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A deeper reading of "Dominicans in the United States: A Socioeconomic Profile"
The 83-page report is the first to study US Dominicans' social and economic statuses from 2010 to 2020.
Earlier this month, in Bronx Frontlines' inaugural essay, I wrote about "Dominicans in the United States: A Socioeconomic Profile," the 2022 report by Ramona Hernandez, Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz, and Sidie S. Sisay of CUNY's Dominican Studies Institute. I discussed the report's finding that most Dominicans in the United States now live in the Bronx—a fact responsible for the name of this newsletter.
In today’s post, I wanted to spend some more time delving into the study.
The report states that there are over two million Dominicans in the U.S. As of 2020, 737,143 Dominicans—a third of the U.S. population—live in New York City. Over 400,000 Dominicans migrated yearly, on a net basis, from 2010 to 2020, and the number of Dominicans born in this country continues to grow, with almost one million US-born Dominicans in 2020.
The 83-page report is the first to study U.S. Dominicans' social and economic statuses from 2010 to 2020. They used data from the U.S. Census, the American Community Survey, and the Current Population Survey. Their research also focuses on how COVID-19 affected U.S. Dominicans, particularly our unemployment rates. In 2019, the unemployment rate for Dominicans was 6.5 percent, and in 2020, it was 11.8 percent. (Last year, Hernandez, Pedro Ortega, Nancy Sohler, and Sarah Marrara published a separate report focusing entirely on the pandemic's impact on Dominicans, titled "Understanding COVID-19 Among People of Dominican Descent in the U.S.: A Comparison of New York, New Jersey, Florida, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Connecticut.”)
"A Socioeconomic Profile" focuses on our labor, particularly women's labor; where we live, grow our families, and move throughout the States; the impact of the 2008 recession on Dominicans; our population numbers in the last 20 years; and the differences between second-generation Dominicans and their parents, with particular attention given to the difference in educational attainment.
The report's data has the following six sections:
"Growth and Distribution of the Dominican Population in the U.S."
"The Socioeconomic Status of Dominicans"
"Demography and Socioeconomic Status"
"Labor Market Outcomes of Dominicans in the United States"
"The Educational Attainment of the Dominican Population"
"The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic."
Between 2010 and 2020, our population almost doubled, growing from 1,537,558 to 2,216,258. At the current rate of growth, Dominicans in the next ten years will become the third largest Hispanic/Latino group.
Dominicans are younger than the larger U.S. population and participate in the labor market at higher rates. According to the report, "The average participation rate of Dominican men in the workforce rose from 64 percent in 2000 to 74.4 percent in 2019. Among Dominican women, the increase was from 53.1 percent in 2000 to 64.7 percent in 2019.” They add “that the overall male labor force participation rate in the U.S. dropped from 72.7 percent in 2000 to 68.6 percent in 2019. Among women, the overall labor force participation rate remained unchanged, equal to 58.9 percent in 2000 and 58.8 percent in 2019."
The researchers focused on "the increased complexity of the Dominican experience" as one that "is not only geographical, but also generational," adding that "it must be recognized that Dominican immigration to the United States, which had slowed down in the decade of the 2000s, resurged in the 2010s and has provided an additional level of complexity to the Dominican experience."
"A Socioeconomic Profile" focuses on how our migration patterns in the States have evolved in the last 20 years. Most of us live in New York, but significant numbers are also moving away from the state. It also highlights the material conditions of Dominicans in the U.S., from our educational journeys to our labor to the cities we call home. It discusses how we participate in the U.S. labor force at higher rates, yet our communities continue to face higher poverty rates.
I have reached out to Ramona Hernandez, and if our schedules align, I will interview her about her sociological and historical work, including the 25th anniversary of The Dominican Americans. I want to think through and write about her work and connect it more fully to how New York City is changing under the Eric Adams administration. Look for that conversation in the coming months.
I encourage you to read "Dominicans in the United States: A Socioeconomic Profile" and comment or email your thoughts.
Next week’s Wednesday post is an article that looks at what Adams has—or hasn't done—in his first year in office and how his policies and changes impact Dominicans in NYC.