Kew Gardens is a neighborhood in the central area of the New York City borough of Queens. Kew Gardens, shaped roughly like a triangle, is bounded to the north by Union Turnpike and the Jackie Robinson Parkway (formerly the Interboro Parkway), to the east by the Van Wyck Expressway and 131st Street, to the south by Hillside Avenue, and to the west by Park Lane, Abingdon Road, and 118th Street. Forest Park and the neighborhood of Forest Hills are to the west, Flushing Meadows–Corona Park north, Richmond Hill south, Briarwood southeast, and Kew Gardens Hills east.
Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Kew Gardens was 23,278, a decrease of 610 (2.6%) from the 23,888 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 469.74 acres (190.10 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 49.6 inhabitants per acre (31,700/sq mi; 12,300/km).
The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 49.3% (11,478) White, 6.5% (1,515) African American, 0.2% (37) Native American, 15.6% (3,628) Asian, 0.0% (11) Pacific Islander, 1.1% (257) from other races, and 3.0% (701) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 24.3% (5,651) of the population.
The entirety of Community Board 9, which comprises Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, and Woodhaven, had 148,465 inhabitants as of NYC Health’s 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 84.3 years. This is higher than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 22% are between the ages of between 0–17, 30% between 25–44, and 27% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 17% and 7% respectively.
As of 2017, the median household income in Community Board 9 was $69,916. In 2018, an estimated 22% of Kew Gardens and Woodhaven residents lived in poverty, compared to 19% in all of Queens and 20% in all of New York City. One in twelve residents (8%) 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 55% in Kew Gardens and Woodhaven, higher than the boroughwide and citywide rates of 53% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018, Kew Gardens and Woodhaven are considered to be high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.
The Hispanic and Asian populations in Kew Gardens have grown since the 2000 United States Census. At the time, the demographics were 66.2% White, 13.0% Asian, 7.0% African American, 0.3% Native American, and 7.4% of other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.0% of the population. Many of the residents are between the ages of 30 and 38, married, college graduates and renters.
Kew Gardens has the highest percentage of residents who work from home in Queens, with 4.5% of employed residents working from home.
Kew Gardens is ethnically diverse. A large community of Jewish refugees from Germany took shape in the area after the Second World War which is reflected still today by the number of active synagogues in the area. The neighborhood attracted many Chinese immigrants after 1965, about 2,500 Iranian Jews arrived after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, and immigrants from China, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Israel, the former Soviet Union, India, Bangladesh and Korea settled in Kew Gardens during the 1980s and 1990s. Currently, Kew Gardens has a growing population of Bukharian Jews from Uzbekistan, alongside a significant Orthodox Jewish community. Also many immigrants from Central America, and South America call Kew Gardens home, as well as immigrants from Japan.
The increase of the Korean population followed the renovation and rededication of the First Church of Kew Gardens, which offers Korean-language services. In recent years, young professionals and Manhattanites looking for greenery, park-like atmosphere and spacious apartments have moved to the area.
Major development in the neighborhood, such as the construction of new apartment complexes and multi-family homes, has resulted in great demographic change as well. Immigrants from Latin America, Guyana, South Asia and East Asia, and the Middle East (especially Israel), have moved into these new developments. Even the local cuisine reflects this diversity in Kew Gardens, with Russian, Italian, Indian, Pakistani, and Uzbek dining available to residents and visitors. Food outlets include restaurants, delis, and markets. Small diners, Indian restaurants, Spanish restaurants, Caribbean restaurants, European and Arab Minimarkets, and Kosher delis line the streets of Kew Gardens. Many religious groups such as Jews, Muslims, and Hindus, can shop at local markets and bazaars that cater to their religious-food needs.