You are here

"Latinos in the Northeast," National Community for Latino Leadership, Inc., November 1998

Latinos in the Northeast: Myths/Realities

Latinos in the Northeast: Myths/Realities

Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, CUNY, CEN_EM_B13F9_258
Document Description
Excerpt from "Latinos in the Northeast: Myths and Realities," by Louis Nunez, from the National Community for Latino Leadership, Inc., November 1998.
Compare four groups of Latinos in the Northeast: Dominicans, Cubans, Central and South Americans, and Puerto Ricans. How does the document demonstrate that each group has many differences and concerns?
Why are Latinos considered part of a new community of “people of color”?
In 1996 a projected rivalry between African Americans and Latinos over the national agenda was feared. Do you think such a rivalry is occurring? Explain.
Why will there be greater unity among Latinos in the future? What binding elements appeared to be emerging in the Latino community at the end of the twentieth century?
In 1996 Hispanics made up what percent of the population of New York and metropolitan New Jersey?
What racial/ethnic groups does the U.S. Census recognize? Why is it difficult to categorize people in this way?
Historical Challenges
The Hispanic/Latino population in the United Sates by the end of first decade of this century surpassed all estimates and predictions, with Hispanics becoming the largest minority group in the country. Research three American cities or metropolitan areas to determine how they have been affected by the growing Latino community. Make predictions as to how these changes will impact those cities or areas, as well as this nation, in the near future.
Research why immigrants came to the United States from Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. List the similarities and differences in their reasons for coming. Where did they settle?
Interdisciplinary Connections
Math: Make a pie graph of the population of New York City or another major city in New York State that shows the ethnic/racial make up of the people there.
English Language Arts: After you research 2007 population figures, rewrite the essay using those statistics.
New York State Library. "Selected Hispanic and Latino Websites."
Perez, Sonia M. et al. 2001. Beyond the Census: Hispanics and An American Agenda (Final Edition). National Council of La Raza.


Historical Context
The Latino population in the northeastern United States, as defined as those living in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, increasingly became the dominant ethnic minority of the region during the 1990s and in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Since the 1970s Hispanics and Latinos have been categorized as an ethnic group rather than a racial one. During the 1990s Latinos represented about 12% of the national population. Within the next decades, Hispanics had far exceeded estimated growth to make up nearly 18% of the U.S. population, becoming the largest minority group in the United States. Although Latinos were still living mostly in the five most populated states, their presence was felt in all states and regions of the country. While Mexicans continue to be the dominant ethnic group, Latinos diversified as a whole during this time. The Mexican population in the Northeast skyrocketed during the years following the twentieth century. Dominicans would ultimately surpass Puerto Ricans as the dominant group in New York. In 1990 Latinos were the most highly urbanized group the United Sates, at over 90%.
Essential Question
How does immigration impact the relationship between different cultural groups within a community?
Check for Understanding
Identify the main idea of this document and explain the impact of immigration on various cultural groups.