The Economic Impact of the Hispanic Population on Long Island, New York

Long Island’s Hispanic population has grown dramatically in recent years, led by new immigration from Latin America. Indeed, Hispanics have emerged as the major source of demographic growth for the region - excluding new Hispanic residents, Long Island would have lost, rather than gained, people since 1980. The new Hispanic presence is visible both in cities and villages with established Hispanic populations and in smaller and more remote communities, especially in Suffolk County.

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As workers, consumers, entrepreneurs and taxpayers, Hispanics make important contributions to the Long Island economy. Hispanic residents add nearly $5.7 billion to total Long Island output as a result of their consumer spending. Hispanic employment continues to grow very rapidly - increasing by almost one third from 2000 to 2004 alone - and Hispanic workers are an important presence in diverse regional industries, including Manufacturing, Accommodation and Food Services, Landscaping Services and Construction. Hispanic-owned business is also booming in the region, posting almost $2 billion in sales in 2002. In addition, Long Island Hispanic residents contribute positively to local government budgets. This study finds that Hispanics contribute $614 more per resident to local revenues than they receive in local expenditures on education, health care and corrections.

The importance of Hispanic Long Islanders to the regional economy will only deepen as this population continues to grow in the years ahead. This study documents the extraordinary recent changes in the region’s Hispanic residents and describes the key demographic characteristics of this population. It then quantifies the Hispanic population’s contributions to production, employment and new business creation on Long Island. The report concludes by analyzing the Hispanic contribution to local government revenues and costs.