Dominicans Have Likely Surpassed Puerto Ricans as NYC's Largest Latino Group


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The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLALCS) announced today a new study – “Have Dominicans Surpassed Puerto Ricans to Become New York City’s Largest Latino Nationality?
The study carefully examines three different data sets for 2013 released by the U.S. Census Bureau to determine population changes among the largest five Latino nationalities in New York City and the metropolitan region. Each data set was based on samples of the population and although the results are not uniform, the detailed findings suggest that Dominicans have overtaken and probably surpassed Puerto Ricans in the City population, but not in surrounding counties.
This was part of a longer-term trend: The number of Puerto Ricans in the City has been steadily declining since 1990 because of the end of arrivals from Puerto Rico to the region, and the outmigration of Puerto Ricans who have moved to the suburbs, returned to Puerto Rico, or relocated to other areas in the U.S., especially Florida.
“What stands out from the data is the extraordinary increase in the Dominican population of the City since 2010,” said Laird W. Bergad, professor and director of CLALCS and the report’s author. “Dominicans increased by over 140,000 people in these three years, or more than the growth experienced in the decade between 2000 and 2010.”
To explain this central finding of the study, Bergad found that there was an upsurge in migration from the Dominican Republic. Over 55,000 Dominicans arrived between 2010 and 2013. Additionally, according to New York City’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, Dominicans had the highest number of births among the Latino national subgroups in the City. Over 33,000 children were born to Dominican mothers between 2010 and 2012, and it may be assumed that about 11,000 more were born in 2013, although those data have not been released. Finally, some 14,000 Dominicans came to the City from other parts of the U.S. between 2010 and 2013.
The study analyzed three Census Bureau data sets for 2013: the American Community Survey PUMS (Public Use Micro data Series) released by the Census Bureau and reorganized for public use by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota, IPUMSusa, (; the American Community Surveys 1-Year sample for 2013; and the survey’s 3-Year sample data.
“If anything, this examination of the three American Community Survey (ACS) data sets for 2013 indicates the difficulty of arriving at precise population estimates for subgroups of the population, such as Latino nationalities in New York City and its surrounding counties,” Bergad said. “This is because each data set yielded different results because each was based on sampling.”
Yet the ACS 1-Year and 3-Year data provides margins of error which may be factored in to reconcile discrepancies from the three results. Data from all three are presented in the report.
The Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies (CLACLS) promotes the study and understanding of Latin American and Caribbean cultures and the communities established in the United States, with a special focus on New York City, by peoples from this vast and extraordinarily diverse region. CLACLS researches and publishes innovative data-based studies focused upon New York City’s and the nation’s Latino communities, such as CLACLS’ flagship Latino Data Project. The Latino Data Project provides the public with insights on various aspects of the New York City Latino experience.