Did the COVID Pandemic Result in an Exodus of the Latino Population of New York City and the New York Metropolitan Region?

Did Latinos Leave the New York Metro Area because of COVID?

A New Report from the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies at The Graduate Center, CUNY Studies the Demographic Change of Latinos in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Contact: E-mail: clacls@gc.cuny.edu

NEW YORK, October 11, 2022—The Graduate Center of The City University of New York’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) has released an updated report on the changes in the Latino population of the New York metropolitan area up to 2021.

The report, titled “Did the COVID Pandemic Result in an Exodus of the Latino Population of New York City and the New York Metropolitan Region?” examines the number of Latinos in the area in 2018, 2019, and the recently released 2021 data.

Despite the catastrophic health impact of COVID on the Latino population of the region, there was not a mass exodus of Latinos from the City or the metro area. The City’s overall population increased by o.5% between 2018 and 2021 and 1.3% between 2019 and 2021. The ‘Hispanic’ population—excluding Spaniards—rose by 0.2% between 2018 and 2021 and 1.4% between 2019 and 2021.

Other key findings:

  • In New York City, the Puerto Rican population increased by 4.1% between 2019 and 2021; the Dominican population by 0.8%; Mexicans by 5.3%; Colombians by 0.3%; and Ecuadorians by 12.9%.

  • When the New York Metro Area is examined, the overall population rose by 3.8% between 2018 and 2021 and 4.2% between 2019 and 2021. The Hispanic population excluding Spaniards increased by 3.4% between 2018 and 2021 and 3.8% between 2019 and 2021.

  • In the New York Metro Area, the Puerto Rican population declined by 5.7% between 2019 and 2021; the Dominican population increased by 9.0%; Mexicans by 2.1%; Colombians by 8.3%; and Ecuadorians by 9.5%.

  • These new data contradict a report issued by the New York City’s Planning, Population division, estimated that the City’s population fell by 3.8% between April 1, 2020 and July 1, 2021. In July 2022 CLACLS issued a report which estimated that the City’s Latino population fell by -2.8% between 2017 and 2020. These new 2021 data reveal that these conclusions may have been erroneous.

Contact Sebastián Villamizar-Santamaría, Director of Quantitative Research, for a PDF of the report at svillamizarsantamaria@gradcenter.cuny.edu.

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 of The City University of New York (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, and initiatives, including its Advanced Science Research Center (ASRC), 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.

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