Introduction: This report examines demographic and socioeconomic factors concerning the Mexican population of New York City Metro 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 structure of the region’s Mexican community (over 600,000 in 2010) was in large part determined by the arrival of over 250,000 foreign-born Mexicans between 1990 and 2010. These migrants were generally working age, male (nearly 60%) with low levels of educational attainment, and low skill levels for entry into the local labor force. Mexican women in the region had comparatively higher fertility and birth rates than any other Latino nationality, and Mexicans had the fastest rate of demographic growth because of these high birth rates combined with large-scale immigration. Mexicans were the only major Latino nationality experiencing declining median household incomes in inflation adjusted dollars from 1990 ($62,700) to 2010 ($51,250). In large part this was related to the increase in lower paid female household heads from 25% of all Mexican households in 1990 to 38% in 2010.
Discussion: Every demographic, social, and economic indicator considered in this report was heavily influenced by the arrival of large numbers of foreign-born Mexicans to the region after 1990. It may be observed that these migrants were fairly young, had low levels of educational attainment, were generally devoid of skills which could afford them entry into higher-paying occupations, had little knowledge of English, and were intent on finding work in any occupation in order to improve their lives and the situations of their families. There was a clear work ethic among Mexicans arriving in the region after 1990 and before, and this paved the way for better conditions for their children, although it may take some time before these improvements may be measured quantitatively.