New York City's Booming Mexican Population
By Michelle Armstrong
The Mexican population in New York City is booming, and the steady influx of immigrants indicates that the numbers will continue to rise. Almost 80 percent of Mexicans in New York were born outside of the United States, often because "family members and friends . . . move between the two countries [and] facilitate the flow of information," says Francisco Rivera-Batiz. The professor of economics and education conducted a study using 2000 Census data. His findings reveal that the population of this ethnic group has early tripled in the past decade, increasing from 61,772 in 1990 to 186,872 in 2000. Moreover, Rivera-Batiz acknowledges that this figure may be closer to 300,000 when undocumented immigrants are taken into account.
The chance for work is a major lure for immigrants, but their earnings in low-paying service industries are typically only around $10,231 per capita, which is less than half of the city average. That still means a significant increase from the roughly $1,000 annual income earned in rural Mexico. "Employment opportunities in New York are quickly transmitted to potential workers," says Rivera-Batiz. Yet, despite the fact that Mexican men have the highest employment rate among major ethnic groups, the population remains among the least educated in New York City.
The article, entitled "Welcome, Amigos" appeared in the September 16 edition of the New York Post.