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Introduction: This study examines the linguistic patterns of New York City Latinos in comparison to other race/ethnic groups as of 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: Among all four racial/ethnic groups the foreign-born population reported speaking English at home at lower rates than the domestic-born population, a finding which could have been anticipated. Yet, Latinos reported speaking English at home at lower rates than any other group (22.0% for domestic-born and 5.1% for foreign born) followed by Asians (36% for domestic-born and 15.1% for foreign-born). Since most Non-Hispanic Blacks were domestic born, they reported speaking English at home at higher rates than any of the other racial/ethnic groups (95% for domestic-born and 70.7% for foreign-born). The relatively high rate among foreign-born Non-Hispanic Blacks was in all likelihood linked to a large number Englishspeaking Caribbean immigrants. Non-Hispanic whites indicated that they spoke English at home at greater rates than Asians and Latinos, but less than Non-Hispanic Blacks (86% for domestic-born and 19.9% for foreign-born). This is because European-born immigrants were classified as NonHispanic whites.

Discussion: Cubans and Puerto Ricans reported speaking English at home more than any other Latino national group. Of all the Latino national groups, Dominicans (both foreign-born and domestic-born) reported speaking English at home the least. 75% of the total Latino population in NYC 5 years of age or older reports speaking English ‘only’, ‘well’ or ‘very well’. Puerto Ricans and Cubans, the groups who reported speaking English at home more than any other Latino national group, also report speaking English ‘only’, ‘well’ or ‘very well’ more than any other Latino national group.’


For additional information about this collection see

Citation information: Barrera-Tobón, C. (2008). Latino Language-Use Patterns in New York City, 2005. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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