The Latino Population of
New York City, 1990-2010
By Laird W. Bergad
Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (November 2011)
The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies is pleased to announce the release of its annual report on the Latino population of New York City, The Latino Population of New York City, 1990-2010, available on our web site in PDF format by clicking here.
This report examines the newly released data from the 2010 Census and the 2010 American Community survey and compares them with data from 1990 and 2000 to determine changes over time among the City's Latino population.
The report includes a series of maps depicting the location, by census tract, of all Latinos and the five largest Latino national subgroups. Two maps on Latinos in general are included within the text. The maps on Latino nationalities are included in the appendix.
* The City's Latino population continued its steady increase from 1.7 million people and 24% of the total population in 1990 to nearly 2.4 million and 29% of all New Yorkers in 2010.
* Within the Latino population Puerto Ricans declined in absolute and relative terms from 49% of all Latinos in 1990 to 31% in 2010. Over the same period Dominicans increased from 20% to 25% of all Latinos and are poised to surpass Puerto Ricans in absolute terms within the next decade.
* Mexicans were the fastest growing Latino national subgroup and increased from 3% to 14% of the City's Hispanic population between 1990 and 2010.
* Mexican population increase was linked to large-scale migration after 1990 and extraordinarily high fertility and birth rates compared with other groups. If these rates hold Mexicans will become New York City's largest Latino nationality within two decades.
* Ecuadorians also continued to arrive in the City in large numbers between 1990 and 2010.
* By 2010 over 80% of the City's Latinos lived in the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.
* About 54% of the total population of the Bronx was of Latino origin in 2010.
* About 40% of all Puerto Ricans in the City lived in the Bronx while 41% of all Dominicans lived there in 2010.
* There were extraordinary differences in the sex ratios of Latino nationalities in New York City. There were 142 Mexican men for every 100 women in 2010 and 113 Ecuadorian men for every 100 women in the same year.
* In every other group females were dominant: For Puerto Ricans there were 100 women for every 77 men; 100 women for every 71 male Dominicans; and 100 female Colombians for every 71 males in 2010.
* These data suggest overwhelming female migration for Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, and Colombians while males dominated migratory flows for Mexicans and Ecuadorians.
* About 74% of all Latinos in the City were citizens because of birth or naturalization and naturalization rates increased from 1990 to 2010.
* Latinos increased from 18% to 23% of all eligible voters between 1990 and 2010.
* Latinos in the City had the lowest college graduation rate of all the race/ethnic groups in 2010 at 15% of all adults. But this was an increase from 9% in 1990.
* Latinos also had the largest portion of their adult population which had not graduated high school at 37% in 2010, a decline from 51% of non-high school graduates in 1990.
* Latinos had the lowest median household incomes of the City's race/ethnic groups in 2010 and experienced a slight increase in inflation-adjusted dollars from 1990.
* Yet, there were significant differences in the median incomes of domestic-born household heads and foreign-born household heads, with Colombians and Ecuadorians doing quite well.
* More Latinos lived in poverty compared with the City's other race/ethnic groups (29%) in 2010 and the childhood poverty rate was even higher at 40%.
* Latinos had higher unemployment rates and fairly high out-of-the-workforce rates compared with non-Hispanic whites and blacks and Asians.
* Bilingualism was an integral part of Latino culture in the City as 76% of all Latinos reported good English language skills in 2010 and 82% reported speaking Spanish at home., a decline from the 88% found in 1990.
* About 81% of all Latinos in the City reported having some kind of health insurance coverage in 2010, although this was lower than the City's other race/ethnic groups.
Laird W. Bergad is a Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Lehman College and the Ph.D. Program in History. He is the Executive Director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLALS). He is the author or co-author of the following books: Cuban Rural Society in the Nineteenth Century: The Social and Economic History of Monoculture in Matanzas (1990); The Cuban Slave Market, 1790-1880 (995); The Demographic and Economic History of Slavery in Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1720-1888 (1999); The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States (2007); and Hispanics in America: A Social, Economic, and Demographic History, 1980 - 2005 (2010).