In 2000, the New York City Department of City Planning determined that just over half of the residents were born in another country.
By 2013, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city's foreign-born population had reached a record high, and that Bensonhurst had the city's second-highest number of foreign-born people with 77,700 foreign born immigrants in the neighborhood, just after Washington Heights.
Bensonhurst is a large, multiethnic neighborhood in the southwestern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, in the United States.
As defined by the New York City Planning Commission, the neighborhood's borders are 14th Avenue and Dyker Heights to the west, 60th Street Borough Park to the north, Mc Donald Avenue and Avenue N Midwood to the east and northeast, Stillwell Avenue and 86th Street southeast Gravesend, and 86th Street and 16th Avenue Bath Beach on the south and southwest. Benson, the former president of Brooklyn Gas, who in 1835 began buying farmland that formerly belonged to the Polhemus family.
In the 1990s Bensonhurst rapidly grew in cultural diversity.
Bensonhurst is home to many ethnic Albanian, Turkish, Uzbek, Arab, Iranians, Palestinian, Egyptian, Lebanese, Pakistani, Mexican, Guatemalan, Ecuadorian, and Puerto Rican Americans.
Born in Rome in 1955, Corrado has been an active social member of the Italian-American community for the past 20 years. Rosalia is the patron saint of the city of Palermo and is sometimes venerated as the patron for the entire island of Sicily. Like Lower Manhattan's Little Italy, Bensonhurst's Little Italy is declining with its Italian American population, superseded by Bensonhurst's rapidly expanding Chinatown and Chinese population.
86th Street is another popular local thoroughfare, lined by the arches of the BMT West End Line.Around 1989, an influx of immigrants from China and the former USSR began to arrive, mainly from Southern China, Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.The Italian-speaking community remains over 20,000 strong, according to the census of 2000.But, the Italian-speaking community is becoming "increasingly elderly and isolated, with the small, tight-knit enclave in the city slowly disappearing as they give way to demographic changes." Its main thoroughfare, 18th Avenue (also known as Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard) between roughly 60th Street and Shore Parkway, is lined with predominantly small, Italian family-owned businesses—many of which have remained in the same family for several generations.
The annual Festa di Santa Rosalia (commonly known as "the Feast" to locals), is held on 18th Avenue from Bay Ridge Parkway (75th Street) to 66th Street in late August or early September.
"The Feast" is presented by Bensonhurst resident and marketer Franco Corrado, as well as by the Santa Rosalia Society, on 18th Avenue.