Introduction: This study examines demographic and socioeconomic factors of racial/ethnic groups in New York City between 1990 and 2008 – particularly the Ecuadorian population.
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 in New York City doubled between 1990 and 2008 becoming the fourth largest Latino nationality behind Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Mexicans. Queens had the greatest concentration of Ecuadorians in the city with over three-fifths of all Ecuadorians living there in 2008. Nearly three-quarters of all Ecuadorians in the City were under 45 years of age in 2008. Ecuadorians earned higher median household incomes in 2008 than Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, or Mexicans but lower than Colombians. About 13% of Ecuadorian households earned under $20,000 in median incomes in 2008 but 32% earned more than $75,000. About 9% of Ecuadorian adults had earned a B.A. degree or higher in 2008, although this percentage was lower than in 2000 primarily because of the arrival of so many less educated migrants from Ecuador. Poverty rates for Ecuadorians in the City have not fluctuated significantly between 1990 and 2008 remaining around 20%. About half of all Ecuadorians in the City demonstrated good English language skills in 2008. About two-thirds of all foreign-born Ecuadorians had acquired U.S. citizenship by 2008.
Discussion: The Ecuadorian population has been one of the fastest growing Latino national groups in New York City over since 1990, surpassed only by the city’s Mexican population, which is far and away the fastest growing Latino national sub-group. Despite a more than doubling of their population after 1990, as of 2008 Ecuadorians remain the fourth largest Latino nationality in the City as they remain significantly smaller in number than the Puerto Rican and Dominican populations, and have been surpassed by Mexicans over the 18 year period examined. The Ecuadorian population has remained primarily foreign-born in its composition, fueled by increased migration from Ecuador after 1990.