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Introduction: This report examines key socioeconomic and demographic trends in New York City and Long Island from 1990 to 2016.

Methods: The findings reported here are based on data collected by the Census Bureau IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series), available at for the corresponding years and the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

Results: The Long Island suburbs have grown significantly more diverse in the early twenty-first century. The total number of non-Hispanic Whites in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties is in steady decline, as is their share of Long Island’s total population. Latinos and Asians, on the other hand, have shown a marked increase in their percentage of Long Island’s total population and in their total numbers. The non-Hispanic Black population, as well, has shown a steady increase in total numbers, though the pace is not as rapid. Latinos and non-Hispanic Blacks remain the lowest income earners, whereas non-Hispanic Whites and Asians boast significantly higher household incomes.

Discussion: Once considered a bastion of racial/ethnic homogeneity, New York City’s Long Island suburbs have grown considerably more diverse in the twenty-first century – and this trend seems to be accelerating. Finally, as this report only covers trends in New York City and Long Island, it would be useful to see how these trends compare to other major suburban populations – particularly the nation’s larger metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. Are minority groups penetrating these suburbs in similar numbers? Do traditional economic tiers still persist in these instances as well?


A newer, corrected version of this report is is available here:

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Citation information: Cappello, L. (2019). A New Long Island: Demographic, Economic, and Social Transformations in New York City's Historic Suburbs, 1990 - 2016. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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