Cubans in the US: Richer Than Other Hispanics but Speak Less English

The foreign-born Cuban population living in the US has risen 50%. (Luigi Novi)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, September 18, 2019 — Cubans residing in the US in 2017 rose to 2.3 million, according to a study published this Monday by the Pew Research Center, which relies on data from the last available census in the country. The figure includes both those born on the Island and descendants of Cubans.

With this quantity, Cubans make up the third-largest population of Hispanic origin in the US, 4% of the total. Another significant figure that the data analysis reveals is their spectacular growth, from 1.2 million in 2000 to 2.3 million in 2017, an increase of 84%. Additionally, the foreign-born Cuban population living in the US has increased 50%, from 853,000 in 2000 to 1.3 million in 2017. The largest group in the country is Mexican, made up of 36.6 million, 62% of the Hispanic population.

The comparison of the data of the Cuban community with the Hispanic whole reveals other realities. Only 33% of the whole were born abroad, while among Cuban-Americans, it’s 56%. And 43% of the foreign-born Cubans have been in the US more than 20 years, and 58% of them are American citizens.

In the educational realm, 27% of Cubans over 25 have obtained a college degree, compared with 16% of Hispanics. Islanders also have a 38% probability of getting a college degree compared with 23% of Latinos.

Consequently, Cubans also have higher incomes, with a median of $28,000 annually compared with $25,000 for Hispanics as a whole. The amount rises to $35,000 for Cuban full-time workers, slightly more than the $34,000 for the whole.

The same outlook transfers to poverty, which affects 19% of Hispanics compared with 16% of Cubans, an average of the figures for those between those born in the US (14%) and abroad (17%).

The economic figures also impact home ownership, with a rate of 51% for Cubans and 47% for Hispanics. Cubans born in the US are homeowners at a greater rate than those born abroad (55% compared with 50%).

By concentration, the Cuban population is found mainly in Florida (66%), California (5%), and New Jersey (4%); and its average age (40) is older than that of Americans (38) and, especially, Hispanics, the youngest group of those assessed, with an average of 29 years.

Cubans born abroad marry more than Americans (49% compared with 37%), although without including place of birth, the number of married is 45%, less than Hispanic Americans, with 46%. In the same way, Cubans have lower rates of fertility than the Hispanic whole, with 5% compared to 7%.

Regarding language, Cubans seem less inclined to change it than the rest of Latinos. Around 70% of Hispanics in the US older than 5 only speak English at home or speak English at least “very well,” compared with 61% of Cubans.

Regarding adults, 64% of Hispanics are fluent in English, a quantity notably greater than the 55% of Cubans who have the same fluency.

Translated by: Sheilagh Herrera


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.