An estimated 645,000 Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin resided in the United States in 2011, 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 10th-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 1.2% 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 Ecuadorian 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. About six-in-ten Ecuadorians (62%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 36% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. About two-thirds of immigrants from Ecuador (67%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. More than four-in-ten Ecuadorian immigrants (42%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. More than half of Ecuadorians (53%) speak English proficiently.2 The other 47% of Ecuadorians ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 34% of all Hispanics.
- Age. Ecuadorians are younger than U.S. population and older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Ecuadorians is 32; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 37 and 27, respectively.
- Marital status. Ecuadorians ages 15 and older are married at a higher rate than Hispanics overall—46% versus 43%—and at a lower rate than the entire U.S. population 15 years of age and older (48%).
- Fertility. Less than one-in-ten (7%) Ecuadorian women ages 15 to 44 gave birth in the 12 months prior to this survey. That was similar to the overall rate for all Hispanic women—8%—and the rate for U.S. women—6%.
- Regional dispersion. Two-thirds of Ecuadorians (66%) live in the Northeast, and four-in-ten (40%) live in New York.
- Educational attainment. Ecuadorians have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall but lower levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 19% of Ecuadorians 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 Ecuadorians ages 16 and older were $22,000 in the year prior to the survey—higher than the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics ($20,000) but lower than the median earnings for the U.S. population ($29,000).
- Poverty status. The share of Ecuadorians who live in poverty, 18%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and lower than the rate for Hispanics overall (26%).
- Health Insurance. More than three-in-ten Ecuadorians (32%) do not have health insurance compared with 30% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 9% of Ecuadorians younger than 18 are uninsured.
- Homeownership. The rate of Ecuadorian homeownership (40%) 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 Ecuadorian 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).