Released: May 8, 2008
Hispanic Women in the United States, 2007
III. Economic Characteristics
A greater share of native-born Hispanic women than immigrant Hispanic women participate in the labor force.
- The majority of Hispanic women participate in the labor force; that is, they are either employed or actively seeking employment. Fully 59% of Hispanic women participate in the labor force, compared with 61% of non-Hispanic women.
- A greater share of native-born Hispanic women than immigrant Hispanic women participate in the labor force, 64% compared with 54% for immigrants.
- Native-born Hispanic women are more likely than immigrant Hispanic women to be employed, either full time or part time. Six-in-ten (61%) native-born Hispanic women are employed as compared with five-in-ten (51%) immigrant Hispanic women.
- Immigrant Hispanic women from Mexico are the least likely of all Hispanic immigrant women to be employed. Less than half (46%) of immigrant Hispanic women from Mexico are employed, compared with 52% of immigrant Hispanic women from the Caribbean, 61% from South America and 63% from Central America.
Hispanic women employed full time earn lower median weekly wages than non-Hispanic women.
- Median weekly earnings for Hispanic women who are employed full-time are $460 per week. The median weekly earnings of non-Hispanic women, $615, are 34% higher.
- Native-born Hispanic women earn more than immigrant Hispanic women. Among Hispanic women who are employed full time, the median weekly earnings of thenative born are 35% greatethan those of immigrant Hispanic women, $540 versus $400.
- Immigrant Hispanic women from Mexico have the lowest median weekly earnings of all immigrant Hispanic women. Immigrant Hispanic women from Mexico earn 9% less than immigrant Hispanic women from Central America, 15% less than those from the Caribbean, and 31% less than those from South America.
Household Income in 2006
Hispanic women are more likely to live in lower income households and less likely to reside in upper income households than non-Hispanic women.
- Hispanic women are much more likely than non-Hispanic women to live in a lower-income household53% compared with 34%.
- Among Hispanic women, the majority of the native born are members of the middle and upper income groups (55%) while the majority of immigrants are members of the lower income group (61%).
Definition of Income Groups
In this section, household incomes are adjusted for the number of people in a household and are presented for a household size of three (see Section II Appendix of Pew Social and Demographic Trends, “Inside the Middle Class: Bad Times Hit the Good Life” (April 2008) for a more detailed explanation of adjusted household income and income group assignments). In 2006, the median household income scaled to represent a three-person household was $32,046. By our definition, a woman is considered middle income if she lives in a household with an annual income that falls within 75% to 150% of the median household income. In 2006, that income range for a three-person household was $24,035 to $48,069. A woman whose median household income is above that range is considered in the upper income group; a woman whose household income is below that range is in the lower income group.
Hispanic women are nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanic women to live in poverty.
- Hispanic women are nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanic women to live in poverty. One-in-five (20%) Hispanic women live in poverty, compared with one-in-ten (11%) of non-Hispanic women.
- Immigrant Hispanic women are slightly more likely than native-born Hispanic women to live in poverty, 22% versus 18%.
Hispanic women are much more likely than non-Hispanic women to be employed in blue-collar occupations.
- Hispanic women are more likely than non-Hispanic women to be employed in blue-collar occupations such as building, grounds cleaning and maintenance (10% versus 2%); food preparation and serving-related jobs (9% versus 6%); production (8% versus 4%); and personal care and service occupations (7% versus 5%).
- The most common occupations held by Hispanic women are in office and administrative support. One-in-five (21%) employed Hispanic women are in those occupations, a similar share as for non-Hispanic women (22%).
- Hispanic women account for 12% of the employed female population in the United States. However, they account for 42% of women employed in farming, fishing and forestry occupations; 37% of women in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations; and 23% of women in production occupations.
- The majority of Hispanic women employed in occupations listed in Table 4 are immigrants. Three-quarters or more of the Hispanic women employed in farming, fishing and forestry; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; production; and construction and extraction occupations were foreign-born.
Hispanic women are overrepresented in industries with relatively more blue-collar jobs.
- Hispanic women are more likely than non-Hispanic women to work in the following industries: eating, drinking and lodging services (11% versus 6%); personal and laundry services/private household services (6% versus 3%); and nondurable goods manufacturing (5% versus 3%).
- More Hispanic women work in the wholesale/retail trade industry than any other industry. One-in-seven (15%) Hispanic women work in the wholesale/retail trade industry, a similar share as for non-Hispanic women (14%).
- Immigrant Hispanic women are represented to a much larger degree than native-born Hispanic women in agricultural, manufacturing and service-oriented industries. Two-thirds or more of the Hispanic women who work in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining; nondurable goods manufacturing; personal and laundry services/private household services; and eating, drinking and lodging services industries are immigrants.
- A woman is defined as living in poverty if her family income-to-poverty ratio is 1.00 or greater. The income-to-poverty ratio is a person’s family income divided by a government-calculated poverty threshold that is based upon family size and type. For more information about how the income-to-poverty ratio is calculated, see http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/povdef.html. ↩