Introduction: This study examines demographic and socioeconomic factors of racial/ethnic groups in New York City between 2000 and 2006 – particularly the Latino 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: On the whole there was considerable variation between immigrants from different Latino national groups in New York City, with respect to economic performance between 2000 and 2006. Smaller national groups in New York City such as Colombians, Cubans, Ecuadorians and Hondurans have experienced the greatest increases in annual family income and educational attainment than larger more established foreign-born groups such as Dominicans Mexicans and Puerto Rican population. Foreign-born Latinos from the latter groups continue to have higher numbers of dependent children and higher poverty rates than the smaller more recent Latino arrivals. Furthermore language seems to play a crucial role in economic mobility, for the city’s foreign-born Latino groups, as those who have greater English proficiency have substantially out-earned foreign-born Latinos, who have limited or lack English proficiency during the time interval examined.
Discussion: These conclusions reinforce previous findings, which illustrate that the Latino immigrant experience is not uniform and that economic mobility is experienced unequally by different Latino nationalities. These findings also point to economic stagnation and persistently high poverty among the more established Latino groups such as Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. Occupational and language proficiency data presented in this study suggest that recent Latino immigrant arrivals have been more successful in adapting to the economic landscape of the city by becoming more proficient in English and moving into labor markets with higher wages and/or greater opportunities for employment , such as construction industrial and manufacturing and administrative/clerical work.