Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2022



This report examines demographic trends in educational attainment and employment among Puerto Ricans living in New York City between 1990 and 2019. The report also observes the relationship between race and gender with employment and education trends.


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. Census tract data depicted in maps were derived from Steven Manson, Jonathan Schroeder, David Van Riper, Tracy Kugler, and Steven Ruggles. IPUMS National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 15.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS.


There have been major improvements in educational attainment among Puerto Ricans. Since 1990, more Puerto Ricans in NYC are remaining in school during young adulthood, indicating that Puerto Ricans are continuing education almost immediately after graduating high school. As the report shows, the number of Puerto Ricans enrolled in school increased from under 45% in 1990, which grew to 48.8% by 2010 and reached 54.4% in 2019. The report also explores the relationship between gender and educational attainment and employment trends. Across all educational attainment categories, females are earning degrees in larger proportions compared to males. In 1990, the share of Puerto Ricans with a bachelor’s degree or greater was at a rate of 57.4% among females and 42.6% among males. By 2019 these figures increased to 62.6% among the former but decreased to 37.4% among the latter. Another important finding featured in this report demonstrates the impact of race on educational attainment, employment trends and median household income. Although there were no wide gaps in occupation groups among Puerto Ricans by race, there were substantial differences in earnings. White Puerto Ricans reported higher median incomes than Black Puerto Ricans and Puerto Ricans of other races over the past four decades. This gap shows that despite increased rates of education attainment among Puerto Ricans of all race groups and working in similar fields, there remained a large difference in earnings, where white Puerto Ricans earned more compared to Black Puerto Ricans and Puerto Ricans of other races.


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Citation information: Grof, Amber (2022). Education and Employment Trends Among Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1990-2019. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.


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