Introduction: This report focuses on comparing socio-economic conditions between foreign born and domestic born populations among the major Latino national groups in the New York City metropolitan area 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: New York City Latinos lag considerably behind all other groups in terms of total family income. While median family income for non-Hispanic white residents far outpaces all minority groups, Latinos median incomes also lags behind Asian and African-American city residents. Furthermore, New York City Latino families tend to fall into the lowest income brackets than their Black and Asian counterparts, both in terms of the percentage of families for each population group. Smaller national groups such as Colombian, Ecuadorian, Guatemalan and Salvadoran have higher earnings than immigrants from larger population groups, such as Dominicans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Households from these latter groups also report larger numbers of dependent children, higher living expenses (as far as the amount of income devoted to rent) and higher poverty rates than their counterparts from Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and El Salvador.
Discussion: These findings highlight the fact that the Latino immigrant experience is not uniform, and that in fact inequalities do exist between Latino immigrants of different nationalities. Furthermore it is worth taking note of the fact that some of the data points to limited social mobility for older Latino immigrant groups, particularly Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans. The relative socio-economic success of newer Latino immigrant groups may be more successful in adapting to the economic landscape of New York City than previous generations of immigrants, particularly as the growth of a Spanish-speaking foreign-born population has created economic opportunities for newer immigrants in specialized professional services.
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