Paterson's black community consists of African Americans of southern heritage and more recently Caribbean and African immigrants. Paterson's black population increased during the Great migration of the 20th century, but there have been Patersonians of African descent there since before the Civil War. According to the US census data of 2000 and 2010 "Paterson's black population declined between theses years, Paterson city, New Jersey QuickLinks, United States Census Bureau. Accesssed April 21, 2014. this is consistent with the overall return migration of African Americans from northeren New Jersey back to the southern states. Many second and third generation Puerto Ricans have called Paterson home since the 1950s. Today's Hispanic immigrants of Paterson are primarily Peruvian, Colombian, Dominician, Mexican and Central American.
During our tour of (windshield survey) western market street, a lifelong resident of Paterson, by the name of Mr. Rob referred to this section as "Little Lima" because it is home to many Peruvian and other Latin-American businesses. In contrast, when we traveled east on Market Street, a heavy concentration of Dominican-owned restaurants, beauty salons, barber shops and other businesses was seen. The Great Falls Historic District, Cianci Street, Union Avenue and 21st Avenue consist of multile types of Italian businesses. To the north of the Great Falls is the rapidly-growing Bangladeshi community. Park Avenue and Market Street between Straight Street and Madison Avenue are heavily Puerto Rican and Dominican decend. Main Street, just south of downtown district, is the Mexican community. Broadway, also called Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way is predominantly black, as is the Fourth Ward and parts of Eastside and Northside. Central American and Costa Ricans immigrant communities are reported by Mr. Rob as growing in the Riverside and Peoples Park neighborhoods. Main Street between the Clifton border and Madison Avenue are heavily Turkish and Arab. 21st Avenue in the People's Park section is characterized by Columbian and other Latin American restaurants and shops. Paterson is considered by many as the capital of the Peruvian Diaspora in the U.S. In the 2000 Census, 4.72% of residents listed themselves as being of Peruvian American ancestry, the third-highest percentage of the population of any municipality in New Jersey and the United States. Paterson is home to the third-largest Dominican-American Community in the United States, after New York City and Lawrence, Massachusetts. In the 2000 Census, 10.27% of residents listed themselves as being of Dominican-American ancestry, the eighth highest percentage of the population of any municipality in the United States and the third highest percentage in New Jersey, behind Perth Amboy's 18.81% and Union City's 11.46%.(United States Census Bureau, 2014). Paterson is home to the largest Turkish-American immigrant community in the United States (Little Istanbul) and the second largest Arab-American community. The Greater Paterson area which includes the cities of Wayne and Clifton and the boroughs of Prospect Park, Haledon, North Haledon,Totowa, Woodland Park, and Little Falls, is home to the nation's largest Northeren Caucasian population, mostly Karachays, Circassians, and a small Chechen community. Reflective of these communities, Paterson and Prospect Park public schools observe Muslim holidays.. Paterson has a rapidly growing Bangladesh-American community, the largest in the United States outside New York City. A branch of the Sonali Exchange Company Inc. has opened on Union Avenue in the Totowa Section; the Sonali Exchange Company is