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Introduction: This study examines demographic and socioeconomic aspects of the Colombian-origin population of the New York City area between 1990 and 2010.

Methods: Data on Latinos and other racial/ethnic groups were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa. Cases in the dataset were weighted and analyzed to produce population estimates.

Results: The demographic, social, and economic indicators considered in this report were influenced by decline of immigration from Colombia to the region after 2000. Like most immigrant groups before them Colombians are ambitious, hard workers, serious about improving their standards of living, and most of all they are dedicated to securing a better life for their children and future generations. Educational attainment levels were generally greater than other Latinos in the region and this may have been linked to the fact that they arrived with higher educational attainment than migrants from other Latin American and Caribbean nations. However, the data on arrivals do not have information on this and thus this is a speculative conclusion. Yet, higher educational attainment levels meant lower unemployment rates in comparative perspective and the ability to enter regional labor markets in generally higher paying jobs because of greater skill levels. This, of course, is why Colombians had such high median household incomes in comparative perspective.

Discussion: There are no indications that migration from Colombia will continue into the future and the decline after 2000 will likely be accentuated. This means that over time a greater percentage of people of Colombian origin will be born in the United States. This implies that educational attainment levels will continue to increase since U.S. born Colombians not only had higher college graduation rates than the foreign born, but they were extraordinarily high in comparative perspective. This educational perspective suggests that Colombians in the region will obtain higher paying jobs in the future and continue to be the most economically successful of all major Latin American immigrant-origin groups in the region.


For additional information about this collection see

Citation information: Bergad, L. (2014). Demographic, Economic and Social Transformations in the Colombian-Origin Population of the New York City Metropolitan Area, 1990 - 2010. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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