A History of Dominican Immigration to New York

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The Beginning (1962)

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Hispanic Day Parade New York City 2006 / Dominican Republic
Hispanic Day Parade New York City 2006 / Dominican Republic by "Jose Oquendo"

The mass immigration from Dominican Republic only started in the 1960’s, the years of political chaos.[1] In 1962, a dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo died, and his anti-emigration act was broken.[2] Dominican immigrants joined the new wave of immigration when U.S. Immigration laws were reformed in 1965. Consequently, the Dominican civil war arose on April of 1965, and the U.S. intervention caused a lot of political activists to leave the country.[3] Ever since then, the circle of immigration has taken place from and to Dominican Republic and the United States.

From 70's to present

The size of Dominican community in the United States sky-rocketed during 1970s and 1980s. According to the U.S. ccensus, there were 511,297 Dominicans in the United States as permanent residents while 65% of them living in New York State by 1990.[4] New York City alone received an average of 22,028 Dominican immigrants each year from 1990 to 1994. Most of Dominicans moved to New York, especially the neighborhood of Washington Heights. Ever since then, the number incoming Dominicans has not declined.

Dominican Population of New York CIty, by Borough
New York City Borough 1980 1990 2000 Percentage of Total Dominican Pop., 1990
Manhattan 62,660 136,696  ? 41.1
The Bronx 17,640 87,261  ? 26.2
Brooklyn 21,140 55,301  ? 16.6
Queens 23,780 52,309  ? 15.7
Staten Island 160 1,146  ? 0.4
Total 125,380 332,713 554,638 100.0
Source: Hernandez, Rivera-Batiz[5]


  1. Sean T. Buffington Dominican Americans Countries and Their Cultures
  2. Silvio Torres-Saillant and Ramona Hernandez The Dominican Americans (1998)
  3. Richard A. Haggerty Civil War and United States Intervention, 1965 Dominican Republic: A Country Study
  4. Silvio Torres-Saillant and Ramona Hernandez The Dominican Americans (1998)
  5. Ramona Hernández and Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz DOMINICANS IN THE UNITED STATES: A SOCIOECONOMIC PROFILE, 2000 (October 6, 2003)