Today's Chinatown, was established in 1905.
Chinese history in this country has been marked by prejudice and persecution; on the west coast, where Chinese immigrants first clustered upon arriving in America, this ill-treatment was especially harsh. Thus many Chinese families began to seek a better life further east. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1870 was significant in that it brought many Chinese immigrants to Chicago.
Towards the end of the 1870's, the Chinese population in America had grown significantly; in 1890, there were over 500 Chinese individuals in Chicago. Many of them opened small businesses such as restaurants, shops and laundry establishments. In the 1950's and 60's, the Chinese population in Chicago doubled from 7000 to 14000. This was largely due to adverse conditions in China at this time; Chinese families sought a better life abroad. The increase in immigration was also due to improved relations between China and America.
Today's Chinatown, centering around Cermak Rd. and Wentworth Ave., was established in 1905. Since that point, many Chinese immigrants have moved into the area. There are organizations such as the Chinese American Service League, the Chinatown Redevelopment Association and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association that work towards providing new immigrants with proper housing and jobs. In 2000, there were 68,021 Chinese people living in the neighborhood, and the numbers are growing every day. Chinatown is bounded by 18th Street on the north, 23rd Street on the south, State Street on the east and the Chicago River on the west.