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This study focuses on the demographic and socioeconomic changes occurring within the Dominican population of the New York metropolitan area between 1970 and 2019. By 2019 Dominicans had become the largest Latino nationality in New York City having surpassed Puerto Ricans a decade earlier in sheer numbers.


This report uses the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Microdata Series) data for all years released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, ( See Public Use Microdata Series Steven Ruggles, J. Trent Alexander, Katie Genadek, Ronald Goeken, Matthew B. Schroeder, and Matthew Sobek. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2017. Census tract data depicted in maps were derived from Steven Manson, Jonathan Schroeder, David Van Riper, Tracy Kugler, and Steven Ruggles. IPUMS National Historical Geographic Information System: Version 15.0 [dataset]. Minneapolis, MN: IPUMS.


Among the region’s Dominican population there was a very significant and important increase in college graduation rates in each decade after 1980. By 2019 20% of all Dominican adults had attained a B.A. degree or higher rising from 1.4% in 1970. More significantly there was a huge disparity when nativity is examined. In 2019 nearly 35% of all Dominican adults who had been born in the U.S. had at least completed college compared with nearly 16% of Dominicans born in the Dominican Republic. Dominican households in the region experienced significant increases in real median household incomes over the period between 1980 and 2019 rising from $38,896 (in 2019 inflation-adjusted dollars) to $67,600. However, by 2019 64% of all Dominican households in the region were headed by women and they earned significantly lower median household income ($43,000) compared with male-headed households ($66,450). Unemployment rates among the Dominican population rose along with increased migration from 4.2% in 1970 to 10% in 1990. However, despite fluctuations thereafter, unemployment was at 4.6% in 2019. Dominicans increasingly became citizens. In 1980 about 38% were citizens, rising to 76% in 2019. Of these, 44% of all Dominican in the New York metro area were born in the U.S. and citizens by birth; 32% because of naturalization.


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Citation information: Bergad, Laird W. (2021). The Dominican Population of the New York Metropolitan Region, 1970-2019. New York, NY: Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center.



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