The Share of Latinos in Three Brooklyn Neighborhoods Is Decreasing: Mexican Population Growth Has Overtaken That of Puerto Ricans, A New Report Shows

May 12, 2021

A new report by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY, tracks the marked racial and ethnic changes in Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace and Bushwick neighborhoods.

The Graduate Center of The City University of New York’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) has released a report on the demographic changes in three historically Latino neighborhoods in Brooklyn that indicates Mexican population growth has overtaken the historical dominance by Puerto Ricans in the borough while employment of Latinos has enjoyed a healthy increase.
Over the past 30 years, the racial and ethnic compositions of the Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, and Bushwick neighborhoods have gone through considerable transformations. The Latino population remained the dominant ethnic group between 1990 and 2017. However, the share of the Latino population declined during this time, with a concurrent growth in the Asian population in Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace (from 13.1% in 1990 to 32.1% in 2017) and the non-Hispanic white population in Bushwick (from 5.1% in 1990 to 21.5% in 2017).
The report, “Latinos in Brooklyn: Demographic and Socioeconomic Transformations in Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace and Bushwick, 1990-2017,” examines key socioeconomic trends in Brooklyn, New York. The report focuses on the two community districts that have the first- and second-largest Latino populations in the borough: the Bushwick (community district 4) and Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace (community district 7). Changing patterns and characteristics of individuals residing in these areas are investigated in detail by their sex, race/ethnicity, nativity status, employment status, income level, educational attainment, and citizenship status.

Other key findings:

  • Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, and Ecuadorians were among the four largest Latino national subgroups in both areas. Among these national subgroups, the number of Mexicans grew steadily, while the Puerto Rican population declined between 1990 and 2017. (how much of a decline?)


  • The median household income for non-Hispanic whites was $106,600 in Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace and $123,000 in Bushwick in 2017, which was a significant increase from $62,631 and $32,857 in 1990, respectively. Among the Latino subgroups, Puerto Ricans were the most well-off ($76,800) in Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace, while Ecuadorians earned the most ($62,600) in Bushwick in 2017.


  • Employment rates among Latinos climbed from 57.9% to 65.9% in Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace, and from 45.5% to 64.4% in Bushwick. At the same time, their unemployment rates dropped from 6.1% to 3.6% and 9.4% to 3.1%, respectively.


  • Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace and Bushwick both experienced an increase in their share of the foreign-born population. In 2017, 71.7% of Asians and 42.0% of Latinos in Sunset Park/Windsor Terrace were foreign-born, while 65.1% of Asians and 41.6% of Latinos in Bushwick were foreign-born.

A link to the full report is available online.

About The Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies
The core mission of CLACLS is to actively support and advance the study of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos in the U.S. in the doctoral programs of The Graduate Center, and to provide opportunities for Latino students at the Ph.D. level. CLACLS’s flagship program is the Latino Data Project, established in 2003 by Laird W. Bergad, founding and current CLACLS director.  Bergad is a distinguished professor in the Department of Latin American, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Lehman College and with the Ph.D. Program in History at The Graduate Center. The Latino Data Project conducts detailed quantitative research on the Latino population of the United States and New York City metropolitan region, analyzing raw data files produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and other government agencies.
About The Graduate Center, CUNY
The Graduate Center, CUNY is a leader in public graduate education devoted to enhancing the public good through pioneering research, serious learning, and reasoned debate. The Graduate Center offers ambitious students more than 40 doctoral and master’s programs of the highest caliber, taught by top faculty from throughout CUNY — the nation’s largest public urban university. Through its nearly 40 centers, institutes, initiatives, and the Advanced Science Research Center, The Graduate Center influences public policy and discourse and shapes innovation. The Graduate Center’s extensive public programs make it a home for culture and conversation.

Media contact: Tanya Domi,, +1-646-512-0273