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the percentage of people with cognitive difficulty reported in 2000, 2010, and 2019 among residents in New York City. Specifically, residents from the five boroughs in New York City—Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island—were included in this analysis.


This report uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) data for all years released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, ( See Public Use Microdata Series Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2020.


The percentage of people with cognitive difficulty remained relatively stable in New York City at around 5% between 2000 and 2019. Overall, Non-Hispanic whites reported a slightly higher percentage of cognitive difficulty, but by 2019, Asians reported the highest at 5.3%, and non-Hispanic blacks the lowest at 4.5%. By 2019, Non-Hispanic whites and Asians had the highest cognitive difficulty in the Bronx (5.4%), non-Hispanic blacks in Brooklyn (6.5% by 2019), Latinos in Manhattan (13.3% in 2019), and Asians in Queens (5.0%) and Staten Island (6.3%). Significant differences were observed among the five largest Latino subgroups in New York City. Cognitive difficulty among Puerto Ricans consistently increased across the three timepoints, but it remained relatively stable among Mexicans and Colombians, while decreasing among Ecuadorians and Dominicans. By 2019, rates of cognitive difficulty among Puerto Ricans increased to the highest overall at 8.5%, whereas Dominicans (1.7%) and Ecuadorians (0.5%) decreased to the lowest percentages of cognitive difficulty across all timepoints.


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Citation information: Henriquez-Castillo, Marjorine (2022). Cognitive Difficulty in the Five Boroughs of New York City, 2000-2019. Edited by Sebastián Villamizar-Santamaría. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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