An estimated 1.5 million Hispanics of Dominican origin resided in the United States in 2011, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Dominicans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Dominican origin; this means either they themselves are Dominican immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to the Dominican Republic. Dominicans are the fifth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 2.9% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2011. Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 33.5 million, or 64.6%, of the Hispanic population in 2011.1
This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Dominican population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on tabulations from the 2011 American Community Survey by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. Key facts include:
- Immigration status. More than half of the Dominicans (56%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 36% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. A majority of immigrants from the Dominican Republic (64%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. Less than half of Dominican immigrants (48%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. A majority (56%) of Dominicans speak English proficiently.2 The other 44% of Dominicans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 34% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Dominicans are younger than U.S. population and slightly older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Dominicans is 28; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Dominicans ages 15 and older are less likely to be married (35%) than Hispanics overall (43%) or the U.S. population overall (48%).
- Fertility. Less than one-in-ten (7%) Dominican women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to this survey. That was similar to the rate for all Hispanic women—8%—and the overall rate for U.S. women—6%. More than half (59%) of Dominican women ages 15 to 44 who gave birth in the 12 months prior to the survey were unmarried. That was higher than the rate for all Hispanic women—47%—and the overall rate for U.S. women—38%.
- Regional dispersion. About eight-in-ten Dominicans (78%) live in the Northeast, and nearly half (48%) live in New York.
- Educational attainment. Dominicans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall but lower levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 16% of Dominicans ages 25 and older—compared with 13% of all U.S. Hispanics and 29% among the entire U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Dominicans ages 16 and older were $20,000 in the year prior to the survey, the same as the earnings of all Hispanics; the median earnings for the U.S. population were $29,000.
- Poverty status. The share of Dominicans who live in poverty, 28%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and slightly higher than the rate for Hispanics overall (26%).
- Health Insurance. About two-in-ten Dominicans (21%) do not have health insurance compared with 30% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 8% of Dominicans younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Dominican homeownership (25%) is lower than the rate for all Hispanics (46%) and the U.S. population (65%) as a whole.
About the Data
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Dominican origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2011 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 2011 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, 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/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).