Nicaraguan American: Wikis


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Nicaraguan American
Nicaragüense Estadounidense Nicaragua United States
Hilda Solis.jpgDianaLopez.jpg
Hilda SolisDiana López
Total population
281,167 (2005 est)[1][2]
Regions with significant populations
Florida 79,559 (2000 est)
California 51,336 (2000 est)

Spanish, English


Roman Catholic, Protestantism

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Nicaraguan American (Spanish: Nicaragüense Estadounidense) are Americans of Nicaraguan ancestry who were born in or have immigrated to the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 177,684 Americans of full or partial Nicaraguan ancestry living in the U.S. in 2000 and an estimated 281,167 in 2005.


Early immigration

The earliest documents of immigration from Nicaragua to the United States was combined in total with those of other Central American countries. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau some 7,500 Nicaraguans legally immigrated from 1967 to 1976. An estimated 28,620 Nicaraguans were living in the U.S. in 1970, 90% of which self-reported as white on the 1970 census. Most Nicaraguan immigrants during the late 1960s were women: there were only 60 male Nicaraguan immigrants for every 100 female immigrants during this period.[3] In 1998 more than two million Nicaraguans were left homeless due to hurricane Mitch, as a result many Nicaraguans received permanent residence or temporary protected status (TPS) in the late 1990s.[4]

According to the 1990 U.S. Census 168,659 of the total 202,658 documented Nicaraguans in the U.S. were born in Nicaragua.[5] In 1992 approximately 10–12% of the Nicaraguan population had emigrated. These emigrants tended to be disproportionately of working age, better educated, and more often white-collar workers than nonmigrants. In addition, emigrants were more likely to come from larger premigration households and higher income households.[6]

Motives for emigration

J Smooth and Miss Nicaragua 2007, Xiomara Blandino celebrating La Feria Agostina, or the Nicaraguan Festival, in Los Angeles with up to 8,000 Nicaraguan Americans.

During the 1979 uprising, many wealthy families left Nicaragua. The Sandinista revolution during the 1980s brought a wave of Nicaraguan refugees into the U.S.[7] and the largest wave of documented immigrants. Over 62 percent of the total documented immigration from 1979 to 1988 occurred after 1984.[6] Another motive for emigration during the 80s was the Contra war.

Many Nicaraguans who immigrated did so to escape poverty, in Santa Clara County, California, the Nicaraguan public benefits recipients reported that in their families, 43% have one self-employed person or business owner, and 14% of the families have two such persons.[4]

However, nearly all of the estimated 200,000 Nicaraguans who fled to the U.S. (and other nearby Central American countries) between 1978–1979 returned after the victory of the Sandinistas in 1979.[8]


As of the United States 2000 population census, the number of Nicaraguan Americans was 177,684. Approximately 83,533 males and 94,151 females. Of the population, about 76% was 18 or older and just 5% was 65 or older.[1]

Approximately 68% of the Nicaraguan Americans that were 25 or older were high school graduates or higher and another 11% had received a bachelor's degree or higher. The number of Nicaraguan Americans who had received a bachelor's degree was higher than all other Central American groups in the United States, with the exception of Salvadorans who made up 655 thousand, compared to 177 thousand Nicaraguan Americans. The percentage of the population with a bachelor's degree is higher: 16% of Nicaraguan Americans compared to 5.5% of Salvadoran Americans.[9]


Areas of greatest concentration

The largest concentration of Nicaraguan Americans, about 79,559, is mainly in the South Florida area (particularly Miami-Dade County), most notably around the "Little Managua" section of Little Havana. Sweetwater, Florida and its surrounding area also has a high concentration of Nicaraguan American, in 2000 16.63% of Sweetwater residents identified as being of Nicaraguan heritage.[10] This was the highest percentage of Nicaraguan Americans of any place in the country. As a result, Sweetwater is also locally known as "Little Managua" after Managua, the Nicaraguan capital.[1]

California hosts the second largest concentration, most notably in the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles and San Francisco. The number of Nicaraguan Americans living in California was 51,336 in 2000.[1]

US communities with high percentages of people of Nicaraguan ancestry

The top 25 US communities with the highest percentage of people claiming Nicaraguan ancestry are:[10]

