Document Type


Publication Date



Introduction: This report investigates the trends in ancestry rates among the Latino population between 1980 and 2015 in New York City.

Methods: This study uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) of 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2015, released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, ( In this report, ancestry is defined by the respondent’s self-reported ancestry and Latino group. For example, when someone reported they were Puerto Rican and their ancestry as a single category (“Puerto Rican”), they were classified as Puerto Rican-Only ancestry. When someone reported they were Puerto Rican but with more than one ancestry category (i.e. “Puerto Rican” and “Dominican”), they were classified as Mixed ancestry. Sometimes, people who classified themselves as Puerto Ricans did not report any Puerto Rican ancestry. According to the Census manuals, it could be that they did not answer the self-reported Latino group question but they were assigned one based on the household head’s response. These populations were excluded from the report.

Results: Overall, single-origin ancestry rates among the Latino population dropped from 87% in 1980 to 82% in 2015. In turn, mixed ancestry rates rose from 13% to 18% over the same period. This trend was experienced by four of the five Latino nationalities studied in this report, except for Mexicans. Among the latter, mixing rates actually declined from 32% to 8% between 1980 and 2015. Younger Latinos experienced higher mixing rates than older cohorts, as did domestic-born Latinos compared to foreign-born. Finally, Latinos with mixed origin had other Latin Americans as the most prevalent group with which they were mixed.


The ancestry rates examined in this study show a rise in the mixing ancestry among the Latino population in New York City. Mixing is more frequent among the domestic-born population than among the foreign-born population, which is telling of the chances of finding a partner from a different part of the world while in NYC than in other places. Moreover, mixing is a rising trend among the younger populations, creating a higher diversity within the city in more recent years. However, some trends in endogamy persist, especially among the foreign-born and among the Mexican population. This lower mixing rates among these populations suggest that there might be cultural factors preventing a higher mixing with other groups. Finally, these numbers bare witness to the fact of a growing diversity among the Latino population in New York City, and as such, public policies should include this optic when designing programs for these groups.


For additional information you may contact the Center at 212-817-8438 or by e-mail at

Citation information: Villamizar-Santamaría, S. (2018). Ancestry Rates Among the Latino Population in New York City, 1980 - 2015. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.