A total of 523,000 Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin resided in the United States in 2007, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Ecuadorians in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin; this means either they themselves are Ecuadorian immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to Ecuador. Ecuadorians are the ninth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 1.2% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2007. Mexicans constituted 29.2 million, or 64.3%, of the Hispanic population.1
This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Ecuadorian population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the 2007 American Community Survey. Key facts include:
- Immigration status. Two-thirds of Ecuadorians (67.9%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 39.8% of Hispanics and 12.6% of the U.S. population overall. Two-thirds of immigrants from Ecuador (66.0%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. Four-in-ten Ecuadorian immigrants (40.6%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. Less than half of Ecuadorians (47.4%) speak English proficiently.2 Some 52.6% of Ecuadorians ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 38.8% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Ecuadorians are younger than the U.S. population and older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Ecuadorians is 30; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 36 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Ecuadorians are more likely than Hispanics overall to be married—51.1% versus 47.3%.
- Fertility. One-third (34.5%) of Ecuadorian women ages 15 to 44 who gave birth in the 12 months prior to the survey were unmarried. That was less than the rate for all Hispanic women—38.1%—and similar to the rate for U.S. women—33.4%.
- Regional dispersion. Two-thirds of Ecuadorians (66.4%) live in the Northeast, and more than four-in-ten (42.9%) live in New York.
- Educational attainment. Ecuadorians have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall. Some 18.2% of Ecuadorians ages 25 and older—compared with 12.6% of all U.S. Hispanics—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Ecuadorians ages 16 and older were $21,655 in 2007; the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics were $21,048.
- Poverty status. The share of Ecuadorians who live in poverty, 14.8%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (11.9%) and below the 19.5% share among all Hispanics.
- Homeownership. The rate of Ecuadorian homeownership (41.8%) is lower than the rate for all Hispanics (49.9%) and the U.S. population (67.2%) as a whole.
About the Data
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2007 American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is the largest household survey in the United States, with a sample of about 3 million addresses. The data used for this statistical profile come from 2007 ACS Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS), representing a 1% sample of the U.S. population.
Like any survey, estimates from the ACS are subject to sampling error and (potentially) measurement error. Information on the ACS sampling strategy and associated error is available at www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS/accuracy2007.pdf. An example of measurement error is that citizenship rates for the foreign born are estimated to be overstated in the Decennial Census and other official surveys, such as the ACS (see Jeffrey Passel. “Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing Naturalization,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (March 28, 2007)). Finally, estimates from the ACS may differ from the Decennial Census or other Census Bureau surveys due to differences in methodology and data collection procedures (see, for example, http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/Report10.pdf and http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/ACS/ASA_nelson.pdf).