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 1.3% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2013. Since 1990, the Ecuadorian-origin population has more than tripled, growing from 186,000 to 687,000 over the period. At the same time, the foreign-born population of Ecuadorian origin living in the U.S. grew by 203%, up from 137,000 in 1990 to 417,000 in 2013. In comparison, Mexicans, the nation’s largest Hispanic origin group, constituted 34.6 million, or 64.1%, of the Hispanic population in 2013.1
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 Research Center tabulations of the 2013 American Community Survey. Key facts include:
- Immigration status. About six-in-ten Ecuadorians (61%) in the United States are foreign born, compared with 35% of Hispanics and 13% of the U.S. population overall. About one-third of immigrants from Ecuador (35%) have been in the U.S. for over 20 years. About four-in-ten Ecuadorian immigrants (42%) are U.S. citizens.
- Language. More than half of Ecuadorians ages 5 and older (55%) speak English proficiently.2 The other 45% of Ecuadorians report speaking English less than very well, compared with 32% of all Hispanics. In addition, 87% of Ecuadorians ages 5 and older speak Spanish at home.
- Age. Ecuadorians are younger than the U.S. population but 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 28, respectively. Among Ecuadorians, the median age of immigrants is 41 years, while it’s only 13 years among the U.S. born.
- Marital status. Ecuadorians ages 18 and older are married at a slightly higher rate (51%) than Hispanics overall (46%) and about the same rate as the U.S. population overall (50%). Among Ecuadorians ages 18 and older, the foreign born are twice as likely to be married than those who are U.S. born—57% vs. 29%.
- Fertility. Some 6% of Ecuadorian 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 (7%) and the same as the overall rate for U.S. women.
- Regional dispersion. Two-thirds of Ecuadorians (66%) live in the Northeast, and four-in-ten live in New York.
- Educational attainment. Ecuadorians have higher levels of education than the U.S. Hispanic population but lower levels than the U.S. population overall. Some 19% of Ecuadorians ages 25 and older—compared with 14% of all U.S. Hispanics and 30% among the entire U.S. population—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree. Among Ecuadorians ages 25 and older, the U.S. born are more likely to have earned a bachelor’s degree or more than foreign-born Ecuadorians—35% vs. 16%.
- Income. The median annual personal earnings for Ecuadorians ages 16 and older was $24,000 in the year prior to the survey—higher than the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics ($21,900) but lower than the median earnings for the U.S. population ($30,000).
- Poverty status. The share of Ecuadorians who live in poverty, 19%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (16%) and lower than the rate for Hispanics overall (25%).
- Health insurance. About three-in-ten Ecuadorians (31%) do not have health insurance, compared with 29% of all Hispanics and 15% of the general U.S. population. One-in-ten Ecuadorians younger than 18 are uninsured. (These data reflect insurance rates prior to the implementation of the individual insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act.)
- Homeownership. The rate of Ecuadorian homeownership (39%) is lower than the rate for all Hispanics (45%) and the U.S. population (64%) as a whole.
This statistical profile of Hispanics of Ecuadorian origin is based on the Census Bureau’s 2013 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 2013 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 S. Passel. 2007. “Growing Share of Immigrants Choosing Naturalization.” Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, March). 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/hhes/www/laborfor/laborfactsheet092209.html and http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/about/datasources/factsheet.html).