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U.S. Data Reflect Poor Economic Conditions For Puerto Rican Living in New Jersey

Puerto Ricans in New Jersey had significantly lower incomes, were overrepresented among the unemployed, underrepresented among high school and college graduates, had the highest poverty rates, and spent more of the money they make on housing costs compared to the general population in the Garden State, according to the Centro Data Center’s new data sheet, which is based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2010.

The median household income in 2010 in New Jersey was $67,681, but it was $41,871 for Puerto Ricans.

This disparity was also reflected in per capita income, with Puerto Ricans reporting 45 percent less income ($18,378) than the population as a whole ($33,555). Puerto Ricans are also overrepresented among the unemployed.

The need for supplemental income among Puerto Ricans was reflected by the data on poverty. In New Jersey, Puerto Ricans reported the largest proportion of families living below the poverty level (22 percent) and the highest rate of poverty among all people (23 percent), compared to the levels reported (8 percent and 10 percent respectively) for the entire population. Poverty was greatest (43 percent) for Puerto Rican female-headed households, especially for those with children under five years old (69 percent).

The rate of homeownership among Puerto Ricans was almost half of the New Jersey population. Puerto Ricans had the lowest rate when compared to other groups, except for Latinos as a whole.

The costs of home ownership for Puerto were lower than for the New Jersey population: $2,243 for Puerto Ricans and $2,370 for the population.

While Puerto Ricans generally made less in income, they tended to pay more on housing costs. More than 54 percent of Puerto Rican homeowners spent 30 percent or more of their income on housing costs, a figure higher than for the New Jersey population overall (47 percent).

The rental market was the primary housing market for Puerto Ricans, and the monthly rent was 8 percent lower than other renters in New Jersey.

As far as educational attainment, Puerto Ricans were at parity with the total New Jersey population among those who have earned an associate’s degree. But Puerto Ricans were overrepresented among those without a high school diploma and underrepresented among those with a college degree.

For more information on the socioeconomic conditions of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey, view the data sheet at Puerto Ricans in New Jersey 2010.