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Spotlight and News

Large variation by national origin in Hispanics' access to neighborhoods of opportunity

Indicators, Visualizations | October 18, 2016

As a whole, Hispanics are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods in U.S. metro areas.  However, reflecting this ethnic group’s diversity, there is great variation by national origin in their distribution across different levels of neighborhood opportunity. Explore Hispanic diversity in terms of access to neighborhoods of opportunity for two dozen Hispanic-origin subgroups across the 100 largest metro areas with new indicators and visualizations.

Across the 100 largest metros combined, Dominican-, Puerto Rican-, Central American- and Mexican-origin Hispanics are the most concentrated in very low-opportunity neighborhoods (the 20% of neighborhoods with the lowest levels of opportunity within their metro area). Those of Dominican-origin are the most concentrated, with 46% living in very low-opportunity neighborhoods compared to only 12% of the Cuban-origin population, according to the Institute Child Opportunity Index.  The Child Opportunity Index is a measure of relative neighborhood opportunity for children across neighborhoods in a metro area and is based on 19 indicators important for children’s healthy development.

In addition to the Dominican-origin population, Puerto Ricans, Hondurans, Mexicans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans were most concentrated in very low-opportunity neighborhoods. On the other hand, Hispanics of several South American origins are the least concentrated in very low-opportunity neighborhoods in their metro areas. These include Paraguayans, Venezuelans, Argentineans, Bolivians, and Chileans.

Even within the same Hispanic subgroup, the share living in the lowest-opportunity neighborhoods of their metro areas differs substantially across metros.  For example, 54% of the Mexican-origin population living in North Port (Sarasota), FL reside in that metro area's very low-opportunity neighborhoods, but only 11% of the Mexican-origin population living in metro New Orleans reside in the very low-opportunity neighborhoods of that metro.