Ecuadoreans are Largest Latino Group in Queens

Ecuadoreans represent 26 percent of the Queens Latino population, closely followed by Mexicans at 25 percent. (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

While the tricolor flags of different Latin American countries have become more visible in the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights and Corona, Queens, there is one in particular – Ecuador’s yellow, blue and red flag – that is increasingly present in the area.

A new study released on Wednesday by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) at the CUNY Graduate Center found that Ecuadorean immigrants are the new majority in the borough. They represent 26 percent of its Latino population and have surpassed their South American neighbors, Colombians, who now make up 14 percent of all Hispanics there.

The second largest Latino group is Mexicans, who are at a close second at 25 percent.

“Both the Ecuadorian and Mexican populations have experienced considerable growth since 1990, when they accounted for only 12 percent and 4 percent of the neighborhood’s Latino population, respectively,” said the analysis, which took into account growth among Queens’ Latino community since that year.

The numbers also show that the third largest Latino community in the area are Dominicans, with 18 percent, followed by Colombians with 14 and Puerto Ricans with 5 percent.

While the report offers no specifics on Venezuelans, they are another growing community in the area, particularly since 2013, when the start of Nicolás Maduro’s presidency exacerbated the country’s crisis. (…)

The report also looked into the impact of gentrification in the Queens Latino population, and, according to census data, things are different there than in other boroughs.

“In short, the Latino community of Jackson Heights/Corona is not being displaced in any meaningful way. On the contrary, while there has certainly been an increase in the income of non-Hispanic whites living in the district over the last decade, the non-Hispanic white population has decreased sharply between 1990 and 2016, while the Latino community has grown considerably,” added the CLACS report.

Since 1990, when the area had 61,766 Latino residents, the community was already the majority. In 2016, Latinos made up 109,035 – 65.6 percent – of the 166,108 total residents of Jackson Heights and Corona.

Still, while there were 35,857 white residents in the area in the 1990s, just over 17,000 of them lived there by 2016.

In addition to Jackson Heights and Corona, CUNY will perform the same study about the impact of gentrification in other neighborhoods with a large Latino presence. The next one will be Washington Heights, home to the largest Dominican community in the Big Apple, followed by the South Bronx.


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