CLACLS Reports Research on NYC's Mexican-Origin and Latina Populations

October 17, 2013

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies at the Graduate Center has released two new reports from its Latino Data Project. One focuses on changes over two decades in the Mexican-origin population of New York City; the other compares income and education among the city's Latinas.

According to the first report, "Demographic, Economic and Social Transformations in the Mexican-Origin Population of the New York City Metropolitan Area, 1990-2010," the Mexican population is the fastest-growing Latino population in NYC, increasing from 96,662 in 1990 to more than 600,000 in 2010 because of large-scale migration as well as higher fertility rates than are found among local Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, and Colombians, the region's other major Latino nationalities. The center's director, Laird W. Bergad, a distinguished professor of history at the GC and Lehman College, predicts that persons of Mexican origin will be the largest Latino nationality in the region by the decade of the 2020s, if the population growth rate over this time period continues as anticipated.

The second report, "Latinas in New York City: A Comparison of Education and Income, 1990-2010," indicates that while New York City Latinas' rapidly advancing educational attainment has that of Latino men, Latinas continued to earn lower personal and household incomes than Latino males. In 1990, 8.2 percent of the city's Latinas 25 and older had completed a B.A. degree or higher. By 2010 this had risen to 17 percent, compared with 13 percent of Latino males who had graduated college. Yet despite higher levels of education, the women continued to earn lower personal and household incomes than Latino males and women of other ethnic backgrounds, says Justine Calcagno, author of the report and a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at the Graduate Center. And while the city's Puerto Rican, Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Dominican women drove this increase in education and income, Mexican women's education levels did not improve, nor did they earn greater incomes between 1990 and 2010. This is attributed to the large migration of poorly educated foreign-born Mexican women to the city after 1990.

The Latino Data Project was developed with the goal of making information available on the dynamically growing Latino population of the United States and especially New York City through the analysis of extant data available from a variety of sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Institutes of Health, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and state and local-level data sources.