An estimated 611,000 Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin resided in the United States in 2009, 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 1.3% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2009. Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 31.7 million, or 65.5%, of the Hispanic population in 2009.1
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 tabulations from the 2009 American Community Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.2 Key facts include:
- Immigration status. Two-thirds of Ecuadorians (65%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 37% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. Two-thirds of immigrants from Ecuador (67%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. Nearly four-in-ten Ecuadorian immigrants (38%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. About half of Ecuadorians (49%) speak English proficiently.[3.This includes Ecuadorians ages 5 and older who report speaking only English at home or speaking English very well.]
- Age. Ecuadorians are younger than the U.S. population and older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Ecuadorians is 31; 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—48% versus 45%.
- Fertility. Three-in-ten (32%) 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—40%—and the rate for U.S. women—35%.
- Regional dispersion. Two-thirds of Ecuadorians (64%) live in the Northeast, and four-in-ten (41%) live in New York.
- Educational attainment. Ecuadorians have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall. Some 18% of Ecuadorians ages 25 and older—compared with 13% 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 $22,700 in 2009; the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics were $20,000.
- Poverty status. The share of Ecuadorians who live in poverty, 16%, is similar to the rate for the general U.S. population (14%) and lower than the 23% share among all Hispanics.
- Health Insurance. One-third of Ecuadorians (34%) do not have health insurance compared with 31% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 11% of Ecuadorians younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Ecuadorian homeownership (43%) is lower than the rate for all Hispanics (48%) and the U.S. population (66%) as a whole.
About the Data
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2009 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 2009 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 http://www.census.gov/acs/www/methodology/methodology_main/. 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, 2009)). 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/methodology/ASA_nelson.pdf, http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/laborfor/laborfactsheet092209.html and http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/datasources/factsheet.html).