3. Jackson Heights residents speak around 167 languages total

Secrets of Jackson Heights PS 69
Students at elementary school PS 69 speak many of the 167 languages spoken in Jackson Heights.

Residents of Jackson Heights claim that 167 languages are spoken within the 300 acres of the neighborhood. According to the Endangered Language Alliance’s Language Map, pockets of people speaking regional languages are common throughout the area, including Tokpe Gola, a language spoken in the Tapkejung region of eastern Nepal; Newari, a language spoken in Kathmandu Valley in Tibet; and Thakali, a language spoken in the Lower Mustang in Nepal. Whereas an estimated 2,000 individuals in New York City speak Newari, only 50 individuals speak Tokpe Gola, many of whom live in Jackson Heights. A few Jackson Heights residents speak Aymara, an Indigenous Bolivian language.

With so many languages spoken throughout the neighborhood, cultural corners have formed over time. Little India sits next to Little Tibet, with Little Colombia nearby. Many more cultural neighborhoods exist within Jackson Heights, making local elementary school PS 69 one of the most diverse in the country. These different ethnic communities often congregate at religious centers including the Jackson Heights Jewish Community Center, the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, and the Jackson Heights Islamic Center Mosque.