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Introduction: This report examines demographic and socioeconomic factors concerning Ecuadorians in the United States between 1990 and 2008.

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 Ecuadorian population of the U.S. increased dramatically between 1980 and 2008 from about 70,000 to over 550,000 people. Migration increased in each decade and there is no reason to believe that migration from Ecuador will decrease in the near future. Because of this continued migration the foreign-born sector of the Ecuadorian population has not diminished proportionally, despite the increase in the U.S.-born population of Ecuadorian origin in absolute numbers. Ecuadorians have relatively high median household incomes compared with other race/ethnic groups in the U.S. and other Latino national subgroups. These incomes have improved since 1980 in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Discussion: The previously noted favorable socioeconomic indicators — median household income and poverty — are linked to the extraordinarily impressive educational attainment accomplishments of the adult Ecuadorian population. A greater percentage of adult Ecuadorians had graduated college than non-Hispanic whites in 2008. Ecuadorians of working age demonstrated very low unemployment rates, very low ‘not in the labor force’ rates, and very high labor participation rates. A large portion of the Ecuadorian population, both domestic and foreign-born, demonstrated high levels of English-language proficiency. Nevertheless, Spanish was the dominant language spoken at home.


For additional information about this collection see

Citation information: Bergad, L. (2010). Ecuadorians in the United States 1980—2008. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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