47.1% (8,381) Asian, 0% (2) Pacific Islander, 0.4% (74) from other races, and 2% (356) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.9% (1,763) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 8, which comprises Fresh Meadows as well as Kew Gardens Hills and Jamaica Hills, had 156,217 inhabitants as of NYC Health’s 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 83.9 years. This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are middle-aged adults and youth: 20% are between the ages of 0–17, 28% between 25–44, and 27% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 10% and 15% respectively.
As of 2017, the median household income in Community Board 8 was $64,005. In 2018, an estimated 22% of Fresh Meadows residents lived in poverty, compared to 19% in all of Queens and 20% in all of New York City. One in eleven residents (9%) were unemployed, compared to 8% in Queens and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 54% in Fresh Meadows, slightly higher than the boroughwide and citywide rates of 53% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Fresh Meadows is considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.
Population estimates of Fresh Meadows vary widely depending on which boundaries are considered. Zip codes 11365 and 11366 together have an estimated population of 59,873 as of 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, but this also includes part of Auburndale north of the Long Island Expressway, while excluding Hillcrest. According to 2009 census data, however, the neighborhood had 16,100 residents, 44 percent of whom residents are white, 24 percent Asian, 14 percent black, 29 percent Hispanic, and 3 percent identify as multiracial. The neighborhood has historically and traditionally been home to one of New York City’s most notable Jewish communities. Today, there is an increasing presence of younger Asian American and Colombian American families, Israeli Americans, Bukharian Jews, and West Indian Americans living in the neighborhood.