  1. Sweetwater, Florida 16.63%
  2. Fountainbleau, Florida 9.44%
  3. Miami, Florida 5.67%
  4. Hialeah Gardens, Florida 4.87%
  5. Tamiami, Florida 4.66%
  6. Kendale Lakes, Florida 4.59%
  7. Richmond West, Florida 4.19%
  8. Hialeah, Florida 4.07%
  9. West Little River, Florida 3.58%
  10. West Miami, Florida 2.98%
  11. Colma, California 2.94%
  12. University Park, Florida 2.89%
  13. The Hammocks, Florida 2.88%
  1. South Miami Heights, Florida 2.79%
  2. Virginia Gardens, Florida 2.51%
  3. Kendall, Florida 2.48%
  4. Coral Terrace, Florida 2.27%
  5. Westchester, Florida 2.25%
  6. Opa-Locka, Florida 2.22%
  7. Carol City, Florida 2.20%
  8. Princeton, Florida 2.15%
  9. Miami Springs, Florida 2.06%
  10. Medley, Florida 2.00%
  11. Daly City, California 1.98%
  12. Olympia Heights, Florida 1.80%

U.S. communities with the most residents born in Nicaragua

Top 25 U.S. communities with the most residents born in Nicaragua are:[11]

  1. Sweetwater, FL 19.7%
  2. Canal Point, FL 12.4%
  3. Fountainbleau, FL 12.2%
  4. North Westside, FL 10.7%
  5. Miami, FL 7.2%
  6. Gladeview, FL 6.5%
  7. Rollingwood, CA 5.8%
  8. Hialeah, FL 5.6%
  9. Kendale Lakes, FL 5.6%
  10. Tamiami, FL 5.3%
  11. Kendall West, FL 5.1%
  12. Hialeah Gardens, FL 5.0%
  13. Richmond West, FL 4.7%
  1. Stacey Street, FL 4.6%
  2. Kendale Lakes-Lindgren Acres, FL 4.4%
  3. West Little River, FL 4.1%
  4. West Miami, FL 3.9%
  5. Coral Terrace, FL 3.6%
  6. University Park, FL 3.5%
  7. Palmetto Estates, FL 3.4%
  8. Pinewood, FL 3.4%
  9. The Hammocks, FL 3.3%
  10. South Miami Heights, FL 3.3%
  11. Bayview-Montalvin, CA 3.2%
  12. Virginia Gardens, FL 3.2%

Nicaraguan Americans

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ a b c d = "2005 American Community Survey: Race and Hispanic or Latino". U.S. Census Bureau. 2000. =. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  2. ^ The U.S. Census Bureau put the "Margin of Error" at +/-17,444
  3. ^ Orlov, Ann; Reed Veda (1980). "Central and South Americans," Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Harvard University Press. pp. 210–217.  
  4. ^ a b "Context for Nicaraguan Immigration". Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  5. ^ "1990 U.S. Census". U.S. Census Bureau. 1990. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  6. ^ a b Funkhouser, Edward (1992). Migration from Nicaragua: Some Recent Evidence. pp. 1210.  
  7. ^ H. Lundquist, Jennifer; Douglas S. Massey (2005). [n The Contra War and Nicaraguan Migration to the United States]. pp. 29–53. n. Retrieved 2007-05-24.  
  8. ^ Y. Hamamoto, Darrell; Rodolfo D. Torres (1997). New American Destinies: A Reader in Contemporary Asian and Latino Immigration. Routledge. pp. 108. ISBN 0415917689.  
  9. ^ "Demographic Profile Highlights:". U.S. Census Bureau.®=DEC_2000_SAFF_R1010%3A412&_keyword=&_industry=. Retrieved 2007-11-18.  
  10. ^ a b "Ancestry Map of Nicaraguan Communities". Retrieved 2007-07-31.  
  11. ^ "Top 101 cities with the most residents born in Nicaragua (population 500+)". Retrieved 2008-07-31.  
  12. ^ Sowers, Carol. "Children's magazine creator receives entrepreneur award". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved 2007-09-27.  

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