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Cowboy Boots at a Mexican Zapateria in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Cowboy Boots at a Mexican Zapateria in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Population 169,572 people living in New York City were born in Mexico.
Source: 2006 American Community Survey
Neighborhoods Elmhurst/Corona, Queens: 10,399
Sunset Park, Brooklyn: 8,526
East Harlem, Manhattan: 8,032
Bushwick, Brooklyn: 4,915
Source: 2000 United States Census
Religion(s) Catholicism and Pentecostalism
Language(s) Spanish
History
A huge number of undocumented Mexican immigrants living in the US were legalized when the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) was passed in 1986, increasing census numbers and facilitating further Mexican immigration. “Between 1986 and 1991, the number of Mexicans admitted to permanent residence rose by a factor of 14 as more than 2 million Mexicans received green cards after being legalized under IRCA” (2001 “Mexican Immigration to the United States: Continuities and Changes” by Jorge Durand, Douglas S. Massey and Rene M. Zenteno, Latin American Research Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, 122). The Mexican economic crisis in 1982 caused many Mexicans to move to New York in the 1980s (“Coming to America: Rural Mexicans Flock to New York” by Tamar Jacoby, New York Daily Sun, September 8, 2003).

Population Facts:

  • Within the Mexican-born population in New York City, men far outnumber women. The ratio, 154 men to 100 women, is the second highest among the top 20 NYC immigrant groups—Pakistanis have the highest. The average for the NYC foreign-born population is 91 males to 100 females. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf.
  • Foreign-born Mexicans have the lowest percentage of owner-occupied households among the top 20 NYC immigrant groups—6.7 percent. The average for the NYC foreign-born population is 28.3 percent. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf
  • Mexicans have the highest percentage of over-crowded households among the top 20 NYC immigrant groups—66.1 percent. The average for the NYC foreign-born population is 25.4 percent. Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf
  • Mexicans “saw among the highest growth in the city, with their numbers nearly quadrupling in the 1990s.” Source: “The Newest New Yorkers Briefing Booklet” (2000), http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/nny_briefing_booklet.pdf

Fun Facts:

  • Every year on December 12, thousands of Mexicans flock to Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Corona, Queens, to bring flowers to the Virgin Mary during the Feast of Guadalupe.
  • The 74th Street stop off the 7 train in Queens and the Red Hook Ball Fields in Brooklyn are hot spots for Mexican street vendors. Fernando Martinez, a Red Hook Ball Fields vendor from Puebla, Mexico, won the 2009 Vendy Cup, a prize awarded annually by the Street Vendor Project. Source: http://www.redhookfoodvendors.com/Martinez.html
  • “Quinceanera” dresses are sold at special shops in Mexican communities throughout New York City. Quinceanera is a coming of age party thrown for a girl when she turns 15; this tradition is observed throughout Latin America.