Introduction: This report examines demographic and socioeconomic variables among different racial/ethnic groups in New York City between 1990 and 2008 – particularly the Dominican 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: Between 1990 and 2008 the Dominican population of New York City increased to become the second largest Latino national sub-group behind Puerto Ricans. The Dominican population grew by nearly 73 percent between 1990 and 2008 and about 7 percent from 2000 to 2008. Despite gains between 1990 and 2008, Dominican median household income still ranked lowest among the five largest Latino nationalities in New York City. Despite persistently low median household incomes and limited upward economic mobility, poverty rates among both domestic-born and foreign-born Dominicans decreased significantly from 1990 to 2008. Employment rates among the Dominican working-age population have increased substantially since 1990, due largely to a major increase in the number of women entering the workforce.
Discussion: Domestic-born women in particular have made great strides in educational attainment, with over one-third completing a Bachelor’s degrees or better in 2008. At the same time, the education gap between domestic-born and foreign-born Dominicans has widened substantially from 1990-2008. The gap between domestic-born women and domestic-born men has also increased, which indicates a commitment by second plus generation Dominican women to obtain college-level educations. This trend raises concerns about the prospect for upward socio-economic mobility for Dominican males who do not seek college degrees at the same rates as females.
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