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Introduction: This study examines demographic and socioeconomic aspects of the Mexican population of the New York City area from 1990-2005.

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 Mexican-origin population of New York City was the city’s fastest-growing Latino national group between 1990 and 2005. From a population of 55,587 in 1990 Mexicans increased to 183,792 in 2000 and 227,842 in 2005.1 By 2005 Mexicans had become the third largest Latino nationality in NYC behind Puerto Ricans (790,609) and Dominicans (570,641). The yearly growth rate between 1990 and 2000 among Mexicans was 12.7% although this slowed to 4.4% between 2000 and 2005.The Dominican population of NYC increased at 1.4% yearly between 2000 and 2005 and the Puerto Rican population experienced their first decline ever, falling slightly by - 0.2% annually over the same period. Mexicans were a highly stratified Latino national group and in this sense were no different from other Latino nationalities. About 20% of all households earned less than $20,000 annually over the 15 year period measured in this report. At the top of the social hierarchy there was an increase in the percentage of Mexican households earning more than $75,000 annually and this is indicative of opportunities for upward social mobility within NYC for better educated and better skilled Mexicans.

Discussion: Work force data suggest two significant differences between Mexicans and other Latino nationalities in the City. The first is an extraordinarily higher percentage of men who were employed in 2005 and a correspondingly low percentage of men who were employed or out of the work force. The second is the comparative low rates of low both unemployed working-age Mexican females who were working in 2005 compared with women in other Latino national groups. As indicated above, this may have been due to child-rearing responsibilities connected to the extraordinarily high birth rates found among Mexican females in comparative perspective.


For additional information about this collection see

Citation information: Bergad, L. (2006). Mexicans in New York City, 1990 - 2005. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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